DUSTER: For the arrest of a Gregg County constable on multiple charges. Pct. 2 William “Billy” Mayo Fort, 54, of Longview first was charged with driving while intoxicated after police arrested him Tuesday morning on Gilmer Road. A charge of retaliation later was added after police said Fort threatened an officer at the Gregg County Jail, telling the officer, “I should have loaded my M16 in my Tahoe and emptied the clip on y’all,” according to court documents. If the charges are proven true, it’s disappointing and inexcusable behavior from an elected official.
GUSHER: For a new program at a Longview ISD middle school that aims to help close reading gaps experienced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Judson STEAM Academy’s Bounce Back Reading Club is an elective class for students struggling with reading and only is offered through a recommendation from a teacher. Reading Specialist Patricia Duck told us when the school year began, Principal Melanie Pondant expressed the need for the program and showed concern for students who were falling behind. She added that it’s already showing results. The learning losses caused by the pandemic are widespread, and programs such as the one at Judson are great ways to get students back on track.
GUSHER: For a donation by a local quilting group sure to bring smiles to clients of Heartisans Marketplace in Longview. The Country Patches Quilt Guilt recently gave 10 quilts to Heartisans, a nonprofit organization that provides job training and other services to homeless and other underserved women. The quilts will be given to women who have graduated from Heartisans’ program and moved into apartments the organization is planning to build at its Gilmer Road campus. “As soon as we have the apartments up, then every apartment will have a quilt. Every bed,” Heartisans CEO and founder Julee Rachels told us. “And it’ll be (the woman’s) quilt.” To support Heartisans programs, visit its store at 3501 Gilmer Road in Longview
GUSHER: For a new partnership between Christus Health and Texas A&M University’s College of Medicine that officials say will be a boon to East Texas patients. The university now is the academic affiliate for the Christus Good Shepherd Internal Medicine Residency program in Longview, which graduated its first class in 2015. As officials with Christus Health told us, the benefits for the Longview program are numerous, including new access by Christus doctors to Texas A&M research as well as more efficiency, as the university already was involved in other health system programs. We look forward to more top-notch doctors training in Longview in the future.
GUSHER: For the exposure given to one of the Longview area’s culinary gems. PBS’ “The Daytripper” series recently visited Brigitta’s Hungarian Restaurant in Kilgore to spotlight the food of owner Mike Brigitta. “The Daytripper,” hosted by Chet Garner, follows Garner and his crew as they visit towns across the state to explore the food, culture and stories of folks who live here. Our message to Garner: The Longview area is full of people and places worthy of your show, so come back soon. Watch episodes of “The Daytripper” at thedaytripper.com, and for information about Brigitta’s, go to facebook.com/hungarianrestaurant .