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Several Anderson County school districts voted this past week voted not to allow its students who use remote learning to participate in University Interscholastic League events and other elective courses.

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Exactly three years ago, I was preparing for my first day as editor of the Palestine Herald-Press. Having just drove in from my beloved Detroit, I checked into a local motel and looked for some tunes on the radio – maybe a little jazz, Hip-hop, R&B or even classical.

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article thanking the public for distancing, wearing face masks, and practicing good hygiene to mitigate the coronavirus in Palestine and Anderson County. On June 24, the county reported only 20 active cases.

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Tuesday was a bad day for Anderson County's battle against COVID-19. The county reported its first death from the coronavirus, along with a record 16 new cases. Those 16 cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Anderson County to 194, including a record 98 active cases.

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Gearing up for an austere fiscal year, courtesy of COVID-19, the city of Palestine last week laid off seven part-time workers – four of them at the public library and others at the visitors center.

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Donald Trump gained the presidency on a mantra of “America First,” the foreign policy doctrine that has driven his administration. Trump took heat for it, but placing the interests of one's own nation above those of others is how all world leaders operate.

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Editor's note: This article on Beto Unit Warden Keith Gorsuch's retirement was inadvertently deleted Saturday from the Herald-Press Facebook page, as were about 25 comments. Therefore, we are re-posting the article online exactly as it ran Friday, and noting that at least a dozen readers cal…

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Citing public health risks from COVID-19, Palestine Mayor Steve Presley said Wednesday he opposed plans by prison administrators to resume transferring prisoners from county jails to state prisons.

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Anderson County, overnight, increased the official number of COVD-19 cases nearly 10-fold, reaching 989 cases. Tuesday's surge put Anderson County 18th among the state's 250 counties for COVID-19 cases, county Judge Robert Johnston said Tuesday.

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After losing his mother, Cornelius Frederick became a ward of the State of Michigan at age 10. He spent two years at a youth center in Detroit, his hometown, before he was sent to Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, a behavioral health center operated by a national for-profit company: Sequel Yout…

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Give the Palestine City Council and administration credit for proposing a much-needed advisory diversity committee. To be effective, however, the committee must truly reflect the community's needs and viewpoints, including those of young and working people.

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Mr. Dan Bochsler has aptly called me out (“McFarlane COVID column a partisan rant,” June 13, Page A4.) for my COVID-for-lunch piece. He did so, however, without detailing one factual error in my column. In perpetuating misinformation, he has proven himself worthy of becoming a spokesman for …

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Recently published commentary by Dr. Robert McFarlane (“Let them eat COVID,” May 16) was nothing more than a political rant, an obviously partisan political ad disguising itself with a seemingly respectable source.

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Anderson County hit two COVID milestones on Thursday, reporting the largest single-day count for new cases, as well as breaking the 100 mark for total cases. Eight new cases raised the county's total for confirmed coronavirus cases to 102. Anderson County reported its first confirmed case on…

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Anderson County announced another COVID-19 mobile testing site, as local cases rose to 95 on Wednesday, with four more confirmed. Of those 95 cases, however, 66 have recovered, leaving the county with 29 documented active cases, and no reported COVID-related deaths.

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Anderson County and the rest of the state have entered Gov. Greg Abbott's third phase of reopening Texas businesses, allowing them, with few exceptions, to operate at 50 percent capacity. Bars, previously capped at 25 percent capacity, may go to 50 percent, as long as customers remain seated.

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Let’s not sugarcoat it. Your last semester in high school has gotten demolished by a global pandemic and it is wickedly unfair. Your graduation is now a drive-thru, your prom is imaginary. Instead of spending your last semester of senior year hanging out with your friends and taking a victor…

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With new cases of COVID-19 in Anderson County appearing to level off last week, Judge Robert Johnston said he wasn't sure if another drive-through testing site was needed.

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Following a record number of single-day cases of COVID-19 Thursday, Anderson County has returned to a more typical number of new cases. 

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Roughly 50 people – young, old and racially diverse – gathered in Reagan Park Monday night to protest the gruesome death of African American George Floyd, 46, after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

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Herald-Press editorials rarely sing the praises of local officials. Maybe it's too easy to criticize the bad, while neglecting to celebrate the good. Or maybe elected leaders in Anderson County have given us too little cause for applause.

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Mark Harcrow, a 2006 graduate of Palestine High School, started as a patrol officer with the Palestine Police Department in May of 2009, while earning a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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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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