Evening Remembrance Ceremony

 Evening remembrance ceremony on Saturday, September 11, to be held on Harrison County Courthouse Square in Marshall, Texas to commemorate 20th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States of America on September 11, 2001 in which 2,977 persons were killed in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The victims included 343 firefighters and 69 members of law enforcement and other first responders who perished that day.

To honor and remember those who were killed in the attacks 20 years ago, all firefighters, members of law enforcement, other first responders, and members of the public in Marshall and Harrison County are invited to a brief evening remembrance ceremony that will be held on the east parking lot of the 1901 Harrison County Courthouse Square at 7:30pm on Saturday, September 11, 2021.

Christina Anderson, who serves on the planning committee of the Harrison County Firefighters Association (HCFA) that coordinates the community prayer service each year, shared the following: “We want to make sure that everyone in our community is aware that the remembrance ceremony to honor those who lost their lives on September 11th will be held this year in the evening, rather than in the morning, as we have done in years past. Since it is the 20th anniversary, we wanted to plan a different type of remembrance ceremony which will include luminaria displayed around the historic Courthouse.”  

Danny Butler, Assistant Fire Chief of Harrison County Emergency Service District #2 in Nesbitt and member of the planning committee, explained that part of this year’s remembrance will be a beautiful display of luminaria, with battery-operated tea lights in white paper bags, all around the historic Courthouse.

Chief Butler explained: “We plan to have more than 300 luminaria displayed around the historic Courthouse to represent and honor the 343 firefighters and 69 members of law enforcement and other first responders who bravely answered the call that tragic day. Their heroism, and the heroism of others who responded that day, saved many, many lives. We must never forgot the sacrifices of that day 20 years ago.”

The Marshall Fire Department and Harrison County Emergency Service District #1 (West Harrison) are scheduled to each bring a ladder truck, between which the American flag will be flown for the ceremony.

The Harrison County Firefighters Association Honor Guard and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard will post the colors for the service.

Gary Smith, Fire Chief of Harrison County Emergency Service District #2 in Nesbitt also serves on the planning committee and explained that the remembrance service this year will also include the firefighters traditional Ringing of the Bell.

Chief Smith shared: “The Ringing of the Bell is designed to honor and pay respect to firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty.”

He also shared that the ceremony will include a Remembrance Call that will be much like what is known as Last Call at a firefighter’s memorial service. It will also include the playing of a bagpiper’s rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Dr. Eric Hillman, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at East Texas Baptist University, will play “Taps” for the ceremony. Dr. Hillman is a veteran of the Houston Police Department where he served as officer, sergeant, lieutenant, staff attorney, and police academy instructor.

The committee also explained that the ceremony will be brief this year due to the current increase in cases of COVID and the delta variant in Marshall and Harrison County. All safety protocols and guidelines will be followed in this outdoor ceremony.

The HCFA planning committee wishes to thank Harrison County for kindly providing the use of the grounds around the 1901 Harrison County Courthouse for the display of the luminaria and for the use of the east parking lot for the ceremony. They also wish to thank the City of Marshall for providing assistance with placing cones or small barriers to reserve the area just east of the parking lot for the ladder trucks to park on Bolivar Street.

The HCFA also wishes to thank Marshall Grave Service for underwriting the luminaria, Sullivan’s Funeral Home for providing the sound system for the ceremony, and Meadowbrook Funeral Home for printing the programs.

The committee also wishes to share their deep appreciation to the Chiefs and members of all Fire Departments, Police Departments, Sheriff’s Office, and other first responders in Marshall and Harrison County who will be participating. All are invited and all are invited to bring a vehicle from their department.

Ms. Anderson added:  “Just as we are profoundly grateful to those who currently serve or have served in our military to bravely protect our nation and our Constitution, we, as a community and as a country, are also profoundly grateful to all firefighters, members of law enforcement, and other first responders. They put their lives on the line each and every day to keep us safe.”

She continued: “This is particularly true in 2020 and 2021 since they, like other brave frontline workers, have served so selflessly during this dangerous pandemic.  Plus, with the devastation of Hurricane Ida and other such disasters, we’re continually reminded of how consequential their selfless and courageous work is day in and day out. We appreciate their sacrifice more than words could ever say and we thank them for what they do to protect us.”

