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For Electric Cooperative Members

The Hazards of Sun and Sea

Some of the topics we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

May’s inviting weather has us thinking about fun in the sun this summer. But May is also Skin Cancer Awareness Month, with reminders about protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. In the Houston Ship Channel, the USS Texas struggles against the ravages of time and exposure to saltwater.

Magnolia Days in Columbus

The 100-year-old live oak and magnolia trees on the courthouse square in Columbus supply the shade, and the chamber of commerce furnishes the fun May 17–18 for the town festival of Magnolia Days.

A family fun zone and beer and wine gardens as well as vendors, food and live music provide activities for all ages.

Columbus, settled in the 1820s, is along the Colorado River, about 75 miles west of downtown Houston. Call (979) 732-8385 or visit for more information.

May 3, 2019: This item was corrected to accurately describe Columbus’ history and location.

Here Comes the Sun

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month—a good time to think about the dangers of exposure to the sun and ways to lower your skin cancer risk.

About 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 85% of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

More than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer were treated in more than 3.3 million people in the U.S. in 2012, the most recent year statistics were available, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.

The best way to defend against the sun’s harmful UV rays is to shield your skin with clothing, sunscreen and shade.

All Hands on Deck

Time and saltwater are scoring direct hits on the USS Texas, something the battleship mostly evaded during both world wars. The Texas, commissioned in 1914, is sinking where it sits docked in the Houston Ship Channel.

“Due to constant exposure to saltwater, the battleship Texas is suffering from damages and more than 300,000 gallons of water leaks each day,” says Tony Gregory, chairman of the Battleship Texas Foundation. The foundation’s Come and Save It campaign continues to gather petition signatures and collect donations in the hope of saving the ship. The petition will try to persuade state lawmakers to act on behalf of the ship.

The goal of a permanent dry dock solution could cost more than $50 million. The effort to buoy the battleship welcomes supporters at

Worth Repeating

“What hath God wrought?”

—This is the first-ever telegraph message, sent by inventor Samuel Morse 175 years ago. Morse, using the dots and dashes of the code that he invented, sent the message from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore on May 24, 1844.