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  • Port Arthur, Texas
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    Port Arthur,

    Texas

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    Port Arthur is a city in Jefferson County within the Beaumont–Port Arthur metropolitan area of the U.S. state of Texas. A small, uninhabited portion extends into Orange County. It is 90 mi (140 km) east of Houston. The largest oil refinery in the United States, the Motiva Refinery, is located in Port Arthur.The population of Port Arthur was 53,818 at the 2010 census, down from 57,755 at the 2000 census. Early attempts at settlements in the area had all failed. However, in 1895, Arthur Stilwell founded Port Arthur, and the town quickly grew. Port Arthur was incorporated as a city in 1898 and soon developed into a seaport. It eventually became the center of a large oil refinery network. The Rainbow Bridge across the Neches River connects Port Arthur to Bridge City. Port Arthur is vulnerable to hurricanes and extensive damage to the city has been caused several times.
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    Adventure

    Australia's Weird Wildlife Warning Signs

    A car trip in Australia has its challenges including the fact driving is on the left. Distractions include a large number of weird wildlife warning signs on roadways. See the Road Signs. The Australians just assume you can recognize the black outline of the animal or bird on the yellow signs. There's no verbiage, but the point is to avoid hitting the creature with your car, not to get a nature lesson. Nowhere did my companion and I find the animal warning signs weirder—nor the amount of roadkill more plentiful—than in Tasmania, Australia's offshore state. In our rental car we drove from Hobart for the day to the 19th–century penal colony in Port Arthur, a UNESCO World Heritage site, passing all kinds of signs and squashed creatures along the way. We recognized the signs for one frightening looking creature as being the Tasmanian Devil—although on the signs it looks nothing like the cartoon version. The carnivorous marsupial is endangered due to a facial tumor disease, but some 3,000 are also killed on roadways each year. We don't meet any devils, thankfully. We do pass by deceased brushtail possums and a large hawk feasting on something unidentifiable—coincidently near the isthmus called Eaglehawk Neck. Signs also alert us to be on the lookout for penguins, wallabys and platypus. We later learn there are plenty of other creatures that wander onto Tasmania's roadways too including chubby wombats and such small marsupials as the pademelon, rat–faced bettong and pink–nosed bandicoot. Tasmania probably should win some kind of award for its number of roadway animal warning signs. The "Tassies" are very aware of the road–kill issue. There is even a RoadkillTas website, with government agencies among the sponsors. The site maps out what creatures drivers should watch out for—and where—and notes that some 300,000 Tasmanian animals fall victim to cars each year. The Tasmania parks department notes on its website that tourists often get "distressed" at the amount of road–kill they see and explains most of the animals are nocturnal and get hit at night. The warning signs are posted where the animals tend to cross the road…and that's no joke. More in Budget Travel: How to See the Best of Australia on a Budget My Australian Thanksgiving Australia's Great Barrier Reef Made Easy

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    DESTINATION IN Texas

    Beaumont

    Beaumont is a city in and the county seat of Jefferson County, Texas, in the United States, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located in Southeast Texas on the Neches River about 85 miles (137 km) east of Houston (city center to city center), Beaumont had a population of 118,296 at the time of the 2010 census, making it the 30th most populous city in the state of Texas. Beaumont was founded in 1835. The pioneer settlement had an economy based on the development of lumber, farming, and port industries. In 1892, Joseph Eloi Broussard opened the first commercially successful rice mill in Texas, stimulating development of rice farming in the area; he also started an irrigation company (since 1933 established as the Lower Neches Valley Authority) to support rice culture. Rice became an important commodity crop in Texas and is now cultivated in 23 counties.A big change occurred in 1901 with the Spindletop gusher, which demonstrated that a huge oil field lay underneath and adjacent to the city. With Spindletop, several energy companies developed in Beaumont, and some remain. The area rapidly developed as one of the country's major petro-chemical refining areas. Along with Port Arthur and Orange, Beaumont forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the Texas Gulf Coast. Beaumont is home to Lamar University, a national Carnegie Doctoral Research university with 14,966 students, including undergraduates and postgraduates. Over the years, several corporations have been based in this city, including Gulf States Utilities, which had its headquarters in Beaumont until its takeover by Entergy Corporation in 1994. GSU's Edison Plaza headquarters remains the tallest building in Beaumont.