What you might have missed: July 11-13
July 13, 2015 at 8:02 a.m.
Updated July 13, 2015 at 8:02 a.m.
Longview police go grassroots. Hundreds shot skeet to raise funds. Balloons began flying over town. Crowdsourcing worked for a veterinarian. A mainstay nightclub will become two venues. Did you tune out this weekend? If so, here's some of what you missed in East Texas:
Longview police go grassroots
Police Area Representatives have been patrolling the streets on bicycles in an effort to be move visible and build relationships with the people in the neighborhoods they pass through.
"We've definitely been in the neighborhood encouraging residents to (start crime watch groups)," Police Area Representative Jeff Hall said. "And any kind of relationship we can build with the businesses, with apartment complexes and with the citizens would be greatly beneficial to the police department."
Read more in the story by Ellen Goodacre.
You can also check out an interactive map of the homicides this year in the city by clicking here.
Shooting for a cause
Hundreds of people beginning on Thursday and carrying into the weekend were taking aim at sporting clays to benefit Buckner Children and Family Services.
The shootout consisted of a junior clay shooting tournament Thursday; a Twilight Shootout and silent auction Friday; and the Early Riser Shootout, auctions and raffle Saturday.
The tournament provides 60 percent of Buckner's operating budget.
Balloons are back in town
Whether you love 'em or could leave 'em, balloons were again in the skies over and near Longview this weekend. On Saturday, nine pilots took off from near Lakeport to fly over Lake Cherokee. The flight was meant so pilot Kinnie Gibson, who is on hospice and lives at the lake, could see the balloons flying over from his home.
On Sunday, about eight balloons took off from the Kilgore airstrip and flew northeast. The first target was off of FM 2087. Here's some video of the pilots nearing that one:
The U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship is back in Longview for its final time this year, beginning with the first official flight July 21. Those pilots will be joined by the Great Texas Balloon Race pilots on Friday, July 24.
If you'd like to get involved, there are still plenty of ways. Race officials still need plenty of volunteers to help crew for pilots. I helped crew on Sunday, and it is a lot of fun. Call Sherry Parrish at (903) 331-1439 if you're interested.
Volunteers are also needed to help with the Wells Fargo Advisors Stagecoach balloon. The balloon is one of the largest in the world, and it will inflate Friday morning in front of the business' new office and Friday and Saturday night during the festival at the airport. If you're interested, call Jim Tachias at (903) 235-6506.
In case you're on the fence, here's a video from several years ago that I still really like:
A big boost for Kimbrough
A fellow veterinarian on Friday gave Dr. Kenneth Kimbrough a big boost after his clinic was destroyed by fire June 9.
Ken Glaze on Friday brought Kimbrough a $25,000 check raised in GoFundMe accounts Glaze set up to help Kimbrough keep his 19-member staff working.
Also, you'll likely be glad to know, the two boxers that survived the fire — Daisy and Rosco — are now doing great.
No more Graham Central Station
Jo Lee Ferguson tells us in this week's Business Beat that the site of Graham Central Station in Longview will be renovated in the coming weeks into two new venues — Electric Cowboy, a country and western-style nightclub, and a Lone Star Ice House restaurant.