Friday, December 15, 2017

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Answer Line: We ask and Longview public works just gets it done

Nov. 16, 2017 at 12:03 a.m.

QUESTION: Is there any way to make the intersection at Fourth Street and Loop 281 safer? Twice this week I have been stopped at the red light in the left-hand lane heading south. Both times the person beside me in the right-hand lane has pulled over into the left-hand lane I am occupying, seemingly oblivious that the right-hand lane they are in continues across the intersection.

ANSWER: Now, this is some kind of service from the folks in the city's public works department. Public Works Director Rolin McPhee looked into your concern when I asked him about this and told me he noticed there is a slight offset for the southbound lanes of travel. His office determined it would install an "Advance Intersection Lane Control" sign for southbound traffic. That sign shows a right-hand turn lane, two lanes that proceed through the intersection and a left-hand turn lane. Oh, and it's already in place in a couple of locations near the intersection.

A LITTLE MORE ON LAKEPORT: I wrote a few weeks about the origins of Lakeport, and after that a couple of sweet readers, Wilson Dickson of Kilgore and Bev E. Brown of Carthage, contacted me with a little more information about that area. (The two men are distantly related by marriage, with their families' history tied to the land in the area around present-day Lakeport.)

With the help of some maps and other documents I found in the local history room at the Longview Public Library, and some that Dickson showed me, I learned this: Way back in the 1800s, around the Civil War era, a placed called Cotton Plant was located southwest of the Texas 322-Texas 149 intersection. (I've also seen the name written as Cotton-Plant.) There was at one time a post office in Cotton Plant, and it was home of one of several ferries that operated in that area over the years. Steamboats also operated along the Sabine River in that area, carrying cotton, for instance.

Of course, Lake Cherokee is nearby, and Dickson recalled another small lake or pond in that area that was known as "Clear Lake."

I haven't found anything directly connecting all of these things to the selection of the name "Lakeport," but it's easy to see the area has long been associated with one port or another, just not in the way we think of it today.

Q: Who's counting?

A: Me! I'm counting, and today is my sixth and final chemotherapy treatment. I'm going to need all of you to stop where you are and do a happy dance. That's what Answer Line did this morning on my way to get hooked up to those super-fun cancer fighting drugs. I'm super-excited to close this chapter of cancer treatment and move on to radiation in the coming weeks.

Again, thanks to all of you who have been so sweet and encouraging in the past few months. I'm thankful that my thank you note list is a long one.

— 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.



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