News

Fri
21
Aug

High speed pursuit ends in crash

Photo by David Kapitan

A Terrell Police Department officer surveys the aftermath of a single-vehicle accident involving the suspect of an armed robbery attempt at a Terrell convenience store Aug. 18.

Law enforcement officials from both Kaufman and Van Zandt counties had their hands full on Tuesday afternoon after an attempted armed robbery of a convenience store in Terrell led to a high speed chase.

The chase ended when the suspect lost control of his vehicle just west of Wills Point.

According to reports, 22-year-old Matthew Colby Johnson, of Mineola, entered the GAS convenience and gas station on South Virginia Street in Terrell attempting to commit an armed robbery.

Store owner Fahed Fatayri then pulled out his own weapon, a .38 pistol, and fired a single shot that struck Johnson in the buttocks.

Johnson fled the scene, disposed of the weapon and set off on a high-speed chase that began with officers from the Terrell Police Department attempting to apprehend the suspect.

Johnson led authorities down Highway 80 going east at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

Thu
20
Aug

Hensarling covers local, nationwide topics at town hall meeting

Jeb Hensarling listening to a Van Zandt County resident after the meeting.

U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) held a town hall meeting Aug. 7 to update the citizens of Van Zandt County on his continued efforts to hold Washington accountable to the American people and to hear from them about the issues that are most concerning to them.

 

Hensarling discussed topics ranging from Obamacare, the Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood and the export and import fight. 

 

The meeting was opened by County Judge Don Kirkpatrick thanking the people for showing up and introducing Hensarling, “he’s a friend to Van Zandt County, East Texas and he serves us well in Washington.”

 

Obamacare

 

Mon
17
Aug

Community kids invited to Back-to-School Bash at Turner Baptist

Turner Baptist Church is having a community-wide Back to School Bash from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 15.  The church is located at 1802 VZCR 3412, Wills Point.

Children from grade school to high school are invited for an old-fashioned field day, church officials said, and parents are also encouraged to attend.  At the end of the event, school supplies and refreshments will be distributed to all children who joined in the fun.

Registration is at 10 a.m. 

Field Day Events will occur from 10:30 to 11 a.m. 

A video will be presented from 11 to 11:30 a.m. in the sanctuary and school supplies will be distributed from 11:30 a.m. to noon. 

Children should bring their school supply list.

 

Mon
17
Aug

Squirrel triggers local power, phone outage

A rogue squirrel left Wills Point residents in the dark on Saturday night, causing a small fire at a local power substation while causing major power and phone outages across the area.

The incident disrupted services to local customers began before 8 p.m. and was first believed to be a transformer fire.

The Wills Point Emergency Management Facebook page, which offers updates and notices on happenings in the city, posted a notice stating: “Transformer fire has caused significant power outages in and around Wills Point. Local police and fire non-emergency numbers appear to be not working. All requests for Police, Fire and EMS need to call 911. Any urgent request for assistance with medical devices also need to call 911.”

Teams from Oncor and Trinity Valley Electric Co-Op responded to the scene to assess the damage and initiate repairs.

Sun
16
Aug

District adopts budget, tax rate

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees continued with what has already been a busy month on Tuesday night, holding their regular monthly meeting after two special called meetings  Aug. 3 and Aug. 7.

Business this week settled on several key talking points, including adopting a budget and tax rate for the upcoming year after a brief hearing lead by Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Student Services Damon Davis, and receiving the latest state and local accountability from the district from Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Accountability Amanda Wallace.

Davis, who had assumed the duties of superintendent following Suzanne Blasingame’s resignation last month, explained to trustees that a tax rate of 1.144 (1.04 for maintenance and operations, and .104 for the interest and sinking fund) had been proposed.

Sat
15
Aug

Trustees appoint Hancock as interim superintendent

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees hit their stated goal last week, finding an interim superintendent to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Superintendent Suzanne Blasingame at the July 16 meeting.

Randy Hancock, formerly a superintendent with the Maypearl, Howe and, most recently, Royse City ISDs, was selected after a series of interviews with potential candidates conducted on Aug. 7.

The Wills Point ISD’s course of action was outlined for the public several days prior at a special called meeting on Aug. 3.

Fri
14
Aug

More than 400 helped at “Back to School Fair”

Courtesy photo

Back to School Fair volunteers help to sort and stack donated and purchased school supplies in the Wills Point High School library.

The Wills Point ISD, Wills Point Parent Teacher Organization and Wills Point Chamber of Commerce staged their 4th annual Back to School Fair on Aug. 8 at the high school campus, distributing supplies and providing services to help district families start the upcoming school year on the right foot.

Previous fairs have helped provide school supplies, haircuts, vaccinations, dental supplies and eye screenings to 293 students in 2013 and 339 students in 2014.

Additionally, groups and organizations such as the Van Zandt County Retired Teachers Association set up tables to provide free books for students.

District employees and volunteers also use the event to provide parents with the opportunity to complete the necessary paperwork to receive free or reduced meals, get information about the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) program, the Lone Star Card and Medicaid.

Tue
11
Aug

Crisis Center golf tournament set for Sept. 18

The East Texas Crisis Center will present the fifth annual ETCC Golf Tournament at Van Zandt Country Club Sept. 18.

Funds raised by the tournament will go toward helping victims of domestic violence and sexual.

Entry fee for a team of four costs $400 and includes green fees, golf carts, a team photo, range balls, goody bags and lunch. 

Registration and check in is from 7 to 8 a.m.  Shotgun start is at 8 a.m. 

Lunch and an awards ceremony will follow the tournament.

There will be great prizes and awards for closest to the pin and longest drive along with door prizes and first, second and third place trophies for each player, tourney organizers said.

Sun
09
Aug

WP five-year reunion rapidly approaching; Event to honor 1965 State Championship team

Sept. 26 will mark a special day for graduates of Wills Point schools, with members of the local Alumni Association Board of Directors planning the latest five-year reunion for all graduates that have passed through the halls of the WPISD.

The 2015 event is expected to be bigger and better than previous versions of the event, with the added draw of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 State Champion Wills Point Tiger football team.

The Alumni Board – including President James Harris, Vice President Damon Davis and members Tom Hubbard, Sammie Gunter, Keeta Lybrand, Darlene Kelley, Jackie Ragland, Sundy Rodgers and Nancy Morris – recently announced the event, explaining how graduates can register and listing expected activities for the day of.

To register online for the event, visit the website http://goo.gl/forms/4vWCluhzBc

Sat
08
Aug

Trustees put plan in place for superintendent search

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees held a special called meeting on Aug. 3, establishing a course of action for the hiring of both an interim superintendent and a full-time superintendent to oversee the district going forward.

The move comes several weeks after the board’s regular monthly meeting on July 16 included the announcement and acceptance of current Superintendent Suzanne Blasingame’s resignation effective Aug. 31.

Prior to being named WPISD Superintendent in January 2012, Blasingame had served the district at virtually every level, beginning as an elementary school teacher, and including time as principal of Wills Point High School, the district’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Assistant Superintendent at the WPISD Administration Office.

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