GUSHER: For goal-beating donations to Salvation Army red kettle campaigns in Longview and Tyler this Christmas season. The gains came despite a calendar-shortened giving period after a late Thanksgiving. We never weary of lauding the generosity of our East Texas neighbors. Thanks to all who dropped change, wads of bills and even big checks into the kettles this year.
DUSTER: For what could have been a deadly mishap on the Loop when a possibly mismarked or unmarked gas line was hit by a crew drilling to install fiber optic cable. The outcome was bad enough, with late morning and lunchtime traffic halted and diverted in one of the city’s heaviest-traveled areas.
GUSHER: For the reminder from Karnack ISD fourth-grade teacher Amy Faucett that an encouraging word and compliment is positive medicine. She welcomed students back to her classroom after Christmas break with personal messages written in dry erase marker on each desk. What a great reminder to all of us to be kind and gentle.
DUSTER: For those who drank to excess and got behind the wheel over the New Year’s holiday. An early look at the legal fallout showed at least eight drivers were facing Gregg County charges related to drinking and driving. Others were charged with public intoxication and violation of open container laws. We support celebrations, but always in moderation — and always with a designated driver.
GUSHER: For plans in the works to update and renovate the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. The downtown jewel is due for a little polishing both to keep up with other revitalization downtown and because it sees itself as the cornerstone of the Longview Cultural Arts District. It’s raised nearly $500,000 toward an estimated price tag of $800,000. If you can help this worthy cause, please do.
DUSTER: For a continuing shortage in the Northeast Texas blood supply. Though area groups and businesses have stepped up with blood drives and good-natured challenges, we learned Thursday that donations still aren’t sufficient to ensure a sufficient supply in the area. Please, consider donating if you’re able.
GUSHER: For the preservation of history and tradition by the Longview Fire Department in its relocation of a brass fire pole to a station being renovated and enlarged as part of a bond issue approved by city voters in 2018. The pole from old Station No. 3 on Mobberly Avenue — a local historical landmark — will find new life at Station No. 7 on Gilmer Road.
DUSTER: For the loss of business being suffered by firms displaced by an early morning fire that gutted a downtown commercial structure. Good news is that early indications are the fire is accidental, and no one was hurt. But those firms that lost their place of business are in our thoughts: TA&T Finance, F&S Finance, Pig Trail Inn, Clayton Credit, Guys and Gals salon and Desert Tanning Co.
GUSHER: For the individuals, businesses and organizations that stepped up with donations of items needed for outreach bags to be distributed this month during the city’s annual Homeless Resource Day. After a call for help was publicized by the News-Journal and elsewhere last month, Longview stepped up and filled the need, as it always does. Thanks to all who gave; you make us proud to call Longview home.