GUSHER: For the addition of facilities in Tyler to test for COVID-19, and in hopes state and federal officials are moving quickly to add more testing capacity. We were disappointed to learn this week the new lab for East Texas will be able to test only about 25 patients a day from our region. The lack of testing is a major hole in the U.S. approach to coronavirus. Closing that gap must be a priority.
DUSTER: For the many ways coronavirus is adding uncertainty in our daily lives. One big way is the economic pain it is causing here and across the nation. Of most concern to us is the steady decline in oil prices, which will translate to job losses and business slowdowns across East Texas. The virus isn’t the only factor driving down prices, but it is making the situation more difficult.
GUSHER: For a plan by Republic Services, supported by Gregg County officials, to invest as much as $6 million in its facilities near Kilgore over the next three years. Commissioners court approval clears the way for the waste management company to use tax-exempt bond financing for the work in Gregg County and other locations.
DUSTER: For state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, who gave his first interview since announcing his retirement from the House, and still failing to show the slightest remorse for the turmoil he caused Texas government and the Republican Party. He said he was sorry for the way he handled the meeting that led to his political downfall, but not for tossing fellow Republican lawmakers under the bus as part of attempted deal-making.
DUSTER: For news Neiman Marcus plans to sell its Longview distribution center, which was the first tenant in the Longview South Business Park way back in 1994. We understand the Dallas-based retailer’s need to reorganize its business, but not the uncertainty it’s causing the 275 people who work at the center.
DUSTER: For Mark Lee Dickson, who continues to mislead the leaders of small East Texas towns to pass ordinances declaring themselves sanctuary cities for the unborn. This week, he got the elected leaders of Waskom to double down on the ordinance they passed last year by amending it to remove exceptions for rape and incest. Like the original ordinance, the amended version is meaningless under federal law, which makes abortion legal.
GUSHER: For the lessons taught and legacy left by Anup Bhandari, who died this week. His lovely and colorful artworks could be overshadowed only by one thing: his own great humanity, his genuine caring for all he met and his strong desire to help those in need. What a great example he set for all of us. Rest in peace, Anup, and thank you for all the beauty you gave us.