It’s been more than 10 months since the first COVID-19 vaccines became available in the United States. As of late November, more than half of all Texans have been fully vaccinated against the virus and, despite two spikes in cases and hospitalizations this year — the first during the winter months and the second triggered by the highly contagious delta variant during the summer — the vaccination effort has been pivotal in mitigating the pandemic.

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Tax season is here. The IRS began accepting and processing returns on Monday, Jan. 23, and this year’s deadline to file and pay owed taxes is Tuesday, April 18. Millions of dollars are lost to tax scammers every year, and BBB reminds consumers to be on the lookout for emails, text messages and phone calls from those posing as IRS agents.

Editor’s note: This is a scheduile of work beng planned for Feb. 5-11.

The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) is inviting the public to submit nominations for its annual Regional Service Awards program honoring the achievements of individuals and organizations which make a positive contribution to the quality of life in East Texas Region.