Terrell Pickers and Grinners to be at Talent Box special event

Courtesy photo

Henry Bates of Wills Point, standing left, will emcee a fundraising event for the Talent Box Theatre Oct. 24. Singers will be, from left, Jan Bates of Wills Point, Helen Boothe of Wills Point, Doris Downs of Kaufman and Shirley Sykes of Kaufman. Buddy Boothe of Wills Point, standing right, is the lead guitarist. Other entertainers will be, sitting from left, Don Moffitt of Kaufman, Leon Jordan of Kaufman, Bryan Boothe of Wills Point and Joe Davis of Kaufman.

Helen Boothe and The Terrell Pickers and Grinners will be at the Talent Box, a nonprofit community theatre, 244 N. Fourth St. in Wills Point, to entertain you. 

This event will be held Oct. 24 with Henry Bates of Wills Point emceeing the event.  This is a fundraiser for the theater and funds raised will be used for theater expenses. 

Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. with entertainment at 7:30 p.m. 

There will be good old-fashioned country music, good ol’ gospel music and comedy. 

Musicians will include Buddy Boothe of Wills Point, Bryan Boothe of Wills Point, Leon Jordan of Kaufman, Joe Davis of Kaufman, and Don Moffitt of Kaufman. 

Vocalists are Helen Boothe of Wills Point, Jan Bates of Wills Point, Doris Downs of Kaufman and Shirley Sikes of Kaufman.

Admission for dinner and entertainment is $25 per person.  For entertainment only is $15 per person.


Trail of Darkness open Saturdays, Sundays in Fruitvale

The Trail of Darkness is a spooky experience – including a maze – located at 1317 VZCR 1905 in Fruitvale. The location is about 1.5 miles from the intersection of Hwy. 19 and Hwy. 80.

The haunted adventure will be open 7 p.m. to midnight Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 1.

Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for kids under age 12.

Anyone who donates canned food items will receive $1 off admission.

The canned goods will be donated to the First Baptist Church Food Pantry in Wills Point and Manna in Canton.

All football players for Van Zandt County will receive $1 off admission and police officers, police department personnel and first responders will receive $1 off admission for themselves and their children. (ID must be shown.)

For more information, call 903-802-8054 or visit the Trail of Darkness Facebook page.



Crossroads offering Judgement House beginning Oct. 10

Crossroads Church in Canton will be presenting Judgement House: 59 Minutes (Eternity is less than an hour away) from 4 to 7 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday beginning Oct. 10.

Judgement House is a dramatic walk-through presentation about the truth of people’ choices and their consequences both in this life and the next, organizers said.

Four different people “are living different lives, in different places with different struggles, aspirations and routines but the one thing they do have in common is that they each have only 59 minutes to live.”

Judgement House is a walk-through, live drama where groups of 10 are guided through different rooms representing a scene from an unfolding story that is acted out in short dramatizations.

The tour takes about 45 minutes. A new tour begins every 15 minutes a new tour


The event is free and individuals and groups are welcome. Reservations are not required,


ABC Room Open House set for Oct. 17

From 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 17, the ABC Room will host a Sip and See Open House introducing its new building to the community. 

At the beginning of the open house there will be a dedication ceremony. 

“Our new room will be dedicated in memory of Dan Perez Jr.,” said Karen Forester, ABC Room board president. “Dan worked tirelessly finishing our building. He and wife, B.J., are cherished friends of the ABC Room.

Perez died May 31.

Mrs. Perez has recently joined the ABC Room board of directors. 

Originally called the Rainbow Room, the ABC Room provides emergency resources for children taken in to state care.

The new facility is located at 124 W. Dallas St. (Hwy. 64.) Parking is in the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Department parking lot.



Road tax, other ballot items to be discussed Oct. 12

The Van Zandt County Farm Bureau is hosting an informational meeting about November ballot issues at 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

Items to be discussed include the county road tax and several state propositions, Van Zandt County Farm Bureau President Brian Cummins said.

The purpose of the meeting is not to endorse or condemn any issue, but to provide information so that voters can make informed decisions, Cummins said.

County voters are being asked to approve an additional tax of 10 cents per $100 of property valuation that can only be used for county road and bridge maintenance.

County Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr. will be on hand to explain how commissioners will use the funds if approved by the voters. Van Zandt County Appraisal District Chief Appraiser Scott Hyde will talk about the tax implications of the road tax and how the proposal will affect the average homeowner. 


