News

Tue
05
Sep

Beating the odds The Rally for Rylan

 

Rylan Greene wants to be a police officer when he grows up and his favorite thing to do is to play outside and race his brothers from one end of the yard to the other. He is the youngest of Torrance and Amanda Greene’s sons, and is still very much the baby of the family.

This year, Rylan walked down the hallways of Wills Point Primary School to his first-grade classroom, to officially begin his first day of school Aug. 28.

Last year on the day he was to start kindergarten, Rylan was walking down a different hallway, the sixth-floor hallway of Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Facing the Odds

Mon
04
Sep

Heeding the call for help VZC team headed for rescue mission

Personnel from the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office and VZC Constable Pct. 4 office are headed south to the Port Arthur area to help with rescue, evacuation and search efforts for Hurricane Harvey victims.

A team comprised of VZCSO Chief Michael Bates, Lieutenant Heath Burton, Sgt. David Wheeler, Deputy Chuck Daugherty, Chief Deputy Constable Bob Keltner and Retired US Marshal John Lewandowski left Aug. 30 to “answer the call of assistance with search, rescue and evacuations.”

The officers participating all agreed with Chief Deputy Keltner’s statement, “they came to help us twice, now we are going to help them.”

The team took equipment to help aid in rescue efforts, including a boat and a MRAP military truck and headed down to Port Arthur, which was 100 miles east of Houston.

 They also loaded up on supplies such as food, lifejackets, water and essentials needed for those who have lost everything due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey.  

Fri
01
Sep

Audit reveals good accounting practices

A report on the annual outside financial audit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016, was presented to the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court Aug. 22.

John Manning of the Patillo Brown and Hill L. L. P. audit firm, located in Waco, made the presentation to the commissioners after being introduced by VZC Auditor Freddy Thomas.

“We are here to give you an unmodified opinion on your financial statements,” said Manning. “As outside auditors, we can give you one of four different types of opinions and the unmodified opinion is the highest level of assurance that we can offer.”

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

Wed
30
Aug

Annual financial audit presented to commissioners

A report on the annual outside financial audit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016 was presented to the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court during their regular meeting Aug. 22.

John Manning of the Patillo Brown and Hill L. L. P. audit firm, located in Waco, made the presentation to the commissioners after being introduced by VZC Auditor Freddy Thomas.

“We are here to give you an unmodified opinion on your financial statements,” said Manning. “As outside auditors, we can give you one of four different types of opinions and the unmodified opinion is the highest level of assurance that we can offer.”

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

Mon
28
Aug

Hitting the Books

Edgewood, Fruitvale and Martins Mill Independent School districts welcomed back their students this week for the 2017-’18 school year. Grand Saline ISD and Wills Point ISD are the only school districts that have not begun school. Both school districts are scheduled to begin classes in the upcoming week. Van ISD and Canton ISD both began school on Aug. 21. 

For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

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.

For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

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. 

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

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.”

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