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SNAP benefits extended

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AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide approximately $204 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of January as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recipients will also see an additional 15 percent increase in their total benefits in January due to recently passed federal legislation.  
“Thank you to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for extending these benefits and increasing the amount of benefits that Texas families will receive,” said Governor Abbott. “These emergency SNAP benefits continue to help put food on the table for many Texas families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”   “As we continue through the new year, these benefits offer nutritious food to those who need it most, especially in these trying times,” said Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter.  
HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size. The emergency January allotments are in addition to the almost $2 billion in benefits previously provided to Texans between April and December.    
Beginning in January, recipients will receive a 15 percent increase in their total benefits, which will continue monthly until June 2021. The additional 15 percent increase and the emergency allotment amount should appear in recipients’ accounts by Jan. 23. Administered by HHSC, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1.7 million eligible low-income families and individuals in Texas.   Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits.
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‘Murphy’s Law’ sends Bowie ER opening to the summer for Faith Community Health

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By BARBARA GREEN
editor@bowienewsonline.com
Frank Beaman, chief executive officer for Faith Community Health System, pointed to “Murphy’s Law,” coming into play in the renovation of the old hospital to create a new emergency room, but he also looks forward to a possible summer opening of the facility in Bowie.
Beaman was the speaker for the Bowie Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn Series Tuesday. Mayor Gaylynn Burris introduced Beaman. He has been with Faith Community for the past 13 years, and he opened by referring to the hospital being about six months from closing when he arrived.
Today the hospital serves about 25,000 people and its revenue has gone from $4 million to $130 million annually. He began with 46 employees and now they have 400.

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Traffic stop leads to evading, unlawful firearm and drug possession complaints

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James Looney

A traffic stop by a Montague County Sheriff’s deputy turned into something more as the suspect failed to stop, retreated into his residence and when he came out faced complaints of evading arrest, unlawful firearm and drug possession.
The incident occurred on Feb. 4 while Deputy Daniel Carter was patrolling in the area of U.S. Highway 81 and Indians Hills Road outside Nocona.
Sheriff Marshall Thomas said the deputy observed a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria at the intersection of those two roads. When the vehicle turned south onto Hwy. 81 the deputy got behind it and observed it to pull onto the shoulder.
Carter said the driver was James Bruce Looney, who he had dealt with in previous encounters and he knew had an expired driver’s license from 2002.

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

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Speeding, land use request top Saint Jo Council agenda

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Members of the Saint Jo Chamber of Commerce will discuss speeding in two locations in town and several property requests when they meet at 6 p.m. on Feb. 8 in city hall.
Don Thomas has asked to discuss speeding on East Evans Street (Farm-to-Market Road 2382) and Kelly Williamson wants to address speed limits on U.S. Highway 72 through Saint Jo.
In land use requests, Chris Reyling wants to use a shipping container for storage in his back yard; Kyle and Krystal Ogden seek pre-approval to place a new manufactured home on a lot next to 503 E. Meadows and Daniel Hill and Donna Williams ask to put a new manufactured home at 501 E. Herndon.
Donna Howell-Sickles of the Saint Jo Historical Advisory Board will see approval for certificates of appropriateness for 105 E. Howell site of the old Valley View Creek Arts Building and 112 E. Broad Street location of Real Estate Station.Eli Casey also will ask to host a chili cook-off on the square in May.
Other topics will include a presentation of the program goals for the Texas Community Development Block Grant project; the new Texas Municipal Retirement System rate for 2023; receive the police racial profiling report and review the Saint Jo Economic Development A and B quarterly financials.

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