QUESTION: Many 16-year-olds think they can’t pass the driving test if they can’t parallel park. That seems ridiculous to me. Many of our 254 rural counties have few to no parallel parking spaces. Do driving tests include parallel parking?
QUESTION: My 84-year-old-mother recently received a letter from the Gregg County elections office that said the office was trying to verify her address because she might have moved. She has been registered to vote at the same address for more than 20 years. Can you find out why she got this …
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?
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.
QUESTION: I’ve heard some houses are being torn down over by the fairgrounds off Jaycee Drive. Who is doing that and why?
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.
QUESTION: Would employees who work for the Texas Legislature be eligible to file a federal wage and hour complaint following the governor’s veto of funding for legislative agencies and staff members?
QUESTION: Can those who took the Moderna COVID vaccine take the Pfizer booster when it becomes available? Or will Moderna have a booster available? How long do you have to wait to get a booster?
QUESTION: I have been in two stores while shopping in Longview of late and noticed that non-medical dogs were in both stores along with their owners as they shopped.
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.
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.
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.
QUESTION: I don’t understand why some people come here from other countries and are here for years without trying to become U.S. citizens.
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…
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.
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?
QUESTION: When and why did the speed limit from Longview to Louisiana change to 70 from 75? I was very disappointed when I went to Louisiana today.
QUESTION: Diesels are constantly parked on the shoulder, where there's not enough room, at the entrance ramp for Interstate 20 at FM 450.
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?
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.
QUESTION: Am I required to have a city permit for a special or temporary event that is open to the public and where food will be served or sold?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Answer Line was on assignment this week. More questions and answers will return Thursday. In the meantime, enjoy these questions from previous Answer Line columns.
QUESTION: Now that the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Texas have decreased, approximately how many cases of COVID-19 that require hospitalization are Longview’s hospitals having?
QUESTION: It seems like every time I drive in Longview, I encounter some traffic obstacle generated by the work Sparklight is doing in the city. Are they free to indiscriminately reduce lanes on major roads or set up wherever they like? How long will this madness last?
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.
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?
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?
QUESTION: Is it true that Gen. Michael Flynn retired from the military to go to work as a civilian in the Obama administration? I heard he did. I don’t believe it.
QUESTION: The medical establishment has made so many operations almost routine now and we patients don't usually know what it costs. What is the total cost of a knee, hip operation or organ transplant?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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…
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.
QUESTION: I was reading an article in the April 1 edition of the newspaper about someone pleading guilty to drug trafficking before a U.S. magistrate judge. I’m not familiar with that term. What is a U.S. magistrate judge?