Crash claims teen’s life

A multiple vehicle collision Aug. 9 has claimed the life of a Gun Barrel City teenager.

At 7:35 p.m.  Aug. 9, Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on Van Zandt County Road 2801,10 miles north of the city of Mabank. 

According to DPS Troopers, preliminary crash investigations revealed that a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder, driven by 16-year-old James Jones of Gun Barrel City, was traveling east on VZCR 2801 and disregarded a stop sign at VZCR 2802 and went into the path of a 2001 Mercury Villager driven by 52-year-old Frances Brasher of Mabank.  

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Vegetable gardening seminar set

When is the best time to start a fall garden?  Now, according to Master Gardener John Womack.

What should you do first when starting a vegetable garden?  Find the best location and then decide  should it be planted north – south/east – west?       

What do you do next?  Do you want raised beds or field beds?  Which is the best?  Which is the easiest?   How do you make raised beds?  Do you have to plow a field bed?  What about tilling?                              

Now what’s next?  Next is preparing the beds.  This is the most important part.  The soil feeds the plants and the plants feed you.  You need the richest, most nutrient dense soil you can prepare. 

These and many other questions will be answered as John Womack, Master Gardener, takes you through the process of starting a garden and tending to it so that you will be soon be getting green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, or whatever you especially want to grow out of your own backyard garden. 


Chandler man dies in Ben Wheeler accident

An accident involving a pickup truck and a motorcycle claimed the life of a Chandler man July 25 in Ben Wheeler.

According to Sgt. Michael Johnson of the Texas Department of Public Safety office in Canton, James Kinnaird, 51, of Chandler was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Van Zandt County Pct. 1 Justice of the Peach Pam Harvath.

Johnson said that at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, July 25, Stacy Gale Burkett, 48, of Ben Wheeler was traveling north on FM 773 in a Ford F-150 pickup truck and stopped at the intersection of State Highway 64 and FM 773 in Ben Wheeler.

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Auditor discusses budget concerns for VZC

There is a sign on the wall in Van Zandt County Auditor Freddy Thomas’ office that reads, “I’m the Auditor, Not a Magician.”

Those words may very well describe the challenges that Thomas faces as he continues working with VZC officials on the fiscal year 2018 budget.

“The frustrating part of this process is that we have not been able to move the county forward as far as improving its financial condition,” said Thomas. “Over a period of time, the county has gotten itself in a back against the wall situation.”

Thomas discussed what he believes are three primary issues facing the county in the new budget year beginning Oct. 1


Mighty hydration

The Grand Saline Mighty Indian Band enjoyed slices of watermelon for a morning snack while they were busy practicing for the upcoming 2017-’18 school year Aug. 2.  The Grand Saline Mighty Indian Band Boosters said a “big thank you goes to Angela and Lance Kindle for the donation of watermelons. We appreciate you for helping keep the band hydrated.” 


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Hensarling in Canton Aug. 10

U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) will host a town hall meeting in Canton to give an update on recent actions taken by the House of Representatives and hear from the residents of Van Zandt County about the issues that are important to them.

The discussion will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Farm Bureau Building, 281 East Highway 243, Canton, TX 75103

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Free State Back to School Jubilee set for Saturday

The third annual Free State Back to School Jubilee will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, and will offer something for the whole family.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Child Advocacy Center of Van Zandt County have joined together to provide all the families of Van Zandt County with a free family fun day.

The Jubilee will be held in the Canton Civic Center just off Hwy 64. Look for the big yellow banners.

The event will provide free backpacks and school supplies, free haircuts, physicals, and immunizations.

In addition, there will be carnival type of games, including three bounce houses, an indoor shooting gallery and much more.

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Saline Creek discussion floods council

It was a rare event in Canton City Hall Chambers Aug. 1, as council chambers were packed with people from around the county to speak during an open forum. The council added an agenda item for open discussion regarding the Grand Saline Creek project, with Mayor Pro Tem Shawn Stewart adding that the purpose for the open forum was to “address concerns,” regarding the Saline Creek lake project.

During the open forum, concerned citizens from around Van Zandt County asked questions relating to the projected cost of the lake, estimated costs to secure water rights, what additional acreage, if any, would be encompassed by the lake, an estimated timeline for the lake project and concerns about if a study of demography projections had been completed. 

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Events planned for VZC Veterans Memorial

The Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial has events planned for the rest of the year, so mark your calendars and watch the newspaper for more exact dates as each event approaches.

Labor Day will be the annual Balloon Release, and the visitors center and board members have tickets for sell now, so buy anytime.

The balloons are $3.00 each and the balloons will be color coded to match the information provided as to active, deceased, POW/MIA or KIA (killed in action) or a veteran who has served.

The VZC Veterans Memorial Golf Tournament will be held in September at the Van Zandt County Country Club.

There will be a gun raffle held with the winning ticket to be chosen during the golf tournament.

In November, the Veterans Memorial will sponsor a turkey shoot on Highway 64 so join us to win a holiday meal.


Council to open discussion on Saline Creek Lake

The Canton City Council will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. Aug. 1 at Canton City Hall. The meeting will be an open meeting for discussion over Saline Creek Lake. Citizens will be able to ask questions to the council.

The second and final survey report on the topography/hydrology study on Saline Creek was presented to the council June 20.

On May 16, results of the topography map of the Saline Creek area were presented and determined that no structures or homes would be affected by the lake.

The City of Canton hired Johnson & Pace Inc. of Longview to conduct the study of the Saline Creek area. Joe Hart presented the information on the second study June 20.

Hart said the water availability model, which is an analysis of how much water can be pumped out of the lake for use, yielded a range anywhere from 2.23 million to 3.4 millions of gallons of water a day.


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