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Debate on Confederate Monument in Texarkana Has Increased Petition Drives

Currently at least three petitions are running online concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument in downtown Texarkana

Texarkana, USA: At least three petitions are currently online concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument near the federal courthouse and post office. One petition calls for the monument to be removed and placed in a museum for study and history, a Texas side petition calls for the monument to remain, and a third is for Arkansas side residents requesting the monument to stay. The petition from Black Lives Matter Texarkana has requested that the monument be moved to a museum, cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried or in another area out of the “public square.” The petition is being prepared to be presented to the City of Texarkana, Texas. The petition also recommends a possible plaque to be placed at the monument’s current location to show historical context. Continue Reading →

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Peaceful Demonstration at Confederate Monument in Texarkana

Supporters and opponents to the Confederate Monument met in downtown Texarkana this evening. Texarkana, USA: Texarkana saw those wishing to remove the Confederate Monument and those wishing to keep it meet in a peaceful demonstration by both sides. Although voices were raised from time-to-time by both, overall the meeting appeared to open discussion. There were several signs stating “Leave it alone” and several stating “Remove it”. Supporters argued that it is not a “racist” monument while opponents pointed out the slavery history of the Confederacy. Continue Reading →

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Monument Gains Support to Stay

Texarkana Confederate Monument from Wikipedia

The Confederate Mothers Monument in Texarkana is gaining support on social media to remain in downtown Texarkana. Texarkana, USA: A local veteran women’s group has stirred historians and citizens alike in both Texarkana, Arkansas, and Texas to the rallying cry “Leave it alone,” and “Let it stay” on social media. Over a week ago, the Texarkana Gazette ran an article indicating that there will be a march in protest of the Confederate Monument on June 19th. A local veteran women’s group planned the march and discussed the issue with the paper for the article. The Four States News ran a brief review of the history of the monument and the viewpoint of both sides on June 17. Continue Reading →

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Yes, We Are Opening, But Should We Have Ever Closed?

Opinion: For the most part, there are two camps in the opening debate running across the United States.  One camp says, “Open.”  The other camp, maybe a little too obvious, says, “Don’t Open.”  The arguments each way can go on for hours.  Some say it’s too soon; others say it should have been done sooner or we should never have closed, and still, others say open now.  Let’s face it: there is no consistency, nobody knows the long term outcome one way or the other, and without businesses in operation, we will continue to spiral financially out of control. The Consistency Factor –Since the start of the pandemic, each Governor, mayor, county, or parish judge, and in some cases small-town groups have been in charge of deciding what gets shut down and what does not.  In some states, churches seemed to be the first target to shut down, but craft stores were left open.  In other states, sections of stores were closed off or hours were cut while in some states the entire store was wide open.  Many argued that there were more people at the local mega-sized shopping center than there would have been at the small-town church.  Orders ranged from no closure of churches, to complete closure with a ticket if anyone even set foot on church property.   This lack of consistency, and in some cases, extreme measures unseen in other parts of the country, caused many Americans to feel their rights were being trampled.  Let’s face it, trample our rights, and we Americans get upset.  The argument is sound – if Mississippi closes all churches, even parking lot meetings in cars, but Texas leaves all churches open, how is that fair?  Is COVID-19 transmission less in Texas than in Mississippi?  Even in the local area of Texarkana, one side of the border had a curfew, while the other side had a shelter in place.  Regardless of which measure you supported, the lack of consistency could be seen across the street.  

Without consistency, we cannot exalt the extreme hashtag of #AllInThisTogether because to be blunt…we are not, or at least we are not equally in this together.  Imagine if, during WWII, there had been no consistency in air raid responses in the United States.  What if one town decided when an air raid sounded, they would turn off their lights, but another city decided they would not?  Imagine if those towns were as close as Texarkana, Texas, and Arkansas.  What would have happened in Texarkana had an air raid been real, enemy planes flew over to bomb, and Texarkana, Texas had all lights on while Arkansas was dark?  We would have all suffered because of the lack of consistency.  The lack of consistency has undoubtedly hurt us in a period that we really needed to be “All In This Together.” 

