News

Wed
21
Jun

Texting while driving illegal Sept. 1

Gov. Abbott calls for special legislative session

Wed
21
Jun

Commissioners agree to pursue interlocal agreement with WP

Van Zandt County Commissioners authorized the VZC Sheriff’s Department to pursue an interlocal agreement with the City of Wills Point on a piece of property to be used for a gun range that is currently owned by the city.

The action by the commissioners took place June 13 during their regular monthly meeting that turned into an almost two-hour session to work through a lengthy agenda.

Discussion over the use of a gun range by the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies in the county on property owned by the City of Wills Point continued between the commissioners, the sheriff’s department and Wills Point City Manager Pam Pearson during the meeting.

“We stopped using this gun range for a while,” pointed out VZC Judge Don Kirkpatrick. “The City of Wills Point has said that the sheriff’s office could use that property for qualifying.”

Tue
20
Jun

VZC farm service agency accepting emergency conservation applications

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Executive Director Ivan Suarez announced that Van Zandt County is approved to accept applications for the Emergency Conservation Program to address damages from tornado, straight-line winds and flooding. ECP signup will begin on June 12, and end on July 12.

According to Suarez, approved ECP practices under this authorization include debris removal from farmland, grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland, restoring permanent fences, restoring conservation structures and other similar installations.

Tue
20
Jun

Juneteenth events scheduled for Saturday

The city of Wills Point will once again serve as the central hub for area Juneteenth activities, once again playing host for the largest Juneteenth celebration in the area.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with the news that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were now free. 

This announcement came two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. The celebration of June 19 became “Juneteenth,” and the observance has grown beyond the borders of Texas and traveled to other countries. It became an official state holiday in Texas after having been signed into law on June 13, 1979.

Mon
19
Jun

The Talent Box to host spaghetti dinner, Bingo night

The Talent Box, a nonprofit community theatre, 244 N. 4th Street, Wills Point, will host a Bingo and Spaghetti Dinner night June 24, 2017. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by Bingo at 7:30 p.m.
Admission for this event is $12 for ages 13 to 59, $8 for ages 60 and over and $8 for ages 12 and under. Admission includes dinner and one Bingo card. Additional cards are available for a donation of $1 for each card. The winner of each game will select a prize.
Reservations may be made by calling the theatre, 903-873-8945. Leave your name and telephone, your call will be returned.

Mon
19
Jun

RMUMC invites children to Maker Fun Factory VBS

A summer kids’ event called Maker Fun Factory Vacation Bible School will be hosted by Russell Memorial United Methodist Church in the Deen Building (corner of 4th Street & Orville) from Sunday, June 18, to Thursday, June 22.  

At Maker Fun Factory, kids discover that God made them—and for a purpose! Kids participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and devour yummy treats, experience one-of-a-kind Bible adventures, collect Bible Memory Buddies to remind them of God’s love, and test out Sciency-Fun Gizmos they’ll take home and play with all summer long. Plus, kids will learn to look for evidence of God all around them through something called God Sightings.

Each day concludes with the Funshop Finale that gets everyone involved in living what they’ve learned. Family members and friends are encouraged to join in daily for this special time at 7:45 p.m.

Mon
19
Jun

Board continues hiring process at June meeting

Photo by David Kapitan

The Wills Point ISD, represented by board of trustees president C.W. Wilson, presented Mary Ann Sanderson with a special plaque ahead of her retirement from the district. Wilson stated, “I can’t think of anybody who has been more dedicated, loyal and hard working for this school district than Mary Ann Sanderson.”

It was a bittersweet night for the Wills Point ISD on Monday with staffing matters, including the hiring of three new assistant principals and the retirement of a longtime district employee, taking center stage during the monthly board of trustees meeting.

Business opened for the district with three campus principals, Kimberly Cole-White from the primary, Kimberly Calvery from the middle school and Jeff Russell from the high school, introducing the assistant principal finalists from their respective campuses to those in attendance.

Finalists included Ashley Besco at the primary, Kimberly Fritchman at the middle school and Kelly Harle at the high school campus. Board members would welcome all three, eventually voting in favor of their hiring during an executive session at the end of the night.

Sun
18
Jun

AARP driver safety course offered

The AARP Driver Safety Program and the Van Zandt County Library at 317 First Monday Lane in Canton are sponsoring a driver safety class from noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 21.

“This course is designed for drivers 50 years of age and older primarily. The course helps you learn to compensate for the effects that passing years have on eyesight, hearing and reflexes. Most participants will qualify for insurance premium reductions of up to 10 percent off their policy cost for the next three years,” said program organizers.

Cost for the class is a nominal fee for materials only. To enroll for the class, contact Marvin at 903-340-5058. Class size is limited.

Sun
18
Jun

City revises game room, pool hall fees

The city of Wills Point kept things short and sweet during their monthly meeting, breezing through a light agenda on Tuesday night that included approving three action items.

Business opened with the public comment portion of the city’s agenda with James Thompson offering an invitation to councilmembers and area residents to attend the annual Juneteenth celebration (see related story). Activities are slated to begin at 11 a.m. June 17 with a parade, followed by a party at the city’s south park with free food, fellowship and activities.

Thompson also used his time in public comment to raise concerns about a fence that has been in disrepair “for at least 7 years” at the south park property.

For the second consecutive month, O.B. Thompson also addressed the council during public comment, disputing the high cost of his utility bill.

Sat
17
Jun

East Texas Medical Outreach June 28-29

On June 28-29, the Fifth annual East Texas Medical Outreach Event will be held at Van Junior High School (630 South Oak Street in Van,).

Free health services will be provided to anyone without health insurance, starting at 8 a.m. on both days and will conclude at 4 p.m. on both days.

“Our goal for this program is to provide preventative and primary medical and dental screenings to uninsured East Texans. We want to refer participants that do not currently have providers to medical homes as much as we can and ultimately want to encourage participants to adopt healthy lifestyles to improve their quality of life,” says George Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of NET Health.

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