News

Wed
16
Aug

Private property: Protecting Texas' future

Since before our nation's founding, private property rights have been recognized as an indispensable pillar in supporting a free and prosperous society.  Private property, and the rights inherent in ownership, are foundational for a free people because they are the product of a person's labor.  If a person cannot enjoy the fruits of his or her labor by the acquisition and use of private property, that person lacks a constitutionally guaranteed security.  Robust property rights empower us to pursue our own dreams and live according to our own personal values.
Nowhere is this better understood than Texas. Early Texas settlers took extraordinary risks to experience the promise of property ownership for themselves.  Despite this legacy, Texas law does not provide adequate protections against government regulations, eminent domain, and regulatory takings that disrupt or prevent a property owner's right to use and develop their property.

Tue
15
Aug

Barber celebrates 35 years with newspaper

David Barber, 58, is celebrating his 35th anniversary with Van Zandt Newspapers Thursday, Aug. 10. He was born in Shreveport, La., and grew up in Dallas before moving to the Colfax Community near Van during mid-term of his freshman year in high school.

Barber is a 1977 graduate of Van High School, a 1979 graduate of Tyler Junior College and a 1982 graduate of the University of North Texas.

He began his career at Van Zandt Newspapers on Aug. 10, 1982, working as a reporter before moving to the advertising department in 1983 where he worked until October 2016, when he was named as Senior Reporter for the company.

Mon
14
Aug

Hensarling holds meeting in Canton

U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-5) held a town hall meeting Aug. 10  at the Farm Bureau building in Canton.

The Congressman gave a brief update on issues including tax reform, health care, caring for our nation’s heroes, and rolling back onerous regulations from Washington bureaucrats while answering a variety of questions from constituents.

 

“Our country is in desperate need of fundamental tax reform,” said Hensarling. “Our tax code is unfair, too complicated, and puts our workers at a competitive disadvantage. I am working with President Trump and other Republicans to change Washington by reforming and streamlining our tax code. As I travel across the district, I hear over and over again how burdensome taxes are on families and small businesses. I will not stop fighting to get our economy firing on all cylinders.”

 

Sun
13
Aug

Plaster to succeed Daniell as Justice of the Peace Pct. 2

Following a closed executive session Aug. 8, the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court named Sandra Plaster as the interim VZC Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace.

Plaster will take over for Ronnie Daniell, who recently announced his retirement effective at noon, Friday, Sept. 8. Daniell will administer the oath of office to Plaster on that day.

She has served in the Pct. 2 JP office since November 2007 first as a part-time clerk before being named as the full-time court clerk and administrator on May 11, 2009.

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

Sat
12
Aug

Accidents on Interstate 20

A string of accidents have plagued Interstate 20 in Van Zandt County over the course of the last week.

Two accidents, one a multi-vehicle accident near the 514-mile marker and the other a single-vehicle accident near the 512 mile marker, helped to back up traffic along I-20 Aug. 3. The driver in the single-vehicle accident was shaken up but not seriously injured. 

For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Sat
12
Aug

Proposed tax rate vote tabled after discussion

After much discussion, the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court tabled any action on the proposed 2017-‘18 tax rate during their regular meeting Aug. 8 which drew a standing-room only crowd.

The new fiscal year for the county will begin Oct. 1, 2017, and conclude on Sept. 30, 2018.

“VZC Judge Don Kirkpatrick and I visited Aug. 7 with VZC Chief Appraiser Scott Hyde and based on that discussion, we are presenting a proposed tax rate of $.585847 for fiscal year 2018,” announced VZC Auditor Freddy Thomas to the commissioners. “That is the same as the proposed tax rate for fiscal year 2017 and this does include the special road tax rate. The effective rate is $.552805 and the rollback rate is $.587864.”

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

Fri
11
Aug

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.  

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

Wed
09
Aug

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. 

Tue
08
Aug

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.

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

Mon
07
Aug

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

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