Health Dept. announces Maternity Fair

The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department and the City of Brownwood will be hosting the next maternity fair on Thursday, January 18, 2018, from 6-8 pm at the Adams Street Community Center at 511 East Adams Street in Brownwood.

The maternity fair is open to all expectant mothers and new mothers in our area. Mothers are welcome to bring a guest with them. Refreshments will be served.

Participants will be provided with information about communicable diseases, immunizations for infants, children and adults, feeding your baby, breastfeeding, parenting tips, healthy living, nutrition for expectant mothers, car seat safety, Medicaid and resources available for families in our area.

Vendors will be present from local resource agencies as well as some state agencies to provide information about services offered and resources that are available in our area. Each attendee will receive a bag of gift items and there will be a drawing for door prizes.

The Maternity Fair is free of charge, but registration is required for planning purposes. To register for the Maternity Fair, please call the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department at 325-646-0554, or come by the Health Department at 510 East Lee Street in Brownwood.

Four Brownwood ISD Music Teachers Awarded TMEA Grants

The Texas Music Educators Association recently initiated the Elementary Music Instructional Resources Support Program, providing funding for grants to benefit elementary music programs across the state.

This grant program was offered exclusively to active TMA members who teach elementary music, to be used in elementary music programs. Music teachers could apply for grants to purchase music, music equipment, instruments, and other music education materials for use during this school year.

Four (4) music teachers from BISD were awarded grant money for equipment for their music classrooms:

  • Dean Kiesling – Northwest Elementary – portable sound system

  • Holly Bush – Coggin Intermediate – classroom set of ukeleles

  • Kristi Wied – Coggin Intermediate – classroom set of handchimes

  • Jennifer Gwathmey – East Elementary – portable sound system, wireless document camera, and video camera

The teachers were recognized for their grant awards at the monthly Brownwood ISD Board of Trustees meeting held on Monday, December 11.

Howard Payne holiday schedule announced

Howard Payne University will be closed Monday, Dec. 18, through Monday, January 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement (The Harrison House), located at 803 Center Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 21, and Friday, December 29, to process end-of-the-year gifts. Gifts can also be arranged to be made in person or over the phone by calling 325-649-8804 anytime throughout the Christmas break.

HPU’s spring 2017 semester begins Monday, Jan. 8.

Congressman Conaway draws primary challenger, 2 Dems seek CD-11 seat

Congressman Mike Conaway will face a challenger from the Permian Basin during the Republican Primary Election, which will be March 6. Paul Myers of Midland filed for the Republican nomination.

On his Facebook page, Myers said he was running for Congress because, “It’s time to elect a real public servant. It’s time to restore the power to the hands of the people. It’s time for your voice, the People’s Voice, to be heard loud and clear in Congress.”

Professionally, Myers has worked in real estate for Keller-Williams, and in the oil industry for Rig Testers, Inc.

Conaway is seeking his eighth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he chairs the House Committee on Agriculture. He alsoserves on the House Armed Services Committee, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Prior to serving in Congress, Conaway was a CPA.

The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the two-candidate race in the Democratic primary. Jennie Lou Leeder of Llano faces off with Eric Pfalzgraf of Odessa.

Leeder is the former chairman of the Llano County Democratic Party. She ran for the Texas Senate in SD-24, where she lost to State Sen. Dr. Dawn Buckingham. Pfalzgraf is a school bus driver and mechanic for Ector County ISD.

Early declines contract extension with Turner

In what many describe as a surprise move, the Early City Council declined to vote on whether to extend their contract with Bob Turner of Rural Issues Consulting. Turner, a former state representative, has served the cities of Brownwood and Early, as well as the local chambers of commerce as a legislative consultant, promoting pro-Brown County legislation and working against legislation that would hurt the local area.

Critics of the city’s contract with Turner say the agreement amounts to local municipalities paying a lobbyist to advocate for the city’s ability to raise taxes. Sources close to the Early City Council say there was question about whether the money paid to Turner benefited the city through specific legislative victories.

Cash donations top $8,000 at Brian Wade Toy Drive

Local donors turned out in record numbers as approximately $8,500 was raised during the Brian Wade Toys for Kids Toy Drive, held Wednesday at the former Bank of America parking lot on Main St. in downtown Brownwood. Local residents also contributed thousands of toys to the drive, which benefits the Brown County Toys for Kids program.

Wanda Martin with the Brown County Toys for Kids program reports that 512 families representing 1,348 kids have signed up to receive Christmas toys through the program. Funds raised will be used to purchase toys. The toy distribution day is Saturday.

Brian Wade Toys for Kids Toy Drive to continue his legacy

The Brian Wade Toys for Kids Toy Drive will be held from 9 am to 5 pm Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the former Bank of America parking lot on Main St. next to Trans-Texas Tire. New, unwrapped toys will be collected that day, as well as cash donations for the Brown County Toys for Kids program. The cash donations will be used to purchase toys for area children.

