Category Archives: Schools

Stories and posts about schools in the local area.


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GILMER–Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler announced Monday he will not seek re-election to a fifth term, and that he is considering running for the 115th district judge’s seat being vacated by retiring longtime incumbent Lauren Parish.

“At the end of my current term, it will be time for someone else to serve as county judge,” said Fowler in a press release. “I know the voters of Upshur County will elect a person with conservative and fresh ideas that will continue to move the county forward.”

Fowler was initially elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 as a Democrat, but converted to the Republican Party and was re-elected as a GOP candidate in 2010 and 2014. Having taken office effective Jan. 1, 2003, he will serve through Dec. 31, 2018.

Fowler, who has maintained a private law practice in Gilmer, wrote that with Parish’s announcement she will not run again, “an attorney from Upshur or Marion County will have some big shoes to fill” (a reference to the fact that voters in those two counties elect the 115th district judge, who must be an attorney). “I personally want to continue serving our citizens in some capacity and will seriously be considering running for judge of the 115th District Court.”

Under state law, Fowler cannot formally announce his candidacy for the district judge’s post before Dec. 3 without forfeiting his current office. However, he can say he is merely considering running for district judge without giving up his current post.

The upcoming Republican and Democratic primaries for the district judgeship, county judge’s post and certain other county offices is scheduled March 6. The general election for those posts is in November 2018.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of this great county and I am grateful for the strength and support they have given me over the last fifteen years,” Fowler wrote. “I also want to thank the many commissioners I have served with on the commissioners court and all of the elected officials and county employees I have had the opportunity to work with and will continue to work with on a daily basis.

“Upshur County has seen remarkable growth and transformation over the last fifteen years,” the judge added. “That growth and transformation is due, in large part, to our citizens, our elected officials and our dedicated county employees. It has been gratifying to be a part of it and to have served with them all.”



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ETCOG Board to Vote on $46.6 Million Budget, Hear Legislative Update from Representative Jay Dean

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95th Semi-Annual Board of Directors Meeting Held in Upshur County
Next Week

East Mountain – The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) will host its 95th Semi-Annual Board of Directors Meeting on Thursday, September 28, at Arabella Manor in East Mountain, TX, located at 11361 TX-300 from 11:45 am to 2:00 pm. In addition to regular business of considering the FY 2018 $46.6M budget (available upon request), this year’s event will also include a legislative update from Texas House Member, Representative Jay Dean of District 7.

The meeting includes other business items such as election of new Executive Committee members; recommendations for Executive Committee Officers; approval of a resolution clarifying the voting membership of the Piney Woods 9-1-1 district, discussion and approval of the FY 2018 Budget; presentation of the Chairman’s Service Award; and recognition of the Chairman’s service.
ETCOG’s Board of Directors is comprised of elected officials representing the ETCOG membership of cities, counties, special districts and school districts in the 14 county East Texas region. You may view an agenda for the Board of Director’s Meeting at For more information, contact ETCOG’s Executive Director, David Cleveland at (903) 218- 6423.

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Gladewater Economic Development Corporation Announces Sunbelt Manufacturing Moving Operations to Gladewater

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Gladewater Economic Development Corporation (GEDCO) is pleased to announce that it has finalized an agreement with Sunbelt Manufacturing to move its operations to Gladewater, Texas.

Sunbelt Manufacturing creates ready-made and custom-sized canvas and stretched frames, along with screen-printing frames for artists and silk-screening companies throughout East Texas and across the country.

“We look forward to growing our business and becoming a part of this welcoming community,” said Pat Conner, founder and president of Sunbelt Manufacturing. “Our experience working with GEDCO couldn’t have gone better. We were in the process of buying some property to build on when Robert Johnson, Executive Director at GEDCO, showed us two existing buildings that suited our needs perfectly. It saved us time and money. GEDCO really took care of all our questions and concerns and made the process a positive one.”

Sunbelt purchased the GEDCO-owned building and property located at 101 S. Pine Street in Gladewater and signed a three-year lease for the adjacent property and warehouse with an option to buy. Conner hopes the warehouse will open up new opportunities and enable his company to reach its full potential. Sunbelt also plans to increase its workforce by nine employees or more over the next five years.

The GEDCO incentive package provides up to $40,000 in incentives to assist the company with moving costs, equipment upgrades/installation and ensuring the buildings are up to code.

The company plans to hire and buy locally, and a number of other Gladewater businesses have already benefitted by the addition of Sunbelt Manufacturing, from G & L Safety, a safety equipment supplier, to Gladewater hardware stores. Plus, many of the city’s annual events, such as The Gladewater Main Street Art Stroll, East Texas Gusher Days and the Gladewater Arts and Crafts Festival, may benefit from partnering with Sunbelt Manufacturing.

“Sunbelt Manufacturing is a very good fit for the Gladewater community, and we are proud to have played a role in supporting and facilitating this agreement and finding the right solutions for their needs,” said Robert Johnson. “Gladewater is a great place to do business, whether you’re looking to move locations, expand your current operation or create a brand new business.”

Sunbelt Manufacturing is currently in the process of moving into its new spaces, and an official Gladewater Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony will be announced at a later date.

About Sunbelt Manufacturing
Founded in 1982 and family owned-and-operated, Sunbelt Manufacturing creates ready-made and custom-sized canvas and stretched frames for artists and companies throughout East Texas and nationwide. The company also sells and reconditions silk-screening frames and stocks a line of silk-screening supplies for imprinting clothes and athletic wear.

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This week’s Gladewater Mirror us now available at local news stands.

Read about GISD’s review of EMS availability at football games. What happened in Carthage won’t happen in Gladewater.

Gladewater City Council approves 2018 budget and tax rate. They also are looking to replace former city manager Theo Melancon. They reviewed 28 applicants and have narrowed the field to about 15. They will discuss this more this Thursday and next Monday.

Miss Gladewater won the Miss Congeniality title at the Gregg County Fair last week.

The Gladewater Bears captured their first win last Friday in Center. The Bears travel to Chapel Hill this Friday night.

And don’t miss Suzanne Bardwell’s weekly column.

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Texans Urged to Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day Saturday, Sept. 23

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AUSTIN – National Hunting and Fishing Day, an annual celebration of the contributions hunters and anglers make in conserving and protecting the nation’s wild resources, is set for Saturday, Sept. 23.

Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day to recognize hunters and anglers for their leadership in fish and wildlife conservation. Since launching in 1971, the day has been formally proclaimed by every U.S. president and countless governors and mayors.

In proclaiming National Hunting and Fishing Day in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said, “At this time, I encourage all Texans to learn more about and participate in our time-honored traditions of hunting and angling and recognize the ecological, cultural, and economic benefits they provide.”

“Texas’ rich hunting and fishing heritage needs no introduction, but there are those among us who have not had the opportunity to experience our state’s great natural bounties firsthand,” said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director. “As we celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day in Texas, I encourage each of you to take a friend, family member or co-worker fishing or hunting so they, too, can become part of our strong outdoor community of conservationists.”

Led by sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, early conservationists urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time.

Each year sportsmen and women are funding more projects that enable more public access areas to be open. Through license sales and excise taxes on equipment, hunters and anglers pay for most fish and wildlife conservation programs. On average, hunters spend $1,638 every year on the sport. Portions of these funds are allocated to support conservation.

This year, NASCAR legend Richard Childress has been selected to serve as the honorary chairman for National Hunting and Fishing Day. Childress, a 2017 inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, a world-class high performance auto racing team based in Welcome, North Carolina.

For more information, visit .

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