Thumbs up to last week's stellar FireAnt Festival. It was another fun, successful year and one of the best attended events this year. The car show was outstanding, drawing a large crowd and there good activity and shopping at downtown merchants all day Saturday. Kudos to all volunteers, Chamber staff, FireAnt committee and Chamber Ambassadors who worked so hard for so long.

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Thumbs up: The Women's Professional Rodeo Association recently announced their year-end award winners to honor those who work behind the scenes in rodeo, and among them are Martha and R.E. Josey of Marshall. The Joseys were named the winners of this year's Lifetime Family Award.

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Thumbs up: Hailey Nicole Pyland was chosen to represent Harleton High School at the coronation of East Texas Yamboree Queen LXXX Madison Lee Dean. She represented her school well.

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Thumbs down: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wants to keep secret a report on the deaths this summer of three Boy Scouts who were electrocuted while sail boating on Lake O' the Pines. The News-Journal had requested a copy of the report once it was completed, but an attorney for the agency said Monday that Texas Parks and Wildlife "believes the requested records may be confidential" because the accident involved "two children." One of the three boys was 17.

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Thumbs up: Marshall residents should start paying a little more attention to the ground before them as they just might find one of the Marshall Art League's painted, hidden rocks, part of a new "Marshall, TX Rocks" campaign. The concept of the campaign, which kicked off this week, is for participants to paint a rock, hide it somewhere in town in plain view and wait for someone to find it. This encourages a bevy of good habits, including getting outside as well as creativity. We hope many locals latch onto the concept.

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Thumbs up: Miss Texas 2017 Margana Wood made a stop in Hallsville on Tuesday to visit with female high school and junior high school students about stopping bullying. Wood told the group of girls that she took up dance and cheerleading as a way to cope with the bullying. It is a good thing for local young women to have a positive role model to look to.