This month got off to a very positive beginning for me personally and for our city, also. I welcomed more than 200 young adults to a Youth Action Summit at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center on March 2.

It was refreshing to see this next generation of leaders come together on a Saturday morning in Lufkin to discuss and show support for resisting the temptation to be captured by alcohol and tobacco. These energetic young citizens from throughout Southeast Texas were full of ideas and had plans to go back to their communities and vocalize their opinions against teen drinking and tobacco use. Thank you to Sharon Kruk, executive director of The Coalition, for giving the city a chance to host this wonderful and dedicated group of young adults.

As I left the convention center, the Junior League of Lufkin was beginning the set-up for their “Touch a Truck” event. They were setting up all over the big parking lot on Third Street. I came back later on this cool, breezy morning and was extremely impressed with the number of parents and grandparents that had brought their youngsters to “Touch a Truck.”

Thank you to the Junior League Ladies, the vendors, the Lufkin Police and Fire departments and all who allowed these young people to touch, crawl and ride on the displays all over the parking lot.

The front part of the convention center was lined with food trucks and vendors, and the event certainly brought out our community supporters to let our next generation see how involved and caring we can be to make Lufkin a safe and inclusive community.

We are so excited to welcome Twin Disc to our community. This well-managed company could have located anywhere in the United States and they chose Lufkin. CEO John Batten is the leader of this 100-year-old company. John’s great-grandfather, P.H. Batten, started Twin Disc. The company has been in production in Racine, Wisconsin, for a century.

Twin Disc is now constructing a 50,000-square-foot facility with a beautiful office to attract customers and employees to the Lufkin Business Park on state Highway 103 east.Twin Disc will be a corporate citizen that the city, county, Chamber and United Way can be proud of, and we are so pleased they chose to call Lufkin home.

By the time you read this article, Moore Bros. Construction should be in the final stages of resurfacing U.S. Highway 59 south. This contract job was mandated to work only at night when traffic was less dense, and I am sure Thomas, David and Clint have heard every ounce of criticism you had to offer. The timing couldn’t have been worse with rain, other bad conditions and the holidays, but it is now the smoothest road in Texas. Thank you, Moore Bros., for all your time and hard work in the dark. You did good.

We are also very appreciative of the vocal support that Gov. Greg Abbott, state Sen. Robert Nichols, state Rep. Trent Ashby and U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have given to the city’s effort to be declared a foreign-trade zone.

Economic Development Director Bob Samford has worked long and hard with these elected officials to help us become a foreign-trade zone city. We are awaiting this designation to have another positive tool in our economic development tool chest. Thanks to each of these powerful voices for stepping forward and writing letters of support for us.

The Angelina County Commissioners Court, Lufkin City Council, Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, and DETCOG have all passed resolutions supporting this worthwhile designation. Thank you all.

Congratulations to the Lufkin High School boys and girls basketball team for winning district this season. You make us proud.

We also want to congratulate coach Byron Coleman and the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners basketball teams for their Region XIV Conference Championship and No. 4 seed in the NJCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament in Lubbock. You had a fantastic year and we thank you for some great memories.

Spring has sprung and beauty is on its way. Look around and cherish this magnificent part of Texas.

Bless each of you and know we stand ready to make life better for all in Lufkin, Texas.

Bob Brown is the mayor for the city of Lufkin. His email address is mayorbobbrown@cityoflufkin.com.