Put these in your stockings

10 emergency preparedness gifts

Thanksgiving Day is over, and across Van Zandt County, people are preparing for Christmas. While Santa Claus brings toys and candy, I’d like to suggest some durable gifts for emergency preparedness.

One of my buddies suggested an M-35 Army surplus 2-1/2 ton truck for $7,500 from Liberty Hill, Texas. But it’s too big even for a spandex Christmas stocking, and it’s too expensive. Emergency preparedness gifts need to be inexpensive and small enough to fit into your Christmas stocking. Here are my top 10 for 2016:

-BIC butane lighters with transparent sides. You can see how much butane is in them, they light every time, and if they leak butane, it evaporates. I carry matches and flint and steel, but I start my fires with a BIC butane lighter because it is easier and more reliable. For durability, get the BIC brand instead of cheap copies.


Dates, times change for library during holiday season

Now that Thanksgiving has been celebrated, leftovers dispatched and lots of shopping has been accomplished, we are now on the express train leading to Christmas holidays.

Storytime resumes at 10 a.m., Dec. 2, where children will be reading about the North Pole; and we all know who lives there!

Miss Rhonda has some good books picked out and fun craft projects prepared. Also, coming up on Wednesday, Dec. 14 is Dog Days at the Library. Come at 4 p.m. and read to a sweet, patient audience.

The Friends of the Library continue to accept donations for the Christmas Bow Project. These donations buy new books for the Children's Section of the library.

At 10 a.m., Dec. 12, the FOL will have the annual Volunteer Brunch in the Buchanan Room of the library. This is a time to show appreciation for those who help in all ways to keep the library a pleasant and rewarding place to visit.


Santa Claus is coming to GS Library

Santa Claus is coming to town! Santa Claus will be at Grand Saline Public Library from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016.

Bring your own camera/phone and take pictures with Santa for free.  There will be a couple of other photo opportunities for all ages while you are at the library.  We will be serving cookies and melted snowman punch and doing a drawing for a Depot Civic Center rental.  

At the time of this event there will be other events occurring throughout Grand Saline. This year the Grand Saline Public Library is featured on the mugs for the Cocoa and Carols so make sure you purchase one of these commemorative mugs so you can sample all the wonderful cocoas while wandering around town. 

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 


Reflect on your blessings

Thanksgiving began as a time set aside to reflect on the blessings that we have received.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Hopefully, we will continue to observe Thanksgiving in this way and not as just a precursor to Christmas commercialism and Black Friday.

The Van Zandt County Library will observe Thanksgiving by closing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23 – 25.

The Van Zandt County Genealogical Society will presentend “Show & Tell” in the Buchanan Room of the library. Saturday, Nov. 26. Old family treasures were shared.

The Friends of the Library held the drawings for two AZPEN Tablets  Nov. 15. The two lucky winners were Kathy Burleson and Joelle Sanders.


Reflect, be thankful this month

November is a time for thankfulness and reflection on the on the past.  There are so many things we are grateful for at the library this year.  We started out 2016 getting a grant that allowed us to a new library automation system for the library. This is the program that holds our digital library catalog and does everything from checking items in and out and maintaining our records, to creating the reports we need to help us provide the best materials for the library. We had an outstanding summer reading program this year and we are always enthused by the people who use this library and attend our summer events and programs.  We are thankful for the grant we received that is allowing us to checkout hotspots to our library patrons.  Most importantly, we are very grateful for the support we receive from our county commissioner. 


Relax from the rat race at VZC Library

The elections are over and we survived. But if your nerves are still jangling, the library is a good place to quiet your thoughts and relax.

Read an entertaining book and take time to browse through a magazine. Remember, the hectic holidays are fast approaching! Speaking of holidays, the Van Zandt County Library will be closed for Thanksgiving on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Nov. 23 – 25.

The Van Zandt County Genealogical Society has a fun program coming up. “Show and tell” will take place in the library's Buchanan Room at 2 p.m. Nov. 26. Bring a family keepsake and share a story about it. Items suggested include a family quilt, pictures, books, dishes, jewelry or any other item that is a family keepsake or treasure. It sounds like our own Antiques Roadshow.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 


Mobile Hotspots available at GS Library

The Grand Saline Public Library is proud to announce that on Nov. 9, we are able to check out mobile hotspots to our library card holders.  Library card holders who are over the age of 18, are in good standing with the library, and have a valid ID will be able to check out a mobile hotspot.  Patrons will be able to check out the hotspots for up to one week.  They work off the Sprint network, so anywhere that gets Sprint service will be able to use the hotspots.   

Rural internet access is an issue that is a problem throughout the country.  Those living outside of the city limits in Van Zandt County, often only have satellite or mobile technology to access the internet.  More times than not these services are expensive and are a luxury item that many families cannot afford.  Due to a grant from the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Library Foundation, Grand Saline Public Library can now bring in internet to your home. 


Gone, but not forgotten

Photo by David Barber Shirley Attaways speaks to the Genealogical Society

VZC solider remembered in France

The old expression, “it’s a small world,” could apply to a chain of events that occurred involving the Van Zandt County Genealogy Library at the courthouse annex in Canton.

Benja Mize, query researcher at the genealogy library, received an e-mail in early October from Libby Sloan, a resident of Paris, France. Sloan was referred to Mize by another researcher, Betty Miller.

In the e-mail, Sloan explained that she was an American who has lived in France for 45 years and that her English neighbor has a nephew, Vincent Trotot, who lives near the American War Cemetery in Normandy.

Her nephew and his wife, Cindy, were responsible for putting flowers on three graves of American soldiers in the cemetery including the grave of Charles McAnally from Texas, who died at the age of 21 when his boat sank in June 1944.


VZC makes strides in the right direction

I would like to thank the Van Zandt News for the opportunity to address the citizens of Van Zandt County. The purpose of my column is to provide you with a look at where we came from and a glimpse of where we are headed.

Since day one, I have stated how critical it is for the citizens of Van Zandt County to hold your elected officials accountable. This starts with me and should be the same for every elected official. I believe this is the only way to get our county heading in the right direction. 

Before we look at the county's position for 2017, let's remember where we started. When I was sworn in as your county judge on Aug. 4, 2014, our county was $8.7 million dollars in debt. I am pleased to report that after two years of great teamwork, our commissioners and county auditor have worked hard and have been good stewards of your tax dollars. Our county debt has been reduced by over $2.8 million to $5.9 million.


State Capitol Highlights

Officials urge state’s high court not to expand same-sex marriage ruling


Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Texas Supreme Court over issues they say were not addressed in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case declaring same-sex marriage a fundamental right.

The three officials asked the Texas Supreme Court to accept their view that Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2015 decision recognizing a right to same-sex marriage “does not resolve all constitutional issues relating same-sex marriage.” The brief points to Parker v. Pigeon and related cases involving a Houston mayor’s extending benefits to same-sex spouses of city employees, and asks that a lower court’s temporary injunction preventing the extension of those benefits be reinstated.


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