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Problem Solved

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I don’t recognize this PayPal transaction— do I still have to pay it? What’s this $1,203 charge on Isaac Benzadon’s PayPal account? And why won’t PayPal reverse the charge? Isn’t he covered under PayPal Purchase Protection?
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The atmosphere on Election Night

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The atmosphere on the second floor of Hemphill County Courthouse on Election Night was spirited, as volunteers and county employees worked together to count and record every vote, from mail-in absentee ballots to early ballots to Election Day ballots. Most of those working had spent at least the last 12-14 hours in service to the common goal of free and fair elections and the resilience of the democratic process. In photo at top, clerk’s of fice employees Sylvia Guerrero and Rosa Gandara collect the ballots and reports from Keith and Vonda Robbins, who worked the Precinct 302 polling place. Above at left, Annette Walser reports in with her ballots and comments that everything went smoothly. Above right, Charlotte Rollins and Kayla Gregg deliver their day’s work, and stop to visit and enjoy a piece of pizza while the ballots are being tallied. The well-tuned operation turned out a final summary report of election results around 10 pm. In Hemphill County, 1,729 total ballots were cast, representing nearly 74 percent turnout of all registered voters, and impressive testimony to the importance Hemphill Countians place on making their votes count and their voices heard. PHOTOS BY LAURIE EZZELL BROWN
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Local coronavirus cases top 200 this week as hospital officials respond to rising patient load

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Hemphill County Hospital CEO Christy Francis reported on Tuesday afternoon that nine COVID-related patients were being treated at the hospital—three of them admitted in the previous 24-hour period. The spike in cases had forced medical staff to relocate the COVID wing to a different hall, where more beds were available, she said, adding that they still could only accommodate 11 patients, and were very near full capacity.
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Donna Jenkins

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Donna Jenkins enters the clerk’s office Tuesday night with a visible smile, despite that mask she is wearing, and is greeted by Election Officer Lisa Johnson. Donna and her son Dale Jenkins deliver the ballot boxes and reports after a full day of overseeing one of the precinct polling places. She has been on the job every November for over 40 years, Johnson said, and showed no signs this week of wanting to retire. PHOTO BY LAURIE EZZELL BROWN
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Earning their paychecks?

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This 5:15 am Tuesday morning fire call to Mesa View Assisted Living proved to be a false alarm, but the Canadian Volunteer Fire Department emptied out the fire station to make sure they were ready to handle whatever awaited them. Another call on Sunday afternoon brought out the department to a report of smoke at the Edward Abraham Nursing Home, for what also turned out to be a false alarm. After a long nearly 12-hour call to the scene of a loaded, overturned cattle truck that started early Friday morning and ended Saturday afternoon, one might say our volunteer firefighters had more than earned their paychecks, but they’d be wrong. These guys do this job for nothing except our gratitude, which we do not show them nearly often enough. PHOTO BY LAURIE EZZELL BROWN
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Early voting ends tomorrow in Nov. 3 General Election

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Voters who want to cast their ballots early have today and tomorrow to complete that task. Early voting continues through the end of the business day, Friday at Hemphill County Courthouse 400 Main Street, Room 204. The polling station will be open until 7 pm this evening (Thursday) and will not close due to adverse weather conditions, according to District Clerk Lisa Johnson.
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Tower down

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This 300’-tall radio tower succumbed to a heavy coat of ice and the wind from the top of the caprock, and collapsed yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) at a time when it might be needed most. Before it toppled, the tower facilitated emergency communications between the Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office, Hemphill County EMS and the Canadian Fire Department. Fire Chief Scott Brewster, who provided this photo, said he wasn’t sure how emergency responders would communicate without it, but said it would likely take months to build a new tower, and didn’t even speculate about the cost involved.