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CARTHAGE — The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Show has canceled its upcoming John Ritter Showcase Auditions and Hall of Fame Show, planned July 11 and Aug. 6-7, respectively, because of the recent spike in coronavirus cases and Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to add new restrictions.

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The order requires "all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions," according to Abbott's office.

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Former Lone Star Mayor Karl Stoemer headed south Wednesday afternoon toward Longview to shop for the makings of his own pyrotechnics show, and stopped at a Fantastic Fireworks trailer off U.S. 259 and Bar K Ranch Road.

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Gregg County COVID-19 cases jumped by 16 on Wednesday as neighboring Smith County saw a rise of 36 new cases.

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Texas’ COVID-19 case levels continued skyrocketing Wednesday as the state soared past 8,000 new infections in a single day for the first time. It was also the second deadliest day of the outbreak with 57 new deaths reported, bringing the total confirmed number to at least 2,481.

A group of 19 business and education organizations in Texas — including the Texas Association of School Boards — have come together to urge state leaders to take more action with a task force before reopening public schools in the fall.

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As the Texas GOP presses ahead with plans for a July convention amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the state’s largest medical group Tuesday urged the party to reconsider before Republican activists flock to Houston, which has become one of the nation’s most troubling hot spots.

KILGORE — A crowd gathered Sunday afternoon at The Machine Shed Bar & Grill on Texas 31 in Kilgore to support that bar and one in Longview that lost its liquor license Friday when the owner refused to obey Gov. Greg Abbott's orders for all bars in the state to close to stem to resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

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Vice President Mike Pence, during a trip to Dallas on Sunday, promised Texas would bounce back from a recent surge in cases of the coronavirus while urging Americans to turn to their faith during a tumultuous period for the nation.

As the coronavirus pandemic engulfs Texas’ metropolitan areas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has left the door open for massive indoor gatherings. And organizers are moving forward with some big ones, including the Texas Republican party’s upcoming convention in Houston.