County Judge says locally restaurants can stay at 75 percent occupancy
New Montague County Judge Kevin Benton jumped into the fray a few days after taking the oath of office, to begin fielding phone calls Friday about how Governor Greg Abbott’s Friday executive order impacts the local area.
In that order Abbott closed all bars and similar establishments which receive more than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages. However, these businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including alcoholic beverages.
Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at 50 percent of indoor capacity beginning June 29 instead of the previous allowed 75 percent. And outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments with certain exceptions.
Benton issued a letter Monday outlining the limits within Montague County based on case count. He explained counties with a current attestation filed with and approved by the State Department of Health and Human Services regarding the minimal cases of COVID-19, will remain at the 75 percent occupancy rate.
“Montague County falls within that classification. In paragraph five of the order, any outdoor gathering in excess of 100 people, other than those set forth in paragraphs one, two or four (a lengthy set of activities covered by the executive order) must be authorized by the mayor if within the incorporated city limits or the county judge if the activity is proposed in the unincorporated area of the county,” stated Benton.
Read the full letter below and more coverage in the mid-week Bowie News.
Paragraph 1 from Gov. Greg Abbott’s most recent executive order:
1. There is no occupancy limit for the following:
a. any services listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 3.1 or any subsequent version;
b. religious services, including those conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship;
c. local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to licensing (including marriage licenses), permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government;
d. child-care services;
e. youth camps, including but not limited to those defined as such under Chapter 141 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and including all summer camps and other daytime and overnight camps for youths; and
f. recreational sports programs for youths and adults;
Spring expected to be slow to warm up
The first “official” day of Spring arrives March 20 sparking the anticipation of gardeners, farmers and ranchers who look forward to sunshine and warmth.
In the northern hemisphere spring will arrive at 5:24 p.m. on March 20 with the arrival of the spring equinox. However, the season on paper may differ from the actual forecast which the Farmer’s Almanac predicts may take its time in arriving and weather.com agrees.
According to the long-range outlook, temperatures will be slow to warm, in fact unseasonably cold temperatures may have their grip on parts of the nation. “We are predicting a soggy, shivery spring ahead,” states the almanac’s forecast. Weather.com forecasts March-May to be warmer than usual from the Southwest to the Southeast.
It continues it will be a wet and cool season for most places, in the southwest temperatures will be rising quickly. Spring will be “unusually active” over the nation’s heartland with frequent heavy to severe thunderstorms predicted.
Read the full story on what spring may bring in your weekend Bowie News including forecasts for rain and temperatures, the future of cattle and planning your garden.
Process to find a new 97th judge is underway in governor’s office
Applications are being accepted through April 15 for those interested in being appointed to fill out the term of 97th District Judge Jack McGaughey who submitted his resignation effective May 31.
The longtime district judicial officer has served in different capacities for 36 years including district attorney and the last 10 as district judge. He also worked several years as county attorney and assistant DA.
In late January McGaughey confirmed he planned on stepping down prior to the conclusion of his present term at the end of 2024.
The judge said since his retirement became public he has received nothing but support and good wishes from friends and supporters. He looks forward to more time with his wife, plus time with family and friends.
His successor will be chosen by Gov. Greg Abbott and that person will serve the remainder of the term after which there will be a regular primary election for the 97th Judicial District that includes Archer, Clay and Montague Counties.
The application process takes place through the governor’s appointments office where interested persons fill out an extensive pair of applications.
Read the full story in the weekend Bowie News.
Bowie School Trustees may consider four-day week calendar recommendation
Returning from spring break, the staff of Bowie Independent School District will provide a series of updates to the school board including a possible recommendation for the 2023-24 calendar.
The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. on March 21, moved from the regular night due to the holiday break. A four-day school week has been in discussion for several months as other county schools go to four-day. Nocona ISD two weeks ago voted to make the changes, leaving just Bowie, Saint Jo and Forestburg the only county schools not on some form of the shorter week.
A district survey of parents and staff indicated about 70% supported the change. A recent public meeting outlined the possible options with less than 30 people in attendance, many of whom were teachers and staff.
School calendar consideration and the purchase of welders not to exceed $45,000 for the career technology program are the only action items.
Superintendent Blake Enlow will report to the board about the December water damage in school buildings, give updates on the facilities committee and Enterprise Fleet Management. Other administrators also will give monthly reports.
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