Linda K. Ballard

Linda K. Ballard

It’s a new year! 2022 is here! Dig out those black-eyed peas, cabbage, pork and cornbread and eat until you can eat no more. Black-eyed peas for luck, cabbage (or greens) for money, pork to move forward (pigs always root forward not backwards) and cornbread for gold! Then for good measure, do on the first day of the New Year what you plan on doing the remainder of the year for it to transpire. At least that is what my mother always taught us.

Besides, we just got new CDC guidelines. How’s that for 2022? Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, if you test positive for COVID-19 stay home for five days. If you are asymptomatic (no fever, cough, etc.), you can leave your home but continue to wear a mask another five days around others. If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, wear a mask around others for 10 days. Test on day five, if possible. If you have been vaccinated and boosted and develop symptoms, get tested and stay home. Further details can be found on the CDC website; in the meantime don’t fuss at the messenger. Eat those black-eyed peas and all will be well.

THE TEXAS SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL is announcing local auditions for “The Music Man” and will be holding auditions for actors and actresses ages 6-10 to play the parts of Winthrop Paroo, Amaryllis and Gracie Shinn. Audition date is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 15.

Rehearsal dates are May 21-July 3, and performance dates will be July 3-31. To make an audition appointment, email with the subject Music Man Audition.

“Breaking into Prison” is a new release written by Houstonian David Howell. The book is based on how God used a womanizing jailbird and drunk to get the word out. This amazing book has the reader picking it up and putting it down, just to pick it up again to continue reading. It is not a biography, although David does tell how he went to work in the oilfield at the age of 13 and the trouble drinking and drugs brought to him. This book reveals how God wastes nothing, even past failures, and creates a new vessel of honor and glory to represent God.

In actuality, the book is three books in one. The beginning explains one man’s journey; the middle opening the doors to prison; and the ending on how to be a child of God. It is filled with illustrations, stepping anyone through the process of letting go of the past in easy-to-read format and backed by Bible verses at the bottom of the pages for further study. It is remarkably done.

David Howell, prison evangelist, multi-published author and businessman has a call from God to reach millions with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Breaking into Prison” can be purchased through Amazon or Books a Million or

THE MONTH OF JANUARY has been designated as Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month. Occupational cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters, surpassing heart disease. The international Association of Firefighters and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network are committed to reversing this trend to save more fire fighter lives. These two organizations have partnered together to deliver targeted education and best practices and resources to reduce the impact of cancer on firefighters. To learn more, check them out at

HAPPY NEW YEAR comes from the Kilgore Police Department. KPD Assistant Chief Jonathan Gage said, “Fireworks is always an issue during the holidays, and people need reminded it is a violation of city ordinances to set them off within the city limits. Find property outside of the city limits and get permission from the owner before setting them off. Be prepared to handle fires.

“There is also the issue of intoxicated drivers, too. Drink responsibly and have a designated driver.” He didn’t mention room at the Kilgore B&B, but, I am quite sure they would figure out something. Be safe, have fun and enjoy seeing 2022 arrive.

New Year resolutions anyone? As for me, I am going to stress less and laugh more.

Happy New Year to all!

May His love and laughter fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or (903) 984-2593.

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May His love and laughter fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or (903) 984-2593.


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