Canton prepares to get in full swing

Ninth annual Western Swing and Honky Tonk set

Preparations continue for the ninth annual Classic Country, Western Swing & Honky Tonk Music Festival to be held Feb. 16-18.

The event set to begin at noon and continue until  10 p.m. each day at the Canton Civic Center.

Jimmy Burson & Texas In The Swing will open up the schedule Feb. 16 with performances from noon to 2 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Also performing Feb. 16 will be Kelly Spinks & Miles of Texas from 2 to 4 p.m. and 8 to10 p.m.

“Jimmy Burson is a retired county judge from Silverton, Texas,” said event organizer Jim Fuller. “He brings with him a 94-year old female piano player who has taught piano for the past 65 years and she is a wizz. Kelly Spinks & Miles of Texas are from Brownwood, Texas. Kelly has been in the business a long, long time.”


Fruitvale resident battles cancer with fashion

Courtesy photo Chelsea Shaver

Fruitvale resident and cancer survivor, Chelsea Shaver is making her way to New York for the SMGlobal Catwalk Feb. 11 during New York Fashion Week. In addition to attending the event, she met talented fashion designer, Dalia MacPhee, and jewelry designer Remarkably Renee who have donated their time and passion to bring Chelsea the opportunity to be a featured survivor model for the cancer non-profit Say YES to HOPE.

 Chelsea Shaver is a 28-year old mom with three daughters. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer months ago when her baby was just a few weeks old.  

“Learning that your cancer has spread to your liver and bones is earth shattering,” said Chelsea. “I am trying to keep our lives as normal as possible for my family and while my diagnosis is frightening, I try to battle it with a smile and positive outlook.”


Brookshire’s to offer scholarships

In honor of Black History Month, Brookshire’s is introducing the “Because History Matters” scholarship program, which will provide tuition assistance to high school seniors planning to attend college in the fall.

The scholarship is open to any graduating high school senior in Texas, Louisiana or Arkansas, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Applicants must be enrolled in a junior college, four-year institution or an accredited technical college by fall 2017.

Scholarships will be awarded to students in the three states where Brookshire’s operates stores (Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas). Recipients will be selected based on their original essay, eligibility, academic achievement, financial need and leadership (including awards, achievements, extracurricular activities and community service). Winners will receive up to $3,000, paid directly to their schools of choice.


Wellness program set to being in April

Finding reliable resources of health and wellness information can be a challenge. Since 1906, Texas AgriLife Extension Service has provided Texans with guidance in various health areas and is now training volunteers to provide more communities with the education and tools needed for healthy living.

The Master Wellness Volunteer Initiative is an AgriLife Extension program that will provide volunteers with 40 hours of training in health and nutrition education and in return, the volunteers agree to give back 40 hours of service. The volunteer opportunities are diverse – giving presentations for local community groups, assisting with periodic cooking schools given by Texas AgriLife Extension Service, passing out information at health fairs, and much more. Previous health or wellness training is not required, but an interest in living healthfully and helping others do the same is.


County Blotter

The Van Zandt Co. Sheriff’s Department reported the following arrests from Jan. 17-24, 2017.

Cathi Irene Alford, 47, Quinlan, was arrested on a warrant for manufacture, delivery of controlled substance.

Daniel Taylor Arnold, 21, Ben Wheeler, was arrested on three warrants for aggravated assault, and interfering with emergency request for assistance.

Bradlee Dewayne Bell, 17, Wills Point, was arrested on two warrants for criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

Samuel Glenn Bell, 31, Canton was arrested on three warrants for theft of property, expired drivers’ license and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Robert Daniel Crews, 28, Midlothian, was arrested on an Ellis Co. warrant for assault.

Phil Otis Cross Jr., 38, Dallas, was arrested on a warrant for driving while intoxicated.


GS teacher lifting robotics off ground

Photo by Ayla Rightenour Grand Saline ISD Robotics Team “When Pigs Fly,” members are from left, Mason Schedule, Matt McCormick, Jake Davis, Brandon Nations, Gabriel Guajardo, and Eric Jimenez.

Grand Saline ISD played host to over 700 people Jan. 14 and 21 for the FIRST Lego League competition and leading the event was GSISD sixth grade teacher Michael Young.

Young said that while he initially was placed into the position with little experience, he now hopes to lead GS Robotics Team, “When Pigs Fly,” to championship levels.

Young said that he feels like many people don’t understand the concept of robotics, and that is more than it seems.

“I feel like so many people who hear about robotics think that what we do is just play with little Lego toys” said Young. “Part of the contests take place behind closed doors, and there are different judging aspects of it which are equally as hard as what you see on the game field. You don’t see it from the surface, but it’s far more challenging than some realize.”

Grand Saline took to the FIRST Lego program four years ago and Young was placed into a position to head the robotics department in the district.


Make-A-Wish seeks volunteers

Make-A-Wish North Texas granted 650 wishes last year and is currently looking for a significant number of volunteers, especially in Van Zandt County to work directly with wish kids. A wish-granting volunteer meets with the child and her/his family to help determine the child's most heartfelt wish while planning special enhancements throughout the wish process. Wish granters work in teams of two alongside Make-A-Wish staff to ensure every eligible child's wish comes true. A specialized, but relatively simple, training program is provided before contact is made with a wish family. 

For information on applying to become a volunteer, contact or at 214-496-9479.

Additional information can be found at


Grand Saline ISD honors trustees,students

High School principal Ricky LaPrade presents the Indian Award to Sammy Palma for the month of January.

The Grand Saline Board of Trustees met Jan. 23 to recognize students for exemplary behavior and also were honored by the district during School Board Appreication Month.

The Grand Saline Elementary School kicked off naming students who would receive the Indian Award .

The Grand Saline Elementary School Indian Award for the month of January went to Josie Marshall. Josie’s teacher Mrs. McFarlin remarked that she has been blessed to have Josie in her class for two years and even at the age of 3, Josie has had excellent listening skills and is always following directions. “This year we have watched as Josie has blossomed into a great Grand Saline elementary student,” said McFarlin. “Josie has a kind heart and a love for learning.”


Women’s Conference Feb. 17-18

The tenth annual Legacy of Love Conference will be Feb.17-18, at First Baptist Church of Canton. Women of all ages and in all stages of life are invited to come rejuvenate their heart, make new friends, learn something new and fellowship with God.

Cindi McMenamin, an award-winning author and national speaker, is the featured keynote speaker. She has been ministering and inspiring women for more than 30 years.

Cindi is the author of 15 books and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows including Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson, Moody Broadcasting’s Prime Time America and Midday Connection, At Home Live, The Harvest Show, and more. She will give three presentations during the conference.

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Slates for councils, school boards races set

Filing will end Friday, Feb. 17 for the local school board and city council seats up for election on the May 6 ballot.

Canton City

Candidate filing for two seats, currently held by Connie Odic and Nathan Moore are up for election. The mayor position held by Lou Ann Everett is also up for election. Each city council seat will be for a two-year term beginning in May 2017. Candidate packets can be picked up at Canton City Hall, 201 N. Buffalo St., Canton. The last day to file is at 2 p.m. Feb. 17.

Canton ISD

There are two positions open on the Canton ISD Board of Trustees which includes Position 6 held by Josh Wilkerson and Position 7 held by Regan Sumner. Anyone interested in running for school board may obtain a packet at the Canton ISD Administration Office, 1045 S. Buffalo St., Canton.


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