Spring Fling, egg hunt

The action wasunderway as children hunted down eggs Saturday during the 26th annual Hilliard Easter Egg Hunt. The event was held during the Van Spring Fling.

Chamber officials pleased with turnout

Van Area Chamber of Commerce officials were all smiles following the annual Van Spring Fling and Hilliard Easter Egg Hunt held Saturday at the Van Area Historical Oil Museum.

“This year’s event was a success,” said  Van Area Chamber of Commerce President Pat Valentine. “It was a beautiful day, weather-wise.”

A total of 28 vendors including six different food vendors set up for business at the event, according to Valentine.

Dale Cummings served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Van Spring Fling and John Beall worked as the Master of Ceremonies for the 26th annual Hilliard Easter Egg Hunt.


Neighbors Helping Neighbors involved in city projects

Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Van started in April 2016 around Ernie and Jane Burns’ dining room table as they and Don Smith discussed the idea.

 A board of directors was formed the next month.  The board members include Charles Ryan, president; John Hensmen, vice-president; Jane Burns, secretary; and Shirley Megason, treasurer.

Also serving on the board of directors are Ernie Burns, Don Smith, Nick Sandifer and James Ramsey.

Regular volunteers includes Allison Young, Jordan Ryan, Olivia Ryan, Charles Ryan Jr., Sherry Easley, Leslie Bishop, Christian Burns, Billy Perdue, Nat Ayers, Lorrie Burgner-Smith and many more.

The  first project involving Neighbors Helping Neighbors was the reason the organization began as the building on FM 314 belonging to Charlene Tetrick needed to be torn down.


Early voting begins Monday, April 24

Early voting for the Saturday, May 6 Van City Council election is set to begin Monday, April 24 and continue through Tuesday, May 2 downtown at Van City Hall.

The hours for early voting will be as follows:

Monday, April 24: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 25, Wednesday, April 26 and Thursday, April 27: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday, April 28: 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Monday, May 1: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, May 2: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Election Day, Saturday, May 6, all voting will be done at the Van Community Center, located at 310 Chestnut Street, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Lucas announces candidacy

I am Pete Lucas. My wife Margarette and I have five sons, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandsons and have been residents of Van for 24 plus years. I am running for Van City Council, Place 3.

I grew up in Baytown Texas, graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, and studied Industrial Technology at Houston Community College. I have 380 certification hours for utilities from TAMU.

My work history is extensive: 10 years, union pipefitter/welder; 12 years, General Manager Harris County Water Control District; worked for the cities of Crockett and Tyler; 11 years, Canton’s Director of Public Works; Grand Saline ISD substitute teacher; VZC Juvenile Justice Center volunteer; and 7 years, Grand Saline ISD paraprofessional. I retired in June, 2016.


Council discusses plans for parking, library

Van City Administrator Charles West presents a report to the Van City Council April 13.

A number of topics were brought up for discussion during a work session conducted by the Van City Council as part of its regular monthly meeting April 13.

Council members took no action on any of the items discussed which included the following:

  1. Amending and replacing the current ordinance establishing rates for water and sewer service in the city.
  2. Updating and establishing the investment policy and fund balance policies for the city.
  3. Planning future budget workshops to begin planning for next year’s budget.
  4. The possibility of having a joint workshop and meeting with the Van ISD School Board.
  5. The possibility of having a joint workshop and meeting with the Van Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Board.

Other items brought up for discussion among the council members included parking issues downtown in front of Van Zandt Farm & Ranch, the Van Barber Shop and Bouquets & Bows.


Vandals compete at District 13-4A Tack Meet

Photo by David Kapitan

Paloma Pitman blew away the field in the 100 meter hurdles, clocking a time of 16.80 seconds. The next closest competitor, Sophie Welty of Canton, finished .61 seconds behind.

Track and field teams from Canton, Van and Wills Point all faced their biggest tests of the season April 12-13, traveling to Rains High School to compete in this year’s District 13-4A Meet. Outside of the three county schools in the field, other competitors included athletes from Brownsboro, Emory Rains and Mabank.

Canton performed exceptionally well at the meet, pacing the field by winning first place overall in both the varsity boys and varsity girls division. Canton’s varsity boys athletes totaled 124 points for the two-day event, topping Emory Rains with 112, Mabank with 72, Wills Point with 64, Brownsboro with 47 and Van with 29.

Individual varsity boys results included:

-100: Cooper Bledsoe, Van, second; Brandon Smith, WP, third; Dalton Williams, Canton, fifth; Kyle Rose-Peterson, Canton, eighth

-200: Dylan Cox, Canton, first; Bray Doring, Van, sixth; Jacob Moore, WP, seventh; Brandon Smith, WP, eighth


Stone running for Place 3

My name is Dean Stone and I am running for Van City Council Place 3.

I have lived in Van for 40 years and I have previously served as mayor and as a city council member.

I have been married to my wife, Ann for 22 years. We have two children and two stepchildren, some of whom reside in Van. We have nine grandchildren, some of whom attend school at Van ISD.

 Our roots have been set deep in Van and I am committed to seeing the community grow and prosper. I am a member of the Van Chamber of Commerce, a member of Kiwanis and a member of the Van Methodist Church. Previously, I worked in the food industry for 53 years before retiring in Van.


Election Forum set for Friday night

Candidates in the Saturday, May 6 Van City Council election are scheduled to appear at an Election Forum sponsored by the City of Van 7 p.m. Friday, April 21 at The Movie House.

Early voting begins Monday, April 24 at Van City Hall and election day voting will take place at the Van Community Center.

The only contested race in the city council election is in Place 3 where former Van Mayor Dean Stone is being challenged by Van resident and retired City of Canton employee Pete Lucas.

Running unopposed are Linzy Neal in Place 1 and incumbent Van Mayor Pro-Tem Amanda Hightower Davis in Place 2.

The public is invited to attend the 90-minute forum. The Movie House is located downtown at 255 West Main St.


Auto show set for April 29

The annual Auto & Cycle Shine & Show is scheduled for Saturday, April 29 at the Van United Methodist Church. The church is located at 326 W. Main St., Van.

Registration starts at 8 a.m. with free coffee and doughnuts available for participants. The show will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The entry fee is $20 which includes lunch.

“There will be lots of vendors and crafts. Clowns will be doing face painting and balloon animals. There will also be bounce houses, train rides for the kids, a bake sale, a cake walk and more,” said event organizers.

For sponsorship information, contact Pat Hargrave at 903-360-2754 and for car show information, call Ron Gorman at 903-253-3213. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 30.


‘Finding Dory’ at The Movie House April 22

“Finding Dory” will be shown at The Movie House downtown in Van at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 22.

The movie is free and there will be door prizes for the parents. At least one parent must stay with their child.

Children may bring a pillow or blanket to sit on. Parents are welcome to bring their own “bag” lawn chairs.

Popcorn will be sold for $.50 cents and water will be available for $.25 cents. “If you wish to bring your own soft drink or your child’s favorite drink, you are welcome to do so,” organizers said.


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