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Motorists who normally travel State Highway 154 between Rhonesboro and Harmony schools will need to find an alternate route for the next few weeks.  Contractors working on SH 154 will be closing the roadway for a culvert replacement about 1.2 miles east of Farm-to-Market Road 1002 at Rhonesboro. Property owners will have access to their homes and land, but through-traffic will be detoured onto FM 1002, FM 49 and FM 1795. The detour route will be signed accordingly.

The construction work is expected to be completed within three weeks, but weather conditions or other unforeseen problems could change the scheduled completion date.

Anyone having questions about the construction work or alternate travel routes can contact the TxDOT Area Office in Mount Pleasant at 903-572-8511.

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AUSTIN, TX – Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today reminded registered Texas voters that early voting in person begins on Monday, Oct. 23rd, and runs through Friday, Nov. 3rd. Secretary Pablos also reminded registered voters that they may vote at any polling location in their county during the early voting period. The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has worked closely with all counties affected by Hurricane Harvey to ensure they are prepared to conduct successful elections, both during the early voting period and on Election Day.

“As voting season begins next week, I would like to remind all Texas voters to take advantage of early voting in order to ensure their voices are heard,” Secretary Pablos said. “For those still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, I encourage you to vote during the early voting period, as all Texas voters can cast their ballots at any polling place in their county of registration during that time, and avoid the crowds on Election Day. As always, our office is ready to assist Texas voters who have questions as they head to the polls.”

Voters affected by Hurricane Harvey can find additional information and resources at www.votetexas.gov/faq/harvey

See what’s on the ballot for the statewide Constitutional Amendment elections.

The Texas Secretary of State’s office reminds voters that, if they possess one of the seven approved forms of photo ID, they must use that ID to vote. The seven forms of approved photo ID are:

  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport
An approved photo ID may be expired up to four years.
For those registered voters who do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID MAY VOTE by (1) signing a declaration at the polling site explaining why they are reasonably unable to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID, and (2) providing one of various forms of Supporting Documentation.

This Supporting Documentation can be:

1.     a certified birth certificate (must be an original);
2.     a valid voter registration certificate; or
3.     a copy or original of one of the following:
        a.     current utility bill;
        b.     bank statement;
        c.     government check;
        d.     paycheck or
        e.     other government document that shows the voter’s name and an address
Government documents which include a photo must be original and cannot be copies. If a voter meets these requirements and is otherwise eligible to vote, the voter will be able to cast a regular ballot in the election.

Learn more about required identification for voting in person.

Voters with questions about the registration process and how to cast a ballot can visit VoteTexas.gov or call 1-800-252-VOTE. Texans can join the #VoteTexas conversation this election by following Vote Texas’ FacebookTwitter and Instagram social media platforms.

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Sabine Valley  Ducks Unlimited Sets Banquet Date

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The Sabine Valley DU Banquet is 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Gladewater’s Former Student Building, located at 2509 West Hendricks St. Lionel Clouatre is the 2017 Sabine Valley area chairperson.

This year’s banquet features a dinner catered by Catfish Express, both live and silent auctions, raffles and games. Tickets to the event are $50 for a single, $80 for a couple, and $25 for children under 18. Each ticket includes all the evening’s activities and a year’s membership in Ducks Unlimited. Special corporate tables with reserved seating for eight, eight banquet tickets, and special recognition are also available for $600.

Event activities will include the dinner, both a live and a silent auction, and several raffles. Among the items available will be the DU gun-of-the-year, a Fausti Select 12-gauge over under shotgun; the DU handgun of the year, a Sig-Sauer 390, chambered in 9-mm; and the DU rifle-of-the-year, a Weatherby Vanguard, chambered in 7-mm magnum.

“The banquet’s on Halloween,” Clouatre said. “Break out a costume. We’ll have a special free raffle for everyone who attends in costume.”

Volunteers from Kilgore High School Ducks Unlimited, the current Texas state champion high school chapter, will be on hand to help with the event’s activities and to hold a special raffle for a TriStar 12-gauge over under shotgun.

For more information about the Sabine Valley DU banquet, contact Clouatre at 903/738-0523 or Doug Jones at 817/946-7452. Information, including location and ticket information, is also available on the DU website at www.ducks.org/texas /events.

Founded in 1937, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest wetland conservation organization.  In its 80 years, DU has conserved, restored and protected more than 14 million acres of critical wetland habitat throughout the North American continent. These areas provide habitat for more than 900 documented wildlife species. For more information about Ducks Unlimited, visit the organization’s website atwww.ducks.org.

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The Gladewater Fire Department raised over $5,500 through its annual Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Labor Day Fill the Boot Drive. Firefighters Damian Miller, J.P. Parker, Stuart Thompson and Jacob Garland presented the check to Tiffany Bratcher, MDA Area Director of East Texas, last week.

“The fire fighters of the Gladewater Fire Department have once again shown their immense dedication and care for MDA’s families during this year’s Fill the Boot campaign,” said Bratcher. “This year’s Fill the Boot was a success and we are grateful for the generosity of those in the Gladewater community who have helped individuals with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases truly live unlimited.”

