Our weekly roundup of Toasts & Roasts:
We’ll roast Texas motorists for their stubborn refusal to fasten their seat belts before getting on the road. Cheryl Flood, the Lufkin District Engineer with the Texas Department of Transportation, said there were 2,623 reportable vehicle crashes that resulted in 982 fatalities in Texas during 2018 in which occupants were not wearing seat belts. Within the city of Lufkin, there were five crashes with unrestrained occupants. These caused three fatalities and four serious injuries. It only takes a few seconds to buckle up and it shouldn’t be a hard choice for anyone to make, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. David Hendry. In TxDOT’s annual Click it or Ticket event, Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches and municipal court judge April Earley also spoke about the importance of using a seat belt. Sanches said that in a car accident, there are three collisions: the car collision, the body collision and the internal organ collision. “The higher the force of that collision, the higher the collision is of the internal organs,” he said. “A lot of times that’s what going to get a lot of people — cause a lot of fatalities.” Earley said being ticketed for no seat belt is lucky for motorists. Their other options are injuring themselves or allowing others in their car to be injured in the event of a collision. All four agreed that making the decision to buckle up is the single most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones in a vehicle.
A toast to Charlotte Morris Carter, who recently retired as the director of the Diboll Literacy Center. She spent 25 years with the Literacy Center and 32 years with the Diboll Independent School District as a teacher. Carter was asked to get the program up and running when the center first opened. At the time she was a fifth-grade teacher, but decided it was something she could learn. “I loved watching families grow,” she said. “We had children in our childcare program who ended up being salutatorian or valedictorian at their schools — and these are ESL families. They started out with a language deficiency but excelled at school and became top of their class. That’s what it’s all about, breaking that cycle.”
A toast to Kurth Memorial Library on the opening of its new media café, which provides patrons a good place to come, sit, use their laptop, read a book, have a cup of coffee, have a Danish and just relax. Library Director Lorraine Simoneau said the Friends of Kurth Memorial Library helped make the café possible. “We have wanted to create a space where people will be able to sit with their laptops and devices,” Simoneau said. “We have a lot of those used in the building because we have free Wi-Fi, and we decided this would be a good way to go about it and do some fundraising with the Friends.” As summer gets underway, the library is preparing to present exhibits and educational programs for all ages. The first, Dinosaur George, begins today. Dinosaur George is the largest traveling dinosaur fossil exhibit, and has been at KML in the past. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity for people,” Simonau said, speaking about the traveling exhibits. Of course, the same is true of the library itself — it’s a wonderful city attraction. For more information on Kurth Memorial Library, visit its section on the city’s website at cityoflufkin.com or its Facebook page.
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