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QUESTION: Somebody told me there were UFOs or something over the Atlantic on Dec. 21 (2017), that they actually had films of them. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I haven’t read anything about it in the newspaper or in the news. If you could, elaborate on this?

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QUESTION: Is Short Street between Second and Third streets ever going to be reopened? It appears they have patched it, but it has been closed now for about six months or so. Will it ever be reopened? The “closed to thru traffic” signs are still up.

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QUESTION: This past Sunday, Aug 29., I was driving on Loop 281 and I noticed every parking space was occupied at HeathCARE Express. Usually there are about eight cars there, but they were swamped. Was it because the hospitals are swamped with COVID? Just curious.

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QUESTION: I am curious if there’s any historical information about the mansion for sale at 1210 Judson Road in Longview. Is there any history behind it, because it’s such a huge mansion and I’ve never heard anything about it in all the years I’ve been here in Texas.

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QUESTION: My question is what has happened to the two flags that have been flying on top of the VeraBank building in downtown Longview? They were just so beautiful, and they’ve been gone for a while now. I certainly miss and would love to have them back. I’m curious as to what happened.

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UESTION: Can you eat watermelon seeds? Do they actually turn into a watermelon plant in your stomach?

ANSWER: Kids have a lot of questions, and the kids in Answer Line’s life know I answer questions professionally. So, they rarely accept an “I don’t know” to the multitude of questions they lob my way.

This question is one submitted by Answer Line’s children, but it’s something I’ve heard repeated often during my 43 years, so I thought it was worth sharing

So, for everyone who has ever been told that watermelon seeds are bad for you, or that a watermelon plant will grow in your stomach if you eat the seeds — you have been misled. Yes, yes, it might have all been in good fun, but ...

Yes, you can eat watermelon seeds, and no they don’t turn into a plant in your stomach. That’s according to the Watermelon Board, a national association of watermelon growers.

In fact, I found some information arguing about the healthful benefits of watermelon seeds.

So, here’s hoping ... because Answer Line is generally too lazy to spit the seeds out when I’m enjoying watermelon.

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QUESTION: There is a two-story, cream-colored stucco building across Mobberly Avenue from the train depot and just south of the railroad. I was told that it was built to produce ice back when nearly everyone had an icebox and not a refrigerator. By the time I first knew about the building, i…

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QUESTION: Are there specific rules for how close to the street homeowners can put decorative items (yard art)? Is there a setback rule? I see mailboxes with planters, but that’s different I guess. I tried to find the information in the city building codes, but couldn’t find anything.

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QUESTION: I was calling about the road work at the East Texas Montessori Prep Academy on Marshall Avenue. I noticed a week or two ago they poured this real nice concrete median. Then a few days later I came back and they had torn it all out. I was wondering what was going on there?

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QUESTION: A couple of years ago there was an article in the newspaper about the terrible condition of the mausoleum at Grace Hill Cemetery. 

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QUESTIONS: I’m calling concerning the story about the county giving hazard bonuses. The police officers are getting $5,000 extra for the pandmeic. Why are sanitation workers not involved in that pandemic hazard pay? Are Longview police officers and firefighters also receiving the hazard pay?

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QUESTION: I love the new and old Longview trails and that all sorts of people walk them — old, young, every nationality, bikes, strollers, scooters, dogs. I wondered if they were going to put mileage markers on the new trails? So far they haven’t.

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QUESTION: The Feb. 5 New-Journal had a front page article about the Great Texas Balloon Race and how it would not be held at the airport this year. Instead, the competition flights would be held over the city of Longview instead. Have those plans changed? June 18 through 20 is not far off.

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QUESTION: What is going on with the Longview Cable TV? From the letter I received we’re going to see higher costs starting next month? Why? What can be done about this?

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QUESTION: Why isn’t anything being done about cars coming out of the Montessori school doing a left turn on U.S. 80 when it says right turn only? It’s holding up traffic, and they’re pulling out in front of people. Are they waiting for a death?

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QUESTION: I live in an area where recycling isn't available. I have quite a bunch of recyclables I need to dispose of. I'd like to take it somewhere where it won't sit outside, because paper that gets wet can't be recycled. 

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QUESTION: I live on Dundee Road, and passing drivers seem to constantly throw trash out. Sometimes, pieces of vehicles or equipment in the backs of trucks fall onto the road and nobody returns to pick it up. It's difficult to get trash picked up or to get anyone out to get things off the road. Could you please make drivers aware of this problem and ask them to stop?

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QUESTION: I've noticed one thing a lot of school districts do and somebody told me it's against Texas Department of Transportation rules: Kids sit three to a seat. That's fine for elementary schools. What happens when middle, junior high and high school students are sitting three to a seat? The third child is hanging out in the aisle. I've heard they're not supposed to block the aisle. Why do school systems let that happen? Why do school systems get away with that when they know they're not supposed to be blocking the aisles?

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QUESTION: Would you do some research on it and see if there’s a phone number to contact the IRS? We have not gotten a stimulus payment. I don’t know if it’s running late or what.

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QUESTION: I have become overrun with plastic shopping bags since I haven’t been able to use my own bags in many stores during the pandemic. I can always use a few of these, but now that Longview no longer recycles them, I’d like some suggestions on what to do other than putting the rest in t…

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QUESTION: I saw the February story in the News-Journal about how ongoing electric regulation in this area helped prevent the electricity disaster that occurred in much of the rest of the unregulated portions of the state, where people can choose their electric provider.