New House-Senate plan will delay higher flood insurance rates four years
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and Senate
have reached an agreement on legislation to delay rate increases for millions of consumers in the nation's flood insurance
The deal will be shaped in legislation that's expected to be filed in the Senate by a group of
lawmakers mostly from Gulf Coast states, who filed a similar measure of their own in the Senate last month.
agreement the lawmakers reached was outlined in a letter dated October 25 that has already been signed by a half-dozen members
of Congress. More specifically, the legislation based on the lawmakers’ agreement would delay the rate hikes for
four years and require FEMA to complete an affordability study before increasing any flood insurance premiums in the future.
Last year, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act to make the nation's
flood insurance program more financially sound. The program was in a downward spiral mostly since Hurricane Katrina
slammed into New Orleans in 2005.
Biggert-Waters eliminated certain subsidies
that were being given on many homeowners' flood insurance policies. When the subsidies expired Oct. 1, residents
began to see their rates increase drastically.
Attempts by lawmakers to address the issue
were temporarily slowed during the recent 16-day government shutdown. Now, because lawmakers on both sides of the political
aisle and both legislative chambers have agreed, it's anticipated their legislation could pass quickly. The lawmakers
have already asked legislative leaders to find a way to bring the bill up for a vote.
(Picture on Left) In 1915, Mr. Slusher bought La Porte Hardware from Mr. Willis who started La Porte Hardware
Toy Story: Wayne Hovey and LaPorte Hardware
Written by Kelli Grabbe Interviewed by Maggie Anderson Eddy - Editor
Christmas time approaches many of you may be remembering the toy store that was inside of La Porte Hardware for many years.
How many of you remember the train setup in the window at La Porte Hardware? Wayne Hovey was the driving force behind all
those wonderful toys. We spoke with him recently to get the details on La Porte Hardware and how the toy store came to be,
the remodeling of the store, and his love of trains.
La Porte Hardware began in 1910,
and was purchased by Mr. Hovey’s parents, J.W. and Clara Hovey, in 1927. One of Mr. Hovey’s first memories as
a child is riding his tricycle around inside the store when he was in the first grade. He and his brothers, Royce and Eugene,
were always allowed to pick out their Christmas toy from the small representation of toys in the hardware store.
After Mr. Hovey graduated from La Porte High School in 1949, he went to Sam Houston State University for a
year, and then at the suggestion of his father, he returned to La Porte to work in the hardware store. Soon after returning
to La Porte he was introduced to his future wife, Virginia. He remembers taking her to see “Willard the Wizard”
two nights in a row to make a good impression. They were married in 1954, only a year after meeting and raised two children,
Larry and Brenda.
As La Porte Hardware grew it became clear that a bigger, newer store
was needed to better serve the community. One night, after tripping over something in the store, his mother declared it was
time. Moore and Moore Construction was called, and without even a detailed plan the remodeling began in 1951 and finished
in 1953. The store didn’t close for a single day during the remodeling as customers were served through the back door
or the side door located on 2nd street.
After the remodeling of the store, Wayne talked
his mother into letting him take over the toy department and the purchasing of the toys. With Wayne’s love of toys and
trains, and as one of only a couple toy stores in the area, the toy department grew quickly. It started out in ½ of
the upstairs in the south east corner, with the remainder of the upstairs being used for storage. As the toy department expanded
to fill the entire upstairs, the Hovey’s purchased a lot on Third Street to be used as a warehouse for storage of the
toys and hardware back stock. Wayne had total purchasing power of the toy stock which included trucks of all description,
dolls, kites, balls of all kinds and of course marbles only to name a few of the selection. Because of
Wayne’s passion for trains, the store became a hotspot for area toy enthusiasts. Later on the trains inventory became
the hi-light of the toys and was moved downstairs by the front window. Moving trains intertwined on the display to show off
the village along with a human conductor sometimes. I remember looking through the front window and watching
the trains as they seemed to be racing each other.
1971, Mr. Hovey left La Porte Hardware to pursue an opportunity in gum balls and the toy portion of the store eventually closed
in the mid-80’s. Throughout the years, Mr. Hovey’s love of trains hasn’t diminished, and his only regret
is selling his original trains. The community of La Porte would like to thank Mr. Hovey for making La Porte Hardware and the
“toys” a great memory of our childhood.