News Flash. That high-speed rail meeting scheduled for Feb. 5 will be held at the Kimbro Center on the square. That’s right. Go early to find a parking place.
Naturally, a lot of folks in our county could be affected negatively by the high-speed rail should it take land they do not wish to sell. The company behind the bullet train says they won’t need our taxes but they will need a lot of land. It might also disturb country lifestyle and means of making a living. Some ranchers are concerned about their livestock and if that is a problem it could affect grocery prices, thus affecting those living in town as well.
Flip that coin and plenty of others see this bullet train as a positive way for future transportation, an asset for you when traveling between Dallas and Houston, even the addition of jobs. I question the need for that one since almost every business in Madisonville say they can’t find help, including us.
Already the Federal Railroad Administration has approved a path for the train which crosses Madison County, so attending the Monday evening meeting might be a good thing if for no other reason to get a good look at the maps.
The public hearing presentation begins at 6 p.m., but you can look at the exhibits and talk to staff prior to the presentation.
•How about some birthdays? First, a belated happy birthday to Matthew Barrington, whose birthday was Jan. 26, and to Michael Barrington Sr., whose birthday Jan. 29.
This week, happy birthday to Noemi Dimas, whose birthday is Wednesday, Jan. 31. Beverly Plumlee celebrates her birthday Feb. 2 and Lola Hardy will do the same Feb. 4.
Leigh Ann McWhorter’s birthday is Feb. 5, while her mom Karen McWhorter will celebrate her birthday Feb. 10. Winding out this week’s birthday list is Billy Walters and Bonnie Hendrix whose birthday is Feb. 7.
Got birthdays, anniversaries in your family? Why not share them? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (936) 348-6541. Spell those names for us, though. We learned years ago that the name Ann can be spelled several ways.
•Here’s what’s going on ‘around our town.
Hats off to the Madisonville Salvation Army volunteers. The big-hearted local bell ringers were Katherine and Sidnie Smith, Karen Bradford, Vivienne Chambless, Noon Lions Club, Madisonville FFA, MHS FCCLA, Girl Scout Troop 9504 and the Prosperity Bank Junior Board Members. Also hats off to Becky Blair who worked diligently during the Christmas Holidays to get those bells ringing in our county.
These volunteers donated their time to put on those Salvation Army red aprons and get to work no matter the weather. By continuously ringing that bell they encouraged us to help those less fortunate.
And we did. Madison County residents donated more than $5,000 to the Salvation Army during the Christmas Holidays.
The best news of all is that the monies raised through the local campaign remain here, with us, in Madison County. Programs help families and needy individuals with emergency food, housing, utility assistance and other needs.
•Madisonville Christian Fellowship has welcomed Joshua Schwarz and wife Peggy to lead the congregation. Shwarz was previously the youth pastor for the church so he’s familiar with his new congregation and they with him. Madisonville Christian Fellowship is located on Highway 21 West past Bucees on the left.
•Don’t forget if you are one of those who can give blood, drop by the parking lot of Madisonville Care Center business building, 412 Collard St., Feb. 2, from 12:30-5 p.m. and roll up your sleeve. With so many illnesses that prohibit donating and with drug abuse, you are become a rare individual.
•Now of course, Friday, Feb. 2, is the all-important Ground Hog Day. We will know then whether it’s six more cold, cold weeks or sunny weather on its way. Research says his percentages are as good as the weathermen, so you might want to pay attention.
•And one more reminder to that Feb. 2 is the date for the annual Madison County Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Got your tickets yet? Call the Chamber office at (936) 348-3591 to reserve your seats or table for this year’s banquet.
•Saturday, Feb. 3, is when the North Zulch Fire Department will be host its second annual Chili-gumbo Cook-off. Besides enjoying some great tasting eats you’ll be helping the Fire Department.
•Earlier this year North Zulch Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tony Clay was interviewed by KBTX and shared that a goal was to continue to grow the 19 member volunteers and to build a new fire department. Your attendance Saturday will help that goal.
•Then comes Monday Feb. 5, the high-speed rail meeting. Remember, that meeting is at the Kimbro Center now.
•Sally Kankey will be hosting a Jewelry Sale Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the CHI Madison St. Joseph Hospital Gift Shop. Time is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and guys, you might want to pick up a little something for your honey for Valentine’s Day.
Then you can drop back by the CHI Madison St. Joseph Hospital Gift Shop the following Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, and pick up some home-made goodies. All kinds of homemade cakes, pies, chocolates and other candies will be available starting at 9 a.m. Don’t wait too long. They usually sell out before lunch.
And while we’re on the subject of sweethearts, have you got a sweetheart of a daughter? Granddaughter? Niece? Then take her to the annual Father/ Daughter Dance for young ladies from preschool to eighth grade and show her how the good guys take care of their dates.
Why not sneak out the back door, ring the front doorbell and pick up your date for the evening? Open the car door for her and teach her to wait for you to do it again in the church parking lot. Then twirl her around on the dance floor. Of course, it’s more tempting to stand on the sidelines and talk with other men and she will probably be giggling with a group of others her age, primarily because she doesn’t know what to do. But you do. This is her night and it will always be a memory. You can make it a good one.
By the way moms, get those cameras ready. You won’t want to miss one picture, even sneaking in the door to catch the look on her face on the dance floor. The Father/Daughter Dance will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Wesley Hall of First United Methodist Church.
•Coming Feb. 16-17 is the annual Madisonville First Baptist Church Women's Ministry. This year’s theme is “The Heart of the Matter" and will be presented by speaker Jacki King in the church’s Family Life Center.
Check in is at 5 p.m. Friday night followed by dinner. Then Saturday a continental breakfast and luncheon will be served Cost for the meals is $20. Interested? Call the Madisonville First Baptist Church office, (936) 348-2686 by Feb. 14 for registration information.
•Condolences to the family of elementary school art teacher Sandra Dodson who passed away last Friday, Jan. 26. Services were held Monday at First Baptist Church.
Sandra is survived by her husband, Bob Dodson; four daughters and their families as well as her mom Sarah Mills, three siblings, 13 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
And finally, Valentines, a day to celebrate love. Perhaps the late Martin Luther King offered an excellent mantra for that. It was he who said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
The month to celebrate love is a good time to plant King’s words around us — on the fridge, the visor of your car, taped to the bathroom mirror. Statistics have proven that mantras really do affect our outlook and our actions.
One thing is for sure; King was right. Love really is worth sticking to because hate really is too great a burden to bear.