A look back at events in 2019 that shaped ETX and SWAR


TEXARKANA (KTAL/KMSS) – It’s the last day of 2019. On this day many people take a look back at the events that have shaped their lives this year. Here are some of the stories we’ve covered this year that have shaped East Texas and Southwest Arkansas.

As 2019 began, a new mayor of Texarkana, Ark., was officially sworn into office. Allen Brown pledged to work on bringing in new business. “I don’t think it’s just Texarkana, Arkansas … we’ve got a great regional hub here that Texarkana, Arkansas, can help capitalize on.”

In Miller County, the first elected female judge also took her oath of office. Cathy Hardin Harrison previously served as county tax collector. “One of the things I would really like to do is more training … anything that we can do that benefits the county, we’re gonna have our name on it,” she said.

In Cass County, Texas, a new district attorney was sworn in. Courtney Shelton is the first woman to hold that office.

Meanwhile, a new economic development group, AR-TX REDI, named a CEO. Rob Sitterly talked to us about a marketing campaign to promote this area to the world. “This is a gold mine, this community, for manufacturing and industrial projects,” he said. 

2019 also brought tragedy in some areas. In Prescott, Ark., a 14-year-old student was shot by another student at the high school in April. Months later, residents voted in favor of a property tax that is dedicated to, in part, beefing up security. 

In May, the remains of a missing Houston child, Maleah Davis, 4, were found near Fulton, Ark. In November, a bridge crossing Interstate 30 in Hempstead County was officially named the Maleah Davis Memorial Bridge.

This summer in Howard County, Ark., floodwaters took many residents by surprise. “Wood’s floating out of the lumber yards and stuff, and you see little animals swimming. Sad,” observed Kathie Knighton, who worked in Nashville. Officials said at its deepest point in Nashville that day, water stood at five feet. 

This fall, longtime Bowie County Judge James Carlow announced his resignation. An interim county judge was appointed until an election can be held in 2020. The general election is set for November. 

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