Blackwell enlists EHS for NASH Next Competition

Photo by David Kapitan

Stephen Blackwell performed his own song, “Small Town Livin’ Life”, as well as Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” for the faculty and students of Edgewood High School Oct. 5. Blackwell’s wife Robin was also on hand, taking pictures of the crowd and her husband.

Stephen Blackwell, currently a semifinalist in NASH Next, an artist development competition with a stated goal of “discovering and releasing music from prominent and talented newcomers," returned to his roots earlier this week by enlisting the faculty and staff of Edgewood High School to help with a video shoot for a performance of an original song entitled “Small Town Livin’ Life.”

Blackwell, who graduated from EHS and currently resides in Wills Point, entered the NASH Next competition back in June. 


Grass fires lead to burn ban

Photo courtesy of Van Zandt County Fire Marshal

A large pasture fire north of Wills Point destroyed approximately 110 acres Oct. 2. Quick work by Wills Point, Edgewood, Point, South Tawakoni and West Tawakoni, as well as Champion EMS, the Red Cross, the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office and the Van Zandt County Fire Marshal helped to alleviate some of the possible damage, saving 10 homes that were threatened by the blaze.

Van Zandt County Judge Don Kirkpatrick exercised his rights under Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code, issuing a disaster declaration Oct. 6 with the purpose of “mitigating the hazard posed by wildfires by curtailing the practice of outdoor burning.”

The move comes on the heels of a series of grass fires over the past week that have threatened homes and laid waste to roughly 200 acres in and around the area.

On Sept. 28, multiple departments from Wills Point, Whitton and Elmo were dispatched to battle a grass fire located south of Wills Point between FM-47 and CR 3918. Reports from that incident indicate that the fire was triggered when workers in the area clearing a portion of the land and brush got into old fencing or metal with a piece of equipment, sending off sparks.

Three houses were threatened in that fire, but local departments were able to contain the blaze with no injuries or damages to homes being reported.


Members “Hit the Bricks” for Chamber Day

The Wills Point Chamber “Hit the Bricks” for the Chamber Day 2015 was Sept.16.

Directors and volunteers spent the day visiting with local merchants, sharing information with them about Chamber programs and fall activities.

There were four teams led by Bobbi Byford – TVEC, Buck Van Trease – Van Zandt Animal Care Center, Sandra Miller – Brookshire’s and Byron Wright – Chapel of the Lake.

Big Tex, represented by John Terrell, was recognized and presented with their membership plaque by Sherry Scott-Moore – Century 21 and Royce Pollard – My Credit Union.

Input from the businesses will be compiled used to help move forward with a business plan that is designed around the needs of local businesses.

Despite the best efforts of the teams, there were businesses who did not receive a visit so there will be a second day set aside to continue the work of "touching each and every local business."


Chamber luncheon


Generations past reconnect at reunion

Photos by David Kapitan

Frankie Flowers Miller of the WPHS Class of 1951 reconnects with an old friend.

Months and months of planning and preparation made by the Wills Point ISD Alumni Association finally came together at the high school cafeteria Sept. 26 with the 5-year reunion for graduates of Wills Point ISD.

More than 200 Wills Point graduates, ranging from graduating classes in the 1940s all the way to the class of 2008, attended the event.

Festivities opened with registration and campus tours beginning around 10 a.m., and more than an hour of free time for people to reconnect before lunch service began.

Current Wills Point staff members, including WPHS Principal Jim Lamb, Tiger Band Director John Young, Ag. Sciences teacher Corky Ragland and head football Coach/Athletic Director Greg Cranfill each spoke to graduates about their respective programs, and how they’ve grown and changed over the years.


A First Monday Hack: Old-timer recounts early Trade Days

Courtesy photo

Hack Berry

First Monday grounds in Canton used to home to a real Hack – a hack by the name of Hack Berry.

The nonagenarian First Monday guru now lives in Wills Point, but was always a figure to be seen at Frist Monday.

“As far back as I can remember, I have been involved in First Monday more than anyone else. I was a seller, promoter and everything in between for 58 years at First Monday, In fact, I remember when the best things to find at First Monday were handles,” Mr. Berry said.

In 1933, when Mr. Berry was 8 years old, the handmade handles for shovels and farm equipment was the item sought out by buyers who came from far and wide to see what Trades Days had to offer.

Mr. Berry ended up in Van Zandt County by way of his grandparents, who came from Arkansas in a covered wagon accompanied by eight children.


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