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Saving local businesses county banks help with PPP

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By BARBARA GREEN
[email protected]
Montague County small business owners are taking advantage of the Coronavirus Paycheck Protection Program receiving and anticipating loans to help pay their employees until they are able to return to some semblance of normal working conditions.
A new block of funding, $480 billion, has been approved by the Senate and House this week and could come into play as soon as next week. The new package includes $310 billion for PPP with $250 billion refilling the program and $60 billion set aside specifically for smaller institutions like credit unions and community banks.
Across the nation’s main streets the mom and pop shops, diners, hair dressers and others have had to close temporarily, lay off or release employees creating unprecedented unemployment in the county. In Texas alone more than 300,000 unemployment claims have been filed.
A National Federation of Business Research Center survey showed 92 percent of small employers are negatively impacted by the virus outbreak. Almost all small employers are now impacted by economic disruptions from COVID-19 with only five percent stating they are not currently affected. That could change if it continues to spread and businesses remain closed.

Read the full story in your weekend News on how area banks are responding to their small business customers need to apply for federal assistance related to COVID-19.

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97th District courtroom at Montague to get kevlar panels

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By BARBARA GREEN
[email protected]
Montague County will make some security upgrades in the 97th District Courtroom and will apply for grants to replace radio equipment in the sheriff’s office following court action Monday.
Commissioner Bob Langford told the court he was approached by Security Baliff James Bacon about installing bulletproof material in the podium and wall panels in front of the judge, court reporter and jury panel. The Kevlar balistic panels are about 1.25 inches thick.
Langford explained this was a recommendation from the security officer, not something pushed by District Judge Trish Byars. The panels would be installed on the inside of the present wall panels providing a shield on the lower level.
County Judge Kevin Benton added active shooter training directs people to get down as low as possible. Langford said this would allow people to crawl along the floor with some protection trying to get to safety.
Read the full story in the mid-week Bowie News.

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NEWS

Early primary voting ends Friday

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The final week of party primary early voting ends Friday with election day arriving on March 5.
During the weekend the first ever early balloting on Saturday and Sunday took place. Elections Administrator Ginger Wall said the numbers were low at 102 on Saturday and 48 on Sunday, across all four locations.
Through March 1 early voting will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at all four locations.
As of closing Monday night there were 1,160 total early ballots cast across both the Republican and Democratic Party tickets.
The four locations in the county for early voting in person are Montague County Annex Community Room, Montague; H.J. Justin Building, Nocona; Saint Jo Civic Center, Saint Jo and Bowie Senior Citizens Center, Bowie. Voters are reminded they can cast ballots at any of these locations thanks to county-wide voting.
In the party primaries a voter must select a party in which to cast a ballot. In a runoff, the voter can only vote in that party’s runoffs.
In Montague County all local races were Republican candidates with only two contested races for precinct one commissioner and 97th District Attorney.

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

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Four-day work schedule began this week for Bowie city, finance offices

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The new extended four-day work week for Bowie city offices and the finance department began Tuesday and March 1, which will be first Friday the offices will be closed.
New hours will be Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. , and closed on Friday.
After hours call for electric, water or sewer emergencies will go through the Bowie Police Department at 872-2251.

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