News

Sat
26
Aug

District, campuses meet standard in latest ratings

The Texas Education Agency released its 2017 state accountability ratings Aug. 15, rating both districts and campuses on their performance in four separate areas.

Ratings for both districts and individual campuses are broken down into three levels: met standard, met alternative standard or improvement requirement.

According to the TEA, the Wills Point ISD, Wills Point High School, Wills Point Middle School, Wills Point Junior High, Earnest O. Woods Intermediate School and the Wills Point Primary School all received the highest possible designation – met standard – for the 2017 school year.

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Fri
25
Aug

RMUMC to host Neighbor to Neighbor Lunch

Russell Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 201 S. 4th St., is hosting its monthly Neighbor to Neighbor Lunch this Saturday, Aug. 26. Anyone who wants a good meal is invited to the Deen Building (corner of 4th Street and Orville) for a free meal between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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Fri
25
Aug

Total eclipse of the sun

On Aug. 21, 2017, North America was treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality could see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. The path, where the moon completely covered the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - could be seen. In this photo, cloud cover provided the perfect diffuser for photographing the sun directly.

Sun
20
Aug

Train collides with 18-wheeler

The Wills Point Police Department, Wills Point Volunteer Fire Department, Texas DPS, Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office and representatives from Union Pacific rushed to the scene of an accident between an eastbound Union Pacific train and an 18-wheeler shortly after 7:30 a.m. Aug. 14.

According to reports the driver of the 18-wheeler, identified as Alvin Edward Hackett was attempting to use the railroad crossing connecting County Road 3805 with Highway 80 in the western portion of the city as the eastbound train was entering the city.

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Sat
19
Aug

Board hears administrative reports

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees held their second of three planned meetings in the month of August on Monday night, reviewing a series of administrative reports presented by school administrators before moving on to other items on the districts.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Student Services Damon Davis provided the first of two reports to the board, introducing an item regarding the safety and security audit report.

Davis noted, “state law requires each campus have a safety and security audit at least once every three years” before going on to explain that Region 10 has a group of security auditors that conducted the WPISD’s campuses, outlining both the positive elements already in place while also making recommendations on how each campus could improve.

“We were generally pleased with the findings,” said Davis. “We received several positive comments and commendations.”

Fri
18
Aug

Proposed tax rate vote tabled after discussion

After much discussion, the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court tabled any action on the proposed 2017-‘18 tax rate during their regular meeting Aug. 8 which drew a standing-room only crowd.

The new fiscal year for the county will begin Oct. 1, 2017, and conclude on Sept. 30, 2018.

“VZC Judge Don Kirkpatrick and I visited Aug. 7 with VZC Chief Appraiser Scott Hyde and based on that discussion, we are presenting a proposed tax rate of $.585847 for fiscal year 2018,” announced VZC Auditor Freddy Thomas to the commissioners. “That is the same as the proposed tax rate for fiscal year 2017 and this does include the special road tax rate. The effective rate is $.552805 and the rollback rate is $.587864.”

Thu
17
Aug

ESD #4, WPVFD welcome new brush truck

Emergency Services District #4 and the Wills Point Volunteer Fire Department upgraded their ability to battle both grass and brush fires late last week by taking possession of a new brush truck.

Acquisition of the new truck had been a nearly-year long process from ordering the specially-designed vehicle until its arrival at the local fire station Aug. 3.

ESD #4 was established by local voters through an election process in May 2015. The ESD and WPVFD are separate entities from the city of Wills Point, collecting their own taxes and, by law, using those funds only for firefighting purposes.

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Wed
16
Aug

Maintenance work provides facility upgrades

The Wills Point ISD turned its eye to the future at the beginning of the new year, setting the groundwork for many of the facility improvement projects that have been undertaken and completed since the end of the 2016-’17 school year.

Back in February, the WPISD Board of Trustees met with three companies to hear proposals on potential work that could be done to improve energy efficiency throughout the district via infrastructure upgrades.

District leaders eventually approved a bid presented by ABM Bundled Energy Solutions, clearing the way for work to be conducted over the summer months.

In a recent press release, WPISD Assistant Superintendent Damon Davis explained the scope of the project and its impact on both students and staff members.

Sun
13
Aug

Meteor shower viewing set

Meteor shower viewing set

The Mineola Nature Preserve in conjunction with The Astronomical Society of East Texas will present a Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing and Star Party at the Mineola Nature Preserve on Saturday, Aug. 12.

The event is free to the public. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with sunspot viewing until sunset and telescope viewing begins at twilight and will end after midnight, said event organizers.

Sat
12
Aug

Ragland recognized for commitment to agriculture education

The Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas held their annual Professional Development Conference, July 24-28 in Arlington, Texas.

Agricultural science teachers spent the week attending professional development workshops, training classes and general sessions with motivational speakers to enhance their current teaching methods and keep up with the latest curriculum developments in agricultural education and technology.

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