People, Places & Events




VZ ESD No.2 in trouble
Grand Saline VFD without funding
By Terry Britt
Monitor Staff Writer

CANTON—The short, troubled history of the Van Zandt County Emergency Services District No. 2 continues.
Thursday morning, Van Zandt County Commissioners tabled action on whether to reinstate $400 per month stipend payments to the Grand Saline Volunteer Fire Department. Those payments were suspended almost a year ago after voters in the Grand Saline area approved the creation of an emergency services district, which is a taxing entity.
However, the Grand Saline Volunteer Fire Department has received no money to date from the year-old entity, despite it having collected about $38,000, Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Carroll reported
Carroll presided over Thursday’s meeting in the absence of Van Zandt County Judge Rhita Koches, who was ill. Precinct 1 Commissioner Ricky LaPrade, recovering from shoulder surgery last week, also was absent.
“My understanding is that three of the (five) board members want to dissolve the district and the $38,000 is being put toward calling an election,” Carroll said.
“It’s all up in limbo, but the fire department is not getting any money from them,” he added.
“It seems like it’s been a mess ever since that (emergency services district) was voted in,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Kelles Miller said.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr. convinced the other two to join him in delaying action to resume payments.
“Unless this gets resolved, I don’t know that we should start giving that money to the fire department or not,” he said. “I think the Grand Saline Fire Department and the emergency services district have to work this out.
“The emergency district is a taxing entity and should fund these services,” Melton added, “but I can’t see how we can get involved in this now.”
Adding to the cloudy picture is a civil lawsuit filed in August by James and Jeanne Lea against three members of the emergency district’s board of directors — Doyle Milliorn, Joe Sutton and Mary Ann Fisher Ritchie.
The suit calls for their resignations or removal from the board.
Only one other emergency services district operates in Van Zandt County, one that covers the Roddy community in the Mabank Independent School District.
Wills Point and Canton have previously held elections for the creation of such a district, but both measures failed, Carroll added.
In other business, commissioners:
• accepted the year-in-review report for the Van Zandt County Historical Commission, presented by commission chairman Rollin Sininger.
• appointed Brooks Gremmels to the Van Zandt County Historical Commission.
• accepted roads in the Queen Wreath subdivision in Precinct 1 to the county’s road maintenance program.
• approved the taking of bids to purchase a pickup truck for Precinct 4.
• awarded a bid for a dump truck for Precinct 2 to Price International of Tyler for $59,800. That bid was the lowest of three received, Van Zandt County Auditor John Shinn said.
• approved a contract with Pattillo, Brown and Hill, as outside auditors.
-Rescinded previous action to close one-tenth of a mile of the northwest portion of Van Zandt County Road 2217.
The affected landowners had reconsidered their agreement to have that road portion closed after commissioners approved the action on Dec. 11, Melton said.
• approved payment to Express Foundation for engineering services at the Van Zandt County Justice Center.


Kemp hosts Making College Count seminar
Special to The Monitor
KEMP–Kemp High School announced it has scheduled the highly rated Making College and Career Count in-school presentation program for its senior class.
The one-hour presentation will be delivered free to students and parents at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23.
The presentation is designed to help students begin to think about their next steps upon graduation, and what they need to accomplish throughout the coming year in order to maximize their opportunities for future success.
The program also addresses important issues such as time-management, choosing career paths and study skills.
“Graduation from high school is a key transition period in a student’s life,” Making It Count vice president, J.R. Cifani said.
“Our goal is to provide and reinforce the positive messages counselors and teachers are giving to their students during this crucial time, and help students understand that anyone can be successful if they choose to be,” he added.
The Making College and Career Count program will be presented to more than 650,000 high school seniors nationwide during the 2008 spring semester.
Monster’s Making It Count also provides free presentations for freshmen and juniors, and has reached close to 18 million students since 1999.
Guidance counselors on average rated the value of the ideas presented a 9.5 on a 10-point scale.
Key content and supporting materials for the Making College and Career Count presentation can be found at
The website offers a wide variety of tools and resources for current and future high school students.
Schools interested in hosting the presentation may contact Making It Count at (513) 772-1188 for more information.

A dog for companionship
By L. Schroeder
Special to The Monitor

MABANK–Why do so many seniors have dogs?
They not only have the regular runaround backyard protect the family-size dogs.
Seniors like the little dogs that bark at everything.
Some say for companionship.
This must be true, because my mom got a lap-dog after my dad died.
This totally surprised me. All the time I was growing up, she sent every stray dog I brought home straight to the dog pound.
Her reason was dogs were smelly and dirty. I never thought so, but she did, and mom ruled the house.
Maybe, like me, you find some dogs you love to hug.
On the other hand, with some big ones, you feel you need a stick for protection.
I have to admit, I have a fear of large dogs. This fear came about when I was 10 years old.
My father decided I needed a part-time job to teach me responsibility.
The job he selected for me was selling newspapers door to door. This is when I encountered some mean dogs.
One time, at a door, the porch began to vibrate. There was a large dog underneath, growling.
As I left the porch, I could see this dog was not kidding. He was mad. The hair on his back was standing up, and I could tell he was set on doing me harm.
Just as he made his move to eat me alive, I held up my stack of newspapers and charged straight at him, yelling at the top of my lungs.
He stopped dead in his tracks, turned and ran away, yelping with his tail between his legs.
I felt so relieved. I don’t know what I would have done if he had not run away. Most likely, died at a young age.
My fear of large dogs was really sealed when I was cornered on a porch by three at one time. I would have never gone to that door if I had seen the beasts.
I learned that day how a scared cat must feel, as I jumped from the porch to the hood of a parked car and then over a fence to escape.
So, you can see, I have reasons to be unsure around our large four-legged friends. I don’t think they like me.
Yet, you never know. As I grow older, I may need a dog around to keep me company. Someone to talk to, instead of myself.
I have noticed in the paper there are a variety of dogs at the animal shelter.
I bet they could find me a lap-dog just like my mom had.
Yeah, I guess a dog won’t be so bad to have, as long as he is small and lets me stay on my own porch.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

We are five beautiful Heeler mix pups. We were brought here by animal control, so we have no history. We are sweet little pups starting out in a new world. We’ve been wormed and given our first shots. We are sweet babies looking for our new forever homes.

My name is Chloe. I am a beautiful female kitten. I was brought to the Shelter by my owners who were not able to keep me. I am a very playful kid looking for my new forever home.

My name is Rebel. I am a beautiful male Pit Bull mix pup. I am somewhere around four months old. I am a sweet and playful puppy. I am such a wonderful kid in need of a new wonderful home.

My name is Chris. I am a male Retriever mix pup. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am a very sweet young man with lots of energy. I have been given my first shots. I am a sweet kid looking for my home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at