QUESTION: On top of the VeraBank in downtown Longview, they’ve got the two flags up there on top of the building, but the Texas flag has not been flying for several weeks. I was just wondering why the Texas flag was taken down? It’s a beautiful sight to see those two flags flying.

ANSWER: They are beautiful, aren’t they? Don’t worry. The Texas flag will return.

VeraBank Marketing Manager Robin Gibson told me the cable that holds that Texas flag is frayed.

“We did not want to risk the cable breaking and the flag falling,” Gibson told me in an email. “Once the cable is repaired the Texas flag will again fly high above Longview downtown!”

Q: Is Nealy Way a city street or a private drive (in reference to the city awarding a contract to erect a traffic signal at Nealy Way and Loop 281)?

A: City Engineer Alton Bradley said Nealy Drive was constructed by the developer and then dedicated to the city as a public street. The developer is Future Frontiers, which is led by Wade Johnson of Johnson and Pace Engineering in Longview,

“The developer, Future Frontiers, LLC, entered into an agreement with the city to provide the signal and intersection improvements at Loop 281 and Nealy Drive,” Bradley said.

The work is being performed by Reynolds and Kay, of Tyler.

TAX ASSISTANCE FOLLOW-UP: A few weeks ago I told y’all it was uncertain as to whether the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program would be able to operate in Longview this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides free tax preparation generally for low-income and elderly people.

Local coordinate Don Martin let me know Friday, though, that plans for the service to return to Longview have been approved beginning March 1 by reservation. He’ll start taking reservations Feb. 22. Call (903) 238-3523.

The program will be offered 12:30-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday at Wesley-McCabe United Methodist Church, at 1115 S. Mobberly Ave. People who participate in the program should park at the rear of the church by turning on Myrle Avenue and then enter the church through the covered drive-through area. They also should bring a copy of their Social Security card, photo ID and previous year’s tax return.

Martin said participants will be given a packet of information to fill out, which they will fill out in their vehicles and then bring back inside. They’ll also wait in their vehicle while the tax prepares work. The process should take about 30 to 40 minutes.

Just as a reminder, there are other options available for tax help as well.

For information about the Greater Longview United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, visit the “Free Tax Preparation” link on the Greater Longview United Way website at or call (903) 236-9211 to make an appointment. Taxpayers also may complete their own taxes free of charge by visiting .

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— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.