Commerce – Excavation is complete and foundation work has begun on the new city facilities in Commerce. Five feet of select fill is being put in first. The select fill is high-grade dirt that is resistant to expanding and contracting with weather changes. It is slow work, but necessary, according to City Manager Bill Shipp.
Hunt County – The United Way of Hunt County will be hitting the streets today in their annual Small Business Blitz fundraiser. Around 70 volunteers will be visiting over 700 businesses to solicit their donations. More than $25,000 was raised in last year's event, but United Way Executive Director Linda Calvery said that there is no way to know how recent catastrophes will affect this year's fundraising. Calvery said she wants people to remember that needs at home have not stopped.
Hunt County – Severe drought has caused Hunt, Rains, and Bowie counties to be designated primary agricultural disaster areas. The designation allows for farmers and ranchers to be eligible for low interest emergency loans through the USDA and Farm Service Agency. All counties bordering Hunt, Rains, and Bowie are also eligible to emergency assistance to cover damage caused by drought conditions. Farmers and ranchers will have eight months from the time of the declaration to apply for Emergency Management loans.
Mount Vernon – The Commerce Tigers dropped their first district game Friday, losing on the road to Mount Vernon 32-28. The Tigers go to 3-3 on the season and 0-1 in district play. It was the second heartbreaking loss in a row for the Tigers, who now have a tough road ahead in District 11-3A. Mount Vernon and the Rains Wildcats sit tied atop the district, with Rains notching a rout of Quinlan Ford Friday. Quinlan and Commerce both have one loss, with Winnsboro sitting last week.
Lake Fork – One Cooper resident is happy to be telling his tale of narrow escape from Hurricane Rita winds and rains that caught him on Lake Fork last week. According to The Paris News, 48 year old Blake Shaw was among 2,500 anglers fishing in the McDonalds Big Bass Tournament last Saturday when 50mile-per-hour winds from Hurricane Rita began battering the lake causing 6 to 10 foot waves. Most of the fishermen were able to escape, but Shaw was caught in the storms.
Hunt County – A partial gag order has been issued in the murder trial of 23 year old Adam Ward of Commerce. Following a hearing yesterday, Judge Richard A. Beacom instructed the lawyers in the case to not discuss details of the trial with media. He did not, however, completely seal the file from public access. Beacom said sealing future motions would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Defense lawyers had filed a motion for a gag order, fearing Ward would be unable to receive a fair trial due to media coverage of the case.
The Commerce Tigers are at home tonight facing Wills Point after nearly a month of road games. The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season last week to the Paris-North Lamar Panthers. North Lamar racked up 27 points to Commerce's 3 to take the victory.
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