What you might have missed: June 12-14
June 15, 2015 at 7:35 a.m.
Updated June 15, 2015 at 7:35 a.m.
Diversity was on display downtown. Texas Sen. Kevin Eltife's announcement that he will not run again for his seat set off a series of political possibilities. Youngsters were introduced to live theater. Talent was on display at Lobo Stadium. We remember the animal victims of a recent tragic fire. Did you tune out this weekend? Here's some of what you missed in East Texas:
Diversity celebrated at LGBTQ fest
Rain slowed then stopped as the second annual LGBTQ Pride Festival got underway Saturday at Heritage Plaza in downtown Longview.
District 2 Councilwoman Nona Snoddy read the much-debated resolution from Andy Mack, who was out of town, declaring June as LGBTQ Pride Month in Longview.
The proclamation itself drew a standing-room only crowd to a Thursday Longview City Council meeting, and our online story from that meeting has drawn more than 160 comments from those in support of again in opposition to Mack's declaration.
Jay Hilburn, a member of Tyler Area Gays, praised Longview during the Saturday celebration.
"I wish that Tyler was more accepting," he said. We're trying to catch up with Longview."
RELATED: Gay issues becoming church topics
Northeast Texas Sen. Kevin Eltife announced this past weekend that he will not seed another term, and that set off a chain reaction of possibilities in the political realm for our area. Here's a rundown:
- Our state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, is planning to run for Etife's seat. He's been working on those plans for more than a year.
- Longview's most recent former mayor Jay Dean is planning to formally announce a bid for Simpson's District 7 seat "shortly."
- State Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, said Sunday he would formally announce his candidacy for Etife's seat today.
- Thomas Ratliff, who recently announced he would not seek re-election to the State Board of Education, said Sunday he was discussing a bid for the Senate with his family.
- Dennis Golden, a Carthage optometrist, also plans to run for the seat.
You can get all the details in Glenn Evans' story today.
Youngsters on Saturday received an introduction to live theater in a Longview World of Wonders program with actors from the Texas Shakespeare Festival.
"Do you guys ever play pretend in your rooms?" an actor intern asked the group, earning enthusiastic assent from the 19 elementary aged boys and girls. "That's basically what we do, except we get paid for it — sometimes."
Football talent on display
High school football was back at Lobo Stadium this weekend as all kinds of talent showed out during the annual Chick-fil-A Heart of a Champion Bowl. As Hayden Henry wrote in his story, the game wrapped up a weekend of athletic competition featuring the best of East Texas.
The Blue squad won 17-10 over the Red squad, but for fans of high school football, the real winners were in the stands.
Don't forget, we're having our inaugural ETVarsity Best Preps awards ceremony tomorrow night at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center. We'll be honoring all kids of student athletes from East Texas. Still need tickets? You can get them right here.
Freestanding emergency rooms
Stand-alone emergency rooms have saturated larger markets in Texas and, Jo Lee Ferguson tells us, are now setting their sights on smaller markets.
Separate organizations have announced plans to build two freestanding emergency rooms in Longview this year. When they're completed, the city will be home to five emergency rooms, including two operated by Good Shepherd Medical Center and one by Longview Regional Medical Center.