The members of the Harrison County Firefighters Association ask that the community continue to keep all healthcare workers, first responders, and other frontline heroes in your prayers and do all that you can do to work together to stop the spread of the virus.

In addition to the victims who died on 9/11, also to be remembered are those brave first responders and other workers who helped with rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero in New York City where the Twin Towers had fallen. It has been estimated that more than 2,000 of those working at Ground Zero for the weeks and months following the attacks have died of illnesses related to the work at Ground Zero and thousands of others have battled illnesses connected with this heroic and difficult work. 


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Opinion: Stop The Spam


By George Smith  — August 24, 2021

In the past year or so, I have blocked more than 350 spam calling numbers and about 75-80 spam texts.

Here’s calling on Congress or the president  by executive order to solve this problem.

Just follow these instructions:

— Make it illegal for scammers, spammers and car warranty/student loan call centers or any robocall mills to use any number other than a recognizable mass-calling number — 800, 866, 899, etc.

—  Every such call received MUST include a simple “opt out forever” option.

— Force purveyors of technology to create the pathway that when a user/customer puts a message in the internet junk folder, it disables any possible future connection between the  company/service/spammer and the intended recipient.

— Any violation of this law entails a $100,000 fine PER violation and a mandatory one year in jail for the company’s Top 3 officers.

Problem freakin’ solved.

Copy and send to your elected federal officials today. Tell them it’s your idea. 😎


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PO Box 721

Scottsville TX 75688

Marshall Unveils New Animal Shelter

 Marshall Unveils New Animal Shelter

To view the interview – click here.


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PO Box 721

Scottsville TX 75688

The Elephant In The Room

The Elephant In The Room
and why people won’t look at it

By Ron Munden © August 19, 2021

A friend and I have respectfully debated politics for several years.  He recently sent me  an email.  He said that Biden had difficulty speaking in full sentences and had failed completely on crime, immigration and the virus.

This is the response I sent to him:

I have thought about your email since the day you sent it.

One thing that we can agree on is that the country is broken.

I have been disappointed in Biden in many ways but I still would take him over Trump any day.  At least we don’t have to worry about him trying to overthrow the democratic process in our country.

I too would like to see a STATESMAN  enter the stage but I don’t see that ever happening.  The Supreme Court ensured that by its rulings.  First by allowing unlimited amounts of black money into the political system and ruling that corporations have all the rights of an individual.  Those decisions ensured that all politicians will be brought and controlled by special interest groups.

Afghanistan has been a major screw up by Biden, Trump, Obama and George W.  Bush.  If you have to assign blame, Brush is the most responsible.  First, Bush took his eye off Afghanistan and went to war with Iraq.  Second Bush authorised mission creep in Afghanistan by  promoting nation building.  The next three Presidents followed this failed policy.

Military people recommend that we keep a small force of under 10,000 troops in Afghanistan indefinitely.  I think this was the right approach.  The US recorded no battlefield deaths in Afghanistan in the past 18 months.  We have kept troops in other countries for the past 50 years.  Why not a few in Afghanistan? Both Trump and Biden rejected that recommendation.  By doing what the US did it ensures that Russia and China will increase their influence in that part of the world and the USA will lose its influence.

I agree that Biden has not done a good job on crime and immigration.  But in my opinion those are minor problems compared to what will impact changes in the US and the world most in the next 30 years.

The United Nations report on climate change is very sobering.  The report states, and other scientists have confirmed, that if we stopped all additional   pollution tomorrow, the earth would continue to get warmer for the next 30 years.  The earth is estimated to increase in temperature by another .4 degrees C by 2050. Fires, drought, sea rises and storms are all predicted to increase from the present levels.

The Colorado River Authority, for the first time in its history, imposed water restrictions on Nevada and Arizona.  Starting in January 2022 there will be a 18% reduction in these two states’ water allotments.  Now 80% of the western states are under extreme drought declarations.  

Up to now climate change is something we have talked about happening in the future.  The future is today.  I think climate change will make immigration and the other issues you mentioned  look like a small blip on the radar screen.

There are a few off-ramps left from the climate change disaster but I am confident the world will not take them and we will crash into a concrete barrier.

For that reason I have lost most of my concerns about politics in the US because what party is in charge will have no  impact on where we are headed. Both parties have demonstrated they have no interest in addressing the biggest problem that faces this nation — it is too hard for politicians.  They have to work on getting reelected.

