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COUNTY LIFE

Drought still a concern cooler temperatures

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While Texas is feeling some reprieve from the heat this week, slightly cooler temperatures and minimal rainfall will do little to help trees being affected by drought and extreme heat conditions.
According to the Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Drought application, 85% of the state is experiencing some level of drought, including 57.6 million acres of the state’s 60 million acres of forestland – the effects becoming apparent.
Trees in the Rio Grande Valley, Davis Mountains, Southern Plains, Cross Timbers and Hill Country are showing the most effect from the conditions, that is the most change in greenness. Whether that change is from stress or mortality can only be determined with time.
Leaves turning brown and dropping early is the most commonly seen symptom but others include oak trees lacking acorns, scorching leaves, tip burn and hypoxylon canker.
Texas A&M Forest Service uses a combination of remote sensing satellite imagery and on-the-ground observations to monitor the health and productivity of forests.
The agency uses High Resolution Forest Monitoring System (HiForm), a USDA Forest Service product, that uses satellites to produce Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) change products to monitor changes in forests that result from severe weather, wildland fire, logging, insects and disease.
NDVI shows how green plants are. A change or deviation in NDVI means that trees are changing their chlorophyll signature, and showing either stress or mortality, even if it’s not yet evident for some regions.
As forecasters predict the drought to continue through November, landowners should remain diligent in caring for the health of their trees and forests. Continued monitoring is also critical to fully assess the overall impact and to determine the next steps, since trees may be going dormant and leaf out again in the spring.
Managed landscapes are generally far more resilient to extreme weather conditions, so practices that include planting locally adapted trees, managing invasive and providing supplemental water to high-value trees are important actions landowners can take.
Texas A&M Forest Service experts are available to provide tips on how to keep trees healthy during extreme drought conditions.
For additional information on drought and trees, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/afterthestorm/drought/

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COUNTY LIFE

Bowie High School graduation presented

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The traditional mantle ceremony was part of the 2024 graduation ceremony for Bowie High School on May 24. Juniors Virginia Watson and Boston Farris received the mantle of leadership from seniors Olivia Gill and Austin Weber, continuing a decades old tradition for BHS. (Photo by Jordan Neal)

See lots more photos from all the area graduations submitted by our readers in the mid-week edition.

These young ladies celebrated their heritage with their cap and gown decorations: Angela Martinez-Morals, Amylee Valdes and Melissa Martinez. (Photo by Jordan Neal)
Superintendent Blake Enlow presented diplomas including this one to Salutatorian Austin Weber. (Photo by Jordan Neal)
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COUNTY LIFE

Summer reading programs to begin at local libraries

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The Bowie and Nocona Public Libraries are preparing their summer youth activities set to begin as June opens.
Bowie Public Library’s Summer Reading program will be at the Bowie Community Center on Tuesdays starting at 10 a.m. Theme for this year’s program is “Adventure begins at your library.”
Summer reading is open to children ages 0-12. Children will be given a reading log to bring with them to each program. At the end of the season each child receives a book.
Activities kick off with bounce houses and other activities on June 4. On June 11 enjoy the Storywalk in Pelham Park and see how creative you can be with sidewalk chalk.
On June 18 there will be a scavenger hunt and a hike. Everyone will be making binoculars and learn hiking safety from the Boy Scouts of Troop 121 at Pelham Park. It’s all about reading about camping on June 25 and the group will make s’mores with solar ovens.
As July 9 opens Smokey the Bear comes to Bowie. On July 16 it is all about the Summer Olympics with outdoor games at the soccer fields. Summer reading wraps up with the popular Creature Teachers who brings lots of animals to the kids to see up close.
Any questions can be directed to the library staff by calling 872-2681 or follow their Facebook page.
At Nocona Library the summer reading challenge is off and running on June 1. Presented by the Friends of the Nocona Public Library, the challenge runs June 1 to July 24. Print out the reading log on the Facebook page or pick one up at the library. Youngsters can win prizes.

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COUNTY LIFE

Secret Shopper secrets concludes Bowie Business Boost

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By BARBARA GREEN
[email protected]

The final chapter of the four-part Bowie Business Boost this past week shared the secrets from a secret shopper to assist business owners of all types to know what to look for in their own firms and how to create optimum customer service.
Hosted by the Bowie Economic Development Corporation, Bowie Boost brought speakers on a variety of business topics opening up new ideas and resources for their success. Alysia Cook, the principal of Opportunity Strategies, a customized training professional facilitation and strategic planning firm for community and economic development was the speaker.
She explained reputations are built by many different entities within the community and your business may be the only contact a customer has, so it needs to be the top notch. Cook went through a series of eight secrets, plus one extra most of which centered on improving customer experiences.

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

Alysia Cook was guest speaker for the final Bowie Business Boost program last week. (Photo by Barbara Green)
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