Artist hopes work inspires others

Photos by Jennifer Fulgham Singer Michael Morse performs at the opening of Kerian Babbitt-Massey’s art show at the Ben Creative Art Center in Ben Wheeler last week.

Kerian Babbitt-Massey’s career began when she was a teen on the beach of San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

“I was on the last few days of a trip and being a typical teenager, had already depleted my funds,” Babbitt-Massey said. “Sitting on the beach and sketching, I was approached by someone and they asked me to make them a sign. I made $40 that day.  That money not only made my life a bit better for the remaining two days but it also showed me that I could do what I love and make a living at it.”

Babbitt-Massey returned from her trip, graduated college at 21 with an advertising art degree, “picked up a paintbrush at 25 and have been creating ever since,” she said.

“Being an artist is like projecting your thoughts and visions onto a canvas where everyone can see,” Babbitt-Massey said. “It’s one of the purest forms of being an extrovert, even if you are secretly introverted or you are too afraid to tell your story any other way. “ 


County Blotter

The Van Zandt Co. Sheriff’s Dept. reported the following arrests for July 28 – Aug. 4, 2015

Alejandro Avrego, 27, was arrested on site for possession of marijuana.

Jackie William Ballard, 62, Canton, was arrested on a warrant for injury to a child, elderly or disabled.

Jolyn Rene Baugh, 36, Fruitvale, was arrested on a warrant for unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Tory Dean Begnaud, 35, Wills Point, was arrested on site for theft of property.

Daniel Brown, 28, Wills Point, was arrested on site for driving while intoxicated.

Logan Dwayne Bundrick, 26, Wills Point, was arrested on a warrant for stalking, and on site for possession of a controlled substance.


Scattered to the wind, group helps find the lost photos of Van

Professional Organizers Cita Sue and Linda Glasscock of Van sort through hundreds of photographs as volunteers during the National Disaster Photo Rescue day.

Snuggly photographs of newborns, black and white photos of marriages and old, sepia shots of people doing everyday activities were strewn about tables during the National Disaster Photo Rescue day in Van Aug. 4.

The NDPR focuses on the preservation and return of lost photos after a disaster, thus building renewed strength and hope by reuniting communities with treasured memories thought to have been destroyed.

But the haphazard mess was slowly being organized into neat, little heaps of photographs that depicted special moments of lives. The process is a slow one, with each photograph rigorously cleaned and dried, cataloged and then finally put in a folder to be scanned into a database.

The photographs are then organized into folders on Facebook for people in Van to come and see if the photographs are theirs.


Brookside planning fun in the Outback for VBS

Brookside Church is hosting Outback Rock VBS from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12.

The event is open to children from birth through seventh grade.

“During the fun-filled two evenings, kids will go on a trek to discover God’s love in exciting ways that make Scripture come alive!” organizers said. “Get ready to explore the rock-solid height and depth of god’s love while experiencing fun, laughter and excitement.”

Children will be divided into crews that rotate through learning stations that reinforce a Bible point. Pre-schoolers will have their own age-appropriate fun, according to organizers, but everyone will be together at the start with praise and at the evening’s big finish, Rockin’ Wrap up – an closing time filled with music, drama and humor.

Instead of traditional VBS crafts, kids will participate in Projects with a Purpose and “create meaningful items that will bless others,” organizers said.


Ray admitted to practice before Supreme Court

Richard Ray

Richard L. Ray, senior partner of Ray & Thatcher, P.C., has qualified and been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, effective March 2015.

To be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington D.C., one must be nominated by  two attorneys who themselves are admitted to practice before the Supreme Court.

Ray was nominated by Richard Grainger, a certified personal injury litigator in Tyler

and Michael Jones, managing partner of Potter, Minton of Tyler.

The selection committee then considers experience, expertise, and ethics. 

Ray has over 41 years of practice in the State Courts of Texas and the Federal Court system, including the Eastern District, Northern District and the Fifth Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the Court whose decisions are appealed to the United States Supreme Court.


Fruitvale Supplies for Success Aug. 13

Fruitvale ISD wants to make sure teachers, students and FISD families know they are appreciated in the weeks before school starts.

The district will sponsor a back-to-school movie night for staff members and their families Monday, Aug. 10.

Seated on lawn chairs or spread out on blankets with pillow, they’ll have popcorn and sodas available in the old gym. Showing will be the Disney movie, "McFarland, USA" which is a true story of a teacher/coach who builds solid relationships with students and families.

“Fruitvale ISD believes the relationships with students and families are important for academic success, and teachers will enjoy a relaxing event before the back to school trainings begin,” district officials said.


Scott named interim city manager of Van

Owen Scott has been named the interim city manager of Van.  Van has been without a city manager since the Van city council terminated the employment of former city manager Yvonne McCauley with a 3-2 vote Feb. 9, 2015.

Scott is a veteran in the field of city management. As a 29-year veteran with the City of Lindale as city secretary and city manager, Scott said his first item on his agenda would be to assess the problems that the city of Van faces.

“We, as a city, have to assess the needs for the City of Van before we determine what our short and long terms goals are,” said Scott.

Scott emphasized the importance of community and city staff involvement to push Van forward.


ROLLING OAKS VFD guest instructors at annual TEEX Fire School

Courtesy photo Rolling Oaks Volunteer Fire Department Chief Perry Debord and Assistant Chief Robert Noah served as guest instructors at the TEEX Municipal Fire School held in July.

Rolling Oaks Volunteer Fire Department Chief Perry Debord and Assistant Chief Robert Noah were among a select group of guest instructors at the TEEX Municipal Fire School held in late July. 

Both are instructors for Advanced Municipal Fire Operations Flammable Liquids and Gasses (Firefighter V).  The AMFO:FLAG course is the most advanced level of live fire training TEEX offers. 

The week long school is held at the world renowned Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station and each year thousands of fire service personnel participate in the intensive weeklong training courses. This is the first year TEEX changed its curriculum to align with the SFFMA and TCFP Certifications.

Additionally, Noah was appointed a promotion to commander of Project #33 which is the Compressor Station Fires.  This appointment puts Noah in charge of the entire project.


Fruitvale ISD continues free lunches

Fruitvale Independent School District announced it will continue its policy to operate the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for the 2015-’16 school year. Schools qualifying to operate CEP serve breakfast and lunch to all children at no charge and eliminate the collection of meal applications for free, reduced-price and paid student meals. This new approach reduces burdens for both families and school administrators and helps ensure that students receive nutritious meals.

For additional information please contact the following:

Fruitvale Independent School District, Susan McCann, Business Manager, P O Box 77, Fruitvale  75127 or call 903-896-1191.


Winning Two-Step ticket bought in Canton

Someone in the Canton area is doing a happy little Texas Two-Step this week.

The Texas Lottery Commission announced July 24 that the lone winning ticket in the July 23 Texas Two-Step drawing was sold at Brookshire Food Store #32 in Canton.

The ticket was a quick pick that matched all four numbers and the bonus and was worth $950,000. Numbers were 7, 25, 31 and 25 with the bonus 22.

According to the lottery commission, the prize hadn’t been claimed as of Tuesday morning, July 28.


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