Photo by Jim Bardwell

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By Jim Bardwell

The Gladewater City Council  voted Thursday night to hire  Ricky Tow as its new city manager. Tow, who will be the city’s third city manager in three years, is expected to start in about a month.

Tow, currently the city manager in Bowie, will make $105,000 per year, plus a $600 per month car allowance.

Tow and  Broken Arrow, Okla. city manager Jeff Jenkins were the two finalists out of a field of 28 to replace Theo Melancon, who developed  a rocky relationship with a few council members and left after just 15 months. Melancon is now the city manager  in Dayton, Texas.

Tow has been at Bowie since April 2013.  Bowie is located in Montague County and has a population of 5,218 according to the 2010 census. Prior to Bowie, Tow served as city manager in Cameron for four years and was city administrator in Alvord for 11 years.

In other business listed on the agenda, the council:

* Accepted a bid of $174,630 from Sunshine Farms Ltd. for 291.05 acres of city land on the north end of Lake Gladewater. The and was appraised at about $300,000.

* Approved a vacant building ordinance.

* Amended the city’s ordinance pertaining to ski regulations.

* Filling an unexpired position on the Gladewater Beautification Board with Jon Keller.

* Approved a blanket permit for the Lions Club to hold its annual turkey shoot Nov. 11.

* Approved a resolution authorizing the submission of an application to the East Texas Council of Governments for a regional solid waste grant.

* Approved a resolution authorizing participation in Cities Advocating Reasonable Deregulation (CARD) related to SWEPCO.

* Approved an agreement with Gregg County for support of Lee Library.


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  • Former Gladewater City Councilwoman Judy Burlison passed away Thursday, Oct. 12, at her home in California surrounded by her family.
  • Gladewater could have a new city manager come this Thursday if one of the two finalists accepted the city’s contract offer. The city received 28 application packets. The Gladewater City Council is expected to make an announcement at the monthly meeting held at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at City Hall.
  • The Gladewater Police Counter-Narcotics Unit and Gregg Constable Precinct 3 Daniel Morgan, executed a search warrant at the residence of 45-year-old Lamont Darnell Thompson, who resides at 209 East Miller St. in Gladewater on Oct. 14.
  •  GISD Trustees voted to amend this year’s school calendar after Assistant Superintendent Dr. Cliff Lightfoot reported that after an audit of instructional time the student calendar could be amended. Trustees approved that the last day of school for students will be June 1 instead of June 7.
  • The Texas Attorney General’s office issued a ruling last week saying the City of Gladewater can withhold information which was discussed in two budget workshop open meetings.
  • The Gladewater Bears appeared headed for a blow-out win over Spring Hill with a 38-6 lead at halftime. But the Panthers put up 29 points in the third quarter to pull within three points, 38-35, to make things interesting in the fourth quarter.
  • Mikie Webb has settled into his role as the Union Grove Lions’ quarterback after being pressed into service to the season ending injury to Parker Thornton. Last Friday night in the District 10-2A Division I opener, Webb rushed for 95 yards, scored three touchdowns and was 7 for 7 passing for 119 yards to lead the Lions to a 27-0 victory over Cayuga. Webb has brought his “linebacker mentality” to his new position.
  • The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) announced Monday the appointment of Judge Bill Stoudt of Gregg County as Chairman of the ETCOG Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

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Tricks and Treats at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Cente

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ATHENS – Halloween at the Hatchery is Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center’s way of giving East Texas families a safe place to go trick-or-treating outdoors while raising money for local causes.

The outdoor venue will be decorated with a fright-free Halloween theme and feature family-friendly games and activities Thursday, Oct. 26, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Local businesses and organizations will hand out free candy from booths located on the center’s grounds.

Admission for Halloween at the Hatchery is $1 per person, and all proceeds will benefit local nonprofit organizations.

Trick-or-treaters can enter the event from three areas including the Visitor Center entrance, the bus and trailer parking lot gate, and the overflow parking lot gate. The overflow parking lot is close to the Anglers Pavilion and is located on Peninsula Point Road.

On the day of the event, the TFFC will be open during normal business hours from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will reopen at 6 p.m. for this special event.

No one will be admitted between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., and no pets are allowed. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Event sponsors are Texas Farm Bureau, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Athens Chamber of Commerce, Citizens National Bank, Texas Trust Credit Union, Sonic of Athens, Island Tan, Cricket Wireless, Loan Express, MedTex Converters, Virtual Communications Specialists, Athens Dental Works, Prosperity Bank, Country Place Senior Living, Aaron’s, Crestway Park Dental, Holiday Inn Express Athens, Athens Screen Printing, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances, Heaton Eye Associates, Walmart Supercenter of Athens, Kens Pizza, BriteSmile Dental, ETMC, Acme Brick Company Center.

Businesses or organizations interested in reserving a booth or helping to decorate the grounds for the event can contact Kyle Brookshear at (903) 670-2285.

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Gladewater, Texas