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.


Missing man found dead near Ben Wheeler

On July 20, a resident of Canton filed a missing person report regarding her son, 34-year-old Shane Earld Corson.

The resident, Paulette Vick, reported that she had not heard from her son for a couple of weeks and she had contacted his friends in attempt to determine his whereabouts. She told police she was unable to locate anyone who had seen or spoken with him recently.
 Vick told police her son suffered from depression.

Canton Police launched an investigation to locate Corson and check on his well being.

“During the investigation, information was gathered that placed Corson’s last known location on VZCR 4406, just outside of Ben Wheeler, CPD Det. Mike King said. 


Texas disaster declaration incident period extended for individual assistance

More Texans may be eligible for disaster assistance with news of an extension of the original incident period for Individual Assistance under a May 29 major disaster declaration for severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding.

The new incident period is May 4 through June 22.

Incident Period Extension

Survivors who previously registered with FEMA for damage between June 20 and June 22, whose applications were not fully processed, will be automatically reviewed.  Survivors with questions should call the FEMA helpline, 800-621-3362.

Applicants already registered with FEMA, who have additional damage incurred from June 20 to June 22, should call FEMA to receive an evaluation of whether they may be eligible for additional aid.


Lakeside to ‘Get Soaked’ at VBS Aug. 3 through 5

Lakeside Baptist Church will host its Get Soaked Vacation Bible School 2015 at Splash Kingdom Waterpark from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 3 through 5.

The VBS is for those kids who have completed kindergarten through sixth grade.

Cost is $10 per person with a maximum of $25 per family.

The cost includes three nights at the waterpark and a T-shirt.

Sign-up by visiting the Lakeside Baptist Church office at 1291 Old Kaufman Rd in Canton, calling 903-567-4787 or downloading the registration form at


Fruitvale hires home-grown superintendent

FISD superintendent Dr. Jennifer Jones and Mrs. Rebecca Bain

Rebecca Bain has been named superintendent of Fruitvale ISD after Dr. Jennifer Jones leaves the end of August to teach upcoming principals and superintendents at the university level.

Bain is a Fruitvale ISD product herself. She attended Fruitvale schools from kindergarten on and graduated from FHS in 1992.

After graduation, Bain attended Texas A&M University – College Station, where she was on the dean’s and distinguished student’s lists while enrolled in the TAMU Honors program.

She returned to her hometown and became a substitute teacher in the Fruitvale and Grand Saline school districts, before being offered a permanent position at Fruitvale ISD. After a semester as a second grade teacher at Hallie Randall Elementary, Bain was offered the junior high/high school science position and she began teaching and coaching Fruitvale Junior High and high School. 


Girl hurt at CVS Redbox out of ICU

Don and Jessica Bunch

Jessica Bunch is out of ICU.

After 17 days in the hospital, Jessica was moved to a room a room last week, according to her dad, Don Bunch.

“She is trying to eat a little, we have got to get the pace picked up a little or they will have to put a feeding tube in,” he said.

Jessica was seriously injured July 7 when a 79-year-old woman driving an SUV and pulling into a handicapped parking spot at the CVS in Canton, hit the gas instead of the brake, jumped the curb and slammed into the teen who was standing in front of the Redbox movie rental machine. Jessica was taken by air ambulance to Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler where she has been in a fight for survival ever since.


Lost Photos of Van press conference and work day

National Disaster Photo Rescue to arrive in Van to lead Lost Photos efforts

National Disaster Photo Rescue Directors are scheduled to arrive in Van Monday, Aug. 3.

 “I am honored to be able to serve our community by reconnecting them to their photos and memories but could not do it without the help of National Disaster Photo Rescue,” said Nancy Stelmach, onsite project coordinator. “Their knowledge and experience guided me through this journey and now their willingness to come to Van to teach us is truly over the top!”

NDPR will set up equipment and meet with volunteers the evening of Aug. 3, begin training Aug. 4 and plan to work most of the day. They will follow up with volunteers Aug. 5 and will continue to work with Lost Photos of Van by offering phone and tech support from their home office in Carthage, Mo.


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.


Officials 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.”


Five ways to know if there’s an IRS imposter on the phone

A scam by callers reporting themselves to be IRS agents was reported last week by Sheriff Randy Meeks to be active in Hunt County.

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert this week to provide taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.

These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due. Bottom line—they try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.


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