News

Sat
11
Jul

Sheriff’s officers arrest fugitive from Colorado

July 1, the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office assisted the U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force in apprehending 28-year-old Joshua Borth of the Wills Point area. 


Borth is wanted by the Durango, Colo., Police Department for Sexual Assault of a Child while at a homeless shelter.

Borth is being held at the Van Zandt County Justice Center without bond until he can be transported back to Durango. 


Borth was arrested in the Myrtle Springs area without incident after being located in an abandoned structure on his family’s property. He was armed with a stolen .22-caliber long rifle and 30-06 rifle.


Borth attempted to climb out a window but quickly realized he was surrounded and gave up, the sheriff's department said. 
Borth was found with camping gear and survival equipment; it is believed Borth has been hiding in the woods on his family’s land for the past week.


Sat
11
Jul

Groundbreaking

Photo by Brad Blakemore - 

C & E Group and the Canton Economic Development Corp held a groundbreaking ceremony July 6 for the hotel to be built adjacent to Splash Kingdon on I-20.  Among those attending were C&E Group Inc.’s president Chad Encheff; Johnny, Marci and Brett Blevins of Kingdom Perspectives; local physician and hotel investor Dr. John Pino; State Rep. Dan Flynn, Mayor Lou Ann Everett, Councilmembers Cindy Malouf, Scott Perkins and Nathan Moore; and CEDC director Julie Seymore, Board Members Robert Jaeckle, Steve Dye, Teri Pruitt and John McKeehan along with members of the community and chamber of commerce.

Fri
10
Jul

Connells county’s first same-sex couple to wed

By David Kapitan

Staff Writer - 

WILLS POINT – July 8, 2015, became a milestone day in Van Zandt County. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Herbert Dunn officiated the wedding of Jerry Rosengartner and Paul Connell.

With the ceremony, Rosengartner and Connell became the first couple to be married in Van Zandt County since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling June 26 gave same-sex pair the right to legally wed.

Connell, 48, has been a resident of the Wills Point area for the past 15 years. Rosengartner, 24, has here six years. They have been a couple for the past six years.

Rosengartner, who said he will take the last name Connell, spoke with the Van Zandt News shortly after the wedding ceremony. He gave some details about the couple, as well as his thoughts on the Supreme Court’s decision and making history as the first same-sex couple in the county to exchange wedding vows.

Fri
10
Jul

The marrying kind

Despite some set-up delays with software, The Van Zandt County Clerk’s office began issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples July 1.

As of July 8, the office had issued two licenses.

Local justices of the peace have taken varying stances on performing same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Pct. 3 JP Herbert Dunn said he has no problem performing the ceremonies and officiated at the counties first same-sex union July 7.

Pct. 2 Judge Ronnie Daniell has stopped doing weddings altogether in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.

A sign on Daniell’s office door makes his position clear to those seeking wedded bliss. “Based on my Christian convictions,” the sign reads, “I, Judge Ronnie Daniell, will no longer perform weddings as justice of the peace Van Zandt County precinct #2. I must stand for my Lord, His holy word and my firm belief that is it truth.”

Thu
09
Jul

Edgewood police chief resigns

By Pam Millican

Correspondent - 

The Edgewood City Council, in a special called meeting July 7, accepted the immediate resignation of Police Chief Henry Askew.

Askew had been the police chief since 2005.

The resignation comes one week after a town hall meeting that included Askew yelling at residents and council members. One of the topics of the meeting was a letter the police department mailed to residents who were not in compliance with a new parking ordinance. The ordinance stated residents could only park on improved surfaces at their homes and not on grass or dirt.

Approximately 80 residents were in attendance at the town hall meeting. At the meeting, Askew addressed the crowd and blamed the harsh wording of the letter on the fact that the city council gave him only four hours to get the letters out.

Tue
07
Jul

VZCRA soaring to new heights


Courtesy photo Heavy equipment has been in action at the Van Zandt County Regional Airport in recent months for the latest improvement project. The airport, which has already seen the installation of a terminal building and fuel tank, is currently in the midst of a runway overlay project.

By David Kapitan

Staff Writer

The Van Zandt County Regional Airport has been a hive of activity in recent years, growing and blossoming with the addition of fuel tanks, a new terminal building, a growing events calendar and, lately, the start of work on a runway overlay project.

Efforts for the revitalization began in earnest back in 2007, with the Wills Point EDC forming an Airport Advisory Board to conduct an assessment of the airport, focusing on future growth and demand of the community.

Those initial efforts led to the pursuit of grant funding which eventually helped pave the way for a beautification project that helped add striping to the runway and the replacement of the airport’s lighting system.

Thanks to those efforts, the airport would go on to receive the Most Improved General Aviation Airport at the 30th Annual Texas Aviation Conference in Galveston in 2012.

Sat
04
Jul

Children’s shelter seeks assistance

By Pam Millican

Correspondent

The Children’s Shelter, an emergency placement shelter for children in Van Zandt County, is undergoing some major changes.

The shelter is owned and maintained by a board of trustees who contracts with Azleway to provide “house parents” who oversee the children and day-to-day running of the shelter.

 “Most people don’t realize there is a children’s shelter in Van Zandt County and we have been in the same location for 37 years,” said Kerry Cartier, shelter board president.

The location of the facility is undisclosed for the safety of the children.

When Child Protective Services has to remove a child from his or her home for the child’s safety due to parental neglect or when the there is no one to care for the child due to the parent’s incarceration, CPS contacts Azleway.

Fri
03
Jul

Gray skies can’t cloud Jubilee


Photo by Doug Stuart This little lady didn’t let a gray sky keep her from kicking up her heels.

By Payton Weidman

Staff Writer

A few rain clouds couldn’t stop the fun at the first Free State Jubilee held on First Monday Grounds in Canton June 27. 

The event had a cakewalk booth, three different bounce houses for kids, live music, a Corn Hole tournament, a salsa and canning competition and information about gardening and beekeeping.

“The Free State Jubilee was a huge success by all accounts,” said county extension agent Melisa Rhodes. “The rain clouds may have darkened the skies and rained down on Van Zandt County but it did not stop the first annual Free State Jubilee! The rain stopped just in time for everyone to enjoy the cooler temperatures and experience all the fun and educational opportunities that the Free State Jubilee had to offer.”

Thu
02
Jul

Edgewood Town Hall gets heated

By Pam Millican

Correspondent

An Edgewood town hall meeting turned into a lively discussion June 29 after the police chief got into a shouting match with residents and councilmembers and was asked to leave the building.

Edgewood Mayor Charles Prater called the town hall meeting to address several issues.

The primary topic concerned a new city ordinance that went into affect March 1 stating all vehicles – both residential and commercial – must be parked on improved surfaces such as concrete, asphalt or 3-inches of gravel.

That meant citizens could no longer park on grass or dirt in front of their homes.

Approximately 80 people attended the meeting.

Tue
30
Jun

Fourth of July celebrations mark America’s birthday

 Payton Weidman

Staff Writer

Looking for things to do this Fourth of July?  Well look no further, here’s a list of the celebrations going on in or nearby Van Zandt County.

ATHENS – Saturday, July 4 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center after 4 p.m. free admission for the annual firework show will begin.

Visitors are encouraged to fish in the stocked pond until 8:30 p.m.  No license is required to fish, and bait and tackle are furnished for free.

The fireworks will begin at 9 p.m.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and people are encouraged to bring picnics.

Pets, alcohol and private fireworks, including “snap caps” and sparklers are not allowed.  TFFC is a tobacco-free facility and smoking or the use of tobacco products are not allowed on the premises.

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