For the first time in my life I am glad I have no grandchildren.

How can we pray to God for help when we are what caused the problem?


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PO Box 721

Scottsville TX 75688

Jordan’s Way Comes To Marshall

 Jordan’s Way Becomes To Marshall

The nationally recognized animal welfare advocate, Jordan’s Way, chose Friends of Marshall Animals to be one of the stops on their 50-state rescue/shelter fundraising tour.

Our fundraiser will take place Wednesday, July 21, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at the current shelter. The scheduling was determined by Jordan’s Way’s travel timetable and we’re honored to be one of only 20 stops in Texas.

The event itself is a live fundraiser; essentially a telethon broadcast to a Facebook audience. In order to meet our goal of $15,000 in four hours, it’s very important that we get prominent local citizens, such as yourself, involved.

Do you have a good sense of humor? Are you willing to participate in stunts that would be beneath your dignity for anything other than a great cause? We need you! 

Some of the activities may include:

– taking a pie in your face

– enjoying a bucket of water poured over your head

– bobbing for dog bones in whipped cream

– shaving your head

– coloring your hair

– eating dog food

If you’re willing to do even more extreme stunts, we’d love to hear about it. We need good incentives to encourage people to donate!

You decide at what total fundraising amount you’re willing to participate in certain stunts. (Note that no one volunteer will necessarily be chosen to perform all of the stunts he or she is willing to do.)

For example:

At $1,000, you’re willing to take a pie in the face

At $5,000, you’re up for a bucket of ice poured over your head

At $10,000, you’ll let a puppy lick whipped cream off your face

At $15,000, you’ll eat dog food

At $20,000, you’ll allow your head to be shaved

Participants are encouraged to recruit other willing volunteers, and also to reach out to their friends, family, & social media with challenges “on the side.”  For example, you might say to them, “please help the fundraiser get to $500, and I will let them throw a pie in my face.”

We are also recruiting local businesses to match donations. They will be recognized on the live feed and also have a post of their own on our social media. Our Facebook page alone has over 12,000 followers.

Here’s a link to the Jordon’s Way fundraiser page for FOMA. People are already donating!


This TV news story about one of Jordan’s Way’s previous stops may give you a better idea of what happens during the fundraiser: https://youtu.be/mrN9sRrvzTY


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Amtrak’s 50th Anniversary

Amtrak’s 50th Anniversary

In tribute to Amtrak’s 50th Anniversary, Marshall Depot Board of Directors announces year-long commemoration to honor Amtrak’s 50 years of connecting America

May 1, 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of Amtrak. In honor of this important milestone for our nation, the Marshall Depot Board of Directors is announcing a year-long commemoration and celebration of Amtrak.

This commemoration will focus on providing information and events that highlight the important role that Amtrak has played and continues to play in providing an essential transportation option for the people of America and our community. It will also underscore benefits Amtrak provides to urban as well as rural communities, such as Marshall, in connecting cities throughout America through its vast National Network.

“On behalf of the volunteer Board of Directors of the Marshall Depot Inc., we ask people of our community and our region to join us in wishing Amtrak a happy 50th birthday.”  said Cathy Wright, current president of the Marshall Depot Board. “We appreciate all that Amtrak does for the people of Marshall and our community.”

Out of the approximately 20,000 cities in America, only about 525 cities are fortunate to have an Amtrak stop and Marshall, Texas is fortunate to be one of those cities.  Marshall, Texas is a stop on the Texas Eagle long-distance route. The Texas Eagle connects San Antonio to Chicago, with stops that include Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, Little Rock and St. Louis, in addition to Marshall.

Christina Anderson, who serves as the chairman of the 2021 community fundraising campaign which is currently underway for the non-profit Marshall Depot, shared the following:

“We thought Amtrak’s 50th anniversary would also provide an excellent opportunity to continue to raise awareness in our community about the remarkable benefits that Amtrak and our historic Marshall Depot bring to our community with regard to transportation, tourism, economic development, quality of life, not to mention just a fun way to travel.”

Ms. Anderson also pointed out a benefit distinctive to Marshall that many community members might not be aware of which brings in tens of thousands of dollars of revenue to our local economy each year. That is, Marshall is one of only a few stops on the Texas Eagle route that is a crew change stop.

