News

Tue
02
May

Fate of key transparency bills is uncertain; legislators need to hear from constituents

Committee must move bills for the House to vote

There’s no question that Americans — particularly Texans — are increasingly suspicious of government. Trust in government is at a dangerously low level.

That’s why virtually every candidate who runs for the Texas Legislature loudly proclaims that he or she is all for transparency and accountability. Unfortunately, campaign season is a distant memory at this point in Texas’ legislative session. Lawmakers have spent four full months in the company of lobbyists who are paid nicely to convince them that the interests of their clients are threatened by transparency.

Tue
02
May

Slaton launches campaign for State House District 2

Wednesday, Bryan Slaton announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the Texas House of Representatives, District 2.

Slaton, a Hunt county resident with deep family ties throughout the District, was largely underestimated by many in his underdog race in 2016. Although Slaton had never sought public office, and was outspent by more than a 2 to 1 margin, he received 49% of the vote.

Slaton is part of the younger generation of conservative leaders who have been stepping up to restore constitutional principles to our nation and state.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

 

Mon
01
May

Sales tax collections continue upward trend

Van Zandt County cities followed what was mostly a positive month in March with an even better one in April, seeing the number of cities that collected more in sales tax revenue collections when comparing against the same month from the prior year climb from four to month.

According to the office of Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Canton, Edom, Grand Saline, Van and Wills Point all moved in a positive direction with each collecting more money than they received in April 2016.

The city of Wills Point helped show the way locally, seeing both the largest dollar change and largest percentage change of any city in the county. In April 2017, Wills Point received a payment of $103,925.41. That total was $22,211.29 or 27.18 percent higher than the $81,714.12 received at the same time last year.

Mon
01
May

Ben Wheeler author releases latest book in series


Ben Wheeler author Tom Geddie works on his next book in the character-driven “Desert Magicians” series. Geddie has authored 29 books in the last 10 years. He has lived in the Ben Wheeler area since 2004.

A response to a letter that Ben Wheeler author Tom Geddie wrote a number of years ago was one of the reasons that he decided to pursue writing.

Geddie wrote a letter to long-time Dallas Times Herald and Dallas Morning News Sports Columnist Blackie Sherrod who Geddie described as one of his all-time favorite writers.

“I actually wrote him a letter one time and he answered it,” recalled Geddie. “His nice response to my letter really encouraged me to become a writer.”

Geddie, 71, was born in Terrell and grew up in Lancaster where he graduated from high school.

Following high school, he attended the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) where he served as editor of the campus newspaper during his sophomore and junior years.

Sun
30
Apr

VZC Commissioners work through lengthy agenda


Mary Kay Thomas of Amazing Grants, Inc. spoke on several topics related to the Little Moore Hope Water Supply Corporation grant request during the regular meeting April 25 of the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court. A number of agreements presented by Thomas were approved unanimously by the VZC commissioners.

A 26-item agenda began with good news reported by Van Zandt County Judge Don Kirkpatrick April 25 during the regular meeting of the VZC Commissioners Court.

Kirkpatrick presented an update on a court case from December, 2015 involving former VZC Tax Assessor-Collector J. J. Minyard who pleaded guilty to stealing $178,856.08 from county taxpayers during her tenure as an elected official.

Minyard, who served as the VZC Tax Assessor-Collector from 2009-2012, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to repay restitution.

Sat
29
Apr

Rabies virus confirmed in County

On April 17, 2017, Canton Animal Control was dispatched for a skunk displaying unusual behavior.  Upon arrival, the animal control officer captured the skunk which was then sent to the Texas Department of Health Laboratory in Austin for testing. The Canton Animal Shelter was notified by the Texas Department of Health that the skunk was infected with rabies.

Rabies infection is most common in bats, coyotes, raccoons, skunks and foxes.

Signs of rabies infection in a human may include, but are not limited to, fever, headaches, fatigue, respiration difficulties, possible paralysis or hyperactivity or coma. Signs of rabies infection in pets may include fever, chewing at the site of infection or bite, erratic behavior, walking aimlessly, general restlessness, skin irritability, sensitivity to light, aggression in animals not normally aggressive, and generally unnatural behavior for that animal.

Fri
28
Apr

Indians earn split in final two games


Photo by Ayla Rightenour The Grand Saline athletic program took time out to recognize senior baseball players and managers ahead of play against Mineola.

The Grand Saline Indians came away with mixed results on the baseball diamond over the past week, losing to Mineola on Senior Night before bouncing back with a strong showing against Eustace in the district finale.

The Yellowjackets took early command of their game against the Indians, jumping out to a 8-0 lead before cruising to a 10-5 win.

Grand Saline managed to make things interesting in the middle innings, scoring three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to pull to within three runs.

Connor Lowe led all Grand Saline hitters going 2/4 with a double and two runs scored. Trent Easley finished 1/3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored, Cleighton Schedule finished 1/2 with a double and 3 RBI, Judsen Truett finished 1/4 and Jake Morrison finished 1/4.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Fri
28
Apr

Youth lead at March of Remembrance


Photos by Faith Caughron The Shofar sounded at the VZC Courthouse April 23 for the March of Remembrance. Participating in the event were Lori Rodriquez, Ben Wheeler, Matthew Teel, Wills Point; Gabie Wilson and Andrew Wilson, Grand Saline.

Article courtesy of The Northeast Texan

Special emphasis was put on youth at the 2017 Van Zandt County March of Remembrance. Students from Martins Mill Junior High carried banners, flags and signs for the 1 mile prayer walk from the county courthouse to the Farm Bureau. Youth led the way for over 100 marchers who wore gold stars with names of children who died in the Holocaust.

A program followed the march that ended at the Farm Bureau. During her speech, Martins Mill student Hailey Edwards shared why she had anticipated the march after Rose Scott came to the school and told her dramatic story of surviving the Gestapo’s torture.

“She had been through so much, yet she is not bitter, but better,” Hailey said. “She is a witness to history, the good parts, as well as the bad. Ms. Rose wanted us to remember, ‘Never again.’ Always stand against evil, even when it is so much bigger than you. We have the power to overcome it.”

Thu
27
Apr

Holly Springs Cemetery to hold ‘May Day’

Continuing a tradition that began in the 19th century, the public is invited to the Holly Springs Cemetery annual Memorial Day celebration Sunday, May 7, 2017. 

The official business meeting of the Holly Springs Cemetery Association will be at 11 a.m. followed by lunch under the tabernacle. 

HSCA board members and volunteers will be at the cemetery all weekend for “First of May” clean-up and fellowship activities. 

Those who are unable to attend the official meeting are urged to stop by the cemetery Friday, May 5, Saturday, May 6 or Sunday, May 7 for help or information. There will be people on hand to help locate burials, accept donations or to answer any questions, said organizers.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Thu
27
Apr

Commissioners receive gift from Veterans Memorial Board


The Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial Board presented a picture to the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court April 11 during the commissioners’ court meeting.

Members of the Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial Board expressed their appreciation to the VZC Commissioners Court by presenting a special framed picture during the commissioners regular meeting April 11.

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