Early primaries begin on Valentine’s Day

Early primaries begin on Valentine's Day

Early primaries begin on Valentine’s Day


through the gary border

Early voting for the March 1 primary begins on February 14 and runs through February 25. The last day to apply for ballots by mail is February 18.

There are seven statewide seats on the ballot: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Lands Commissioner, Agriculture Commissioner, Auditor General and a seat for the Railroad Commission. The winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries will face off in the Nov. 8 general election.

Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott faces seven major opponents, while five candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination, most notably former U.S. Senate and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

In addition, congressional and state legislative races, as well as county positions, will be on the ballot. Readers can find the ballot they registered to vote on the Texas Secretary of State’s website: votetexas.gov.

Board awards $26.2 million in higher education grants

A total of 60 Texas higher education institutions will share in the $26.2 million grant awarded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Council.

These grants will help Texans get higher-paying jobs and earn higher education credentials offered through two programs: the Texas Retraining Support Fund Grant and the Accelerated Purpose Certificate and Value Grant program.

The Texas Reskilling Support Fund Grant provides emergency financial support for students whose education has been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployed workers seeking training to return to work, and students who dropped out before the pandemic but are looking to return.

The Accelerated Targeted Credentials and Value Grant programs allow institutions to create or expand short-term, industry-recognized higher education credentials that contain the skills and knowledge required for high-demand careers from digital skills, data analytics, and front-line healthcare programs, according to a THECB press release.

“To remain competitive, we must lead the nation in producing vouchers of value that meet the needs of our rapidly growing economy,” said Higher Education Commissioner Harrison Keller. “We need to emphasize affordability, accessibility, and the ability to bring to the lives of all Texans. The importance of a certificate of value.

Quagga mussels found in Texas reservoir

The invasive quagga mussel has been spotted in a Texas reservoir for the first time, according to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. The discovery was made at the International Amistad Reservoir along the Texas-Mexico border near Del Rio.

Zebra mussels are closely related to zebra mussels, which have invaded nearly three dozen Texas lakes since they were first introduced in Texas’ Lake Texoma in 2009.

“This detection of the invasive quagga mussel is a very unfortunate first for Texas,” said Monica McGarrity, senior scientist for invasive aquatic species at TPWD. “Zebra mussels can inhabit much deeper places, except In addition to hard surfaces like rocks or infrastructure, they are also able to settle on soft substrates like mud or sand – unlike zebra mussels – which means they can settle in more lakes.”

According to TPWD, quagga mussels are found in the Great Lakes region and some western states. Like zebra mussels, zebra mussels are often introduced unknowingly by contaminated vessels. Boaters are urged to clean, drain and dry their boats to prevent the spread of mussels.

Brian Van Zee of TPWD Inland Fisheries said: โ€œEvery boater takes the necessary actions to clean and drain their boat before leaving the lake, and let the compartments and gear dry completely when they get home, which can be very helpful. Conserving our Texas lakes makes a big difference.” Director.

Plan an Unclaimed Property Webinar

The Office of the Texas Comptroller is hosting a series of free training webinars for holders of unclaimed property, including general businesses, city, county and state agencies, financial institutions, oil and gas companies, and cooperatives .

Topics to be discussed include an overview of unclaimed property rules, state requirements for reporting such property, and which reports to use. The two-hour webinar schedule can be found online here: https://tinyurl.com/2p8fpdpc.

Anyone who wants to see if they owe money can visit claimittexas.org.

Sharp decline in COVID-19 cases

The peak of the latest wave of COVID-19 cases in Texas may have passed, spurred by the omicron variant. The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported 198,757 new cases in the past week, a decrease of nearly 100,000 from the previous week. There were 1,395 new deaths, a 15% increase from the previous week. The state’s total death toll since the pandemic began about two years ago is 80,662.

The Texas Department of Health Services reported 10,657 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, down 16.5% from the previous week. DSHS reports that 16.987 million Texans, or 58.2 percent of the state’s population, have been fully vaccinated. Another 5.98 million Texans received booster doses.

Gary Borders is an award-winning veteran Texas journalist. For 30 years, he published numerous community newspapers in Texas, including Longview, Fort Stockton, Nacogdoches, and Cedar Park. Email: gborders@texaspress.com.

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