Ms. Anderson explained: “That means that not only do tourists and visitors spend dollars when they travel here by train, but six Amtrak crew members who stay in Marshall each night provide ‘heads on beds’ in a local hotel. This results in at least 2,190 hotel stays in Marshall each year, not counting any visitors or tourists who may travel here by Amtrak and may add additional hotel nights.”

She further explained that these six crew members also spend dollars at local restaurants, stores, and with a local van service. In fact, over the past 19 years of Marshall serving as a crew change stop, the total revenue to our local economy for Amtrak’s spending for these crews has been approximately $4.1 million.

“So, in addition to being a transportation hub which connects us to the National Network right in the heart of historic downtown Marshall,” Ms. Anderson shared, “the Marshall Depot and Amtrak are also very valuable assets with regard to generating revenue for our community.”

The Marshall Depot is one of only a few depots on the Texas Eagle route that is not maintained and operated by the city it serves. The Marshall Depot is instead maintained by a volunteer board of directors for the non-profit entity Marshall Depot Inc, which was established in 1990 to assist the City with the Depot. This volunteer board raises funds, through grants and donations, to maintain the funding needed each year for the operational costs, insurance, maintenance, and ongoing preservation of the Depot and the Texas & Pacific Railway Museum. In the past, the City had assisted with these annual costs.

For those wishing to make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit Marshall Depot Inc. in the 2021 fundraising campaign, which began in late March, please make a request to receive materials in the mail about this by calling or leaving a message at (903) 938-8373. Or you can make a tax-deductible donation by sending a check to:  Marshall Depot Inc., 800 North Washington Avenue, Suite 1, Marshall, Texas 75670.

Alan Loudermilk, who serves on the Marshall Depot Board and is owner of the popular Ginocchio Restaurant which is located adjacent to the Marshall Depot, has graciously offered to have a small display at the restaurant with information, donation cards, and envelopes so that customers who wish to make a donation to the Depot can pick up materials while they’re dining at the restaurant.

Cathy Wright also shared that the Marshall Depot Board is making plans and putting in place the necessary health-related precautions to re-open the T & P Railway Museum which is located at the Marshall Depot soon. The Museum has been closed during the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, Amtrak recently announced that, on May 24, it would restore daily service to long-distance trains, including the Texas Eagle. In 2020, because of the pandemic, Amtrak reduced daily service to three days a week.

Christina Anderson concluded by saying: “Marshall, Texas is blessed to have a long and strong history as a ‘railroad town.’  The I-20 Corridor Council and the Texas Eagle Marketing and Performance Organization (TEMPO) join the members of the Marshall Depot Board in wishing all current and past members of the Amtrak family a happy, prosperous 50th Anniversary and a strong and prosperous 50 years to come. As one of the new Amtrak taglines says: “The Future Rides With Us.”


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You wanna talk health care?

You wanna talk health care?

By George Smith

If I didn’t have Medicare Part D, my out-of-pocket monthly expense would be about $960; Eliquis alone, without Medicare, would be $450 a month. My personal cost is about $80 a month with almost 40 percent of that amount for Eliquis alone.

Big Pharma gets away with their pricing because members of Congress are bought and paid for via campaign contributions.

Ask yourself: Why are identical drugs exponentially cheaper in other counties?

Why is a drug that costs $10 a day in Canada cost 10 times that amount in the U.S.? On average, Canadian patients pay 40 percent less than Americans.

The U.S. allows market competition to control medication pricing. This has led to higher medication prices in the U.S. than in other countries. The government in many other countries directly or indirectly manages drug costs.

The U.S. competitive marketing system, allows pharmaceutical companies to make significant profits. Manufacturers counter this complaint stating a need for profits to incentivize high-risk research.

In order for a manufacturer to get a product to market, they must pass many layers of government approval.

Between 2011 and 2015, Medicare recipients saw a 62 percent increase for brand-name drugs. The salary and pension income for those over the age of 65, however, did not meet this 62 percent rise. Thus, the steep rise in medication prices makes it very difficult for people to keep up.

Are medications really cheaper in Canada?

PharmacyChecker reports that many brand-name prescription medicines are less expensive in Canada. Yet, the U.S. Generic medications are often cheaper in the U.S. than in Canada.

