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TxDOT Tyler District Update for Week of June 4

Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of June 4, 2018. Schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.

Motorists are encouraged to take alternate routes to avoid significant delays, Saturday, June 2, during a traffic switch for the SH 149 project at the Sabine River in Gregg County. Starting at 8 a.m., Saturday, the contractor will be moving traffic to the east side of the roadway, kicking off Phase III work for the project. The switch should be completed by mid-afternoon. Caution is advised as traffic acclimates to the change in traffic pattern. Additional information is available in the Gregg County section of this news release.

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Tyler District TxDOT Update for Week of May 28

Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of May 28, 2018. Schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.

Note: All TxDOT offices will be closed Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day. Normal business resume on Tuesday. To allow for more efficient travel during the long holiday weekend, TxDOT will not have any lane closures impacting traffic flow Friday – Monday.

Districtwide seal coat operations are in full swing in the Tyler District. After today, work will resume Tuesday on FM 225 in Rusk County from US 79 in Henderson going south to the Nacogdoches County line. Motorists should expect lane closures and delays during this work to seal and protect roadways from water, and provide a longer life cycle.

Anderson County

Palestine Maintenance crews, and the Special Jobs Crew, will be conducting seal coat operations on FM 645 between FM 3328 and FM 320. Expect lane closures at all locations with flaggers and a pilot car providing traffic control.

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TxDOT announces Summer Seal Coat program in Cherokee, Van Zandt and Wood counties

TxDOT’s Districtwide Summer Seal Coat program is underway in Cherokee, Van Zandt, and Wood counties. Seal coat operations will be conducted on roadways around the eight-county Tyler District for the next several months.

“Travel will be impacted during these operations,” said Kathi White, TxDOT spokesperson. “Motorists can expect to see lane closures and experience delays as this work is conducted to preserve the state’s roadways.”

Crews are currently working on US 69 in Cherokee County and finishing up today on Loop 564 in Mineola. On Saturday, May 19, work will continue on US 69 as well as on US 80 in Van Zandt County.

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TxDOT Tyler District Update for Week of 5/21

Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of May 21, 2018. Schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.

A traffic switch is being planned for mid-week on the US 175 Phase III project between Poynor and Frankston to reconfigure the eastbound and westbound lanes. Eastbound will be moved to the north side of the roadway. Additional project information is available in the Henderson County section of this release.

Anderson County

Crews expect to finish mill and inlay operations on US 287 between FM 321 and SH 19 before moving to US 79 and Loop 256, and then, US 79 at the Neches River. Expect lane closures at all locations with flaggers and a pilot car providing traffic control.

Anderson County construction projects updates:

US 79 New Lane Construction Project

Limits: From 1.6 miles southwest of Loop 256 in Palestine south to the Trinity River
Contractor: Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd., of Longview
Cost: $42.7 million
Anticipated Completion Date: Summer 2018
The contractor continues to conduct closeout activities throughout the project limits. Expect lane closures. The project is expanding a 5.3-mile section of US 79 from two lanes to a four-lane divided highway with a continuous left-turn lane and a depressed median.

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Romance Scams: Call Jeff before sending money

Many people have learned it isn’t smart to send money to a Nigerian prince, but what about the nice man you meet online?

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which provides the public with a means of reporting Internet-facilitated crimes, romance scams result in the highest amount of financial losses to victims when compared to other online crimes.

In 2016, the FBI received 1,000 complaints in Texas from victims reporting more than $16 million in losses related to romance scams.

Attorney Jeff Weinstein doesn’t want to see you make that kind of mistake.

“Please run these opportunities by me before you send the money,” Weinstein said. “It’s almost impossible to ever get any of this money back. Once you send it, it’s gone. We don’t charge anything for a call to find out whether these requests are legitimate or not.”

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Firefighters gather in East Texas for annual Wildland Fire Training Academy

Press release

More than 200 emergency responders will attend the 21st Annual East Texas Wildfire and Incident Management Academy over the next two weeks to improve their knowledge and skills for combating wildfires and managing the complex, large-scale disasters that often occur in Texas.

The East Texas Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academy is held each year in Lufkin as a joint effort by Texas emergency response agencies to provide training to all levels of firefighters and incident managers. Students come from various backgrounds including paid and volunteer fire departments, various state and federal agencies in Texas and others from around the nation. The classes have an emphasis on entry-level and intermediate training in wildfire suppression.

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FBI reports internet crime losses of $1.4 billion in 2017

The FBI released the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 2017 Internet Crime Report this week. The report highlights trending Internet scams.

The information in the report was compiled from complaints of suspected criminal Internet activity filed with the IC3 in 2017. The report’s data represents a total of 301,580 complaints with reported losses in excess of $1.4 billion.

“I like to think of doing business on the internet as being at the train station of a major city and having to make sure that you are not a target of a pick-pocketer or putting yourself in harm’s way by not paying attention to your surroundings,” said attorney Jeff Weinstein. “When you are buying, selling or exchanging information on the internet, you must be very careful at all times. If you think something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”

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Safety tips for prom season

Prom season is upon us! While you are planning for your big night, please make decisions to keep it safe.

“Living in rural East Texas makes prom night even more dangerous,” said attorney Jeff Weinstein. “Country roads, staying out late, dinner 20 miles away from home or the dance, teenagers drinking alcohol and driving, texting and driving, the list goes on and on. We know there is a chance that our children will not do as we have asked. I believe going over the rules is great but you may want to reduce the agreement to writing – a contract for the evening. You might also consider a car service, Uber or some other trusted adult being the chauffeur. Most of the tragedies revolve around driving so take that component out of the mix for the night.”

Here are some great tips from the CDC:

Follow directions, cautions, and warnings on products

If you’re changing hairstyles, hair color, and using new cosmetics or products, carefully follow all directions, cautions, and warnings on the label. Dyes and relaxers can hurt skin, hair, and eyes. Never dye eyebrows or eyelashes, as it might cause blindness. Always test a product in a small area of your body first. Allergies may happen the first time or after multiple uses. For some people, using cosmetics may cause itching, redness, rash, sneezing, or wheezing. Stop using the product if problems develop, and remove all products before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation. If in doubt, let the professionals handle it.

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DPS reminds Texans to prepare for Hurricane Season now

DPS press release

With the hurricane season less than one month away, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) urges all Texans to use Hurricane Preparedness Week to learn how to protect themselves and their families from hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricane season starts June 1 and continues through Nov. 30.

“Hurricane season is unpredictable, and as we saw last year with Hurricane Harvey, these powerful storms can cause dangerous conditions and leave behind major devastation,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who proclaimed this week as Hurricane Preparedness Week in Texas. “By preparing ahead of time, we can help ensure our state is ready when natural disasters strike. I encourage all of my fellow Texans to plan now in advance of hurricane season, and to closely monitor any weather warnings and evacuation orders in the coming months.”

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Thankfully Judge McKee nixed plea deal

Judge Scott McKee

Thank you to 392nd District Court Judge Scott McKee for doing the right thing and rejecting a plea bargain for a man accused of Criminally Negligent Homicide.

The charge stems from a 2017 automobile wreck that killed a Henderson County man and resulted in the other driver being indicted by the Grand Jury for Possession of Controlled Substance and Criminally Negligent Homicide.

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