Columns/Opinions

Wed
08
Jul

Governor’s order mandates wearing of face masks in public

Governor’s order mandates wearing of face masks in public

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on July 2 issued an executive order to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus while keeping Texas as open as possible for business.

With few exceptions, the order requires all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases.

Abbott also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people and mandating that with certain exceptions people cannot be in groups larger than 10 and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.

“We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another — and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces,” Abbott said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed
01
Jul

Amelia Earnhart's SOS heard in the Panhandle

Amelia Earnhart's SOS heard in the Panhandle

In the wee hours of Jul. 3, 1937, a woman in Amarillo listened to missing aviator Amelia Earhart’s desperate radio call for help from halfway around the world.

This would be the last of the many connections of the “Queen of the Air” to the Lone Star State.

At the time of her disappearance, Amelia was one of the best known and most popular members of her gender in the United States second only to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. But fame and fortune did not drop into the risk-taker’s lap by accident.

 

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Wed
01
Jul

Governor’s order restricts alcohol-serving establishments

Governor’s order restricts alcohol-serving establishments

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state to slow down the reopening process for bars and other venues as coronavirus-related infections, hospitalizations and deaths continued to increase in Texas last week.

“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars."

Abbott ordered bars and other state-licensed establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages to close at noon on June 26, but allowed them to continue offering delivery and take-out services until further notice.

 

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Wed
24
Jun

Governor, education commissioner say that schools will open in the fall

Governor, education commissioner say that schools will open in the fall

AUSTIN — While COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, case counts, hospitalizations and deaths increased last week, more and more Texans ventured out of their homes with the deadly coronavirus showing no sign of abatement.

Gov. Greg Abbott recently renewed his COVID pandemic disaster declaration for all counties affected by the disease. Even so, Abbott and Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on June 18 sounded a hopeful note, saying schools would resume normal operations in the fall. "It will be safe for Texas public school students, teachers and staff to return to school campuses for inperson instruction this fall, but there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses," said Morath, adding that detailed guidance would be issued soon.

Wed
17
Jun

Governor promises action to family of George Floyd

Governor promises action to family of George Floyd
Governor promises action to family of George Floyd

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to institute police reforms when he met with the Houston family of George Floyd, who was handcuffed and killed by police in front of a Minneapolis convenience store on May 25. Video footage showed the 46-year-old Floyd subdued by four uniformed officers and pinned down on the pavement, one of them pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd lost consciousness and was later pronounced dead. Outrage over Floyd’s death and other policeinvolved deaths of African-Americans inspired protest marches in cities across Texas, the United States and around the world over the last three weeks.

Wed
10
Jun

Storm preparations begin while the state continues to battle COVID-19

Storm preparations begin while the state continues to battle COVID-19
Storm preparations begin while the state continues to battle COVID-19

AUSTIN — As Tropical Storm Cristobal moved north in the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula toward Louisiana, the weather system’s potential impact on East Texas grew and Gov. Greg Abbott on June 5 addressed the situation in a news conference.

Abbott said preparedness is the key in any hurricane season. He added that the Texas Department of Emergency Management and a roster of state agency departments, local responders and FEMA were ready. Meanwhile, he said, the state's ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 also continue and East Texas residents in particular should be extra mindful of both threats.

Cumulative figures posted June 6 by the Texas Department of State Health Services showed that some 74,978 people in Texas had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 1,830 deaths resulting from the virus pandemic had been confirmed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed
03
Jun

Proclamation allows more services, activities to resume

Proclamation allows more services, activities to resume
Proclamation allows more services, activities to resume

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on May 26 issued a proclamation giving the green light to more services and activities in a second phase of the state's plan to reopen from mandatory pandemic closures.

The Phase II proclamation allowed water parks to open beginning May 29 on condition that the venues limit occupancy to no more than 25% of normal capacity. However, components of water parks that have video arcades must remain closed. Also, starting May 31, recreational sports programs for adults were allowed to resume but games and similar competitions must wait until June 15 to resume. Driver education programs can resume operations immediately.

Food-court dining areas in shopping malls were allowed to resume operations immediately, but malls are encouraged to designate one or more individuals responsible for health and safety practices on premises, including:

Wed
27
May

State of Texas enters second phase of reopening plan

State of Texas enters second phase of reopening plan
State of Texas enters second phase of reopening plan

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on May 18 allowed restaurants to increase occupancy to 50% and relaxed his earlier executive orders that limited certain other public activities over the last two months to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Reopenings, Abbott said, must adhere to restricted occupancy levels and minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Notably, public schools have the option to provide in-person summer school so long as they follow social distancing practices and health protocols laid out by the state health department. Classes may begin as soon as June 1.

"I ask all Texans to continue heeding the guidance of our state and federal medical experts and do their part to protect public health. If we all unite in our resolve, we will overcome this challenge," Abbott said. The full list of guidelines, openings and relevant dates is available at gov.texas.gov/opentexas.

 

 

 

 

 

Wed
20
May

Texas bolsters efforts to reduce the spreading of COVID-19

Texas bolsters efforts to reduce the spreading of COVID-19
Texas bolsters efforts to reduce the spreading of COVID-19

AUSTIN — Testing, sanitizing and emergency food benefits increased as Texas entered its third month of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement concerning an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Amarillo, where more than 700 cases were reported on May 16. The report came after the governor's Surge Response Teams conducted site surveys and testing in high-risk areas, including meat-packing facilities in the Amarillo area. Two more weeks of testing would be conducted in high-risk areas, Abbott said.

 

 

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Wed
20
May

Local bayou yielded a 115 lb alligator snapping turtle

10 Years ago

May 20, 2010: Vidor ISD Trustees voted to end the practice of paying high-ranking administrators for their accrued leave when they retire from the District starting next school year.

Orange County first responders have finally raised the $50,000 in donations to become a chapter of the charitable organization the 100 Club of Southeast Texas.

15 Years Ago

May 19, 2005: Forty year old Rodney Ray Revia, Jr., picked up his three children from Vidor school and purportedly had a shotgun with him on Thursday afternoon. He was found inside his residence and was talked into coming out and surrendering himself. No one was injured. The latest round of sales tax rebates brought more good news for the city as Vidor recorded its fourth straight month of growth compared to 2004.

 

 

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