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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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Perot Holiday Traditions has entertainment for all ages

TEXARKANA, TEX- The Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council, City of Texarkana, TX, and Texarkana Arts & Historic District are partnering with the Perot Theatre to present the 3rd annual Perot Holiday Traditions on December 19, 2020. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and Frozen will play on the largest indoor movie screen in Texarkana at 10:00 a.m. with a repeat of the short film Olaf’s Frozen Adventure along with Frozen II at 2:00 p.m. Festivities on Main Street, including Santa Claus, food trucks, and vendors, will be available from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. in front of the theatre. There is a 100% chance of snow all day on Main Street!

Thanks to the support of daytime movie sponsors, Snow Developments and Kinetic by Windstream, and returning event sponsor, Farmers Bank & Trust, ticket prices are $6 for the daytime movie package. The City of Texarkana, TX will offer hot chocolate and hot apple cider to festival attendees, served from the back of an antique fire truck.  Vendors will line the street for last-minute holiday gift shopping and food trucks will be on-site to grab a bite to eat between movies.  

In consideration of COVID-19 safety protocols, changes have been made to ensure attendees feel comfortable and safe.  In lieu of the craft table, prepackaged craft bags will be distributed to children. Santa Claus will be on-hand to offer a safe photo opportunity, and the event space has been expanded and modified to allow more room for social distancing. Staff will sanitize surfaces in and out of the theatre regularly throughout the day. Continue Reading →

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Perot Theatre is Going Frozen!

The Perot Theatre is going frozen for the 3rd annual Perot Holiday Traditions on December 19, 2020.  Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and Frozen will play on the largest indoor movie screen in Texarkana at 10AM with a repeat of the short film Olaf’s Frozen Adventure along with Frozen II at 2PM.  Festivities on Main Street, including Santa Claus, food trucks, and vendors, are from 12PM-2PM in front of the theatre.  There is a 100% chance of snow all day on Main Street! Thanks to the support of daytime movie sponsors, Snow Developments and Kinetic by Windstream, and returning event sponsor, Farmers Bank & Trust, ticket prices are $6 for the daytime movie package. The City of Texarkana, TX will offer hot chocolate and hot apple cider to festival attendees, served from the back of an antique fire truck.  Vendors will line the street for last-minute holiday gift shopping and food trucks will be on-site to grab a bite to eat between movies. 

In consideration of Covid-19 concerns, changes have been made to ensure attendees feel comfortable and safe.  In lieu of the craft table, prepackaged craft bags will be distributed to the younger ticket holders.  This modification will allow children to still create a memorable craft but without the risk of sharing supplies with others.  The Santa Claus experience will also be different than years past but will allow a safe interaction with Santa and offer a great photo opportunity.  The event space has been expanded and modified to allow more room for social distancing and staff will sanitize surfaces in and out of the theatre regularly. 

The nostalgic atmosphere begins at sunset with a horse-drawn carriage at the theatre from 5PM-7PM.  It’s a Wonderful Life ticket holders receive a complimentary ride in the gorgeous carriage.  The movie starts at 7PM, so arrive early to experience your carriage ride without being late to the movie.  Tickets for the evening movie, including the carriage ride, are $6 per person thanks to our event sponsor Farmers Bank & Trust. 

All of these holiday festivities will take place in or around the historic Perot Theatre at 221 Main Street in Downtown Texarkana with the support of Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council, Perot Theatre, City of Texarkana, TX, and Texarkana Arts & Historic District. 

Call the Box Office at 903-792-4992 to purchase your tickets.  Seating is reserved due to distance seating guidelines. 
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Update on Ransomware Computer Attack in Texarkana

TEXARKANA, USA—On Sunday, December 6, 2020, the Texarkana Water Utility’s Information Technology Department noticed suspicious activity on the network that serves Bowie County, and the Cities of Texarkana, Arkansas, and Texarkana, Texas. While this is still a developing situation, there are a few facts that can be confirmed:

The network serving these entities was attacked by ransomware. It is unknown how long the ransomware was on the network before it was detected, but it has been confirmed that it existed prior to Thursday, November 26, 2020. There was a data incident, but at this time there is no evidence that personal information has been compromised. There will not be an interruption to water services as a result of this event. There is an ongoing investigation into this matter, and to protect the integrity of that process, some information will not be released at this time. The process of repairing PCs and systems is ongoing. The scope of this event is not yet understood.

Additional Information: Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. Ransomware typically spreads through phishing emails or by a victim unknowingly visiting an infected website. Often ransomware will show instructions for how to pay a fee and obtain a decryption or access key. Continue Reading →

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Package Theft Suspects

Texarkana, AR – On December 8th, 2020, the Texarkana Arkansas and Texas Police Departments received several 911 calls in reference to package thefts in local neighborhoods. The Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department developed information that a black male in a White Nissan Titan truck was traveling through neighborhoods removing delivered packages from residences.

At 3:00pm, TAPD received a 911 call of a package theft in the 2800 Block of Union Road, with suspect information that matched earlier developed intelligence. TAPD Officer Jacob Montoya located the suspect vehicle and attempted a traffic stop at the intersection of Union Road and Line Ferry Road.  After failing to stop for police, a vehicle pursuit ensued and ended safely in 4800 Block of Old Blackmon Ferry Road. 

TAPD located several stolen items inside the vehicle.  Two suspects, Damien Crooks, 40 yoa, and Joy Lantrip, 34 yoa, both of Texarkana, were arrested and charged with felony fleeing, theft by receiving, and criminal mischief. If you have not received your packages and believe you have been the victim of a theft, please call 911 to report the incident. Continue Reading →

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Mystery Clean Up Man Gains Cheers in Fouke, Arkansas

“Fouke Mystery Clean Up Man”

Fouke, AR: The Facebook group “Fouke are cheers and jeers” came alive on social media yesterday due to a mystery man on 71. A simple “Cheers to this man for cleaning up 71” was posted, followed by dozens of comments. Comments ranged from “That’s awesome,” to “on Main Street” and “He has gone from the EZ Mart all the way down Main Street…Bless him.” One person even suggested the mystery man deserves an award. In a time when the trash is easily tossed out the windows of moving cars or dropped by people without any regard for how it makes a town look, it’s refreshing to find someone cleaning up for no reward. Continue Reading →

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