COVID cases are on the rise in East Texas and across the US, and just like last winter it seems as if we all know a few families who are being affected by it this time around. Unfortunately for our kids and school teachers, this resurgence has coincided with a new school year.

As of today (September 1st) fifteen school districts have closed their doors due to COVID-19: Gladewater ISD, Hemphill ISD, Garrison ISD, Wells ISD, Kennard ISD, Newton ISD, Fruitvale ISD, Leverett's Chapel ISD, Frankston, ISD, Martinsville ISD, Groveton ISD, Burkevillle ISD, Cushing ISD, and Hughes Springs ISD have all closed for a determined amount of days in an attempt to curb outbreaks or due to staffing shortages from COVD-19.

Additionally, a few school districts have decided to implement mask requirements; including Diboll ISD, Chapel Hill ISD, and Longview ISD.

Chapel Hill ISD notes that in August 2020, while requiring masks they only had 8 cases, this month, one year later, without a mask mandate they are battling 122 cases, this from to Superintendent Lamond Dean via KLTV.

According to that same report Longview ISD is reporting that 146 staff and students are out with COVID.

All of this in the wake of Governor Abbott's threats to impose penalties on governments or school districts who impose mask mandates. But according to a court filing in Dallas from the Texas Tribune, he will not be able to enforce that.

As it turns out a District Attorney is the only one that can prosecute those who are trying to defy the governor's orders. "For instance in Texas most populous county, Harris County, their District Attorney has said she doesn’t anticipate enforcing Abbott’s executive order because it’s not a criminal matter, a spokesperson said. Many are also wanting Abbott to make an official public statement."

Meet Texas' Alternative to Blippi, Cowboy Jack

Cowboy Jack won my kids over with his “Carwash Fun at Buc-ees" episode. He won me over in his video titled “Parents: Meet Cowboy Jack,” in which he promises that, unlike his counterpart, he doesn’t do silly voices, which piqued my interest as those annoying voices are the absolute worst.

With kind eyes and genuine smile he introduces himself, like a true Texan, as John, the father of a little boy and a baby girl. This really seems like a person you can trust with your child’s attention.

Check Out Lindale's Sign War

My hometown of Lindale engaged in some shenanigans and gave everyone some smiles with a sign war.