News

Mon
23
Oct

Police department concerns discussed by Van City Council

A lack of consistency in writing citations by the Van Police Department was a topic of conversation during a work session Oct. 12 as part of the regular monthly meeting by the Van City Council.

A power-point presentation by West showed the differences in the number of citations issued by different officers in the police department.

Van Police Chief John Brown and none of the police officers were in attendance during the city council meeting.

A 12-month breakdown of citations issued from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017 was shown to the council members by West.

“While citation counts are not used to measure the performance of the police department, it does tell what the officers are doing during their 12-hour shifts,” emphasized Van City Administrator Charles West.

In the power-point presentation, West showed that the number of citations written by each officer during the 12-month period varied significantly.

Mon
23
Oct

Chamber officials pleased with Oil Festival response

Van Area Chamber of Commerce officials declared the 2017 Van Oil Festival last Saturday a “huge success,” according to chamber president Pat Valentine.

“There are so many people and groups that we want to express our appreciation to but first of all, we do want to say how much we appreciate the number of people that turned out to make this event so successful.” emphasized Valentine.

Valentine recognized all of the numerous volunteers who were involved in the set up and take down of the festival and the “Dancing in the Park” concert held at Van City Park.

“We will get a complete list of volunteer names together and a list of our sponsorship names posted on our chamber face book page in the next few days,” said Valentine.

The activities last Saturday began with a parade through the downtown area. “The parade was the largest we have seen in a long time and we appreciate everyone who entered and helped set up,” pointed out Valentine.

Mon
23
Oct

Van School Board set for monthly meeting Thursday

The Van ISD School Board has moved their monthly trustee meeting to 6:30 p.m. Thursday (tonight) in the Van ISD Administration Board Room.

The change in the meeting schedule was due to Van ISD Superintendent Don Dunn being out of town earlier in the week at a superintendents’ meeting.

Rosa West and Luke Hendricks of Chevron in Van will be making a presentation to the school district.

Van Junior High School seventh grade student Ameri Shaye Garrett will be recognized by the trustees followed by the announcement of the monthly Trustee Appreciation Award winner.

Dunn will present a Van ISD Hall of Fame update as 15 former school district employees will be recognized during pre-game ceremonies at 7 p.m. Friday at Van’s Memorial Stadium prior to kick off between the Van Vandals and the Mabank Panthers.

Mon
23
Oct

Commissioners, Bates weigh in on tax rate increase

Several Van Zandt County officials were given the opportunity to share their thoughts about the recent tax rate increase approved by the VZC Commissioners Court during an Oct. 9 meeting of the VZC Tea Party held at Edom City Limits.

The VZC Commissioners Court voted 4-1 on Sept. 12 to increase the county tax rate by three cents which is beyond the rollback rate.

A petition drive is currently underway in the county to attempt to get the VZC commissioners court to call for a tax rollback election in 2018.

Dr. Dwayne Collins, the founder and director of the VZC Tea Party, welcomed the crowd of around 60 to the meeting in Edom which exceeded two hours.

Mon
23
Oct

VZC Tea Party talks COS project

A presentation on the Convention of States project opened the meeting of the Van Zandt County Tea Party Oct. 9 at Edom City Limits.

Dr. Dwayne Collins, the founder and director of the VZC Tea Party, introduced Greg Holton of Sulphur Springs and Linda Rice of Denison to discuss the political movement in Texas and across the nation.

Holton serves as district captain for House District 2 in the Convention of States project while Rice works as a regional captain.

“The Convention of States project is at work in all 50 states and Phase I has begun,” pointed out Holton. “The COS (Convention of States) resolution passed in Texas in May 2017 and we are the 11th state to do so.”

According to the COS website, the COS project was founded in 2013 by Citizens for Self-Governance for the purpose of stopping the runaway power of the federal government. Their main headquarters is located in Purcellville, Vir., and their phone number is 540-441-7227.

Mon
23
Oct

Showing our support for Veterans Special section hitting stands Nov. 5

The cat has been let out of the bag concerning the Van Zandt Newspapers featuring a collector’s edition honoring Veterans Day and those who have served or are serving our country.

The special edition will feature an extensive listing of veterans in Van Zandt County along with a number of war stories and special articles told by a select number of veterans and written by our editorial team.

The section will also include photos of veterans in the county and pre-paid ads with information about a family member that has served or is serving.

Special articles to be featured include a look inside the creation of the Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial. The article will include photos of before and after the memorial was built, and an in-depth view of the hurdles that the late Red Montgomery and founding members had to overcome to get the ball rolling to create one of the best Veterans Memorials in the country.

Mon
16
Oct

Burn ban tabled by court

Following a recommendation from Van Zandt County Fire Marshal James Lehman, the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court tabled the issue of a potential burn ban during a brief meeting Oct. 4.

Lehman reported to the commissioners’ court that there are 57 counties across the state currently under a burn ban including Henderson and Kaufman counties.

Lehman remarked that rain showers that came through the county Oct. 3 had changed his mind about requesting a burn ban.

“We have received a number of calls from citizens asking about a possible burn ban,” said Lehman. “We are close to needing a burn ban but I recommend we table this and take another look at the situation in two weeks when we meet again. It is a concern but right now, knock on wood, we are not seeing a whole lot of grass fire calls and fire calls overall at the current time.” Commissioners agreed to bring the subject back on the agenda for the Oct. 18 meeting.

Mon
16
Oct

Petition drive underway to force tax rollback election

Van Zandt County Pct. 2 citizen Ronnie Jones has been working for the past several weeks seeking enough signatures on petitions to force the VZC Commissioners Court to call for a tax rollback election in 2018.

With the help of approximately 45 other volunteers, Jones is confident that the necessary number of over 2,500 signatures can be reached prior to the Dec. 12, 2017, deadline.

The VZC Clerk’s office had previously reported that at least 10 percent of the registered voters in the county were needed to sign the petitions and force the commissioners court to call for a tax rollback election but that figure is actually seven percent, according to Elsa Smith, the Chief Election Deputy in the VZC Clerk’s office.

Mon
16
Oct

Van Oil Festival activities set for Saturday

With last Saturday’s Van Oil Queen Pageant now in their rear-view mirror, the Van Area Chamber of Commerce can now focus on the remaining activities for this year’s chamber sponsored Van Oil Festival which are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 14.

There will be a parade to kick off the day’s activities beginning at 10 a.m. with the vendors, games and entertainment scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church parking lot in Van. Vendors will begin setting up at 7:30 a.m.

The theme for the Van Oil Festival parade this year is “Let’s Make it a Magic-Oil Day,” according to Valentine.

The parade lineup is scheduled to begin on West Pennsylvania Street using Walnut Street to enter before taking a right turn on Maple Street, a right turn at the four-way stop downtown onto Main Street, a right turn on North Cedar Street, a right turn on Chase Street and a right turn on Walnut Street.

Mon
09
Oct

Commissioners alter meeting dates Payroll schedule forces change

Following a request from the Van Zandt County treasurer’s office, the VZC Commissioners Court agreed to change the dates of their regular meetings.

Previously, the commissioners court had been meeting on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. The commissioners court will now meet every other Wednesday. The starting time will remain at 9 a.m. The new regular meeting schedule began Wednesday, Oct. 4.

Each year, the commissioners court is required to set the date and time of each regular meeting for the new fiscal year prior to the Oct. 1 start date of the new fiscal year.

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