Wanda Martin tells KXYL that her family has organized the Toys for Kids program since 1997, when the previous organizers had to quit due to health reasons. In the 20 years since, the program has seen massive growth in participation as well as donations. Martin credits much of the growth to the late Brian Wade, who joined the effort in 2006 by starting a radio toy drive, which is now named in his honor. Wade passed away last year at the age of 42.

Toy distribution day is Dec. 16. Deadline to enroll kids in the Toys for Kids program is Dec. 13. Those registering kids will need to go by the Grand Starz Ballroom on Belle Plain between 10 am and 5:30 pm. Those registering kids will need to bring a photo-ID, and the kid’s social security card.

State Rep. Lang to face challenger in GOP Primary

State Rep. Mike Lang will face a challenge from Granbury ISD Supt. Dr. Jim Largent in the March 6 Republican Party Primary Election. On his campaign Web site, Largent said he is running for State Representative because too many politicians are taking marching orders from special interests instead of representing the interests of their constituents.

Largent has served as Granbury ISD superintendent since 2012. Prior to that, he served as superintendent of Rusk ISD in East Texas.

Lang is serving in his first term as State Representative for House District 60. During the 85th Legislature, he co-sponsored Constitutional Carry legislation, legislation supporting the Article V Convention of States and sponsored a bill that would have prohibited the Brown County Attorney’s Office from collecting donations as part of pre-trial diversion agreements.

Early voting for the March 6 primary will be Feb. 20-March 2.

Health Dept.: Get your flu shots

National Influenza Vaccine Week is December 3-9, 2017. The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department would like to take this opportunity to remind all the residents of our city and the surrounding area that it is not too late to get vaccinated against the flu. Flu season occurs in the fall and winter. The flu usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.

Seasonal influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It is spread when a person who has the flu coughs, sneezes or talks, and droplets containing the flu virus are inhaled into your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. Most healthy adults can infect others one day before symptoms develop, and 5-7 days after symptoms appear. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems might be contagious for a longer period. Complications from the flu can be very serious, especially to certain high-risk groups, which includes seniors (those age 65 and older), children (especially those age 2 and younger), pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions such as chronic respiratory illness and diabetes. Flu related complications can include pneumonia and dehydration.

The best protection against the flu is the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that all people 6 months of age and older receive an annual flu vaccine. The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department has influenza vaccine available for children and adults. Qualifying children and adolescents can receive flu vaccine provided by the Texas Vaccines for Children program. Individuals can contact the health department at 325-646-0554 for information about the cost of the flu vaccine for children. The cost of adult flu vaccine is $25.00. The health department is open from 8-11:30am and 1-4:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Walk-in clinic hours on Wednesday are 7:30am-6pm. Numerous physicians’ offices and pharmacies also have the flu vaccine available. For answers to questions about the flu and the flu vaccine, people can access the CDC website at www.cdc.gov, or contact the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department at 325-646-0554. The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department is located at 510 East Lee Street in Brownwood

TxDOT CREWS PRETREATING ROADWAYS IN ANTICIPATION OF POSSIBLE WINTRY PRECIPITATION

As a strong cold front affects much of Texas, crews with the Texas Department of Transportation’s Brownwood District are pretreating some roadways with a brine solution in anticipation of light wintry precipitation on Wednesday.

In Eastland County, crews are pretreating bridges and overpasses on Interstate 20, as well as Ranger Hill.

In addition, crews in Coleman and McCulloch counties are pretreating major roadways in those counties. Other Brownwood District counties may begin pretreating roadways as well, depending on weather forecasts. At this time, the National Weather Service is not anticipating significant winter weather impacts in the Brownwood District.

Motorists are urged to be on the lookout for slower-moving TxDOT vehicles involved in the pretreatment process.

TxDOT has extensively used brine, a solution of water and salt, in recent years as an effective pretreatment for roadways prior to freezing precipitation. The brine is applied using spray nozzles attached to tanks mounted on the back of TxDOT trucks, forming a milky appearance on the roadway. The brine helps to prevent the bonding of frozen precipitation to the pavement, aiding in the removal of snow and ice.

Although widespread travel impacts are not expected with this weather system, TxDOT crews will remain vigilant in treating roadways as needed. Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and check roadway conditions prior to travel through Wednesday night.

TxDOT roadway conditions statewide are available at DriveTexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292. The Brownwood District Twitter feed (@TxDOTBWD) will be updated as road conditions change. Other TxDOT Twitter feeds and the TxDOT Facebook page are also valuable resources for travel conditions across the state.

More winter weather travel information is available on the TxDOT website.