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TRAHC, INC. Responds to Updated State Guidelines

Texarkana, TX:  In response to Governor Abbott’s announcement to reopen Texas businesses and lifting the mask mandate effective March 10, 2021, Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council Senior Staff, Board President, and designated Board Members met to discuss current protocols and potential impacts of the upcoming changes to public facilities and events managed by the organization. 

            Overall safety of our staff and general public is of the utmost importance to TRAHC, INC./PTMC, while still providing entertainment and cultural development opportunities in premier facilities for our community.  After much deliberation, the decision was made to continue social distancing at the Perot Theatre and Regional Art Center, sanitize frequently touched surfaces, and encourage frequent handwashing or sanitizing. We highly encourage following current Center of Disease Control guidelines that include the above recommendations and wearing a mask but will no longer require the general public to wear masks in the Regional Arts Center, Arts on Main at Stewart Title, and Perot Theatre.  To encourage continued safety, masks will still be available upon entry of any building managed by TRAHC, INC and hand sanitizing stations are placed in high traffic areas of the buildings.             We will continue to watch Covid numbers in our area, evaluate patron and attendee responses, and modify policies as guidelines are updated to ensure safety compliance and continued community support.  Any questions or concerns may be addressed by contacting Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council at 903-792-8681 or Perot Theatre at 903-792-4992. 
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Texas Teachers Now Eligible for COVID Vaccine

TEXARKANA, TX—The Texas Department of State Health Services announced today that teachers in Texas are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. According to a memo released by DSHS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directed states yesterday to expand vaccine eligibility to include people who work in school and child care operations. As stated in the federal directive, this includes:

“those who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.”

In light of this federal directive, all vaccine providers in Texas are directed to immediately include these personnel in vaccination administration. This action does not change the other groups prioritized for vaccination in Texas, and facilities are encouraged to continue your efforts to vaccinate older adults since the burden of COVID-19 falls so severely on people ages 65 and older. Locally, Texas DSHS has reported 23 new Bowie County cases since yesterday for a total of 4,578 positive COVID-19 cases, and 2,004 probable cases with 183 deaths. Continue Reading →

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Governor Abbot’s Executive Order and Texarkana, Texas

TEXARKANA, TX—Governor Greg Abbott announced today that the statewide mask mandate will be lifted, and Texas businesses will be allowed to operate at 100% of capacity after COVID-19 cases appear to be trending downward. His new executive order, EO GA-34, will go into effect next Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Local health authorities and the Bowie County/Texarkana Emergency Operations Center urges you to continue practicing healthy habits to protect our community against COVID-19. These practices include frequent hand washing, social distancing, sanitizing of heavily touched surfaces, and wearing face coverings when needed. Locally, Texas DSHS has reported 180 new Bowie County cases in the past three weeks for a total of 4,555 positive COVID-19 cases, and 1,990 probable cases with 181 deaths. Continue Reading →

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2021 Arbor Day Tree Giveaway

TEXARKANA, TX- The City of Texarkana, TX and the Texas A&M Forestry Service will partner together for their 7th annual Arbor Day tree giveaway on Saturday, March 6th.  The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Spring Lake Park across from the Rotary Splash Pad and will extend until all trees are given away. Members of the City of Texarkana, Texas Planning and Community Development Department, and the Texas A&M Forest Service will be on-hand to help give away 1,000 bare root seedlings. The public is invited to participate in the tree giveaway, however, due to COVID-19 those interested in obtaining trees will be asked to stay in their vehicle and a volunteer will bring the trees to you. The tree species have been carefully researched by a certified arborist and varieties were selected that are adaptable to Texarkana’s climate. Available species may include cherry bark, bald cypress, and sawtooth oak. Continue Reading →

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Genoa Central Schools Go Virtual from February 8-12 Due to Quarantine

