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.


‘Back-to-School Fair’ set for Saturday

The Wills Point ISD, Wills Point PTO and Wills Point Chamber of Commerce have joined forces once again and will host the Fourth Annual “Back-to-School Fair” for district students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches. 

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 8, at the high school.

The fair helped to provide school supplies, haircuts, vaccinations, dental supplies and eye screenings to an estimated 293 students in 2013. That number grew to 339 students during last year’s event.

“We couldn't have done it without the support of our caring and generous community,” organizers of the event said.

On the day of the fair, some of the activities scheduled include vaccinations, vision screening, haircuts and distribution of dental supplies (samples of tooth paste and tooth brushes), hygiene products, books and school supplies.



Members of the Wills Point High School Tiger Band and Tiger Band directors were hard at work this week in the high school parking lot, taking the first steps of planning and staging performances that they will unveil in full later in the school year. Part of the choreography will be showcased during halftime of the first football game of the season against Forney Aug. 28. 


WPISD to host Fourth Annual “Back to School Fair”

The Wills Point Independent School district is excited to announce that we will be hosting the fourth annual “Back to School Fair” for our students who may qualify for free and reduced lunches.

This event will give our students an opportunity to participate in several activities that will be offered that day.  Some of the activities include vaccinations, vision screening, haircuts, dental supplies (samples of tooth paste and tooth brushes), hygiene products, books and school supplies.

Parents will have the opportunity to complete the necessary paperwork to receive free or reduced meals.  Information will be available about the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) program, the Lone Star Card and Medicaid.  A representative from WIC (Women, Infant and Children) will be at the event.  Registration for primary students will also be available.


Seal coating taking place on area highways

Texas Department of Transportation crews are resuming the annual summer seal coat operations to help preserve roadways throughout the Tyler District.

Work kicks started this week State Hwy. 11 in Wood County.

Seal coat is the department’s preventive maintenance program that utilizes a two-step process to cover existing roadway surfaces with a layer of hot asphalt followed by rock. The process seals the roadway to keep water out thereby adding years of life and requiring less maintenance while providing a new driving surface for motorists, according to TxDOT officials.

TxDOT said motorists can expect some travel delays and lane closures as the work continues for the next five weeks across seven of the district’s eight counties. Traffic control will be provided by flaggers.

The expected completion date for the $8.5 million contract is the end of August.


New dance coming to Canton Senior Citizens Center

Beginning Aug. 14, John Rugg hopes you dance – at least every second and fourth Friday evening.

The Country Drive Band will be hosting a dance every second and fourth Friday at the Canton Senior Citizens Center, 200 W. Groves St.

Rugg is the drummer for the band, which has been performing in the Van Zandt area for the last seven years.  Comprised of six area musicians with four of the members performing together at any one time, the band has a vast repertoire of dance music that is appealing to all ages to keep you boot scootin’ on the dance floor, Rugg said.  

The group is enjoying its third year of Thursday night dances in Mineola, he said, and the band is excited to add the Canton Senior Citizens Center dance as their newest local venue in their busy performance schedule.  


Advocacy Center celebrating 10th anniversary with open house

The Children’s Advocacy Center will host a 10th anniversary open house at their new facility, 503 W. Hwy. 243, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 7. 

The new facility more than doubles the size of the previous offices and provides additional offices, counseling space, meeting and training space and a large volunteer work room. 

Refreshments, including lunch, will be served. 

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at noon and the public is invited to attend.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Van Zandt County started over 10 years ago with a vision to provide justice, hope and healing for abused children, center officials said.  The agency received its nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service in August 2005 under the leadership of then Criminal District Attorney Leslie Dixon.

Several community agencies and their members joined Dixon to focus on successful prosecution of child abuse cases through the use of forensic interviews.


Commissioners discuss budgeting, payment of invoices


Accountability and communication were the words of the day for Van Zandt County leaders July 28, with commissioners and county auditor Kenny Edwards spending extended time talking about invoices received from various departments without the necessary purchase order numbers.

The discussion, which came near the end of the meeting, picked up where the July 14 commissioners court meeting left off. At that time, Edwards noted that his office had received several invoices for payment lacking the needed purchase order numbers.

 “I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do here,” Edwards said. “I’ve got invoices over there. I added them up yesterday, and what I currently have is approximately $17,000 worth of invoices without purchase orders. I know some things don’t require purchase orders, but a lot of things do.”


Camping out

Photos by David Kapitan

Incoming fourth through ninth grader Tiger athletes participated in the final Wills Point High School Athletic Department camps of the summer July 27 through 30. The student athletes were participated in games and drills led by members of the Tiger coaching staff. The 2015-’16 school year is scheduled to start Aug. 24.


Warmer, dryer conditions raise fire risk

Van Zandt County has found itself in a relatively rare position during the dog days of summer so far, benefitting from unseasonably heavy rainfalls early in the year and ducking hundred degree temperatures until just recently.

With July fading into August and a steadier onslaught of the usual summer conditions for East Texas, favorable conditions for grass fires are also on the rise.

Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Chuck Allen said earlier this week that most departments in the county had reported relatively steady numbers to date.

Every city in the county has ordinances in place that ban the burning of brush or trash within the city limits. Allen explained that while permits are not required to burn in Van Zandt County (outside the local city limits), a few guidelines should always be followed when burning brush or garbage to limit potentially hazardous situations.

Allen also offered a series of tips for those planning to burn any brush or trash:


Subscribe to RSS - News