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Texas A&M Forest Service mobilizes for potential wildfire activities

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Wildfire activity is forecast to increase along and west of I-35 and into South Texas through the weekend.

An abundance of extremely dry dormant grasses and intensifying drought may produce large wildfires that are difficult to control when exposed to periods of elevated to critical fire weather.

Since Saturday, state and local resources have responded to 70 wildfires that burned 15,274 acres across the state.

Texas A&M Forest Service is monitoring the current situation closely and has prepositioned personnel and equipment across areas of concern.

“The underlying drought conditions combined with winds associated with cold front passages has supported increased wildfire activity across the state this week,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “Conditions are not forecast to improve through the weekend, and the agency has strategically placed fire resources across the state for a quick and effective response.”

Fully staffed task forces and additional suppression equipment are staged in Alice, Amarillo, Beeville, Brownwood, Burkburnett, Childress, Edinburg, Fort Stockton, Fredericksburg, Lubbock, McGregor, Merkel, Mineral Wells, Pleasanton, San Angelo, Smithville and Victoria.

Additionally, fireline supervisors, command staff and incident commanders with advanced qualifications are strategically placed across the state to respond.

Aviation resources currently staged in state include two large airtankers, 12 single engine air tankers, four air attack platforms, three type 1 helicopters, two type 3 helicopters and one aerial supervision module are currently staged in state for wildfire response.

During periods of high fire activity, aviation resources are used to support suppression efforts on the ground, aiding in the protection of structures and other valuable resources. Aircraft responded to eight wildfires over the past week, assisting ground crews with a total of 66,000 gallons of water and retardant to slow forward progression of fires.

Texas A&M Forest Service has requested the mobilization of six strike teams via Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) for wildfire incident support.

Stay wildfire aware. If a wildfire is spotted, immediately contact local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.

For current conditions and wildfire outlook, visit the Texas Fire Potential Outlook https://bit.ly/3kemhbG.

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District Judge Jack McGaughey plans to step down at the end of May

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By BARBARA GREEN
editor@bowienewsonline.com
Jack McGaughey, 97th district judge, has decided to leave his office at the end of May and will submit his formal resignation to the governor’s office later this month.
This past week, the longtime judge informed certain officials across the three-county 97th District about his decision to step down on May 31. McGaughey said Thursday he has been talking with the staff at the governor’s office about the process. His present term concludes at the end of 2024.
“I thought about it last year and felt this was the best time. I still enjoy the job, but I reached the point where my stamina is not what it once was. There is a lot of office work no one sees and it can be exhausting,” McGaughey told The Bowie News Thursday.
In his letter to district officials, the judge said his decision to step down at this time was based on a number of factors.

Read the full story in the weekend Bowie News.

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Bowie City Council meets Monday night

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The Bowie City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 for its last session of the month.
Much of the agenda focuses on grant updates from City Manager Bert Cunningham and Emergency Management Coordinator Kirk Higgins. The EMC has been working on a federal grant for generators, a Homeland Security grant program and a federal individual safe room grant.
In the city manager’s report, he will discuss the grant applications he

has been submitting, the Texas Water Development Board sewer line project and the status of the Ameresco discussion.
In new business, the council will consider reappointing Bill Calabretta and Bradlee Summers to the planning and zoning commission.
The annual racial profiling report from the Bowie Police Department will be reviewed and the council will discuss awarding a proposal to lease 57 acres of city property at Old Bowie Lake.
A resolution authorizing the filing of a grant application with Nortex for a regional solid waste grant also will be examined.
Whit Cross, new liaison officer with the Texas Department of Emergency Management, will be introduced. The owner of Hilltop Tire also will be recognized for a donation they made.
The quarterly financial report, minutes and uncollected utility accounts and library fines will wrap up the agenda

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Board conducts mid-year superintendent evaluation, no action taken

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It was a long night for the Bowie Independent School District Trustees as they tackled a lengthy agenda Monday.
The board spent almost four hours covering a variety of topics from the facility repairs after the winter freeze, to the district’s annual report and the superintendent’s mid-year evaluation.
The meeting opened with recognition of the board members for National School Board Recognition Month. The members received goodie bags thanking them for their “commitment,” as it featured “mint” items.
Trustees then were introduced to students who received grand or reserve champions in the recent Montague County Youth Fair.
Executive session
Trustees conducted the superintendent’s mid-year formative evaluation. Enlow said no action was taken as the board indicated they felt like things were on track as they work on board and district goals.

Read the full story in the weekend Bowie News.

Bowie Schools grand and reserve champions from the youth fair were recognized by the board this week. (Courtesy photo)
Some members of the Bowie School Board show off their goodie bag presented for board appreciation month. (courtesy photo)

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