News

Wed
26
Jul

West Nile makes first appearance

County residents enjoyed a relatively uneventful year in 2016, dodging the brunt of most new and emerging illnesses that have made waves across much of the county in previous years. A case of West Nile Virus, among the most notorious of these illnesses, was not confirmed in Van Zandt County until a Sept. 17, 2016 report by the Texas Department of State Health Services last year.

Hopes that the county might best that outcome this year with no reported cases officially came to a close July 11 with the DSHS publishing a report confirming someone had tested positive for having the West Nile Virus. The local case is among eight confirmed cases statewide through the week ending July 7.

Other counties in the state of Texas with confirmed cases of West Nile include Collin, Cooke, El Paso, Montgomery, Panola, Tarrant and Val Verde Counties. 

Tue
25
Jul

Abbott gives lawmakers initial marching orders for special session

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on July 10 issued a formal proclamation for the special session that begins July 18, directing the Texas Legislature to extend expiration dates for the Texas Medical Board and other state boards that regulate psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers.

Abbott said he plans to issue a supplemental proclamation further directing lawmakers to pass another list of items he previously announced. The areas of legislation would:

— Reform laws governing ad valorem property taxes;

— Increase average salary and benefits of Texas teachers;

— Establish a statewide commission to study and recommend improvements to the current public school finance system;

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

Tue
25
Jul

Five show sales tax revenue growth

Van Zandt County cities came close to making it a clean sweep in sales tax revenue collection gains in the month of July with the office of Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar announcing last week that Canton, Edgewood, Grand Saline, Van and Wills Point all outpaced collection totals from the same calendar month in 2016.

Edom, which has enjoyed a solid year overall in sales tax revenue growth after a rocky 2016, proved to be the county’s outlier by seeing sales tax revenue collections drop from $1,599.52 down to $1,302.75. The drop of $296.77 when comparing July 2016 totals to those posted July 2017 amounts to a negative dollar change of 18.55 percent.  

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

Mon
24
Jul

Sen. Hall files key special session legislation

Senator Bob Hall filed Senate Bill (SB) 14 to protect the private property rights of landowners from political subdivision rules, regulations, and ordinances that interfere with a private property owner's right to plant, transplant, and remove, trees and vegetation from their own property.  

This bill addresses an issue within the scope of the special session called by Governor Abbott last month. "It's difficult to find a perfect solution to this issue," remarked Sen. Hall.  "Yet one thing remains clear - local government overreach in Texas has become a persistent and serious problem. It is my intent to ensure that the final version of this bill unequivocally upholds private property rights by prohibiting, in additional to the removal aspect, other heavy-handed local regulation of trees and vegetation on private property."

Mon
24
Jul

Low pay, lack of staff plagues VZC Jail

Several issues including budget needs for the Van Zandt County Jail and Sheriff’s Department were the main topics of discussion during a special session July 18 of the VZC Commissioners Court.

No decisions were reached as staff members of the VZC Sheriff’s Department and VZC Jail, VZC Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Ronnie Daniell, VZC District Judge Teresa Drum and other county employees were among those in attendance meeting with VZC Judge Don Kirkpatrick, VZC Pct. 1 Commissioner Brandon Brown and VZC Pct. 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr.

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

Sun
23
Jul

The Blotter

The Van Zandt Co. Sheriff’s Department reported the following arrests from July 4 to July 11, 2017:

 

Sean Michael Bridges, 31, Mineola, was arrested on a warrant for tamper/fabricate physical evidence.

Cedarrion Deshaun Coleman, 22, Arlington, was arrested on a warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Noah Richard Lee Dyer, 19, Canton, was arrested on site for disorderly conduct.

Zachary Sebastian Dyer, 22, Myrtle Springs, was arrested on site for disorderly conduct.

Ricky Darnell Eudy, 40, Gainsville, was arrested on site for assault causes bodily injury family violence.

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

Sun
23
Jul

Beckham named as third-party attorney in Collins investigation

The City of Grand Saline and the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) have reached agreement to bring in a third-party attorney to investigate allegations against Grand Saline Police Chief Justin Collins.

Attorney Justin Beckham of Wynne & Wynne in Wills Point was named July 20 as the third-party attorney.

Joel Elliott of the Elliott Law Firm in Canton and attorney for the City of Grand Saline informed the News July 20 about the details of the arrangement.

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

Thu
20
Jul

Records from 1871 to be archived Commissioners approve change in insurance plan

A plan to digitally archive all records in the Van Zandt County Clerk’s office was approved unanimously by the VZC Commissioners Court during their July 11 meeting.

VZC Clerk Pam Pearman, along with representatives from Kofile Technologies, spoke to the commissioners about the project that will cost $292,963.20 to complete.

“Right now, if we have a disaster, the records are gone,” pointed out Pearman. “We have no backup. When this project is complete, the county can make money when people go online and purchase the records they need.” The records go back as far as 1871.

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

Wed
19
Jul

GS Council talks Salt Museum, audit reports


An overflowing crowd which included several law enforcement officers were in attendance July 11 at the regular monthly meeting of the Grand Saline City Council. No one signed up to speak for the “public comment” portion of the meeting. Council members heard an audit report and an update on the proposed new Salt Museum during their 35-minute open session.

An update from councilwoman Mary Jane Hollowell and Grand Saline Salt Museum Board President Dr. James Lea on the proposed new Salt Museum facility for the city was presented during the July 11 Grand Saline City Council meeting.

“As many of you know, we have plans for a Salt Museum to come on line,” said Hollowell. “The plans are in the works right now and we hope that it will be completed in a year. While the construction is going on, I would propose that the city along with the chamber of commerce, the EDC as well as some others begin working together on a city-wide campaign to prepare for receiving visitors. The museum board is expecting an overwhelming attendance, most of which will be first time visitors to Grand Saline. We want to put Grand Saline in the very best light that we can.”

Wed
19
Jul

A moment of silence: Officers pay homage to those killed

A number of law enforcement agencies throughout Van Zandt County participated in a moment of silence July 7 to honor the fallen Dallas Police Department officers that were killed in the line of duty in downtown Dallas one year ago.

Last year, one day after the shooting in downtown Dallas that took the lives of five police officers and wounded numerous others, Van Zandt County came together in a prayer vigil to honor the fallen and wounded Dallas and DART police officers.

Pct. 4 Constable Bob Keltner was one of the organizers of the event last year and said that he felt a “deep sense of brotherhood,” with the men and women of law enforcement during the July 7, 2016, attack. 

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

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News