Holding on to hope

Misty Phillips wakes up each day and is thankful for her faith, family and friends. She grasps at feelings of hope and wraps the positivity around her and reminds herself to find strength in God, her family and her large network of friends. Since July, her life has suddenly taken a detour from that of full time mother, wife, friend and project manager of the American National Bank of Texas in Terrell.

On Aug. 1, Misty received the call that she had a 9 x 11-centimeter tumor that revealed she had an early stage of breast cancer after undergoing a biopsy in July.  The tumor contained Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. DCIS is considered the earliest form of breast cancer.

Misty and her husband, Jason Phillips, are raising their children; daughter, Mackenzie, 15; and son, Slate, 4, in Martins Mill. Misty also has a stepson, Jordan, 22.  Misty said the hardest part of the diagnosis was breaking the news to her family and husband.


Golf tourney raises funds for Memorial

The 2017 Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial Golf Tournament was held Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Van Zandt Country Club in Canton.

The golf tournament is an annual fundraiser for the VZC Veterans Memorial and along with playing the 18-hole golf course, the 19 teams were able to purchase tickets for a raffle, a chance to use mulligans and to “buy the drive,” at certain golf holes.  

Many nice items were donated for the raffle items, one of which was a Texas Flag in a display case and certificate from Texas State Senator Bob Hall. Senator Hall’s District Representative Marivious Allen was present to meet and greet people during the event.

Texas State Representative Dan Flynn also donated a wooden tray and participated in the golf tournament. Kelli Linza, Bryan Crum and Tommy Eubank rounded out State Rep. Flynn’s team.


EISD to offer college courses to students

Edgewood ISD held their monthly meeting Sept. 18 with all board members present with the exception of Cale Kimbrough and Eric James.

Board members announced that this year, Edgewood ISD will offer free college courses for their high school students.

Currently, there are 21 students enrolled in Dual Credit College Courses with Trinity Valley Community College.

In addition to free tuition, the district is also paying for textbooks for the students taking the dual credit courses. The board approved the cost of $11,457 for the fall semester.

Hilary Burton, the school district’s Pre-K Director, informed the board student enrollment has increased this year.

According to Burton, this is the first year Edgewood ISD has offered full day pre-kindergarten. “In the past, the school district offered two half day classes serving a total of 14 students. This year, 32 students are enrolled causing the district to hire a second teacher and aide,” said Burton. 


Grand Saline approves animal control ordinance


The City of Grand Saline held their monthly council meeting Sept.12. Councilmember Bryan Marshall was not in attendance.

Grand Saline resident Kathy Smith spoke to the councilmembers, thanking them for their dedication and hard work regarding an animal control ordinance that was on the meeting’s agenda.

 “I appreciate animal impoundment was added back into the ordinance. Animal control is a big problem in my neighborhood. I would also ask that when code enforcement officers are doing an inspection they look for other ordinance violations while present on the property. Proposed ordinances should be listed on the website for the public to review prior to the council’s approval so if residents would like to comment on a specific item in the ordinance they can appear at the council meeting,” Smith said.

The animal control ordinance was approved by a majority with councilmember Mary Jane Hollowell voting against.


GSPD seizes 4.5 grams of meth

On Friday, Sept. 9, 2017 Grand Saline Police Department Sergeant Jason Burns was on routine patrol when he stopped a vehicle for speeding on Waldrip Street.

The driver was identified as 34-year-old Randy Kevin Heidgerken of Grand Saline. During a roadside interview, Sgt. Burns discovered that Heidgerken had an outstanding warrant for possession of marijuana out of Kaufman County.

Sgt. Burns began an incident to arrest search of Heidgerken and located 4.5 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside of Heidgerken’s sock.

Heidgerken was transported to the Van Zandt County Jail where he was booked in on the warrant and for allegedly committing the offense of possession of controlled substance which is a second-degree felony.


Sandra Plaster’s swearing-in ceremony

Appointed Van Zandt County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Sandra Plaster is sworn into office Sept. 8 by retired VZC Pct. 2 JP Ronnie Daniell during a noon time swearing-in ceremony at the VZC Pct. 2 JP office. Shown with Plaster are her parents, William and Betty Thornton and her granddaughter, Chloe Plaster. A reception followed the swearing-in ceremony.


Hooked on worms Focus on worms turns into family business

Two words can best describe why Sherri Doss would be interested in being involved in a worm farm business and those words are “dirt therapy.”

“When I worked with emotionally disturbed kids, I always had a garden or something that involved dirt,” said Doss. “I am a big believer in dirt therapy. Fast forward to my retirement and moving to the Canton/Martins Mill area, I was helping take care of my mother who had suffered a broken wrist. It turned out that she had more than a broken wrist. She had dementia and she was not able to take care of herself. At that point, I needed dirt therapy myself.”

Sherri’s husband, Breon, first brought up the subject of working with worms which resulted in a negative reaction from Sherri.


Leadership Van Zandt County Class 2 set to launch

The Canton Texas Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Van Zandt County Board of Directors recently announced the names of eight students that will be the 2017- 2018 Leadership Van Zandt County Class 2.

LVZC, now in its second year, is designed to incorporate key leadership objectives emphasizing professional leadership and community development. Throughout the course of the program schedule, students will be exposed to extensive training from both professional speakers and honorary community leaders as well as participate in various group events that will highlight their personal strengths and the needs of the community.


VZC Library Board approved by commissioners

New board officers and members of the Van Zandt County Library Advisory Board were approved by the VZC Commissioners Court during their Sept. 12 meeting.

Outgoing library advisory board member Russell Harris presented the recommended names to the commissioners’ court.

VZC Librarian Susie Pulley expressed her appreciation to Harris for his six years of service on the board.

“Mr. Harris has done an excellent job as president of our board and he is one of the best that we have ever had in that position,” pointed out Pulley.

In addition to Harris, who represented Pct. 3, rotating off the board, it was announced that Carolyn Daughtry, representing Pct. 4, has resigned due to scheduling conflicts.

Brenda Fuller, representing Pct. 1, is renewing a three-year term on the board which will end on Sept. 30, 2020.


Grand Saline, Edom slip in sales tax collections

Van Zandt County cities enjoyed a mostly positive month in sales tax revenue collections according to the office of Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar as Canton, Edgewood, Van and Wills Point all showing sales tax revenue gains when comparing Sept. 2017 figures against those from the same calendar month in 2016.

The city of Canton led all county cities in overall dollar change for the third consecutive month, receiving a county-best payment of $298,995.57 in September 2017, up $14,025.72 over collections in September 2016.

Van, which saw revenues slip $11,207.59 when comparing August 2017 with August 2016, bounced back in a big way in September by receiving a payment of $72,216.45. That total was $13,416.41 or 22.82 percent than the $58,800.04 collected during the same month last year.


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