The Nobody Knows Factor –The last major pandemic to have such a sweeping impact on the United States ended in December of 1920.  The Spanish Flu spread and dominated the world from roughly January of 1918 through 1919.  It was still be tracked in places as late as the December 1920 date, which causes debate still as to how long it lasted.  Regardless of how long it lasted, those people that dealt with that pandemic from a government point-of-view are long gone.  Our current generation has no idea what the long-term outcome is going to be for COVID-19.  We could have a vaccine and pull out in a month, or it could be years of COVID-19 sparking up in areas around the world.   We do not know if opening today makes a difference or if opening up six months from now would make a difference.  We do not know if closing made much of a difference at this point, although numbers do seem to be rising since the opening phases started.  Overall though, we will not know the outcome of opening up right now until years from now.  We will study history and science behind this pandemic, and at some point, likely many years from now, there will be a verdict on the actions we take today.  That future review will indicate that we either made the right choices or the wrong choices.  Hopefully, that information will be used should there be a future pandemic.  Whatever the outcome is, we will have 20/20 hindsight vision, and right now, we have no idea what that 20/20 vision is going to show us. The Without Business Factor- Business makes the world go around.  It always has, and it likely will always make our societies function and thrive.  Without business, no money is made.  Without money, at least for our society now, nobody can pay for anything from food to shelter or utilities.  You don’t work, and you don’t pay the electric.  The electric company doesn’t get paid, and they cannot pay workers or keep plants running.  Those people at the plants do not get paid, and they cannot pay their bills.  So goes the cycle.  Also, in that vicious little cycle is a thing called taxes.  If you don’t work, you don’t pay taxes.  You do not pay taxes, and then the government does not have money.  While we may all marvel at the idea of not paying taxes, we must also accept the consequences of not paying taxes.  Without taxes, you have no educational money, Medicaid, Medicare, Police, Firemen, road repairs, new roads, military, state parks, federal parks, rules or regulations on utilities or limits on what they can charge, no city government, county government, state government, or U.S. government.  While some of that list may not worry many of us, the fact is while you’re not working, and the government has no income, it ultimately will not be able to pay your unemployment benefits.  So without business, failure sets in on a governmental level that will eventually affect all of us. It only takes a few minutes to scan the news, and you will find incidents of the government already suffering from a lack of tax revenue.  Naturally, elected officials made the hard and difficult decisions in many states.  They did not cut their salaries or benefits they felt are essential…no.  The first cuts announced were education – grants, loans, funding for schools, etc. – the next area was Medicaid – funding for healthcare for seniors, disabled people, poor, etc.  Please make no mistake, without business functioning, society as we know it will continue to break down.  Grocery prices will continue to soar, unemployment will continue to rise, and ultimately the government will continue to make cuts that will eventually affect you and me.  The business factor simply means we have to have the business open to move forward. Continue Reading →

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Online Tool Takes Comprehensive Look at COVID-19’s Toll on Texas

DALLAS, TX: Texas 2036 launched a comprehensive COVID-19 online dashboard that presents critical health and economic data in one easy-to-visualize format — both statewide and for all Texas counties currently reporting COVID-19 data — giving Texans a daily snapshot of how the pandemic is affecting Texans’ lives and livelihoods. Texas 2036 created the dashboard to distill the best available data into an easily understandable format for state leaders and the public. Texas 2036 consulted with medical experts at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin to spotlight the most important information about the pandemic. “Every decision in a crisis is critical, and the weight of those decisions highlights the importance of data. Toward that end, our team at Texas 2036 stepped forward to bring the best data possible into the conversation to help reopen the Texas economy safely and to monitor the health and economic impacts as we take incremental steps,” said Texas 2036 Founder Tom Luce. “With the cooperation of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas 2036’s data team produced this unique tool, which we will continue to improve and revise. Transparent, accessible tools like this dashboard will help guide understanding and action on the difficult choices and opportunities facing Texans as we fight this unpredictable, deadly virus.” Continue Reading →

