"Reel Reviews: ‘The Turning’ makes for a good atmospheric horror flick" by: Jessica Shepard

   It’s rare to get horror movies this early-on in the year, but January is shaping up to have quite a few.
   For example, I had a chance to check out “The Turning” over the weekend and I’ve got to say that it’s the best atmospheric horror flick I’ve seen in a while.
   While the film is set in the 1990s, it’s definitely adapted the Gothic overtones from “The Turn of the Screw” – the 1898 novella by Henry James that inspired the modern adaptation.
   I do have to warn readers that it is a slow-starting sort of film and will drag out its creepiness all the way to the end credits.
   It stars Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince, Denna Thomsen, Barbara Marten, Niall Fulton, and Joely Richardson.
   The film opens with Miss Jessel (Thomsen), the live-in tutor at the Fairchild Estate, fleeing the house in a panic.
   When she reaches the gate, she exits her car to open it and is attacked by a ragged looking man.


"Making New Year Resolution? Why not include safe driving?" By Gabrielle Washington, MS County Extension Agent Family & Community Health Matagorda County

   If you are still working on your New Year’s Resolution for this year, why not focus on one that could save your life.  
    While all notions of self-improvement have their value, driving is one area where our actions can affect not only ourselves, but other drivers and passengers on the road. 
   Motor vehicle crashes continue to take their toll.  
   According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2018 there were 3,639 killed and 14,908 people sustained an incapacitating injury in motor vehicle crashes in Texas. 
   Sadly, more than 43% of those killed were not wearing their seat belts! And nearly a third of fatalities involved alcohol.
   Making a resolution to drive safely in 2020 can very well mean saving a life!.  
   Some of the leading causes of traffic deaths are distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding and people not wearing seat belts. 
    Resolve to be an ‘Active Driver’ in 2020. What is an Active Driver? 


"Instant Pot success, family’s healthy diet starting up again" by: Jessica Shepard

   After careful deliberation, mom and I finally decided Monday afternoon on the first recipe to cook in her Instant Pot.
   We settled on an “Apple glazed Pork Loin” roast with a few tweaks.
   The recipe seemed a little weak in the seasoning department, so we added more.
   That’s sort of standard whenever we encounter any recipe.
   I can’t help it, we like flavor!
   The funniest part was when it came down to venting the pressure on the Pot and mom was scared to do it herself.
   After all, there’s been plenty of horror stories circulating Facebook and other social media sites about Pot explosions and steam burns.
   That means I was the one to do the honors and I had no problems what-so-ever.
   Overall, I think the whole experience was pretty positive.
   Granted, we only made the roast in the Pot and made sides in other pans.
   But, cooking the pork loin under pressure cut the cooking time drastically.


Don’t play politics with your portfolio

   As you know, it’s an election year. As a citizen, you’ll be interested in the issues being discussed.
   But as an investor, should you care greatly about the outcomes?
   Maybe not so much.
   After all, at different times, the financial markets have performed well and poorly under different administrations and when different parties have controlled Congress.
   Ultimately, your investment success will depend, at least in part, on moves you can control.
   For example, try to follow a long-term strategy based on your goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
   And keep investing, where appropriate, in all markets – up, down and sideways.
   Here’s another important move: Avoid investment mistakes, such as chasing after “hot” investments you see mentioned on the cable shows and the internet.
   By the time you find these investments, they may already have cooled off – and they might not even be suitable for your needs.


"Strive toward asking Jesus for ‘our daily bread’" by: Betsy Monico

   My oldest turned twenty in December. Before her birthday, we had four teenagers living under the same roof at times. 
   We currently have three. I never really think about it; however, when trouble comes – it becomes crystal clear that we share the responsibility of our pack.
   The teen years are like no other! If young parents think the “terrible twos” are challenging, just hang on! 
   Thank the Lord, my four have done okay. Okay describes us all well, myself included. Great would be an overstatement.
   How do teens pass the time these days? 
   Thankfully, they have schoolwork and school activities. The more involved they are, the better! 
   Coaches, band directors, and sponsors of various clubs become co-parents. FFA also reaches out and pulls in the masses. When there is not homework, projects, games, or other events on the school calendar, most kids can be found staring at their phones. 


"We all are given the ability to choose to do the right thing" by: Caleb Gibson

   A fellow stuck on his rooftop in a flood prayed to God for help. 
   Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.” 
   The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.” 
   So the rowboat went on. Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.” 
   The stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” 
   So the motorboat went on. 
   Then a helicopter came and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.” 
   The stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” 
   So the helicopter left. Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. 


"Reel Reviews: ‘Bad Boys for Life’ a wait worth 15 years" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Bad Boys for Life” is an action comedy film starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and is the sequel to Bad Boys II (2003) in the Bad Boys franchise. 
   That means the 15-year wait is finally over! 
   I’ve been a fan of the Bad Boys franchise since the very beginning and they really haven’t messed with the formula – plenty of bullets, explosions and comedic banter. 
   The film was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Smith, and Doug Belgrad. 
   The movie stars Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Núñez, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam, Jacob Scipio, Rory Markham, Ivo Nandi, and Joe Pantoliano. 
   Set 17 years after the last film in 2020, Miami detective Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), who just witnessed the birth of his grandson, tells his partner Mike Lowrey (Smith) his intentions to retire, much to Mike’s chagrin. 


Gary Graham announces for Precinct 1 re-election

Gary Graham

   Matagorda County Commissioner Precinct One, Gary Graham, has announced that he will seek re-election. 
   Gary was born in Bay City and after serving four years in the U.S. Navy and attending college in Waco and College Station, he made his way back to Matagorda County and has lived in Precinct 1 for over 35 years. 
   He and his wife, Barbara, have three children and three grandsons and are members of Holy Cross Church. 
   Graham was a business owner in Bay City for 25 years prior to being elected as Commissioner in the 2016 election.
“My first term has been filled with many challenges, and I have worked hard to try and address them,” Graham said. “Hurricane Harvey caused major damage to homes, roads and river banks in Precinct 1. 
   I have been working with the General Land Office, FEMA, LCRA and our state and federal representatives in order to obtain funding to address these issues.”


"How about that Valentine’s tree trend? Yea, or Nay?" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, we’ve finally managed to get all of the Christmas decorations and trees packed up and put away in the attic. 
   My sister Ashlee had promised to come from College Station and lend a hand in boxing everything back up, but, she’s too busy packing for a business trip. 
   That leaves me, mom and Mike to tie up all of the loose ends. 
   And if I’m being honest with myself, it’s strange to see those blank spots against the wall and assorted lighted decor everywhere. 
   I had the other decorations for roughly two months and had gotten used to them, now, I feel like we need something to take up space again. 
   This brings me to the next, upcoming holiday: Valentine’s Day. 
   Oddly enough, I’ve seen a couple of home and garden magazines and blogs hinting at making Valentine’s trees a “thing.” 
   And by “thing,” I mean the newest, greatest trend. 


"Is your vertigo kicking in at these high altitudes?" by: John Sample

   We turned the calendar over and the earnings reports are coming in.  
   The first to report are the financials and the bluest of the blue chips, JP Morgan Chase came in better than expected.  
   The same could not be said for Wells Fargo who has a new chairman and still dealing with old issues.  
   I would note that Citicorp came in with positive earnings and is a company one might consider.  
   This is a financial firm that not only posts positive earnings, it continues to raise its dividend.  
   I always warn friends not to go just for high yield. More times than not, the dividend yield is so high is because the company is in financial difficulty.  
   I would rather have a company like Citi that posts positive earnings and then rewards its stockholders by raising the dividend. 


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