News

Mon
28
Sep

Commissioners hear update on Child Welfare Board

Van Zandt County Commissioners tackled a relatively light agenda on Tuesday morning, powering through two dozen items in just over an hour. Highlights of the meeting included a presentation made by the Van Zandt County Child Welfare Board and several annual bookkeeping items.

Business opened with County Judge Don Kirkpatrick announcing that a special meeting will be held at the Farm Bureau office in Canton on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. to discuss the proposed special road tax that will be on the November ballot.

Kirkpatrick explained that he, along with county commissioners and possibly Scott Hyde of the Van Zandt County appraisal district will be on hand to help educate the public about the tax, and what impact it could have on the county.

Mon
28
Sep

Moving men

Courtesy photo

A special groundbreaking ceremony for the new city-owned Wills Point EMS #1 was held Sept. 11. Once completed, the building will allow Champion EMS to move from its current shared location at the Wills Point Fire Department to its own standalone facility. Attendees at the festivities included councilman Oscar Rogers, Mayor Mark Turner, Champion EMS CEO Stan Holden, councilman Mike Jones, Champion EMS Director of Operations Arnie Spears and Wills Point Fire Chief Ed Leipply. 

 

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Mon
28
Sep

Coach Davis recalls championship season

Photo by David Kapitan

Parade Grand Marshal Ken Autry Davis posed for a picture with his son, Wills Point Assistant Superintendent Damon Davis, prior to the community-wide homecoming parade and pep rally at Wills Point High School on Sept. 21. Davis holds up his right hand in the picture, showcasing the ring given to the Wills Point Tiger football team after winning the 1965 Class A State Championship.

Editor's Note: This story was previously published in a special section commemorating the 5-year reunion held in October 2010. The only change made is updating the year’s since the 1965 State Championship from 45 to 50.

 

It has been 50 years since the Wills Point Tigers won a state championship in football, but the enjoyment of the feat is still alive for those involved, and having the head coach from that team still living in the area makes the savoring that much easier.

For the coach though, the remembrances and enjoyment is of 25 years’ worth of teams and titles, though there is only one trophy from a state title game.

Ken Autry Davis was 27, and a second-year head coach when his Tigers’ team won a state championship in football. Wills Point went 15-0, including a 14-0 win over White Deer in the title game. The coach, however, remembers the last play from the year before just as clearly.

Thu
24
Sep

Shuffield to speak at seminar

The Van Zandt County Genealogical Society’s annual all day genealogical seminar is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at St. Teresa Catholic Church Fellowship Hall located at 14786 FM 859 South, in Canton.  The deadline for registering is Sept. 24.

The fee for the event is $40 which will include a continental breakfast and a catered luncheon by Laurie’s Kitchen.

Newspaper research, Republic of Texas, American Revolution and Civil War research will be topics with Lynna Kay Shuffield of Houston, a well-known genealogist and lecturer, as the featured speaker.

Advanced registrations are now being taken at the Library of Genealogy and Local History located in the courthouse annex in Canton. 

Registrations are may also be made by sending a check or money order for $40 to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 1388, Canton, 75103. 

Tue
22
Sep

Hensarling staff offering federal agencies help in Van

Staff from U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling’s office will be in Van from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, to meet with constituents needing assistance with federal agencies. 

Hensarling’s staff will be available at the Van City Hall, 113 W. Main St.

“Dealing with federal agencies can be an intimidating experience.  I want my constituents to know that my staff and I stand ready to help.  I hope that you will let my office assist you in your dealings with federal agencies or bureaucracies,” Hensarling said.

Providing outstanding constituent service is a priority for his office, the congressman said. He said this meeting in Van provides an additional opportunity for constituents with questions or concerns to bring those to his attention.

District offices located in Dallas and Athens are always open for constituents to visit, as well as mail, fax, email or call for assistance, he said.

