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For the first time, the Boys and Girls Club of Brazoria County’s annual Great Futures Gala was virtual, but no less meaningful, as the community impact of the organization was shared and celebrated.

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SURFSIDE BEACH — The thick fog hovering over the Village of Surfside Beach on Saturday was not enough to obscure bright colors in the sky, and the chill in the air was not enough to keep people away from the first kite exhibition of 2021.

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While the last two days saw COVID-19 new case reports of nearly 300 and above, the count dropped back down Saturday to numbers more closely aligned with those seen in the middle of the week, with a report of 169 new cases.

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Drew Ryder spent the better part of 33 years building On the River restaurant in Freeport, and more recently, Swamp Shack in Lake Jackson. While the latter is doing OK, it’s been a hard struggle because of COVID-19 — and On the River is lucky to still be open, he said.

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A little over a year after the announcement of two plant closures in Freeport, Olin Corp. announced its plans to shutter two more of its neighboring facilities.

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Sixth graders in Columbia-Brazoria ISD will become part of the secondary world as opposed to the elementary world for the first time in the fall, and district administrators are developing a plan for what that will look like, as they shared during the monthly board meeting Tuesday.

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Lake Jackson City Council agreed to hold on calling a bond election for city improvements, including municipal building upgrades and street and drainage improvement packages.

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The 440 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine UTMB Angleton-Danbury has have already been allocated to patients who were unable to receive them last week, officials said. With 186 new cases reported by county officials, Brazoria County crossed another thousand threshold Wednesday.

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Trustees approved resolutions advocating the cancelation of the STAAR test this year, and requesting teachers be considered essential frontline workers in order to be vaccinated sooner, during the January school board meeting Tuesday.

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The school district board of trustees unanimously voted to extend the contract of Superintendent Nancy Sandlin during their January meeting Monday. Trustees also voted to amend the board meeting schedule for the next two months.

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Alvin Community College instructors Heather Lewis and Dwight Rhodes, and science lab coordinator Michelle Bradford, have a passion for the environment and for getting outside. Their recently launched pollinator project provides an opportunity to focus on both.

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ALVIN — Alvin Community College regents approved the 2019-20 fiscal year audit during their regular meeting Thursday.

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It’s easy to shop online and at big box stores, but it’s not the same as being able to walk into a locally owned business, find a unique item and connect with the business owner. Renee Schuster believes in supporting local business and did her part during the Shop Local, Shop Strong campaign, for which she was randomly selected as the grand prize winner.

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When people generally think “NASA,” they think “astronaut” or “space exploration.” Logan Marquis thinks “climate physics,” and the Alvin Community College freshman was recently accepted into an online internship that will give him the opportunity to communicate and learn from NASA scientists about climate change.

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ALVIN — As the Alvin Community College Foundation was unable to have its 21st annual gala in person, it is currently conducting a virtual ceremony “Granting Wishes” to benefit students and staff.

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Nearly two weeks into the new year, the COVID-19 death toll is at 18 people — an average of 1.38 deaths each day. Brazoria County officials announced three deaths Wednesday, along with 330 new cases of the virus and 233 recoveries.

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Sierra and Paige Ellison brought a can filled with coins to the red kettle located at Hobby Lobby during the Christmas season. They saved their money all year in order to donate it to the Salvation Army. Sierra and Paige helped ring bells several years ago.

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ANGLETON — The Brazoria County Library System recently announced the winners of its Teen Photo Contest, which drew more than 200 entires.

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While the holiday break might have contributed to a case jump for Brazosport and Sweeny ISD school districts, numbers for Angleton, Columbia-Brazoria and Danbury ISDs do not yet appear to be especially high as districts wrap up the first week back to school.

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Ahead of the state legislative session opening Tuesday, House District 25 representative Cody Vasut met with the Sweeny ISD school board to hear their priorities and concerns during a work study session, which indicated that many of his own priorities are in line with theirs.

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Although the band Prophets and Outlaws has performed in many South Texas venues, none has been in Angleton, lead singer Matt Boggs said.

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The Angleton Lions and Leos Clubs participated in the “Wreaths Across America” ceremony Dec. 19 at the Angleton Cemetery. The ceremony included honoring and remembering veterans, a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps,” after which club members placed wreaths on each veteran’s grave.

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When it came time to make a decision about the second annual NASH Fest, the Angleton ISD Education Foundation decided they didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. The first virtual NASH Fest will be 7 p.m. Thursday, and will feature a concert from Cole Degges broadcasted through Facebook Live.

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ANGLETON — The Brazoria County Library System is joining up with schools and libraries across the country this month in Simon & Shuster’s Books Like Us Winter Reading Challenge.

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Mitchell Newman, right, and other members of Brazosport College’s 2020 fall Law Enforcement Academy graduating class salute the American flag during the playing of the National Anthem at a recent Law Enforcement Graduation ceremony at The Clarion at Brazosport College. The ceremony honored t…

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It’s important to look for the goodness in others during the day, Our Lady Queen of Peace Principal Nirm Thomas said. Kindergarten teacher Darlene Goebel takes it one step further by encouraging her students to be the goodness, through recognition for their acts of kindness through a kindness tree.

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Having vaccinated their own employees already, Sweeny Community Hospital is prioritizing Sweeny ISD teachers, and those who signed up received their first round of COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday. County officials reported 297 new cases of the virus Wednesday, of which five were in Sweeny.

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School districts saw spikes in cases among students and staff members after the Thanksgiving holidays. As students return to school after the Christmas holidays, staff members are prepared to see more spikes, but have implemented measures including deep cleaning in the hopes of preventing that.

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The Brazosport area has seen bustling growth for several years now, and 2021 shouldn’t be much different. While the pandemic slowed or halted some projects, new housing developments, businesses and infrastructure overhauls are all slated to happen this year.

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The Elizabethan Madrigal Feast was canceled in August, but in lieu of that, the Center for the Arts and Sciences has offered a placeholder: a documentary that celebrates and shares the making of the event, available to view on YouTube.

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Brazoria County officials look forward to implementing long-term changes such as contactless doors, refining plans for and perhaps breaking ground on the expansion of the courthouse, and having updated and more accurate FEMA floodplain maps while elevating and reconstructing structures that have been flooded in the past.

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It’s been more than a decade since David DeAnda performed in the Brazosport area, but he’s “most definitely” looking forward to returning. DeAnda and his band, Xelencia, will perform Thursday as part of the Tejano Thursdays event at The Lounge in Lake Jackson.

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Earlier this year, high school senior Byron Randon wrote the book, “Be Something Great.” Days before Christmas, he demonstrated a perfect example of being great through focusing not on receiving Christmas gifts, but on giving them out.

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ALVIN — Alvin Community College staff members will be available remotely and on campus from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 9 to assist students with enrolling in spring courses during the Spring Super Saturday Registration Blitz.

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Matagorda-Brazoria Cancer Assistance Program, Inc. would like to thank Rev. Andrew Floyd & Daughters for their generous donation to our organization to help individuals stricken with cancer. If you live in one of these counties and need assistance with cancer related issues, we encourage…

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With six new COVID-19 deaths announced Tuesday, Brazoria County has crossed another hundred threshold, bringing the county total to 204 since mid-March.

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The Texas Education Agency recently announced that Brazosport ISD has once again received a perfect score in the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). FIRST is based on 15 financial indicators including administrative cost expenditures, the accuracy of a district’s financial in…

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Brazoswood High School senior Yousef Elyoussef plans to study biomedical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania ahead of medical school — an plan that will come at no cost to his family, as Elyoussef receives a full ride scholarship through the QuestBridge match program.