Efforts to replace Greenville's existing YMCA with a new facility have been stalled for years.
YMCA of Greenville

Herald-Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard is leaving to become the editor of the newspaper in Norman, Oklahoma, the Transcript.  Caleb is a Texas A&M University-Commerce graduate and former editor of the University newspaper, the East Texan.  Also discussed is the impasse over the new events center/YMCA in Greenville, and a partnership between the new Greenville Petco store and the Greenville Animal Shelter to provide care for cats and kittens.

Texas A&M University-Commerce economics professor Dr. Dale Funderburk says the Texas economy remains robust despite a big drop in oil prices, although about 27,000 energy jobs have been dropped.  And Dale discusses the appointment of a new president of the Dallas Federal Reserve  branch, Robert Kaplan.

It's uncertain whether the Bealls stores in Greenville, Paris, Rockwall and Sulphur Springs will survive their parent company's plan to close an undetermined number of locations.
Greenville Herald-Banner

Financial woes at the parent company of Bealls department stores have placed the future of its Northeast Texas and other locations in doubt.

Houston-based Stage Stores, Inc., announced today that it plans “to close approximately 90 underperforming stores” from among its four chains: Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal and Peebles.

James Gathany/CDC / Public Domain

 The City of Commerce along with assistance from Texas A&M University-Commerce has been testing mosquitoes for various diseases by trapping them and sending them to the Department of State Health Services.  On August 12, 2015, emergency management officials released information notifying citizens that a positive test was received for the West Nile virus. Although the areas that tested positive on August 12 are now testing negative, the City has received two additional tests that have come back with a positive reading for West Nile virus. 

Franklin County citizens once again filled their stomachs and quenched a thirst for companionship at the Multipurpose building in Mount Vernon with the welcoming of the Senior Citizen Services of Texarkana as lunch providers on Monday.

“This is hopefully a good transition,” said Franklin County Judge Scott Lee. “My biggest concern was making sure meals continued to be served.” He credited Franklin County Precinct 2 Commissioner Larkin Jumper for helping with the positive change.

Mike Flanigin and his '74 Dodge Charger named "Black Betty"
Ashley McCue

During his more than 20 years as a support musician, Texas' own Mike Flanigin made many friends who turned out to be a big part of his first album.

Committee to review Texas jail safety for mentally ill prisoners

Aug 19, 2015
In this July 13 frame taken from video provided by the Waller County Sheriff's Department from a motion-operated camera, emergency personnel carry a gurney near Sandra Bland's cell, at the Waller County jail in Hempstead, Texas.

In the wake of the hanging death of Sandra Bland and the deaths of other Texas jail inmates, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen. John Whitmire on Tuesday announced the creation of an interim jail safety study committee to look at issues related to mental health and suicide concerns among inmates. 

“We have turned over internal affairs investigations to the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office,” Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said. “The Texas Rangers have turned their reports in as well.”

The Hunt County grand jury might be presented with evidence this week concerning two controversial videos involving the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Randy Meeks said Tuesday his department had completed  internal investigations into a video which shows a deputy hitting a pregnant woman, and another video which depicts deputies pushing an armed robbery suspect to the ground while handcuffed outside the Hunt County Courthouse.

Most of Northeast Texas is now under a burn ban.
Texas A&M Forest Service

For the first time in almost two years, Hunt County is under a ban on outdoor burning.

Increasingly dry conditions, combined scorching heat and gusting winds, have raised the threat of grass and brush fires the county, prompting Director of the Hunt County Office of Homeland Security Richard Hill to ask County Judge John Horn for the seven-day ban, which was issued Tuesday morning.

At least some relief may arrive as early as this afternoon, with the arrival of a cold front which is also promising to bring rain to the region.

Business consultant Randy Pennington of Dallas, an East Texas State University/Texas A&M-Commerce alumnus, discusses a recent article from the "Five Friends" group of consultants, "If I Were President."  For himself, Randy says he'd govern from the center, achieve what's doable, and "not wait on the perfect."

Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta reached capacity for the Rolling Stones' June 2015 concert.
Mary Clark Traveler Blog (

Seeing the Rolling Stones live in concert has become a rite of passage for generations, and this is one experience Mary Clark can cross off her "bucket list" after braving a stadium crowd and witnessing Mick Jagger and company in Georgia.

Delta County has recently experienced an increase in grass fire and a burn ban is being activated
Cindy Roller / Cooper Review

Effective immediately Delta County is under a burn ban.

Huffington Post
Huffiington Post

Rick Miller with the Center for Applied Leadership discusses a recent article, "'No' is a complete sentence," and says in a healthy relationship "no" doesn't always require an excuse.

Texas parents guaranteed right to bury stillborn babies

Aug 17, 2015
Moved by the story of Erica and Joshua Raef of Amarillo, lawmakers passed HB 635, a law that guarantees parents the right to the remains of their unborn children, regardless of how small they are.
Joshua Raef

When Erica Raef learned 13 weeks into her pregnancy that her unborn child no longer had a heartbeat, she was devastated. But when she and her husband, Joshua, began making the difficult plans of delivering and burying their baby — whom they named Liam — they were dealt an unexpected burden on top of tragedy. 

A doctor told the Amarillo couple that if Erica Raef delivered in a hospital, then they wouldn’t be able to take Liam’s body for burial. Texas law did not allow hospitals to release the remains of stillborn infants less than 20 weeks old, they were told. 

Emergency centers to be included in Texas 'Baby Moses' law

Aug 17, 2015
The new law will clear up confusion and ensure that those attempting to give up a newborn under the program will get the legal protections they expect to receive.

Sixteen years ago, Texas passed a new law that would be copied across the nation. The Safe Haven law, also known as the Baby Moses law, gives parents a safe and legal way to abandon a newborn and avoid prosecution if they drop the baby off at a fire station or a hospital emergency room.