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DPS increases traffic enforcement for Fourth of July holiday

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AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be increasing traffic enforcement for the Fourth of July holiday from Tuesday, July 3 through Wednesday, July 4. During this period, DPS Troopers will be looking for DWI, speeding, seat belt and other traffic violators.

“DPS Troopers and other law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for traffic violators and impaired drivers over the Fourth of July holiday,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “If you plan to consume alcohol, there is no excuse for not designating a sober driver or planning ahead for alternate transportation. DPS urges Texans to celebrate responsibly and take extra precautions to help keep everyone safe.”

During the 2017 Fourth of July enforcement period, DPS Troopers issued more than 98,000 tickets and warnings, including 1,658 seat belt and child safety restraint citations. DPS enforcement efforts also resulted in 529 DWI arrests, 374 fugitive arrests and 300 felony arrests.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1,033 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017 where a driver was under the influence of alcohol, accounting for 28 percent of last year’s traffic fatalities.

DPS offers drivers the following tips for enhancing safety on our roads this July Fourth holiday:

Do not drink and drive. Make alternate travel plans if you are consuming alcohol.

  • Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits using a portable wireless device to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped.
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
  • Slow down or move over for police, fire, EMS and Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law. Also, show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along the road.
  • Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
  • Don’t drive fatigued – allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
  • If you see a road hazard or if you observe anything suspicious, report it to the nearest law enforcement agency.
  • Before your trip begins, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and always double check to make sure all cargo is secure.
  • Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. In the event of inclement weather, use extra caution on roadways and be aware of your surroundings. For road conditions/closings in Texas, visit https://drivetexas.org.

 

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Fantasy of Lights Festival welcomes the arrival of the Christmas season

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Downtown Bowie shined brightly this weekend as the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Festival heralded the start of the holiday season.
“Winter Lights” Sip and Stroll With Me opened the festival Friday night with a total of 31 vendors participating in the popular festival Friday night. Moderate fall-like temperatures made it a great evening for strolling and the downtown parking was filled throughout the evening as guests went from store to store to enjoy refreshments, learn about what they had to offer and even do a bit of shopping. Local student performers also sang holiday music.
Cindy Roller, executive director for Bowie Community Development, said Sip and Stroll continues to grow and grow with each outing and those attending really seem to enjoy it no matter the time of year.

Saturday morning’s Pancakes with Santa served up some 300 meals of free pancakes at the city fire hall, followed by holiday crafts at Elf ‘N’ Magic at the library. That evening after the community Christmas tree was lit, the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade rolled through downtown heralding the holiday season. The Bowie High School cheerleaders won the sweepstakes prize with its sparking snowflakes float.

Read about all the winners and see their photos in the mid-week Bowie News.

The dancing snowflake float from the Bowie High School cheerleaders won the sweepstakes prizes for best overall parade entry. (photo by Jordan Neal)
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Bowie Chamber seeking nominations for its top community awards

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Nominations are now being accepted for the business and volunteer awards presented by the Bowie Chamber of Commerce with a deadline of Jan. 9, 2023.
These awards will be presented at the Jan. 23 chamber banquet, which has a theme of “Denim & Diamonds.” Chamber members also are invited to decorate a table for the banquet where the best decorated will win a prize.
Public nominations are sought for the three major awards presented by the chamber: The Frances Brite Award for volunteerism; 2022 Business of the Year and 2022 Community Support Award. The board also will select a member for the membership award.
Nomination forms for the three main awards are located on the chamber webpage at bowietxchamber.org, and they can be dropped off to the office at 101 E. Pecan. Call the chamber at 872-1173 with any questions.

Read the full story in the mid-week Bowie News.

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MSU readies Dec. 10 graduation ceremony

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More than 600 students are expected to walk the stage during Midwestern State University’s commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Dec. 10 at Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls.
Students graduating with the highest grade point averages from each of the six academic colleges will be honored with the President’s Medal for Excellence. Recipients will receive their medals from MSU Texas President JuliAnn Mazachek.
Graduates will hear words of encouragement from MSU Texas leaders and alumni. The December ceremony includes students who graduated in August.
The Faculty Award recipient also will be announced. This honor is given by MSU Texas faculty to a full-time faculty member for teaching excellence and service to the university. The first recipient of the Faculty Award was Arthur F. Beyer in 1977.The winner is selected by the faculty at large and kept secret until commencement.

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