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Politics: Capitol Watch - Some of session's bills aimed at making roads safer

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April 7, 2011 - Last session, the legislature passed 81 (R) HB 339, as known as the "Less Tears, More Years" Act. HB 339 made many changes to the graduated driver's license program aimed at increasing the safety of our young drivers. HB 339 also required the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to report students that were no longer enrolled in school to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Due to restrictions at the federal level in providing student information to agencies outside of TEA, this section was unable to be implemented. Additionally, since the bill has been enacted, it has become evident that some clarification in the language regarding the use of a wireless communication device for drivers under the age of 18 is needed.


Politics: Capitol Watch - SBOE redistricting maps proposed

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March 31, 2011 - This past week the House passed SB 14, the voter identification bill about which I wrote about recently. House committee work has increased significantly as almost all of the 3825 house bills have been referred. The House Committee on Redistricting also laid out its first map, for the State Board of Education (SBOE) districts.

There are 15 SBOE districts in Texas. The ideal district population for each district under the new census numbers is 1,676, 371. That population is greater than the population of states like Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Montana. Because some parts of the state grew faster over the last ten years than others, the districts need to be redrawn so that each SBOE member represents the same number of constituents. All districts must be of the same population to ensure that every person's vote is equal.


4-H, Lifetime Designs, and Fannin County Master Gardeners enhance the quality of life for Senior Citizens in Fannin County

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March 31, 2011 - Catherine Rainbow, 14-year-old Sherman resident and Fannin County Four Corners 4-H Club member, is heading up a project to bring raised accessible gardens to the senior residents of Pecan Place Apartments in Bonham, a non-profit property of the Retirement Housing Foundation, and Clyde Cosper Veteran's Home.

Rainbow took the idea to Nicole Morgan of Lifetime Designs in Sherman and a portfolio was developed and presented to Pecan Place Apartment Manager Jason Castle, Activity Director Carolyn Hackler and Clyde Cosper Texas Veterans Home Texas Veterans Land Board member Amanda Gilbreath. The idea included a partnership between the 4-H club and Lifetime Designs who would work together and design accessible, raised gardens for senior residents.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 April 2011 15:22 )

Kidz Krew and Red River Community Theatre announce new partnership

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March 31, 2011 - The Creative Arts Center Kidz Krew Performing Arts Program and the Red River Community Theatre (RRTC) announced this week they have joined into a collaborative effort. This effort will likely benefit both entities as well as theatre patrons and will help centralize and energize the performing arts in Bonham and the Fannin County area. RRCT plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from each play to Kidz Krew.

Lisa Avila, director of the Kidz Krew program is pleased with the collaboration.


Farm Bureau Brief: Local ranchers profit from strong beef exports

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March 31, 2011 - Local cattle producers are seeing strong demand for their product as U.S. beef exports have increased 24 percent in volume and 43 percent in value since January 2010, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

"An increase in U.S. beef exports translates to more customers and more sales for local ranchers," said Jerry Magness, Fannin County Farm Bureau president. "Texas ranchers have had to scale back their operations in the past few years because of drought and financial concerns, but we're hoping stronger prices and demand will allow us to expand our herds."

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