Opinion

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Update from the State Capitol

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Emergency and crisis management can be a confusing and complex process, but our local officials -- the boots on the ground -- are working tirelessly to address the crises of people in each of our East Texas counties. In heartfelt appreciation, I want to acknowledge our County Judges and Commissioners, Mayors and Council members, Emergency Management Departments, Sheriff’s Departments, non-profit organizations, churches, and so many others for the work they’ve done to help people in trouble through trying times. Thank you to the unsung heroes, Good Samaritans, and the neighbors who have stepped up for our communities in recent weeks.
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Update from the State Capitol

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People across the state are doing what they can to keep their families fed, safe and warm - all while experiencing unprecedented blackouts due to an electrical grid that failed when we needed it most. Many prepared for this historical winter storm by stocking up on food and supplies, while others are struggling to find the basic necessities. To that end, I’ve seen friends open up their homes, neighbors helping neighbors fix busted pipes, and restaurants giving food to those with no place to go. You, the people of Texas, are stepping up for your families, friends and neighbors in the most critical of times. With all the issues facing the state, none are more important right now than helping Texans get back on their feet.
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Snow, ice, single-digit temps blanket state

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Texans from Lubbock to Longview shivered under single-digit temperatures as their week began, with snow and ice creating dangerous road conditions throughout the state. Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for all 254 Texas counties and urged residents to stay alert to changing weather conditions. The Texas Division of Emergency Management deployed resources from various state agencies to prepare roadways, assist motorists, remove downed trees and perform search-and-rescue operations if necessary.
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Update from the State Capitol

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This past week, many Americans became fixated on a certain groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to tell them whether it’s going to be a long winter or an early spring. I must confess that since I was a little kid, I wake up on that day each year with great anticipation and excitement about seeing America’s favorite marmot, Phil, perform his prognosticating duties. Not to be outdone, in recent years, Texas has searched far and wide to find our own famous four –legged forecasters. If you’re not already aware, Prairie Dog Pete and Bee Cave Bob, an armadillo, are quickly developing a loyal following across the Lone Star State.
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A history of trains in Madisonville (cont.)

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The International & Great Northern Railroad (I-GN) was formed in 1873 and grew across East Texas. It rolled into Madisonville in September, 1903. A photo of many hatted men surrounding a steam engine was captioned “Woodsmen of the World greet the first train to arrive in Madisonville, Texas.” For 41 years, trains made daily trips from Navasota to Madisonville. In the beginning, the trip was made by combinations of passenger and freight cars, but later there were separate freight and passenger trains.
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Update from the State Capitol

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On January 25th, 1839, the Republic of Texas adopted the flag we know and love today: a red and white stripe with a single star set in a sea of blue. Many symbols were discussed to represent our beloved state, but I think that Lone Star meant something very special to those who created our state flag. Every state looks to Texas as the guiding star for different reasons. Our rich history of prudent fiscal policy, limited governance, personal responsibility, private property rights, and strong familyvalues are just a few of those reasons. Our Governor recently touted that Texas leads the nation in jobs, industry, energy and infrastructure. We are the best state to start a business, homeownership exceeds the national rate, and our state’s economy is the 9th largest in the world. As we celebrate the 182nd anniversary of our Texas flag, my prayer is we continue to serve as a shining star and beacon of opportunity for generations to come.