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

GUSHER: For Kristina Wyman, a teacher at Hallsville Intermediate School, and Tammie Evans, a teacher at Carthage High School, for receiving Teacher of the Year honors from the Texas Association of School Administrators. Both were honored as tops in Region 7 for elementary teaching and secondary teaching, respectively. The Tyler ISD board of trustees was picked as the region’s top board, and Christopher Moran of Whitehouse ISD is superintendent of the year. Region 7 includes 17 Northeast Texas counties.

DUSTER: For whomever is behind a possible voter suppression effort hitting Gregg County voters this week. Some voters have reported to county elections officials they’ve received text messages questioning whether they’re registered to vote. We hope none of those receiving the messages text back, but instead inform law enforcement and election officials. Not sure you’re registered? Just call your county elections office, or visit the state Secretary of State’s website.

GUSHER: For Twitter banning political ads ahead of the 2020 presidential election. That will help lower both the temperature of discourse and the amount of misinformation propagated through social media by campaigns and outside forces. Unfortunately, Facebook has taken a different tack, saying it not only will continue to take paid placements from politicians and political groups, but that it’s OK if they contain false information. That’s shameful, and it should follow Twitter’s lead.

DUSTER: For the fact Texas students continue to lag their counterparts in other states in reading and math scores. The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress found Texas fourth-graders’ scores in reading and math didn’t improve in the past two years, while scores for eighth graders in math also were stagnant and reading actually got worse.

GUSHER: For an out-of-court settlement in a lawsuit that had kept a group of Longview nurse practitioners and midwives from practicing locally since earlier this year. Details are sketchy on the deal between the providers and Dr. Yasser Zeid, who was keeping them from practice after they left his practice. But it’s good news for the providers and their patients.

DUSTER: For increases in deaths blamed on domestic violence in East Texas and across the state. The disturbing data came during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, and reinforced the fact we still have work to do here and elsewhere. Statewide, the number of women killed by domestic violence was up 28 percent in 2018 from a year earlier, to 174. The number in the six-county Longview-Marshall area was up by one, to four in 2018 from three in 2017. Including male victims, domestic violence was blamed for 211 deaths across Texas in 2018.

GUSHER: For the successful opening of Marshall’s Memorial City Hall Performance Center, which is a new jewel both for the city and our region. The renovation project celebrated with an opening night concert by Marcia Ball — herself a Texas treasure — marked the completion of an estimated $4.5 million project that began in 2006. The center is a beauty, and the lineup for its opening season is a knockout. Hope to see you there.

— 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

“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.”

— Psalm 95:2-3

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