News

Sat
20
Jun

Trustees tackle grievance hearings, preliminary student test scores

By David Kapitan

Staff Writer

 

The Wills Point ISD doubled up on meetings this week, holding a special meeting to hear grievances from the second and third-ranked members of the Class of 2015 before clocking in another 2.5 hours for their regular monthly meeting on June 15.

The special meeting, which began one hour prior to the start of the regular monthly meeting, became the latest chapter in what has become an ongoing debate about the district’s policy regarding the minimum residency requirements necessary in order to qualify for the title of class valedictorian.

Stephen Magee, who finished second overall in the final class rankings, and Austin Roberts, the third ranking graduate for this year’s class, were at one time considered the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2015.

Fri
19
Jun

Southard tenders resignation from WPISD Board

By David Kapitan

Staff Writer

 

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees will take on a different look moving into the summer months.

Bryan Southard, a member of the Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees since 2010, issued a letter to board members and the community at large after Monday night’s regularly scheduled monthly board meeting to announce his resignation to be effective June 16.

Southard, a 1998 Wills Point graduate, served on the board as both a trustee and vice president during his two terms on the board.

Thu
18
Jun

Grants to help farmers, ranchers available

Farmers and ranchers in the area who suffered damage from recent storms may be eligible for help from the State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund.

The STAR Fund was created solely with monetary donations from private individuals and companies, including Farm Credit, Valero and McCoy’s Building Supply. STAR Fund money may be used to assist farmers and ranchers in rebuilding fences, restoring operations and paying for other agricultural disaster relief.

Other projects that may be eligible for funding include replacing feed, hay, barns and debris removal. 

Applications must be received by close of business 60 business days after the governor’s declaration of disaster for the county in which assistance is sought.  In Van Zandt and Hunt counties, that date is Aug. 21. 

Thu
18
Jun

TNT noodles big success, fish with crowds at Holiday Marina

Photo by Larry Briscoe

Kelly Stapp Millsap weighs in the first-place winner Saturday in the women’s division. Tawakoni’s First Lady of Noodling won with a 56.4-pound catfish.

By Larry Briscoe

Correspondent

 

Huge crowds attended the 2015 version of TNT Tawakoni Noodling Tournament Friday and Saturday.

Almost double the number of fishermen entered this year's tournament over last year with 97 signed up. Organizer Billy Creed said the 2015 version of TNT “was by far the biggest and best TNT thus far.”

“We had almost double the noodlers at 97 and 76 cars at the car show was about eight times better,” Crred said. “Fun was had everywhere.”

TNT is now gearing up for TNT's catfish finale.

“This will be an any-legal means tournament,” Creed said. “So, no matter how you fish — if it’s legal — bring in that fish.”

Preregistration for that tournament has begun and costs $40 until Aug. 30 when the price goes to $50 at the gate.

Wed
17
Jun

Governor signs bills to improve transportation in Texas

AUSTIN – June 2, Gov. Greg Abbott hosted a ceremonial bill signing on the heliport at the Dallas Convention Center where he discussed the investments in transportation infrastructure made this legislative session.

The governor previously declared transportation an emergency initiative in his State of the State address.

Overlooking the construction of new roadways in Dallas, Governor Abbott signed into law House Bills 20, 2612 and 1187, which support his call to invest more in transportation and keep commerce and commuters moving on Texas roads. In addition to signing the bills, the Governor touted his support of SJR 5, which seeks to constitutionally dedicate a portion of the state sales tax and motor vehicle sales tax to the state highway fund. SJR 5 will be put before voters in November 2015 and, if approved, would represent the single largest increase to transportation funding in the state’s history.

Tue
16
Jun

Council tackles housekeeping items

By David Kapitan

Staff Writer

 

The Wills Point City Council powered through its June agenda Tuesday, June 9, tackling several annual housekeeping items and greenlighting the next steps of several key projects within the city.

Business opened with Wills Point Police Department Chief Kirk King presenting Kyle Wilcoxson and Wilco with a plaque of appreciation for their help in the purchase, manufacturing and installation of equipment for the city’s K-9 unit.

The council also held a public hearing on renewing the city’s curfew ordinance for minors and approved the measure a short time later.

The city’s curfew ordinance, which applies to anyone not meeting certain exceptions, runs from “11 p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday until 6 a.m. on the following day and 12:01 a.m. on any Saturday or Sunday until 6 a.m. on that day.”

Tue
16
Jun

Juneteenth celebration set for June 20

Organizers were hard at work this week, putting together the finishing touches on the 18th annual Juneteenth Celebration in Wills Point.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with the news that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were free. 

This announcement came two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862. The celebration of June 19 became “Juneteenth,” and the observance has grown beyond the borders of Texas and traveled to other countries. It became an official state holiday in Texas after having been signed into law on June 13, 1979.

Mon
15
Jun

County residents donate money for road repairs

By Britne Reeves

Staff Writer

 

Discussion about road repairs still swirled within the Van Zandt County commissioner’s courtroom April 28. 

County residents Ronnie Jones and Steve Plunk discussed the state of county roads briefly.

Jones suggested that the commissioners “define fixing” to repair a road and said commissioner’s should “look to 10 to 20 years in the future to see what the conditions of the road would be then.”

However, Jones’ biggest complaint was funds used for capital murder trials within the county, asking why the county had “misapplied funds” for the trials. County officials “need to know what is going on and what they are doing,” he said.

Plunk took the courtroom back to the road conditions saying that he wants to “be a part of a solution and is still an avid supporter of the Unit road system.”

Plunk said he is “proud to be a Van Zandt County citizen but that the county does have road problems.”

Mon
15
Jun

County officials adopt crime slogan; Signs to be put up to ward off crime

By Britne Reeves

Staff Writer

 

Van Zandt County now has an official slogan: Van Zandt County – A Crime Watch County.

Van Zandt County Commissioners approved the new catchphrase April 28.

Chairperson of the VZC Precinct Watch Program Buster Leavell said the PWP has grown to more than 300 members that patrol thousands of miles around the county.

“Since April 26, 2013, statistical charts show that the program may be having an impact on crime in the county,” Leavell said.

For many years neighborhoods around the United States have gathered volunteers and created neighborhood crime watch programs, he said. “These programs, within multiple states, counties and cities, have proven to be quite effective in carrying out crime prevention activities and reducing crime within those neighborhoods.”

Mon
15
Jun

Hensarling staff to offer help here next week

Staff from U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling’s office will be in Canton June 19 to meet with constituents needing assistance with federal agencies.

Hensarling’s staff will be available at the Van Zandt County Courthouse in the County Judge’s Conference Room from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

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, and this meeting in Canton provides an additional opportunity for constituents with questions or concerns to bring those to his attention.

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