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Gushers & Dusters: A weekly look at what we liked — and didn't

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GUSHER: For the planned return of National Night Out events in Longview and elsewhere. The kickoff for the annual crime prevention parties was held Tuesday as a drive-thru event at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center. National Night Out is scheduled Oct. 5 after being canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns. As Longview police spokesman Brandon Thornton said, the parties are important because they connect the community with police, sheriff’s office and other agencies. Almost 40 parties already had been registered before Tuesday’s kickoff, and we hope many more are planned. For information and an interactive map of parties, visit LongviewTexas.gov/NNO .

GUSHER: For the agreement reached between the city of Longview and a local business in an eminent domain case. Longview voters approved a three-part, $108 million bond package in 2018 that included $3.3 million to reconfigure the intersection of Estes Parkway, Mobberly Avenue, High Street and Edwin Street into a traditional T intersection and extend Bostic Drive/Millie Street through to Mobberly Avenue. But that project was delayed as the city tried to reach an agreement with the owners of Novedades Lizbeth to purchase their property to make way for construction. After being unable to reach a deal, the city filed suit, and in June, two special commissioners appointed by County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Vincent Dulweber heard testimony in the case and awarded $205,000 to the Cornejo family, which owns the business. The settlement agreement awarded the Cornejos $400,000, which includes moving expenses. With this part of the process completed, the city can began accepting bids for this long-delayed project.

GUSHER: For efforts by a Longview High School student to help raise thousands of dollars and awareness for her nonprofit organization. Senior Arya Germanwala founded Simple Bare Necessities in spring 2020 to provide hygiene products to students from economically disadvantaged families and those who are in the backpack meal program, which provides non-perishable food to children each weekend. The program has provided more than 2,400 self-care/hygiene bags to Longview ISD students, Germanwala said. Each of the hygiene bags is filled with full-size shampoo, full-size conditioner, full-size toothpaste, a toothbrush, full-size deodorant and soap. In August, Germanwala organized the Race for Dignity 5K fun run to raise money to support Simple Bare Necessities, which attracted more than 40 sponsors and many participants. The event brought in more than $26,000 for the organization. Germanwala said she hopes to continue Simple Bare Necessities next year at Longview High School through her younger brother, Alec, and is working to bring the program to other school districts across the state, as well.

GUSHER: For a new nonprofit children’s choir in Longview that aims to foster a love of music. The Greater Longview Children’s Choir Association is recruiting young singers in a 30-mile radius from Longview to include Gilmer, Carthage, Henderson and Big Sandy. President and CEO Adam Martin said he wants the choir to provide “an option” for students in school districts with no choir program. Martin and Artistic Director Miranda Dolive said they also want to make the choir accessible to families regardless of their economic situation, so the registration cost is kept low. Registration continues through September, and some scholarships are available. Scheduled performances this semester include a closed concert for parents, a public concert and a performance at Longview’s Community Tree Lighting on Nov. 21 at Heritage Plaza. The choir can be reached via email at greaterlongvlewcca@gmail.com, by phone at (903) 309-2434 and on Facebook.

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— Readers are invited to nominate events as gushers or dusters. They may be emailed to lnjletters@news-journal.com or mailed to Letters, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606

Today's Bible verse

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Matthew 6:33

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