VZC Commissioners assess tornado damage
By Wilbur Callaway
Monitor Correspondent

CANTON–The Van Zandt County Commissioners Court received an extensive report of damages in the county from a tornado and severe storms early the morning of April 29.
Van Zandt County emergency management director Chuck Allen of Wills Point and Canton emergency management coordinator/fire chief Tim Gothard reported about 200 residences, 15 businesses, and a fire department tower suffered damages during the violent storm around 4 a.m.
Allen said most of the damage was in the southern area of Canton from an F-0 tornado, although at least three residences in the county also received damages, including a house in the Martins Mill, which was a total loss.
“We are still working to identify the cause of the damage in the southern and eastern sections of the county,” Allen told the commissioners.
“I believe in my assessment that it was an F-1 tornado that did the damage out in the county. We will wait to see what the National Weather Service determines,” he added.
“When the NWS determines there is rotation within 10 miles, the tornado sirens will sound. That did not happen because the storm just popped up without warning and came down right on top of us,” Gothard said.
“It was First Monday weekend, and the tornado could have taken a path through the grounds, and there could have been a lot of casualties,” he pointed out.
As it turned out, there were no deaths or injuries reported from the storms.
“We had many vendors, patrons and people camping around the First Monday Grounds that morning,” Allen added.
Allen said the Red Cross was notified and responded to the scene with five units, furnishing hot food and help where needed.
“TxDOT did a great job and the commissioners and their crews also did a superb job. It was a good exercise for our emergency responders,” Van Zandt County Judge Rhita Koches said.
Allen expressed his thanks to everyone who did help out, noting that TxDOT assisted in traffic control at intersections where power outages knocked out traffic signals, and county work crews cleared trees blocking roads and streets and those which fell on top of houses.
“I believe this was just a wake up sign from the good Lord. We need to continue to review our plans and be prepared for the next big storm,” Allen said.
In other business, the commissioners:
• approved payment of the county bills as submitted.
• heard from Precinct 3 Commissioner Kelles Miller on repairing the roof of the county jail.
• adopted a proclamation honoring the Van Zandt County Historical Commission for its recognition with a Distinguished Service Award by the Texas Historical Commission.
Koches presented the proclamation to Donald and Annette Plemmons, representatives of the county historical commission.
• approved a bond for Rodney Hetmer, a reserve deputy constable in Precinct 1.
• approved an into local agreement with the Garland Regional Response Team to serve Van Zandt County regarding public safety.
• recognized Koches having earned credit hours while attending the following conferences: Texas Judicial Academy Probate Hearings Video Course (12 hours); 49th annual County Judges’ and Commissioners’ Continuing Education Conference (4 hours); and Texas Judicial Academy Spring Session (15 hours).
• recorded in the court minutes that Karen Wilson, 294th Judicial District Clerk, provided approval for the Community Supervision and Corrections Department to collect money payable under Title 2.
• approved budget amendments for each of the four county commissioners, Van Zandt County Sheriff Pat Burnett, VZC Treasurer Judy Peoples, Precinct 4 JP Tracey Garner, and Koches.

Kemp Homecoming Committee holds meeting
Special to The Monitor
KEMP–The Kemp Homecoming Committee meeting was called to order by President Jim Collinsworth Sunday, April 9, at the Main Street branch of the First National Bank of Kemp.
Minutes from March meeting were read and approved.
Treasurer’s report was read with no changes, leaving a balance of $1,458.78.
Discussion was made regarding the Hospitality Room. It was not well attended last year, and Helen Doss requests we no longer have it.
Harvey McDougald has mentioned his RV meeting room will be open Saturday evening after the parade for class members from the 50s through the 70s.
Barbara McFaul will chair the mail-outs committee and help coordinate the Homecoming Nominees. The committee agreed on two nominees per class.
Deborah Doss will need several convertibles for the Homecoming Court to ride in the parade. Suggestions included Lennie Lou Adams, Kay Williams and Lew Stokes. Anyone with a convertible is encouraged to contact Deborah.
The committee was encouraged to spread the word regarding the on-line registration. The website is current and mail-outs will be sent as needed.
Links need to be made on the website to direct alumni to the appropriate committee chair’s e-mail address.
Further discussion was made regarding the database of all registered alumni. Further clarification will be at the May meeting.
Sponsors of next year’s Senior class will be contacted regarding the Campus Tours hosted by the Seniors of 2007. They are Rhonda Jones, Daniel Sue, Judd Lewis, Barbara McFaul and Larry Sandlin.
McFaul mentioned there are too few yearbooks in the high school library. Donate annuals if you have multiple sets.
There will be a link on the website for current and former school board trustees to contact Jim Collinsworth for information about pregame honors.
The planned street dance will have the same band as last time. They were well received and are available.
Charlotte McDougald will head the decoration team.
Betty Atherton will head the barbecue committee. It will be in the cafetorium.
The class coordinator will be listed as the webmaster and e-mail changes should be made. Class gathering information should be sent directly to him.
A newspaper article needs to printed soon to get information about dates and registration, committee members heard.
The city has tentatively authorized property behind city hall for bonfire use.
The Homecoming Committee still needs team leaders in the following areas; former student campus tours, pep rally, football game halftime, “Meet the Teacher,” publicity and clean-up.





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