HUGS go to ... the registered voters in Denton County who cast ballots in Tuesday’s elections, as well as the poll workers and volunteers who kept the process smooth and moving. In the end, according to the reports from the Denton County Elections Administration, only 9.9% of the county’s registered voters turned out to vote — a paltry representation but still better than most forecasts prior to Election Day. We salute those who did follow through in fulfilling their civic duty.
HUGS go to ... the Upper Trinity Regional Water District for clinching — again — the title of Best Tasting Water in North Texas from the Texas Water Utilities Association, which means it can advance to statewide competition, where it has won best-tasting awards three times in the past decade. The agency also recently received the Outstanding Large Membrane Plant Award for its Tom Harpool Water Treatment Plant from the South Central Membrane Association. Membranes are an environmentally friendly way to remove small particles and pathogens from drinking water.
HUGS go to ... Cathy McMullen, former president of the Denton Drilling Advisory Group, who is still helping her neighbors, although now in Rockport. Following our report on the fifth anniversary of Denton’s short-lived ban on hydraulic fracturing, McMullen has been fielding emails and calls from nonprofit and government officials working on Hurricane Harvey recovery. In her interview for our story, McMullen compared the ruination from the natural disaster there to the man-made disaster here. Knowing McMullen as we do, recovery for Rockport’s more vulnerable residents just got a big leg up.
SHRUGS go to ... Texas Woman’s University, which continues to have issues streaming Board of Regents meetings after a state law required them to go online in 2014. The university does the minimum to comply, providing audio only and not a video stream of the meetings, making it harder to follow along. During their Thursday meeting in Houston, the audio equipment also continued to glitch, with regents hardly detectable in the audio and presenters muffled by static.
HUGS go to ... the Ryan High School football team for winning its 50th straight regular-season game and fifth consecutive district title by beating Birdville 41-14 on Thursday night. Ryan has already broken its previous program-best winning streak of 25 straight regular-season wins. The Raiders currently hold the second-best such active streak in the state behind Class 6A power Allen.
HUGS go to ... University of North Texas Student Government Association President Yolian Ogbu for speaking up against now-former UNT System Assistant General Counsel Caitlin Sewell’s ignorant use of the “n-word.” Also, hugs for North Texas Daily staff members Lizzy Spangler (a former Record-Chronicle intern) and Rebekah Schutle for doing a fantastic job covering it, including the list of SGA’s demands, which called for Sewell’s resignation.
HUGS go to ... Jackie Lawrence, a Denton fiber artist who was selected to be in a yarn-centric exhibit at Sweet Tooth Hotel, a playful, imaginative Dallas gallery. Lawrence is among the last UNT students to graduate from the now-defunct fiber arts program in the School of the Visual Arts and Design. “I want my alma mater to see that this is an important form,” Lawrence said. And she’s right.
HUGS go to ... the Denton High School theater arts program, which trained the young actors appearing as Romeo and Juliet in the Denton Community Theatre staging. Cyrus Carrillo and Jessi Crouse are representing the program with sensitivity and professionalism.