Editor’s Note: Sadly, as we were going to print with this issue, we learned that this gentle giant had passed away. We were so grateful to meet Doug and spend an evening with him and his foster mom, Dianna Hale. He was such a good boy and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

From a menagerie of stone animals out front to rooms of countless handmade gift items, Fortney Home has something for everyone.

Five years ago, Beckie Compton — a woman wearing many hats at Angelina College as an instructor of music, teacher of two choirs, the AC Chorale and the AC Singers, music appreciation, piano, fundamentals of music and music theory, when needed — was thinking of a new theme for her annual holiday concert.

As a 9-year-old girl, Sandy Schmidt’s mother taught her how to sew. She made her sisters’ clothes growing up and has made dozens, if not hundreds, of finely detailed quilts.

Why vote? Because every election matters. Because your choices matter. Because these choices have a serious impact on your life and your community.

Women comprise 15% of active-duty military and 18% of the National Guard and Reserve. As more and more women sign up to serve their country, there are also more women stepping into leadership roles after their time in the military is over.

Celebrating 40 years of protecting, sheltering and providing valuable services to some of the most vulnerable East Texans, the Janelle Grum Family Crisis Center is becoming more proactive in its approach to curbing the domestic violence epidemic, thanks in part to its leadership’s culture of creativity and innovation.

Axe throwing is a hot new trend gaining traction in communities around the globe.

Watermelons from Allentown. Honey from Hudson and Alto. Salsa from Lufkin. Fresh produce and yard eggs from Angelina and adjacent counties. Baked goods, jewelry, antiques and more. The Angelina County Farmers Market prides itself on offering a variety of handmade and locally grown products.

Galveston’s official population hovers around 50,000, but not all the island’s residents are counted in the U.S. Census.

Those who never venture beyond the neon hotel signs and casino lights of Shreveport, Louisiana will miss the real, vibrant and growing city.

I was pretty far out of my comfort zone. I’m not saying I’m a low-maintenance girl, but let’s just say my biggest treat to myself is getting my hair colored every couple of months. Of course, I had heard of medical spas before, but had never stepped foot in one until earlier this summer when I visited Premier Medical Spa in Dr. Alan Bassin’s office in Lufkin.

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind, hospitals of the soul, theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer but a citizen instead.”

When a child is abused or neglected and they enter into the foster system, they become surrounded by strange new faces and confusing terminology. Everything they’ve ever known is different, even scary. Thankfully, each child thrust into this terrifying situation is appointed a CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocate, a volunteer whose specific responsibility is to support the child’s best interests.

Topping out at 140 mph, Lufkin native Steve Holland races his 305 Sprint car around the dirt-packed oval track with an unnerving focus on the finish line. The smell of dirt, sweat and methanol fumes fill his nose. He can’t hear the cheers from the stands over the roar of the engines, and crammed inside the cage of his car, he can’t see the smiling faces in the crowds. It’s his favorite place to be. A passion he’s indelibly passed down to his only daughter and namesake, Stevi.

In a small storefront on West Frank Avenue in historic downtown Lufkin, Bobby Nichols sits down to design a custom piece of jewelry. His mind focuses and drifts as he uses his 42 years of experience to create a masterpiece that he envisions in his mind’s eye. It’s the thrill of a challenge that keeps him coming back to his workstation day after day, constructing something special and long-lasting for his customers.

Tena McQueen worked four long years to create a home that made her proud. Now the challenge is having the time to perfect her style.

Order your groceries online? There’s an app for that. Learn how to French braid hair? There’s an app for that. Meet complete strangers — whether it’s to make friends or to start an online relationship? There’s an app for that. In fact, there’s an app for almost anything you can imagine. What’s scarier is that your child probably knows more about these apps than you do.