Commerce – The July 4th celebration in Commerce is set to kick off with live music at 4:30 in the afternoon, Monday July 4th. Festivities will once again be held at Bi-Centennial Park next to the Eddie Moore Sports Complex. Lots of activities for everyone are planned and a barbecue dinner for $5 will start being served at 5 o'clock. Live music runs up until just before the main fireworks display, which will start at 9:30.
Commerce – Texas A&M University-Commerce has named a new athletic director. Jim Johnson will take over an A&M-Commerce program that has 11 intercollegiate sports and won Lone Star Conference championships in men's basketball and women's soccer last season. Johnson has nearly 15 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics. Johnson has held various positions at Central Missouri State and Tarleton State, worked five years at the NCAA headquarters, and also worked as a collegiate athletics consultant at a law firm.
Commerce – The search for a new Fire Chief for Commerce continues. Former Chief Wayne Hines has shipped out to become a contract firefighter in Iraq. Police Chief Kerry Crews has taken over as interim Fire Chief until a new chief can be selected. Commerce has received 14 applications for the position so far, with 4 of those selected for interviews beginning around June 20th, according to City Manager Bill Shipp.
Commerce – A new $22 million student center for A&M-Commerce passed its last major hurdle with the end of the legislative session in Texas. The adoption of Senate Bill 702 enables A&M-Commerce to use student center fees for the construction of a wholly new facility, instead of only being able to use the fees for improvements to the existing Memorial Student Center. Renovation to the MSC was determined to be more costly than an altogether new building.
Sulphur Springs – A trio of con artists is back in Sulphur Springs looking to find the latest victims of their scam. The Sulphur Springs News Telegram reports that so far, police have not received reports of anyone falling victim to the con artists that have been primarily targeting the elderly.
Commerce – The Commerce City Council heard a financial report last night covering options for additional funding for city facilities that have initial estimates coming in up to $750,000 over-budget. In 2003, Commerce citizens approved a bond proposal for $2.75 million for a new Police and Fire complex and $2.2 million for a new City Hall. A press release by the city cites rises in construction costs as much as 30% as a large part of the project being over-budget.
Commerce – The Commerce Independent School District began budget studies last week. Property values all across Hunt County rose recently, but the impact has been minimal for both the City of Commerce and Commerce Schools. Superintendent Keith Boles said he expects another tight budget year, but the district should be a bit better off than last year.
Quinlan – Three people have been arrested in connection with the death of a Quinlan-area man. Cory Joe Locke, Paul Russell Jr., and Dena Eve Waldon were all taken into custody over the weekend for the murder of Michael Patrick Bates. Bates died from a gunshot wound to the chest in his home last Thursday after a party at the residence the night before. Police also say Bates may have been the victim of several criminal acts prior to his death, and more suspects may be taken into custody in the case.
Commerce – The Commerce City Council begins budget sessions tomorrow night before the regularly scheduled council meeting. City Manager Bill Shipp said the first meeting will be primarily to look at the road ahead.
SHIPP: We'll have a workshop with council to be kind of a budget kick-off. To talk about some of the basic ground rules, very general in nature, and talk about the schedule ahead of us.