GUSHER: For state Rep. Travis Clardy, who was named Legislator of the Year by the Texas Municipal League. His work defending local decision making is known to be even more important since the release of a recording in which House Speaker Dennis Bonnen is heard saying he wanted to make this year’s legislative session, and the next one, the worst ever for Texas cities and counties. Clardy’s defense of local governments earned him a spot on Bonnen’s repugnant hit list, a spot the Nacogdoches Republican should wear as a badge of honor. Thank you, representative.
DUSTER: For Longview ISD’s handling of a “firing” that quietly became an administrative leave and future resignation. When the district was hit with complaints about problems tied to its transportation plan early this school year, it said Transportation Director Dale Bohannon had been fired in response. Now the News-Journal has learned that changed after he filed a grievance. That means Bohannon is not fired, and in fact remains on the district’s payroll.
GUSHER: For the ArtsLongview Task Force, whose work led to the designation of a 342-acre chunk of central Longview as a state cultural arts district — the only such district in our area. The group led by Chairwoman Nancy Murray spent nearly two years pulling together the plan, which was celebrated last week with the largest-ever downtown ArtWalk. The designation is one that should increase all residents’ pride in our city, and increase tourism and growth. Bravo!
GUSHER: For the team of LeTourneau University engineering students who won first place in the Engineering World Health competition for creating a device that can help people in developing countries detect iron deficiencies in their blood. The work is unique in what it accomplishes, but lands on a long list of examples of the hands-on projects that make up students’ unique learning experience at the Longview university.
DUSTER: For the trail of shuttered polling places statewide as Texas heads into early voting for the Nov. 5 constitutional election. A new state law has upended a trend toward expanding access to polls in our state. Making it harder to cast ballots is always the wrong move, and this is a Bonnen-backed law that should be revisited.
DUSTER: For whomever is behind School Spirit, a company trying to improperly capitalize on the high-riding Longview Lobos by selling ads to businesses for a bogus Lobo football program. Only firms that are associated with Longview ISD or its booster clubs are approved to sell such promotions. Before buying ads, promotions or contributing funds, contact the school to check it out.
GUSHER: For efforts to better market East Texas Regional Airport for possible development. Area officials led by Longview Economic Development Corp. are working toward receipt of an AEROready certification, which could help put the 900 acres of land at the airport on the radar of firms looking for such locations. Up, up and away!