GUSHER: For the Junior League of Longview’s annual School Supply Train. This year’s event outfitted about 2,000 children with backpacks full of supplies for the coming school year. The event also got them looking sharp with haircuts, shoes and other necessities. In addition to the Junior League, thanks go to Buckner Children and Family Services and First Baptist Church for their roles in the effort.
DUSTER: For the latest closure of a rural hospital in Texas, which continues to have the nation’s highest rate of such shutdowns. Hamlin Memorial Hospital opened in 1948 and called it quits last week. A big reason for the shutdowns is our state’s failure to accept Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which is robbing Texans of billions of dollars they’re due and putting pressure on health care. In addition to the closures, which put more Texans’ health at risk, more than a third of the state’s hospitals are losing money.
GUSHER: For Gov. Greg Abbott’s acknowledgement that gun violence such as that seen in El Paso demands solutions. After meeting with leaders of the border city where 22 died last weekend at the hands of a racist, Texas-grown terrorist, Abbott and other state leaders are planning discussions of legislative strategies. We are hopeful that, unlike the last time he convened such meetings, Abbott does not back off from commonsense measures to keep guns out of the hands of those who present a danger to themselves or others.
GUSHER: For Gregg County Pct. 4 Commissioner Shannon Brown organizing training intended to reduce accidents among road and bridge crews. The simulator-based training, which has been offered statewide for several years, can eliminate wrecks and keep county costs down.
DUSTER: For the August heat. Though it’s not uncommon for our area to be gripped by high temperatures and even higher heat indexes at this time of year, such conditions can be deadly. We are grateful for the shelters that open doors to all comers to give our homeless population a place to escape the dangerous heat. And we’ll try to keep our focus on the fact fall football weather is just around the corner.
GUSHER: For the Guthrie Creek Trail, Phase 1 of which opened this week. Longview’s extensive and growing trails system is an important contributor to quality of life in our city, and continuing construction of the trails enhance mobility and provide opportunities for recreation. Guthrie Creek Trail is being built by the city’s parks department with a big assist of funding from the Longview Economic Development Corp.
GUSHER: For an effort to make the Boy Scout Troop 201 cabin at Teague Park a local historic landmark. As a part of the living history of the troop, which may be the oldest in the state and that counts Gov. Greg Abbott among its alumni, the cabin is certainly worthy of the designation and the attention to conservation it could bring.