Texarkana

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Texarkana’s Dorothea Towles Church

 

In the 1950s the barriers set up against African-Americans managed to exclude them from almost everything unless they fought ten times harder than anyone else to get it.  African-Americans were still segregated during these times and one of the many areas of segregation included the fashion industry worldwide.  While superstars rose as models in New York, Paris, and California and often managed to capture leading roles in movies, the African-American women were left out of this elite circle that often led to fame and fortune.  One African-American woman walked boldly up to the barriers set up by society, stretched out her long, elegant legs, and leaped over them in one historic move. Mrs. Dorothea Towles Church was one of seven children born to Mr. Thomas Towles and Anabella in Texarkana, Texas.  She was born July 26, 1922.  Among her siblings, Dorothea’s sister Lois would also work to break down barriers for fashion models, but she became known as a concert pianist and music professor.  It would be from those early 1920s in  Texarkana that Dorothea would leave to conquer the world of fashion and defy the prejudice barriers often found in the United States at that time. Continue Reading →

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Equality Texarkana Meets With TASD

Local Equality Group Works to End Bullying in Schools

Texarkana, AR:  Members of Equality Texarkana met with administrators of the Texarkana Arkansas School District Monday, July 24 to propose a partnership to help fight bullying in local schools. Equality Texarkana gave a presentation concerning the impact of bullying, focusing on the increased risk of suicide and the increased truancy rate among bullied children.  The group proposed implementing several strategies within TASD schools, including making anonymous reporting more accessible, surveying staff and students about their bullying experiences, providing sensitivity training and suicide awareness for staff members, and working to promote a safer, more accepting school environment for all students. The group also gave information to the administrators concerning Equality Texarkana’s free group therapy for LGBT members and support group for parents of LGBT children to ensure school counselors are aware of these valuable services.   Equality Texarkana invited the TASD administrators to share the district’s specific needs so that the group can be a useful resource to the community.  TASD invited Equality Texarkana to be involved in the Day of Silence at North Heights Jr High, which takes place April 27, 2018 and strives to raise awareness about the impact of anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination. Equality Texarkana Founder and CEO Jimmy Pope, Jr. explains how these efforts work toward the group’s mission to fight discrimination and make the Texarkana area a more friendly place for all: “The statistics concerning bullying in general are alarming, but the statistics concerning the bullying of minorities are also staggering. Continue Reading →

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City Council Seeks to Fill Vacancy in Ward 4

TEXARKANA, TEXAS—Texarkana Texas City Council will accept letters of intent and applications from residents interested in serving as Ward 4 Council member. Dr. Brian Matthews’ has served as Ward 4 Council member for the past five years, but the seat was vacated when Matthews moved from the ward recently. The City Council will consider appointing a Ward 4 resident, who is a registered voter and otherwise fully qualified, to serve the remaining unexpired term that will end in November 2018. Applications for residents in Ward 4 that are interested in filling the vacant position will be accepted by City Secretary Jennifer Evans until 5:00 p.m. Friday, August 4, 2017. Applications can be accessed on the city’s website at http://www.ci.texarkana.tx.us/171/City-Council, or by visiting the City Secretary’s office on the 2nd floor of city hall at 220 Texas Blvd. Continue Reading →

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Battery 1st incident on 07/17/17 near Burhman Pharr Apartments

Texarkana, AR-Tuesday evening, July 17, 2017 around 6:00pm, 42 year old Daniel Hogan, along with his wife and daughter had just left the Salvation Army walking east on E 3rd Street near Laurel when they noticed they were being followed by a man they only recognized from the Salvation Army. As Hogan and his family approached the Burhman Pharr Apartments, Hogan’s wife observed the unknown male pull a pocket knife from his pocket and stab the victim in the back for no apparent reason. Hogan and Marley had not been involved in any prior altercation. Hogan and his family ran north away from the apartments towards the Miller County Courthouse where they were met by police. Hogan had sustained a deep puncture wound to his upper back and was transported to Wadley Hospital by Lifenet Ambulance. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana’s National Humane Alliance Fountain

Texarkana, AR- Herman Lee Ensign of New York died in 1899, and with his passing another wealthy philanthropist from that time passed away into history.  In addition to building his wealth off of advertising, Mr. Ensign was also an early anti-cruelty to animals’ advocate.  After his death, his stories were published in a book, Lady Lee and Other Animal Stories.  It would be published in 1901 to a modest review.  The book, like the man’s name and advertising company would virtually melt into history.  The book, in first edition format, can still be purchased today through antique dealers and online through EBay for a modest $25-$30 which as any collector can tell you does not raise the book to any great elevation in the world of book collectors.  It is simply another book and is now even available online through many free eBook programs.  But it is not Mr. Ensign’s business, or his book that has had the most enduring impact on American history and on Texarkana in particular as it is his love of Animals.  In the end, Mr. Ensign’s love for animals would reach out to well over one hundred cities after his death, and Texarkana was one of those fortunate cities. When Mr. Ensign died in 1899, it was two years after he had founded the National Humane Alliance.  That foundation received a great portion of Ensign’s money with very specific directions.  Ensign indicated in his donation that the money must be used to build animal drinking fountains for any city, anywhere, that wanted one.  The requirements were simple for a city.  The city had to request the fountain, provide an appropriate spot for it, maintain it, and ensure a constant water supply was provided.  The city could not charge for the use of the fountain, and it had to be free for horses, cats, dogs and any other animal that might require a drink while passing through the city which received the fountain. After Mr. Ensign’s death, the National Humane Alliance began making the fountains available.  Somewhere between 1904 and 1912 over one hundred cities across the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico took advantage of the free offer.  The fountains were built in Vinalhaven, Maine by the Bodwell Granite Company. Mr. Ensign could not have foreseen the impact that the auto industry was going to have on Americans and the way they would travel.  Most of the major cities that applied for fountains suddenly found themselves with a huge, water producing, potential hazards for new drivers.  Some of the cities put the fountains away in storage, others moved them to parks, and still others have been lost to the bureaucratic red tape of government and its ability to ever relocate, store, or even give away, and forget about what they have acquired through the years. Despite the fact that over one hundred were initially issued, there are still about 70 fountains in operation to this day.  There are multiple websites that show the fountains, all similar in design, and even give the coordinates for visitors to go see the fountains.  Texarkana, Arkansas currently maintains its own fountain. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Art Park and Brownfields Open House

