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Hello from a busy Tuesday morning in the newsroom.

First, we have reporters working on some news stories. Reporter J.R. Ortega is pursuing a follow-up with the daughter from last week's swine flu victim. We want to be able to tell the family's story.

We're still looking for people in the Crossroads area with Iran connections.

And finally we have a reporter working on following up some breaking news items from Monday night, including the train derailment near Schulenburg, a one-car fatality near Wharton and a farm tractor-related death near Wharton.

Here's what we know for sure, though:

Our Most Powerful series comes to an end with our No. 1 installment. Who is that? Here are some details: What’s on his desk? An engraving that reads, “An original is hard to find but easy to recognize.” Family photos. The book “17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork.”

Other A1 contenders:

-- We'll give you further details on the new, or lack of one, dress code from VISD.

-- Construction starts on the downtown streets. We'll take a look at that and its impact on downtown businesses.

For B1, our reporter Julian Cavazos is going down to the Water Safari awards ceremony in Seadrift. In true mojo fashion, he will shoot photos, video and write a story.

Other B1 contenders:

-- Aprill Brandon's column: With her 28th birthday coming up, she decides to impart some wisdom on us, writing the 28 things she's learned in 28 years.

And finally in sports, reporter Wes Bloomquist is writing a feature on a swim coach who built a pool in her backyard. Here's a tease to that story:

A swimming instructor for 25 years, Linda Brown is living her dream and passing on her knowledge. And she never has to leave her backyard.

“I’ve been an instructor and coached a lot of teams in the past and it became really taxing running around town from pool to pool,” Brown said. “The idea was to build a pool at our home and start instructing here. It sounded really good to me, but my husband was totally against it at first. He didn’t want a pool in the backyard, so I took it upon myself.”

Brown went through all the steps of starting her business, Swim Smart Victoria. She got estimates on how much it would cost, gauged the interest in what she was going to sell and worked to make it happen. Her biggest challenge remained getting her husband on board with her idea though.

Please let us know what you think about these stories or if you have tips or suggestions on any others. And remember, breaking news can change these plans.


Thomas Martinez