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Four more prisoners have died of COVID-19-related causes, including one at the Beto Unit in Tennessee Colony, raising the total number of COVID-related inmate deaths to 36, with another 22 under investigation, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported today. Seven prison employees al…

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Trinity Valley's Small Business Development Center and the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to offer a free “Going into Business” seminar. The six-week session starts June 2.

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City officials are considering re-opening City Hall on June 1, even as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Anderson County continues to rise.

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Cursed as a country, we are now led during this time of crisis by a man who has proved himself incapable of mastering the details of a complex set of facts outside his area of expertise. As a result, President Trump can neither weigh the relevant facts and contingencies, nor navigate the bes…

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I recognized the name on caller ID. For 20 years, he has stopped and asked to wash my truck or do any other odd job to earn a few dollars. I have always accommodated him. I figure at least he’s trying to do something for the money, rather than simply ask for a handout.

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Risking the public's health and safety, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards is using a reckless exemption to the Public Information Act to conceal COVID-19 testing data. It's even withholding the criteria for such tests in county jails across the state, raising troubling questions about w…

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The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is gearing up for a massive COVID-19 testing initiative, involving practically every inmate and every officer in the state – a total of more than 150,000 people – sources told the Herald-Press Monday. Testing should occur over the next three weeks.

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The video of Ahmaud Arbery's final moments leaves many to ask when black people will, finally, be able to enjoy, without worry or trepidation, the simple freedoms we all have a right to, such as relaxing in our homes, worshipping in peace, or jogging.

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Fewer than 5 percent of Texas county jails have reported positive coronavirus tests, raising serious questions from family members, residents, and health care professionals about whether many jails are even testing.

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After more than six months as interim Palestine police chief, Mark Harcrow is headed for the permanent position. 

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Columbia, Mo., Palestine Herald-Press Editor Jeffery Gerritt has won the 2020 Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership and Community Engagement, the News Leaders Association announced Monday.

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COVID-19 didn't really lock down Anderson County until a month or so ago, but already the breezy freedoms of life B.C. (Before COVID) seem like amorphous memories from the last century. We're sick and tired of it, and soooo ready for it to end.

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Following a two-hour closed session Monday, Palestine City Council members voted unanimously to establish performance goals for the city manager. The council will use the criteria to inform future evaluations of the city manager.

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Anderson County reported an additional three confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday, and three more today, bringing the county's total of confirmed cases to 26, Judge Robert Johnston told the Herald-Press today.

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Editor's note: Editorials, expressions of the newspaper's opinion, typically appear on the opinion page. Because of their importance to the community, certain editorials related to COVID-19, such as this one, appear on the front page.

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More than 200 employees Friday at Anderson County's Beto Unit were tested for COVID-19, state Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) told the Herald-Press today. Voluntary testing continued this weekend. The maximum-security prison, six miles south of Tennessee Colony, employs about 630 workers, inc…

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Local officials Friday, including two physicians, questioned the value of the voluntary employee testing program at Beto Unit. Testing for COVID-19 started Friday at the prison and will extend into the weekend.

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The Texas Department of Criminal Justice will test all employees for COVID-19 Friday at Anderson County's Beto Unit, state Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) told the Herald-Press Wednesday.  The University of Texas Medical Branch will conduct the tests. 

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We are in a dark, unprecedented place. Anyone who claims to have a definitive path out is delusional. To find the least perilous way forward, we'll have to rely on best guesses, informed by the science of viruses, medicines, and pandemics. Even so, course corrections are inevitable.

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Forty-three inmates at Anderson County's Beto Unit have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported Friday. That's almost double the 23 reported Thursday, and seven times as high as the six confirmed cases Wednesday.

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Palestine Herald-Press Editor Jeffery Gerritt has won this year's National Headliner Award for editorial writing, one of the most prestigious honors in U.S. journalism, the Press Club of Atlantic City announced Wednesday. This year's awards honor the best in U.S. journalism in 2019.

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Anderson County's large stores are now required to set aside at least one hour per day on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays as exclusive shopping times for people who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.

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Six prisoners at Anderson County's Beto Unit, now in isolation, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, 32 prison employees who may have had contact with those six prisoners were sent home last week to self-quarantine.

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In regards to the front-page article in Saturday’s Palestine Herald-Press, “Make Harcrow chief, group demands,” I take exception to the use of the word “demands."

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Anderson County's Beto Unit, a maximum-security prison near Tennessee Colony, has six confirmed cases of COVID-19, the most of any unit in the state, the Department of Criminal Justice reported Sunday. Meantime, alarmed at the potential spread of the coronavirus from prisons into communities…

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Given the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis, the recently amended Texas Public Information Act provides additional leeway for local governments to use virtual access for public meetings.

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Anderson County will order all “non-essential” businesses closed, effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Judge Robert Johnston told the Herald-Press Wednesday.

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Anderson County on Tuesday launched a COVID-19 task force, three hours before Judge Robert Johnston announced the county reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus. 

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Some time soon, maybe tomorrow, or the day after, Judge Robert Johnston will receive the inevitable call from the Texas Department of Health, confirming Anderson County's first case of the coronavirus.

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Smith County, 45 miles from Palestine, confirmed seven new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, boosting reported cases in the Tyler area to 21.

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For the second time this year, Palestine City Council members have overturned a unanimous Planning and Zoning Commission decision, changing a property's classification from residential to commercial.

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In an effort to help residents affected by the COVID-19 crisis, city leaders have suspended disconnects from city water service, and cut the price of an additional trash can in half.

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City officials did more than fog the lenses of government transparency Monday. By shutting out the people from a public meeting, including a Herald-Press reporter, they violated the spirit – and probably the letter – of the state's Public Information Act.

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The city's first attempt Monday at holding a virtual public meeting of the city council was plagued by technical issues that made video spotty and audio sometimes impossible to hear. Moreover, it may have violated the state's Open Meetings Act.

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With important issues on the agenda of Monday's Palestine City Council meeting, such as the city's disaster declaration and expanding the city manager's authority over employee policies, city officials decided to close the meeting to the media and public.

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Most local small businesses are wondering how to make ends-meet during the COVID-19 emergency declaration. Instead of fretting about its own survival, Stockman's Cafe, in business just three months, is giving away breakfasts to local students.

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With retail stores emptied of necessary supplies, the value of those who keep the supply chain moving is painfully apparent.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Robert A. Finley, Sr. went home to be with the lord on Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 at the age of 72 years old. He was born into the union of Bob Lanier Finley and Frances Louise Register Finley on October 28, 1947. He was a congenial man with an easy-going personality that was displayed in his k…

Martha Jewell Maddox Penland Reed Left this earth the morning of March 22 2020 to be with our Lord and Savior. Born February 28, 1941 Martha was preceded in death by her first husband and father of their children, Marcus Penland Sr., father, Harvey Maddox, mother, Birdie Maddox, brothers, Da…