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TxDOT Plans for $70 Billion to Fund Transportation Projects Over Next 10 Years

The Texas Transportation Commission today approved the 2017 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) with $70 billion worth of projects to help TxDOT meet the state’s growing transportation demands. The plan is the largest of its kind in the agency’s history that addresses capacity, maintenance and safety needs around state. The 10-year plan, developed with extensive public input, targets congestion in the state’s most-populated areas and includes projects to better connect the major interstates in rural areas with local roads and highways. Also outside urban areas, the program calls for enhancing and completing interstate highways, and addressing the continuing needs within the energy sector and along hurricane evacuation routes. “The actions today by the Texas Transportation Commission represent a historic investment in our state’s infrastructure,” said Governor Abbott. “Texans have sent a loud and clear message that they are tired of sitting in traffic, and this funding plan will significantly address safety, maintenance, connectivity and congestion on our crowded highways. The plan presented by the commission will allow Texas roads to keep pace with our population growth, provide much-needed congestion relief for working Texans and put the Lone Star State well on its way towards having a first-in-class highway system for decades to come.” “The Unified Transportation Program reflects TxDOT’s commitment to planning for and meeting the mobility needs of our fast-growing state,” said Transportation Commission Chairman Tryon Lewis. With more...

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Tomball’s ‘Beetles, Brew & Barbecue’ — Oktoberfest Done Texas Styules

    On September 24th, more than 150 classic Volkswagen “beetles”, Houston-area craft breweries, local barbecue and live music will make Tomball’s 6th annual “Beetles, Brew & Barbecue” a true Oktoberfest done Texas style. The North Houston Volkswagen Club expects more than 150 classic VWs to fill Tomball’s historic downtown Depot Plaza, as thousands of festival goers meet and greet some of their favorite local brew makers while sampling on-site. Scheduled to attend are Saint Arnold, Karbach, Southern Star, No Label, 11 Below, Cycler, Lone Pint, Back Pew, and Fire Ant Brewing Company. More than three dozen Texas craft brews will be available for purchase, too. New this year is the Texas Beer Float Championship.  One of the festival’s participating craft breweries will take top honors for its prize winning mixture of beer, ice cream and other goodies. It’s going to be sweet. Local barbecue and festival foods will be available from local favorites Tejas Chocolate Craftory & Barbecue and Bexar County Brisket, along with the Sauced Pig food truck and more. Classic rockers Johnny & the Spinsations, and Galveston’s party band The Mambo Jazz Kings, will perform at Depot Plaza from 11:30 am to 6 pm on the Spec’s concert stage. There will washer tossing at the annual “Trackside Washers Tournament”. Registration begins at 11:30, with the tossing around 12:30 pm.  Competitors could win a piece of $500...

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It Seems to Me: Be Careful How You Walk

Ephesians 5 begins by telling us to be imitators of God.  We are told of the contrast between darkness and light; also we are told not to walk in darkness.  Furthermore, we are reminded that light is found in nothing in the world but rather in the Person of Christ. Ephesians 5:15-17 builds on this discussion of light,  “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,  making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (NASU) This passage connects with the previous passage by using the word “therefore”.  Is there a bigger fool than a person whom Christ has dawned His Light upon and yet continues to walk in darkness?  Is there a more unwise person than one who claims to know God and yet does not walk with Him?  We are commanded to walk as wise men rather than unwise.   Those who are wise, go on with the Lord, walking with Him in His Light. Those who are unwise remain as infants, babes in Christ, walking in darkness.  It is a sad, tragic fact that many who claim to be Christians never invest the time or effort to even reach a bare minimum of Biblical knowledge. They continue to walk in darkness because they refuse the...

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Invasive Lionfish May Eat Up Texas Coastline, Says Texas A&M Expert

Attention Texans: the invasive lionfish is near your coastline, he’s hungry, he’s on the prowl and there appears to be no stopping him.  A Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher says the best way to control lionfish might be serving the pesky sea creatures as the blue plate special on restaurant menus. Raven Walker, a doctoral student in marine biology at the Galveston campus, has studied the lionfish for years and knows just how widespread a problem the pretty fish can be. It’s believed the lionfish were brought into southern waters in the 1980s through accidental or intentional human release, but now they are a big problem in the Caribbean Atlantic Coast and along the Gulf Coast to Texas. Plenty of them have been spotted near the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary located about 100 miles south of Galveston, and where they are seen, there are bound to be more, she notes. “The female is capable of laying 2 million eggs per year,” says Walker, “so that gives you some idea of how big a problem we are talking about.  They multiply like crazy. The thing about an invasive species like the lionfish is that once it has established itself in an area, it’s almost impossible to control it.” The fish are beautiful in their shape, with 18 venomous spines that can be seven or eight inches long...

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Home Country

September means pencils and books for the youngsters, but it also means state fair season. That’s when the world’s largest zucchini squash is at its prime, of course. The farm animals are all shed off and shiny and cute, their horns polished to diamond-like perfection by hard-working and hopeful kids. The state fairgrounds is an annual pilgrimage of sorts, another temporary home. We need to touch base with turkey legs, corn dogs and deep fried everything. We who sport gray in our hair, or no hair at all, can look with relief at that giant slingshot that shoots high school kids into a state fair orbit. It’s a relief because no one expects us to do that. And when we were young enough to actually do that, thankfully the diabolical state fair scientists hadn’t invented the darn thing yet. Cruising around, you get to see everyone at their best. Best fair-type clothing. Best behavior. Best smiles. If you scowl at any point during a visit to the state fair, you either aren’t trying very hard or someone ran off with your date. And we make those little secret promises to ourselves, too. You see, we’d love to win a ribbon for making a quilt, or raising an animal, or taking a fabulous photograph or coming up with the best painting in the whole state. But not all of us...

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