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Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Amtrak Trains May Zip Through East Texas

Have you ever ridden on a train? There's something nostalgic about it, not to mention the fact that it saves wear and tear on your own car, and the hassle of fighting with other drivers to get where you're going.

Might East Texas get Amtrak service? There's an Amtrak route now that runs from San Antonio to Chicago.

And there's a push for Amtrak to extend it's service from Shreveport-Bossier City to Dallas-Fort Worth, which would take the trains right through east Texas and give us a fast track in both of those directions.

How close is it to reality?

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Spencer Platt/Getty Image
Spencer Platt/Getty Image
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What is the Most Common Item Hotel Travelers Leave Behind?

Have you ever checked out of a hotel, traveled home, and then realized you left something behind in the room?

I have. On a road trip to the north, my family stayed at a hotel in Wichita, Kansas, and when we got home we could only find one Dora The Explorer sock. In the process of jumping on the bed and running around the room, our 3-year old at the time must have shed a sock and a cleaning person whose daughter also may have had just one sock, hit the jackpot.

What is the most common item hotel travelers leave behind? It has something to do with your smart phone.

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Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
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Work on US 59 Starts Today

It may be a mess while construction is going on, but it should be worth it in the end. Isn't that the way road construction always goes? No pain no gain.

Construction crews start work today on US 59 and they're shifting lanes at Loop 287. There may be traffic delays while drivers get use to that.

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Texas City Scores “Big” in Small Cities Contest

Well, another poll has come out, and I'm not sure who the people are that decide on the results, but if Texas is involved, and it's a favorable vote, then hey -- I'm all for believing in its truthfulness.

This time around, the vote was centered on the top 10 "best small cities", five of which I've seen up close and personal, and one that I actually lived in.

So, the winners are...

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Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
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Nearby Town Named the Oddest in the US

Texas has its share of strange town names.

The state is dotted with towns with names that stand out like, Nimrod, Bug Tussle, Uncertain, Zipperlandville, and Ding Dong.

But thankfully, none of those were singled out by a new article featuring the most unfortunate town names in the US. Findmypast.com gives us the winner – or perhaps the loser in this case. It’s not far away, so maybe you’ve been there.

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Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for the ATP
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for the ATP
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Houston is the ‘Coolest City in America’

These sorts of lists always create arguments. Do you think our neighbors in Houston are the "coolest" in the US?

Forbes Magazine thinks so.

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Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Top US Small Towns Named

There's something inherently cool about a small town. The people are nice (although they all know each other and can be in everyone's business), there's no traffic, and the stress level can be lower. I'm headed to my one-stoplight hometown in Nebraska for a little family bonding time next week and we're planning to sit on the deck and stare at the trees, and ask the local farmers for permission to walk into their fields and pick corn. Why vacation in a tropical location when you can have that kind of fun? Small towns rock.

Rand McNally and USA Today named the best small towns in all of America this week. Did Lufkin and Nacogdoches make the list?

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Joshua Lott/Getty Images
Joshua Lott/Getty Images
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Frightened Passenger Diverts Flight To Houston [VIDEO]

Usually, when I hear a horrific story about an escapade aboard an airliner, I'm on the front line of bashing the carrier until it limps away in shame, but in light of the shananigans that recently happened aboard a flight that was diverted to Houston, in addition to the airline offering recompense to to its passengers, this time I am defending the carrier's position.

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Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Staycation? Here Are Some Ideas Around Lufkin and Nacogdoches

Sure it's great to jet off to an exotic location in the summertime and sit by a resort swimming pool and sip beverages with umbrellas in them. But since Hawaii is not on everyone's agenda or in all of our budgets, we've come up with some other ideas to have fun closer to home, and maybe discover some cool places in East Texas that you didn't know existed.

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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Don’t Drink and Drive, Especially Now

On an average weekend, drinking too much and getting behind the wheel is a bad idea.

But this weekend, over the busy 4th of July travel holiday, your chances of going to jail are even greater.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images
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Construction Coming to Interstate 69

Changes are coming to Interstate 69. Of course, there will be construction headaches to put up with before traffic starts getting happy with the improvements, but if we can hang in there through that, the result should make travel easier around Lufkin, Nacogdoches, and Diboll.

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davidsonscott15, Flickr
davidsonscott15, Flickr
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New Texas Law Protects Tow Truck Drivers

When I first moved to the 'Lonestar State', after crossing two-thirds of the country with no hassle, I was pulled over by a state trooper because he was issuing a citation to a motorist on the shoulder of Interstate 20 at 7:43 in the morning, and I had failed to make a lane change.

I don't even think he finished writing the original citation to the person already subdued by his presence.  He jumped in "Adam-12", and strobe lighted my OUT OF STATE LICENSE PLATE for about a mile and a half, until I realized in disbelief that I was being called out!

Now I drive somewhere between Mr. Magoo and Mr. Ed, so I ruled out speed immediately, and was bewildered to hear I about a rarely enforced infraction, that forces me to vacate the lane.  Most of the other 49 states, include "if safe to do so".

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