Genoa – Genoa Central announced all schools would have virtual school until February 16. The district reported around 5 p.m. today that cafeteria staff have been quarantined. The District followed up with notifications to the middle school that items needed such as Chromebooks may be picked up Monday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition the high school students needing hotspot access can come to the high school office between 7:45 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The district-wide alert did not indicate if any staff had tested positive for COVID. It is not unusual for districts to take precautions with quarantines of staff or students to ensure continued safety of all students. Continue Reading →

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Chamber Set to Recognize Accomplishments of the Community on January 28 Livestream

The Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a live stream Annual Celebration on January 28, 2021, at 1:30 PM. The virtual event will be streamed on the Chamber’s YouTube and Facebook pages. 

Platinum sponsors are Farmers Bank & Trust, Norton, Wood & Floyd, Texarkana College, and Cooper Tire. “The Chamber and the Texarkana community worked hard throughout 2020. We want to recognize the individuals and organizations that stayed positive and persevered,” said Mike Malone, president of the Chamber. Presentations will be made by the Chamber president, Economic Development Council, Greater Texarkana Young Professionals, the Chamber Ambassadors, the 2020 chairman of the Chamber Board, Joey Martin, and the 2021 chairman, Jennifer Harland. Continue Reading →

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HOMELESS COUNT & ANNUAL BRIDGE CITY SET FOR JANUARY 28 & 29

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TEXARKANA, Texas – The Texarkana Homeless Coalition (TXKHC) will conduct its annual Point-In-Time (PIT) homeless population observational count on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 902 W. 12th Street, Texarkana, Texas. On January 29, 2021 TXKHC’s Bridge City Project Chili Cookoff will be held starting at 5:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. at 316 Hazel Street in Texarkana, AR 71854, in front of the Salvation Army shelter. The annual Bridge city Chili Cookoff challenges members of the community or organizations to enter their best chili in a chili cook-off competition. To register for the annual Bridge City Chili Cook-Off 2021 visit at www.txkhc.org or https://www.facebook.com/events/122176533081933

Every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all homeless coalitions to count the number of homeless individuals by the last week in January. The PIT count offers insight into understanding our local homeless population, their current needs, and provide data to secure future funding for programs that combat homelessness. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Water Utilities Continues to Adjust after Cyber Incident

TEXARKANA, USA– Texarkana Water Utilities is still recovering from the cyber incident suffered on Sunday, December 6th, 2020.  We know this is inconvenient and we apologize. We have experienced a disruption to our normal processes and are working diligently to find solutions for the network issues we continue to experience. While the rebuild and restore mission is in progress, we feel fortunate that none of our customers have suffered an interruption to service delivery. Please remain patient as we work to get everything back online.  

Currently the process for billing has been altered, and this has created some confusion among customers. In an effort to streamline billing and payment while we deal with ongoing issues, please consider how you can stay up-to-date on your TWU account.  

Customers did not receive a physical or electronic bill for December, and many auto draft payments were not processed.   Customer service agents are unable to view account records and process certain types of payment currently. Customers WILL need the name on the account, the service address and if possible the customer account number to make a payment.  TWU strongly encourages their customers to continue making an estimated monthly payment until the billing process is restored. Continue Reading →