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Four States News Rolls Quietly Over 6000

The Four States News Website (fourstatesnews.us) reached 6000 published post late Friday afternoon. As six press releases and other updates went out Friday afternoon, the Four States News quietly marked number 6000 for post and pushed beyond. To the reader at large, it went by completely unnoticed, but to me, as I sat in front of the computer screen and reviewed the posts and updated, it stood out as a tremendous accomplishment aided by too many people to thank. Steve Oglesby conceived the idea for the Four States News and rolled out the publication in October 2013. It was a time when online publications were just starting to take hold and provide credible news and information. Continue Reading →

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Local Stone Fabricators Help Meet Needs for Local Hospitals

Texarkana, AR – A local company is stepping up to do its part to help our medical community during this unprecedented time. Stone Studio, a stone fabrication company located in historic downtown Texarkana, is using its fabrication equipment to create aerosol protection boxes for local hospitals. The boxes, made of plexiglass, are designed to help healthcare professionals intubate individuals being treated for COVID-19. “The Governor reached out to manufacturers asking for help, and initially I wasn’t sure what we could do,” said owner Dustin Hughes. “But then I saw a plexiglass box and thought, ‘my team can make those!’ I reached out to a friend who works in the ER to see if it would be useful and his reply was – how soon can we get them? Continue Reading →

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Joint Operations Center Bowie & Cass County/City of Texarkana, TX 4-23-2020 Update

TEXARKANA, TX—Bowie County Emergency Operations Center reports a total of 89 positive COVID-19 cases, with 40 recoveries and six related deaths. Cass County has a total of 15 with 7 recovered. 

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Bowie County (as of 4/23/20)Total Cases in Bowie County89Ages (Bowie County Cases)0-19220-291330-391740-492050-591460-691470-79980+ 0Gender (Bowie County Cases)Male 43Female 46              Deaths    6  

For a more detailed report, please visit www.coronatxk.org. The EOC is working with local healthcare providers to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, including patients hospitalized and recovered. More data will be reported as it becomes available. Many calls have been coming in to the EOC seeking clarification regarding the Governor’s statements over the weekend regarding “opening Texas back up”, and while officials and authorities in Texarkana are anxious to do that, it is important to remain cautious at this time. Continue Reading →

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54th annual Austin Trail of Lights Powered by H-E-B Announced for Dec. 10-23, 2018

Austin, Texas’ most vibrant holiday winter attraction is back for its 54th year; announces activities, event calendar and more

 

AUSTIN, Texas:  The Trail of Lights Foundation today announces dates for the 54th annual Austin Trail of Lights, powered by H-E-B, running from Monday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018 in Austin’s beloved Zilker Park. Since it began in 1965, the Austin Trail of Lights has grown into one of the city’s largest events, attracting an average of 400,000 people from all over the state and country per year. Every holiday season, Austin’s iconic Zilker Park is transformed into the Trail of Lights with more than two million lights, 65+ displays, 30 food trucks, three entertainment stages, 50 private holiday parties and interactive experiences throughout the park. Last year, the Austin Trail of Lights was recognized as a Top 10 lighting or holiday event by USA Today, Yahoo and Southern Living and was deemed the second largest event in Austin, according to the Austin Business Journal (2017). Continue Reading →

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Regional Christian Methodist Evangelical Convention held at Texarkana, Texas Convention Center

TEXARKANA, TX- Approximately 350 members of approximately 70 CME churches in the region converged on Texarkana for the East Texas CME Convention this week. Reverends, wives, missionaries, youth and children were among the attendees who filled up the Hilton Garden Inn and held their worship services, church business meetings, and conducted training at the Texarkana, Texas Convention Center. Pastor Van Williams is the planner for the state of Texas CME conventions. “This is our third time hosting our annual conference in Texarkana,” he said. “This staff has set the standard for hospitality and service with their accessible location, modern amenities and stellar customer service.”

The conference began as guests arrived on Tuesday, July 10th and finished up Saturday, July 14th. Continue Reading →

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