Meals on Wheels spreads through Canton, county

Photo by David Barber Preparing to load and unload meals for the Meals on Wheels Ministry in Canton are left to right, Bob Summit, on-site coordinator in Canton, Billy Foster and Hank Stuth.

What began as a ministry in the First United Methodist Church in Canton has grown to a local and county-wide service operating out of the Senior Citizens building downtown.

The Meals on Wheels Ministry is currently serving meals four days a week to around 60 homebound elderly and disabled citizens not only in Canton but throughout Van Zandt County.

Around 10-12 volunteers deliver meals over four different routes in Canton and in the county.

“The program grew to the point that they needed more room to operate and that is why it moved from the Methodist church to the Senior Citizens building,” recalled Bob Summit, who has served as site manager for the Meals on Wheels Ministry in Canton for the past 17 years.

All of the meals served each delivery day come from the regional Meals on Wheels Ministry facility in Tyler and are brought to the Senior Citizen building in Canton before the deliveries are made to the residents.


Season ends for Grand Saline boys

Photo by Ayla Rightenour Senior Trent Easley fires up a shot during his final basketball home game in a Grand Saline uniform.

The Grand Saline basketball program saw another draw to a close last with the Indians playing their final two games of the season against Mineola and Kemp.

The Indians played their final home contest of the 2016-'17 season Feb. 10, falling short in a 62-50 loss to the Mineola Yellowjackets.

Mineola and Grand Saline played to a virtual draw in the first half as the Jackets took an 18-15 lead after one quarter.

The Indians managed to chip away a point from the Mineola advantage over the course of the second quarter, pulling to within 26-24 entering the half.

A bad third quarter for Grand Saline would ultimately become the deciding factor in the loss as Mineola poured in 21 points over an eight-minute stretch to take a 47-33 lead into the third quarter.

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VZC Retired Teachers meeting set

The Van Zandt County Retired Teachers Association will meet at 11 a.m., Feb. 21 at the American National Bank in Canton. The meeting topic will be legislative updates.

“This is a very important legislative session for retired teachers as there will be significant changes to health insurance. All retired school personnel are urged to attend this informative meeting,” members said. 

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Means indicted for manslaughter

Van Zandt County District Attorney Chris Martin released the following press release regarding the death of Glenda Dry of Grand Saline.

“Hugh Michael Means, 56, of Grand Saline, was indicted by the Van Zandt County Grand Jury on Jan. 25, 2017, for Intoxication Manslaughter relating to the death of Ms. Glenda Dry, also of Grand Saline. Mr. Means was arrested by the Department of Public Safety on Dec. 21, 2016, just outside of Grand Saline on FM 857 after his vehicle was involved in a collision with a Ford Ranger being occupied by OD and Glenda Dry. During the investigation, alcohol was determined to be a factor in the collision which caused Ms. Dry’s death. Intoxication Manslaughter is a second degree felony that carries a punishment range of 2-20 years in prison and an option fine up to $10,000. Means is set to appear in the 294th District Court for arraignment on March 21, 2017, with his defense attorney, Chris Mulder of Dallas.


From milk to suds

Photos by Britne Hammons Bars of soap made of goat’s milk lay curing in the home of Grand Saline residents Kristen and Donald Tjernlund.

Walking into the home of Kristen and Donald Tjerlund is like stepping into a spa, the lingering aroma of essential oils permeates the air- if a spa included 46 goats, six dogs, one huge horse and seven chickens.

Kristen Tjerlund and her husband operate a farm in rural Van Zandt County that has a special twist, the goats provide milk that Kristen uses to make handcrafted soaps, beauty products, cheese and milk and other specialties.

Stepping back onto the wide porch in the Tjerlund’s home one might ascertain that one has stepped in a peaceful dream until a distant “meh” from one of the 17 new baby goats grabs snaps you out of a daydream.  


Ribbon cutting for Carlo E. Caravetta, Attorney At Law

Photo by David Barber

The Grand Saline Chamber of Commerce held an open house and ribbon cutting Feb. 6 for the office of Carlo E. Caravetta, Attorney At Law. The office is located downtown at 210 North Main Street. Caravetta, who also has an office in Dallas, prepares to cut the ribbon at the Grand Saline office he shares with Tankersley Real Estate.

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Hope Pregnancy Center holds open house

Courtesy photos Hope Pregnancy Center’s new location.

Hope Pregnancy Center hosted an Open House to observe Sanctity of Human Life Day and to welcome supporters to their new location Jan. 15.   

“It was a day to pause and recognize the importance of all human life created by God, as well as bring attention to ways people can be proactive in protecting human life,” said Jan Strait, Executive Director of Hope Pregnancy Center.

 “We come together to join with each other to honor every human life and pledge to protect the unborn, the aged, and those some in society might consider of no value,” said Strait.

   Recently, Hope Pregnancy Center moved to a new location.  The center is now located at 885 E. State Hwy. 243, in Canton.

The new building provides the center with much more space, which enables them to operate more easily and efficiently, said Strait.


Texas Lions Camp registration now open

On Jan. 3, the Texas Lions Camp began accepting applications from children with special medical needs for week-long sessions during the summer of 2017.

The 500-acre facility in Kerrville is owned and operated by Texas Lions Club members. The facility serves physically disabled, vision/hearing impaired and diabetic children from across Texas. The camp is provided free-of-charge to parents/children because more than 24,000 Texas Lions and their friends support the camp.

Texas Lions Camp offers five sessions for children with physical disabilities, one session for children with Down syndrome and two sessions for children with Type 1 diabetes. Camp sessions begin on a Sunday and conclude with an awards program on Friday evenings. The complete summer 2017 schedule, which kicks off June 4, is available online at


Looking back…

Courtesy photo

Circa 1953, this photo shows the Coleman Tractor Business at the intersection of Highway 19 and 64 in Canton.  Have a photo you want to share from days gone by in Van Zandt County? Send it to

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Reported flu cases on the rise nationally

Temperatures may be hovering in the high 70s and lower 80s this week, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is putting Texans on notice by advising the number of flu and influenza-like illnesses has been on the uptick throughout the month of January and into February.

The CDC’s FluView data chart, available online throughout flu season, breaks down to four possible levels of severity: minimal, low, moderate and high. In the case of Texas, the state registered at the lowest activity levels in the week ending Jan. 7 (minimal), and then climbing to “low” for the Jan. 14 and Jan. 21 reports. 

During the report issued for the week ending on Jan. 28, the CDC reported that Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming were all in the midst of experiencing the highest levels of ILI activity.


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