Research on 20 popular brand-name drugs found a possible average savings of 70 percent when purchased in Canada. Some examples of 90-day supplies in October 2018 include:

Premarin 0.625 mg costs $623.70 in U.S. vs. $76.61 in Canada

Januvia 100 mg costs $1,593.90 in the U.S. vs. $269.94 in Canada

Crestor 10 mg costs $969.30 in the U.S. vs. $204.02 in Canada

Advair Diskus 250/50 mcg costs $1,437.99 in the U.S. vs $383.74 in Canada

Nexium 40 mg costs $863.10 in the U.S. vs. $149.94 in Canada

The U.S. government could create laws to set lower prices. Here, however, money talks and Big Pharma’s lobby

lobbyists talk BIG and LOUD!

Nothing will change until we — you, me, us, them — scream BIG and just as LOUDLY!


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Reparations for the nation’s history of slavery

Reparations for the nation’s history of slavery.

Yea or nay?

With a history of being editor and publisher of newspapers where racial disharmony was a constant stain on the communities I served, where cultures conflicted as a part of everyday life, and having a black son-in-law and biracial grandchildren, you can guess where I stand.

Or maybe not.

Attempting to erase the nation’s nefarious and horrid treatment of people of color — Black, Asian, Native American or “other” — by handing out wads of I’m-sorry! cash is not a plausible solution.

History is what it is, and the white contingent’s treatment overall of citizens and residents of different cultures, religions and colors is reprehensible and indefensible.

But trying to solve our collective consciences with bucket loads of lucre is not the answer.

Who would we pay? How much? For how long? For what specific act or collection of acts?

The answer to the past disputable behaviors lies in visible change, in the switching of attitude, creation of laws and additional opportunities with an aim of an equalization of cultures. These goals must include the education of all citizens on the importance of the fundamental right of equality.

This is the United States of America, once described as  “A City upon a Hill”, a phrase derived from the teaching in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. In a modern context, it has been used in United States politics to refer to America acting as a “beacon of hope” for the world, a “shining city.”

From a global perspective — and also from a domestic viewpoint — the democratic luster  is gone from our nation. Where once the United States was held aloft as a symbol of freedom and hope, our political, racial, cultural and religious differences have caused us to be pitied and scorned.m by nations which once held us as a positive example of freedom and democracy.

Now, right now, is the time to summon  our better angels, to pray for uplifting support and guidance and make a determined effort to work in unity to recreate the America of promise and hope. Our goal should be to create, finally, a kinder, gentler America, a nation that values all citizens equally and welcomes all who share our vision, our hopes and our dreams.

We can do better. We must do better. We must change. Our children and grandchildren demand action from us.

We must not, cannot let them down.


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Marshall Animal Shelter Receives Large Donation

[Marshall, Texas] On March 29, 2021, Mr. Jerry Cargill presented a check in the amount of $150,000 to the City of Marshall to assist with the construction of the new Marshall Pet Adoption Center. This check represents the second scheduled installment of a commitment, from Friends of Marshall Animals, to raise $450,000 from private donors towards the construction of this much-needed facility.

The City of Marshall would like to thank the Friends of Marshall Animals’ private donors for their ongoing funding efforts and contributions. Tax deductible contributions may continue to be made to Friends of Marshall Animals, Inc., P.O. Drawer V, Marshall, TX 75671, and at FriendsofMarshallAnimals.org online, or by visiting their Facebook page: facebook.com/FriendsOfMA/

Photographed are Mr. Jerry Cargill, local businessman and philanthropist, presenting the $150,000 check to Marshall City Manager Mark Rohr.

Amanda Smith —

Thank you to all of the wonderful people who have donated so far – and especially to Steve Carlile and Jerry Cargill for their heroic fundraising efforts and collaboration with Friends of Marshall Animals.


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Gun Control and Drunk Driving

Sen. Jon Kennedy of Louisiana in a floor debate on tightening gun restrictions used the analogy of the number of people killed annually by drunk drivers.

He made a point, but not a valid one when linked to gun safety measures.

However, this country could easily and quickly put a severe dent in the drunk driving problem in the country.

Impose tougher restrictions: First offense, $10,000 fine, 30 days in jail and confiscation and public sale of vehicle; second offense, $25,000 fine, year in jail and confiscation of vehicle.

There might be a bunch of drunks walking around but durn few drunk drivers.


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