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CHAMBER SELECTS NEW LEADERS

The Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce has selected Jennifer Harland, as the 2021 Chairman of the Board.  Jennifer has been active in the local Chamber in projects and committees including Government Affairs, Economic Development, membership programs, as well as serving on the Board of Directors.  She is active in the community, including the Workforce Investment Board and ARTEX-REDI board.  Additional new officers for 2021 are Stephen Mayo, Mayo Furniture, as Chairman-Elect; James Bramlett, Farmers Bank & Trust, as Treasurer; Tom Gilbert, Wadley Regional Medical Center, First Vice Chairman; Joey Martin, Professional Staffing Services as immediate past chairman; and Michael Malone, Chamber President, as Secretary. The Board of Directors of the Chamber are: Glen Boles, CHRISTUS ST. Michael Health System; Debbie Broussard, Flowers Baking Company, Texarkana; James Carlow, Texarkana Tractor; Ron Copeland, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company; Brian Daugherty, Flying Burger & Seafood; Uri Gevu, Texarkana Twins, LTD; Dr. Becky Kesler, Texarkana Arkansas School District; Michael Malone CCE, Chamber President; LaTonya McElroy, BCSFM Solutions; Robert Nelsen, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (retired) & Past Chairman’s Council; Fred Norton, Norton, Wood, Floyd Attorneys and Counselors at Law; Scott Norton, TexAmericas Center; Chad Pirtle, Pleasant Grove Independent School District; Robert Sanderson, Commercial National Bank; Russel Sparks, Hightech Signs & Greater Texarkana Young Professionals; James Tidwell, Red River Army Depot; Tina Veal-Gooch, Texarkana Independent School District; Tammy Waters, Domtar – Ashdown Mill; and Justin White, Guaranty Bank & Trust. Ex-Officio members include Mayor Allen Brown of Texarkana, Arkansas, Mayor Bob Bruggeman of Texarkana, Texas, and Mayor Robert Bunch of the City of Nash.  The Chamber presently has a professional staff of Michael Malone, CCE, President; Robbin Bass, Director of Business Retention & Expansion; Natalie Haywood, Director of Events & Communications; Laura Lile, Director of Finance; Lindsey Woodson, Partner Information Coordinator; and Hannah Wren, Director of Partner Development. The Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce represents over 800 businesses, organizations, and professionals in the greater Texarkana area.  The Chamber has been active in community development, government relations, business development, membership services, and tourism for over 101 years.  For additional information on the community, economic development, and membership, contact the chamber at 819 North State Line Avenue, Texarkana, Texas; 903-792-7191, or www.texarkana.org. Continue Reading →

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Girls Basketball Team Shines With Act of Love

Opinion: On December 8, the girls of Chapel Hill High School Basketball team showed the world the true meaning of sportsmanship and love which goes beyond a game of basketball.  When the game whistle blew the designated tip-off player refused to jump for the tip.  As the Bowie Simms Girls Team took possession of the ball, the Chapel Hill player calmly walked toward her teammates in the corner of the gym where they were kneeling in respect.  Bowie Simms easily made the layup and opening point at which time the Chapel Hill team rejoined the game.  This simple act of respect and honor caused an immediate response.  In the stands, the Chapel Hill and Bowie Simms fans all understood the symbolic gesture made by Chapel Hill.  Immediately a standing ovation was given by both sides of the gym. 

On November 7, Bowie Simms lost one of their high school players to a tragic car accident.  Devastated by the loss, the team canceled their scheduled November 13 game with Chapel Hill as the Bowie Simms team and community mourned.  At Chapel Hill, the team followed the updates, prayed, and received word from Coach Matt Garrett on how the community was holding up. 

Coach Matt Garrett has coached girl’s basketball teams to four state championships.  Needless to say, he knows basketball, and he knows sportsmanship as it’s an important part of his life.  Coach Garrett in reference to the girls’ actions, stated, “there are times that there are things bigger than the game of basketball.” 

Garrett says his team wanted to accomplish two important things by kneeling in the opening moments of the game.  They wanted to honor the grieving family, school, and community first.  They also wanted to use the moment to show other students the meaning of respect and honor above the game. 

Sometimes older generations worry about the future. We worry if the younger generations will rise and be the type of leaders and adults our nation needs. Well, the girls of Chapel Hill Basketball team just showed the world that it is going to be okay.  By showing compassion, love, and respect that goes beyond good sportsmanship, they transcended into outstanding young adults.  With young people like this team from Chapel Hill school in the small town of Mount Pleasant, Texas, coming to age as young adults, we can rest assured the future is in great hands. Chapel Hill Basketball Team Takes a knee
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