Tiger Band earns Superior Rating

The Wills Point Tiger Band continued to add yet another piece of hardware to their trophy case Oct. 21, picking up the school’s 17th consecutive UIL Sweepstakes Awards at the 4A UIL Marching Contest held in Mesquite.

“There are many great programs that have a string of Superior Ratings at their UIL Region Marching Contest longer than 18 years, but we are excited that we have continued the excellence that was begun a long time ago,” said Tiger Band director John Young. “I am so proud of our student’s commitment to continue to grow as musicians and allow us to push them towards more difficult music and visual demanding productions.”

Young continued, “Earning the marching band superior award allows us to once again earn the coveted UIL Sweepstakes Award which is for Superior ratings in marching, concert and sight reading. We have 17 consecutive UIL Sweepstakes Awards.”


Chase ends with crash, arrest

Precinct 2 Deputy Constable Tony Katsoulas doesn’t usually stop vehicles for traffic violations but about 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22 when he saw a truck blow through a traffic light and then quickly pull into a gas station, something seemed off.

“It just looked suspicious,” he said. “So I decided to stop and run the license plates.”

The Missouri license plates came back clean but the driver obviously thought otherwise because within an instant, he was off.

Katsoulas gave chase and called for back up.

The pursuit  traveled down eastbound I-20, exited onto Hwy. 64 and then turned westbound on I-20.

“The chase continued for more than 30 minutes at speeds over 100 miles per hour,” Katsoulas said.

The driver exited on FM 47 going south and then turned onto VZCR 2120 still at speeds of more than 70 mph.

Canton Police Sgt. Mike King proceeded to VZCR 2120 (Old Kaufman Road) and VZCR 2135 (Old Holland Road) and placed spike strips in the roadway.


Police issue warning regarding solicitors

The Wills Point Police Department issued a strong reminder to local residents last week regarding unlicensed solicitors.

A prevalent presence of unlicensed solicitors have haunted homes and businesses within the Wills Point area recently.

The Wills Point Police Department issued a warning regarding the solicitors and also tips on to recognize unlicensed solicitors.

In a press release, the police department explained: “A marked increase of door-to-door salespersons have been frequenting the residential areas of Wills Point. These salespersons typically try to sell or get you to switch electric services, satellite TV providers, magazine subscriptions etc.”

The City of Wills Point requires these salespersons to get a permit to be allowed to go door-to-door within the city limits.

However, the police department is finding that few ever apply for and get the required permit.


Kirkpatrick recalls first 14 months in office; Says accounting on forefront of concerns

In the March 4, 2014, primary election, Judge Don Kirkpatrick defeated incumbent Van Zandt County Judge Rhita Koches and captured over 68 percent of the votes.

With no democratic opponent in the November 2014 election Kirkpatrick was set to take office in January 2015.

Judge Koches resigned Aug. 1, 2014, and Kirkpatrick was sworn into office Aug. 4, 2014, to fill the unexpired term of Koches and also to begin his four year term.

 When asked to describe his first 14 months on the job in one word, Kirkpatrick said it had to be “challenging.”

One of Kirkpatrick’s campaign promises was to take Van Zandt County in a different direction.


Tiger Band finishes second at Princeton Contest

The Wills Point Tiger Band traveled to Princeton last weekend to competing against 23 of the other the best marching bands in the state of Texas at the Princeton Invitational Oct. 10.

Wills Point performed exceptionally well, according to Tiger Band Director John Young, ranking third overall in the prelims before moving up to second place overall in the finals.

“Our show is titled Infinite Love,” Young said. “ ‘Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral’ by Wagner, ‘Marriage of Figaro’ by Mozart, ‘Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet’ by Roto and selections from ‘Elephant Love Song’ from the musical Moulin Rouge. In the prelims we placed third overall with a first place in music. In the finals, we placed second overall. The first three places were Canton, Wills Point and Whitesboro. I was excited to see the band step up and perform in a final setting this year with great energy and confidence. The band played its very best that evening.”


District receives top marks in Schools FIRST rating

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees received some good news this week, learning that the district had received the highest possible rating in the Texas Education Agency developed Schools Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas accountability system.

In a presentation made by Mary Ann Sanderson, WPISD director of finance, trustees were told that the system uses seven indicators focusing on audit results, district debt payments, administrative costs ratio and data quality.

Wills Point ISD received the highest possible point total in the evaluation, 30 out of a possible 30 points. The passing standard for this year was set at 16 out of 30 points.

In years past, the system included various rankings including Superior Achievement, Above-Standard Achievement, Standard Achievement and Substandard Achievement. The system was simplified this year, with just two designations: passed or substandard. Wills Point ISD easily earned the “passed” designation.


Early voting starts Monday for Nov. 3 vote ; County road tax, state amendments on ballot

Early voting for the Nov. 3 State Constitutional Amendment and Van Zandt County Special Road Tax election begins Monday, Oct. 19.

Early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Oct. 30 at the Plaza Museum, 119 N. Buffalo St. in Canton.

County voters are being asked “to adopt or reject the Special Road Tax not to exceed” 10 cents on $100 property valuation to be used for county road and bridge maintenance.

There are seven constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Approval of Proposition 1 would increase the residence homestead exemption for public school property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000.

Proposition 2 would allow extend a residence homestead exemption to the surviving spouse of a totally disabled military veteran.


Council appoints Pearson as city administrator

The Wills Point City Council cemented a key leadership position during its monthly meeting on Tuesday night, removing the interim tag from Pam Pearson’s job title to make her the first full-time administrator the city has had since Feb. 16, 2015.

The position had been in flux in recent years, with Wills Point mayors past (Deby Frye) and present (Mark Turner) and various department heads taking on the responsibilities at various times.

City officials hired Mike Ohrt for the position in July 2013, but Ohrt’s tenure lasted less than a year following a lack of confidence vote by council members in February 2014.

Immediately following Ohrt’s dismissal, Mark Turner advised that he would be acting as city administrator “with assistance from other leadership positions within the city.”

In March of this year, city leaders appointed longtime resident Pam Pearson as the interim city administrator.


Ladies Club to host ninth annual pancake fundraiser

The Wills Point Ladies Club's Ninth Annual Pancake Fundraiser Breakfast is set for this Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Wills Point Community Center. 

The event will be held from 7 to 11 a.m., and the menu will include pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit and beverage. The cost is only $5 per ticket which can be purchased in advance from any Ladies Club member or at the door. 

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Ladies Club High School Scholarship Fund. 

The Ladies Club will also be selling raffle tickets for various great prizes, including dinner at Four Winds Steakhouse. The proceeds from the raffle will go to support the group’s Community Service Fund.

 “We invite the whole community to fellowship and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast while helping us support our youth in their efforts to pursue higher-level education and in service to our community,” organizers said.

The Wills Point Community Center is located at 307 N. Fourth St.  



Whitton Community dinner set

Whitton Community Dinner will be held at 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct 24.  Dinner will be spaghetti with hearty meat sauce, salad, garlic bread, iced tea and great desserts. “Come, bring the family for a fun time!” remarked Whitton Community spokesperson.


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