GUSHER: For steps toward a Gregg County solution to ease parking challenges in downtown Longview. A county-appointed advisory committee will plan how to use recently acquired property south of the Gregg County Courthouse to address a longtime parking shortage, and possibly to house some courthouse functions.
DUSTER: For the generations-long land dispute that has left three Gregg County military veterans homeless. We will not weigh in on the the long-running property dispute, but are ashamed our government so poorly cares for veterans like these. We’re pleased to know there are individuals and organizations like the ones trying to help these three. It’s a shame they have to.
GUSHER: For Longview businessman Cole Tomberlain being named the Outstanding Young Alumnus by Stephen F. Austin State University. After graduating in 2010, Tomberlain returned to Longview to join his family’s insurance and real estate business and serve the community. The university also named Michael Calbert, who was raised in Tyler and Longview, as a Distinguished Alumnus. He recently retired as a partner with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
GUSHER: For Sen. Bryan Hughes being named to lead the Senate State Affairs committee. The appointment by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is a promotion for Hughes, who previously served as vice chairman of the committee, which has broad authority in oversight and management. Congratulations, senator.
DUSTER: For a second-straight annual increase in the number of Texans who are uninsured, and the fact Texas politicians have tools at their disposal to help but refuse to do so for political reasons. Texas is the nation’s most uninsured state, and one of 14 that has not expanded Medicaid, a move that would provide coverage to low-income people.
GUSHER: For two downtown businesses being named finalists for the Texas Downtown Association’s President’s Awards. R. Lacy Inc.’s handsome headquarters addition and renovation project is a finalist in the new construction category, while Oil Horse Brewing Co. is in the running for best downtown business. Both are already winners in our book.
DUSTER: For whatever led Tim Vaughn to commit the bank fraud that landed him a yearlong prison sentence. Vaughn, a former White Oak mayor, former chairman of the Gregg County Republican Party and who has been associated with many other worthy organizations, must have faced great financial difficulty to resort to such shameful acts. We hope he realizes the error of his ways and finds the help he needs.
GUSHER: For the BADG-R, a robotic goose chaser developed by LeTourneau University students to keep golf courses free of honkers. It’s programmed to detect and chase the Canada geese that often find golf greens and fairways a comfortable resting place, but who disrupt golfers and create a mess. Such hands-on engineering to solve real-world problems is a hallmark of the education provided at LeTourneau.