Mon
21
Sep

Visions meeting hears presentation on Morton Salt

Courtesy photo

Ed Fasulo, facility manager of the Morton Salt facility in Grand Saline, was the guest speaker/presenter at this month’s Vision meeting conducted by the Van Zandt Communities. Fasulo gave attendees a look at the Morton Salt operations, and future plans in the works for the company.

The Council of Van Zandt Communities met at the Van Zandt Country Club in Canton Sept. 8 for their monthly Visions meeting on local happenings, and to hear a presentation from Ed Fasulo, the facility manager for the Morton Salt operation located in Grand Saline.

The groups’ goals include “improving communication and coordination among the cities and communities, becoming a force affecting administrative and legislative change that will benefit all individuals, cities, communities, schools, and government bodies, encouraging more effective participation of citizens in local, county, and state government, sharing of calendars of events and supporting city, county, and community events, and supporting a legislative year visit to Austin through Van Zandt County Days at the State Capitol.”

As part of this month’s agenda, attendees to the Vision meeting where given an overview of both the history and future of Morton Salt in Grand Saline and beyond by Fasulo.

Mon
21
Sep

Edgewood police chief search continues; City administrator position added to budget

The search for a new Edgewood Police Chief is ongoing but the city has received six applications, Mayor Charlie Prater said.

Prater asked council members to review the applications and submit their top two selections to City Secretary Petra Marley.

The council had contemplated disbanding the police department and placing the city under the jurisdiction of Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office. However, council members approved next year’s budget this week and decided to continue with the hiring process.

Council members were asked to have their interview recommendations to Marley by Sept. 14 at which time she will tabulate the selections. The top three candidates will be contacted for interviews. The finalists be interviewed by Prater and the council.

 

Budget

Mon
21
Sep

Edgewood police chief search continues; City administrator position added to budget

The search for a new Edgewood Police Chief is ongoing but the city has received six applications, Mayor Charlie Prater said.

Prater asked council members to review the applications and submit their top two selections to City Secretary Petra Marley.

The council had contemplated disbanding the police department and placing the city under the jurisdiction of Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office. However, council members approved next year’s budget this week and decided to continue with the hiring process.

Council members were asked to have their interview recommendations to Marley by Sept. 14 at which time she will tabulate the selections. The top three candidates will be contacted for interviews. The finalists be interviewed by Prater and the council.

 

Budget

Mon
21
Sep

Flynn honored by 36th Infantry Division Association

Courtesy photo

Brigadier General Richard Noriega and Major General Lester Simpson present State Rep. Dan Flynn with a T-Patch license plate and bayonet.

Texas State Rep. Dan Flynn was recently honored by the 36th Infantry Division Association for his passage of House Bill 923 which allowed for the creation and sale of commemorative T-patch license plates honoring the historic 36th infantry division.  

At the event, a model of the license plate was revealed to members of the division and their families.

Among the guests there were Assistant Division Commander, Brigadier General Richard Noriega and 36th Infantry Division Commander Major General Lester Simpson who presented Flynn with his own T-Patch license plate and bayonet.  

Flynn served with the 36th Infantry Division which included many notable members such as World War II's most decorated soldier, Audie Murphy.

 

Sun
20
Sep

Board discusses district facility needs, Matus appointed as trustee

Wills Point ISD Trustees held their regular monthly meeting  Sept. 14, focusing on potential facility needs, specifically at both the middle and high school campuses, and appointing a new trustee to fill one of the board’s two current vacancies.

Business opened with interim Superintendent Randy Hancock and Assistant Superintendent Damon Davis each giving presentations on the middle and high school campuses and the lighting issues caused by a light pole collapse during the 2014-’15 school year.

Regarding the middle school cafeteria and high school, Hancock said, “We’ve had issues with the middle school cafeteria and some ongoing issues at the high school with structural movement.”

The district worked with WJE (Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc) an engineering firm that specializes in existing facilities and looking at potential safety issues, who reviewed both sites and found that both facilities were safe in their current condition.

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