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Commissioners meeting with consulting groups, eye new direction for Civic Center

The future of Hopkins County Regional Civic Center was center stage at a workshop meeting of the Hopkins County Commissioners Court Tuesday.

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Sheriff’s officers seize more than 55 lbs of marijuana in I-30 traffic stop

A routine traffic stop by deputies early Wednesday morning netted more than 50 pounds on marijuana and one felony arrest.

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Shelter for victims of domestic violence needs volunteers

An agency dedicated to providing help safe haven and counseling services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is in need of additional volunteers at its Sulphur Springs office.

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Storms forecast in Hopkins County for next 10 days

The next 10 days are shaping up to be doozies weather-wise, according to an advisory issued by the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth.

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Full-scale disaster exercise to test readiness in Hopkins, 8 other counties

How would Northeast Texas respond to a weather disaster similar to those that have struck recently in states in the southeastern United States?

That question will be the focus of Operation Storm Front, a full-scale exercise that will be conducted by Northeast Texas Regional Advisory Council- Acute Care and Trauma on April 12 in Hopkins, Lamar, Delta, Titus, Red River, Morris, Cass and Bowie counties.

In the exercise, hospitals, emergency medical services agencies and other emergency response partners in the region will test their preparedness levels     and capabilities with assistance from Texas Emergency Medical Task Force  4.

The Northeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, a division of the Texas Department of State Health Services, is responsible for developing, implementing, and monitoring a regional emergency medical service trauma system plan. The council, created in the early 1990s, organizes groups of health care entities and others who have an interest in improving and organizing trauma care within a specific trauma service area.

Operation Storm Front will be a full-scale, eight-hour exercise conducted at multiple locations within the nine-county region and will give participants an opportunity to evaluate their organizational performance, using current response plans and capabilities, to a severe weather incident that impacts the entire Northeast Texas area.

Russell VanBibber, Northeast Texas Advisory Council board chairman and a former Hopkins County EMS director, said the exercise will focus on key responder coordination, critical decisions and integration of assets necessary to save lives and protect the public during a region-wide natural hazards event.

The exercise will simulate the destruction of buildings and utilities throughout the region and will include one hospital sustaining severe damage and having to relocate patients and hospital operations to alternate facilities.

A mobile medical unit and Northeast Texas Medical Operations Center will be deployed to facilitate treatment and transport of patients. These patients will be transferred to other hospitals within the region. VanBibber said the simulation would include people seeking medical care who would, in an actual disaster, be sent to other medical facilities in the area.

Ark-Tex Council of Governments will activate the Multi-Agency Coordination Center in Texarkana to assist the exercise with supply and personnel requests.

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