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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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Four States Retirement Group offers Solid Reasons to Consider a Fixed Index Annuity

Texarkana, USA: Carl Standridge of Four States Retirement Group considers fixed index annuity options a number one choice for people planning retirements.   A fixed index annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company in which you make a lump-sum payment or series of payments and in return, receive regular income distributions at some point in the future. This type of annuity provides protection of principal in a down market, an opportunity for growth and the interest rate is guaranteed to never be less than zero. These annuities also offer a guaranteed minimum rate no matter if the markets suffer a loss. There are several benefits of a fixed annuity in addition to receiving a steady stream of income in retirement. Many fixed index annuities offer something called a nursing home waiver to help you offset these costs and avoid any surrender penalties when withdrawing funds in these types of emergencies. Continue Reading →

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Alamo Long Barrack Undergoing Cleaning And Roof Repairs

SAN ANTONIO, TX.  — As one of the oldest buildings in Texas, the Alamo Long Barrack requires regular attention to keep the structure in its healthiest possible state. In the coming weeks, the Alamo’s preservation team will begin repair work on the Long Barrack’s roof and stone walls. During recent archaeological investigations in the Long Barrack, the preservation team discovered blisters in the roof of the Long Barrack. Cracks in the roof’s membrane have allowed moisture to infiltrate, causing parts of it to rise one foot above the existing roof. This modern-day roof, installed in 1975, is not a part of the original structure, and its unforeseen condition is covered under warranty by the company that originally installed the roof membrane in 2014. Continue Reading →

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COMMISSIONER GEORGE P. BUSH ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE 2020 SAVE TEXAS HISTORY ESSAY CONTEST

4th and 7th graders reflect on their communities’ unique history

AUSTIN — Today, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced the fourth and seventh-grade winners of the 2020 Save Texas History Essay Contest, sponsored by the Texas General Land Office’s Save Texas History Program.  The essay contest encourages students to answer the question, “What history in your community is worth saving?”

“I am proud of Keltyn and Madeline for their dedication to preserve their respective hometown history by winning this year’s Save Texas History Essay Contest. Historical preservation starts in the early years of education and these two students are setting a remarkable example to their peers on why history is so important,” said Commissioner Bush. “I am honored to read these young students’ perspectives and share with the rest of Texas their great work. I commend all finalists and thank all who participated in the contest this year. Sharing my enthusiasm for our state’s history is one of the most rewarding parts of my job as Texas Land Commissioner.” The fourth-grade grand prize winner is Keltyn Arnold of Chandler, Texas. Keltyn attends All Saints Episcopal School and is in Ms. Melissa Kirby’s class. Keltyn’s essay, Chandler’s Historical Landmark, draws attention to the childhood home of former U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough. Located in Keltyn’s hometown, the home now serves as The Chandler museum and visitor center and is filled with fascinating details about Yarborough’s life. 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
Continue Reading →

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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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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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TxDOT LAUNCHES DIGITAL HIGHWAY SIGN CONTEST

Top 3 winning messages will be displayed statewide on electronic highway signs

AUSTIN – By now most Texans have seen the informative — and often clever —  messages above Texas highways on digital message boards that encourage safer driving. Well now it’s your time to shine. TxDOT is launching a statewide Digital Highway Sign Contest to find the best and most creative safe-driving message that is related to impaired driving (drunk or drugged driving,) distracted driving (texting while driving,) not wearing seatbelts and/or speeding – the deadliest mistakes drivers make on Texas roadways. Since the majority of crashes are preventable, TxDOT uses these creative messages, which often are related to current events and pop culture, as part of an effort to encourage drivers to improve their behavior behind the wheel. 

Starting Nov. 24 and ending Dec. Continue Reading →

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