News

Sat
26
Aug

Commissioners approve increase in proposed tax rate

In a 4-1 vote, the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court approved a proposed tax rate for the new fiscal year Aug. 22 that exceeds the preceding year’s rate as well as the effective and rollback tax rates.

The proposed property tax rate for the 2017-‘18 fiscal year which begins Oct. 1, 2017, and concludes Sept. 30, 2018, is $.615847 per $100 valuation which exceeds the rollback rate requiring two public hearings prior to the final adoption of the proposed tax rate.

The first public hearing will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5 and the second hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 8. Both public hearings will take place in the VZC Courthouse.

Information released by the commissioners’ court showed that the preceding year’s tax rate was $.58547.

The effective tax rate is .552805 while the rollback tax rate is $.587864, according to the commissioners’ court.

Fri
25
Aug

Crash calms life of motorcyclist

Ethan Landaverde, 27, of Van was killed in a motorcycle crash around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20.

Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers were called to a scene of a two-vehicle accident on Farm-to-Mark 17, in Van Zandt County, four miles northeast of Grand Saline.

According to preliminary crash reports, Joshua Wintters, of Ben Wheeler, was traveling east on FM 17 towing a trailer and attempted to turn right into a private drive when his towed unit was struck from behind by Landaverde, who was driving a 2003 Suzuki motorcycle.

Landaverde was transported to Texas General Hospital in Grand Saline where he was later pronounced deceased.

Wintters was not injured in the crash.

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Fri
25
Aug

The Blotter

The Van Zandt Co. Sheriff’s Department reported the following arrests from Aug. 15-22, 2017.

Jose Enrique Amador, Mineola, was arrested on site for driving while intoxicated.

Kelvin Bernard Ates, 47, Whitehouse, was arrested on a warrant for driving while intoxicated, weekend commit.

Christian Bazan, 41, San Antonio, was arrested on two warrants for theft of property and deadly conduct.

Joshua Paul Calhoun, 36, Brownsboro, was arrested for evading arrest and detention with vehicle.

Colby Hunter Cruse, 18, Fort Worth, was arrested on a Fort Worth Police Department warrant for theft of property, and on a warrant for assault, family violence.

Wilbert Demetrius Doyle, 34, Grand Saline, was arrested on site for driving while intoxicated and open container in motor vehicle.

Misty Dawn Eckeberger, 39, Mabank, was arrested on a Bonham County warrant for theft of property.

Tue
22
Aug

Walking the walk Walk Across Texas kicks off

A small parade of people walked around the Van Zandt County Courthouse square Aug. 16. The group was led by Tommy Phillips and Melisa Rhodes of the Texas A&M Ag Extension Service to kickoff Walk Across Texas, a free 8-week program designed to help Texans establish the habit of regular physical activity. Since 1996, thousands of Texans have participated in the Walk Across Texas event. Walk Across Texas is recognized as the “Best Practice of Physical Fitness Activity Program” by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

For the eight weeks, teams of up to eight people, school classes or individuals virtually walk 832 miles across the state of Texas. 

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Tue
22
Aug

Court OKs body armor for sheriff’s department

Several requests from the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Department received approval from the VZC Commissioners Court Aug. 8.

A grant application through the Office of the Governor for rifle-resistant body armor was given the go-ahead following a presentation from Tim Scharfenberg of the VZC Sheriff’s Department.

“This is a no-match grant which means that it is fully funded by the governor’s office,” said Scharfenberg.  “Last Saturday, we had to deal with an individual who was suicidal and had a rifle. I was standing there using my own protection. He was trying to get us to kill him. I was wearing my 22-year old panels which are pistol-proof that expired several years ago. What we are wanting to apply for is a grant that will provide our guys something safer and provide us more protection.”

Tue
22
Aug

VZC DA releases statement on Collins investigation

Van Zandt County District Attorney Chris Martin released a statement Aug. 3 regarding the investigation into allegations against Grand Saline Police Chief Justin Collins.

“The City of Grand Saline officially referred criminal allegations it had received regarding (Grand Saline) Chief of Police Justin Collins to the Van Zandt County Criminal District Attorney’s office on July 26, 2017,” said Martin in the statement. “Due to Chief Collins previous employment within the Van Zandt County DA’s Office as an investigator, I believe a potential conflict of interest exists in the matter and I have chosen to refer the investigation to the Texas Attorney General’s office.”

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Thu
17
Aug

Brain Gym set for Aug. 31

Brain Gym set for Aug. 31

The Canton Church of Christ, in collaboration with IMPACT Van Zandt, will host  “Movements to Calm the Brain, a presentation on Brain Gym” at noon, Aug. 31.

“Brain Gym® consists of 26 easy and enjoyable targeted activities that bring about rapid and often dramatic improvements in self-esteem, self-control, communication, comprehension, concentration, memory, reading, writing, organizing, listening, and physical coordination.

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

Thu
17
Aug

Crossroads Church to hold worship, prayer event

On April 29, our county was changed forever by a series of tornadoes.  In their aftermath, many generous people have given money, time and materials to restore our neighbor’s lives.  The storms took only a few moments to do their damage but the recovery effort is a long-term situation and involves more than just cleaning and fixing homes.  

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

Wed
16
Aug

The Blotter

 

The Van Zandt Co. Sheriff’s Department reported the following arrests from Aug. 1 – 8, 2017:

Ashley Marie Aldridge, 26, Ben Wheeler, was arrested on a Smith Co. warrant for criminal trespass.

Troy Allen Alldredge, 46, Mabank, was arrested on two warrants for assault causing bodily injury, family violence and burglary of habitation.

Daniel Horton Amador, 27, Canton, was arrested on site for driving while license invalid.

Patrick Allen Bieber, 47, Terrell, was arrested on two warrants for injury to child, elderly or disabled and retaliation.

Jonathan Daniell Bresee, 34, Van, was arrested on site for assault.

Edwin Carl Byler Jr., 60, Wills Point, was arrested on a warrant for driving while intoxicated.

Jacob David Collard, 20, Canton, was arrested on a warrant for assault, family violence.

Wed
16
Aug

Private property: Protecting Texas' future

Since before our nation's founding, private property rights have been recognized as an indispensable pillar in supporting a free and prosperous society.  Private property, and the rights inherent in ownership, are foundational for a free people because they are the product of a person's labor.  If a person cannot enjoy the fruits of his or her labor by the acquisition and use of private property, that person lacks a constitutionally guaranteed security.  Robust property rights empower us to pursue our own dreams and live according to our own personal values.
Nowhere is this better understood than Texas. Early Texas settlers took extraordinary risks to experience the promise of property ownership for themselves.  Despite this legacy, Texas law does not provide adequate protections against government regulations, eminent domain, and regulatory takings that disrupt or prevent a property owner's right to use and develop their property.

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