TEXARKANA, TX- The City of Texarkana, Texas, in partnership with Marlon Blackwell Architects, will be hosting an open house Thursday, July 20th from 6-8 pm to discuss the design and creation of the Texarkana Art Park in Downtown Texarkana. The meeting will be held in Cabe Hall at the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council (TRAHC) building, located at 321 W. 4th St., Texarkana, Texas, 75501. In addition, city staff will be on hand to discuss and give updates on the Brownfields Program of Texarkana, Texas. Members of the community who are interested in either the Art Park or Brownfields Program are encouraged to attend and provide input and feedback on the projects. Light refreshments will be provided. Continue Reading →

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Equality Texarkana Prepares for First Major Fundraiser

Texarkana, USA-Equality Texarkana, a non-profit organization in Texarkana that works to help the LGBT community and other under-served and discriminated communities in the area, is planning their first major fundraiser.  The group has already held a public picnic, and a march with success and support from many in the community.  They are preparing their updated website, and have already received donations and one grant from an organization outside of  Texarkana.   Equality Texarkana goes beyond the borders of just the LGBT community and is open to anyone interested in equality for all people to join.  The organization reaches out to any member of the community interested in supporting, helping, and joining the cause to ensure equality for all people in Texarkana regardless of race, sexual orientation or religion.  The organization already has supporters and members from church organizations, civic organizations and private individuals in the community. The organization recently held a dinner at Pecan Point in Texarkana where over 70 members of the community attended.  Pecan Point was given high praise by Equality Texarkana for going above and beyond to ensure the groups needs were met for the event.  The group continues to work toward support groups for LGBT teens and adults and will have a parent support group meeting later this month. The next big event planned by the organization will be a major fundraiser on October 14.  The event is a costume party with food and drinks and is considered an adult event due to drinks being served.  The group plans to have rides available for any having a little too much to drink.  Tickets are available in advance for $40 and will be $50 at the door.  Members of Equality Texarkana have noted that the tickets are selling, so if you are interested check the organizations Facebook page for further details.  The event promises to have lots of food, fellowship and fun for the evening. Facebook

Equality Texarkana Website Continue Reading →

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SPRING LAKE PARK POND DREDGING SCHEDULED FOR JULY

 
TEXARKANA, TX- Beginning in July 2017, the City of Texarkana, Texas will work in conjunction with Tatum Excavating Company (TEC) to dredge the Spring Lake Park Pond. The project is part of the City’s current Capital Improvement Plan and is estimated to cost approximately $875,000. Dredging activities will bring the pond to a depth of 10 feet, and the pond will be dewatered to facilitate the construction efforts. The project will also include the installation of gabion baskets with rock to support and enhance the perimeter of the pond. Annual pond maintenance will not be conducted this year considering the scope and time frame of the dredging project. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Arkansas Yard of the Month Nominees Needed

Texarkana, AR – The Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission is looking for the best, brightest, and most beautiful yards in the city.  Each year as flowers bloom, trees fill out, and the grass grows green, the commission attempts to find and recognize the hard work, clean-up, and beautification of Texarkana yards.  This year the commission is turning to you for help and nominations! Do you know someone with a fantastic yard?  You know the kind of yard the commission is looking for; it’s the yard that makes you slow down when you drive past and say, “Wow”.  Texarkana has beautiful yards all over the place….in fact, there are so many that there is no way commission members can find them all.  So, your City Beautiful Commission needs your help.  The commission needs you to find the yards, and send them in for review by the commission. If you know of a yard that should be “Yard of the Month” or you stumble across one while driving around, send a note on the commission’s Facebook page.  The commission will take all nominations, review them, and vote.  Pictures would be helpful, but are not necessary.  The address will be needed for review. Send nominations online to Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission.  Continue Reading →

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2017 Bandit Run Marks 40 Years of the Bandit

Texarkana, USA – It’s been 40 years since the words “East Bound and down…” screamed out at silver screens across the nation.   Those words continued into the theme song right up until the point where Jerry Reed sang, “The boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there’s beer in Texarkana.”  At that moment Texarkana added another star as a place in cinema history.  Burt Reynolds tore out of Texarkana in that black Trans AM and cleared the way of “Smokies” by keeping them busy so the big truck could get the beer to Atlanta. 

40 years later the town given credit for where it all started will be celebrating again June 17-18. Continue Reading →

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