John Mark Dempsey


Dr. John Mark Dempsey is an associate professor of radio-television at A&M-Commerce and head of the Department of Mass Media, Communication and Theatre.  He works part-time as a news announcer-producer for the Texas State Network in Dallas.  Dr. Dempsey was the first student to broadcast on KETR and the first to broadcast Commerce Tigers football on the station.

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Texas A&M University-Commerce College of Business development director Wyman Williams, longtime proprietor of Williams Motors in Commerce, says young people, known as "millennials," rank safety as their number one concern in buying cars, and carmarkers are responding with many new safety features.

Hunt County Master Gardener Stephanie Suesan Smith says it's time to plant fall tomatoes.  Small-to-medium size tomatoes are recommended.  It's also time to plant red and green peppers and pumpkins.  The Master Gardeners are presenting a program on rainwater harvesting at 6 p.m., Thursday, July 16 at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center on Highway 69 South in Greenville.

Bras for the Cause, Greenville, Texas
Bras for the Cause, Greenville, Texas

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville and a leader of Greenville's "Bras for the Cause" annual breast-cancer fund-raising event says the organization will announce its 2015 theme, "AbracadaBRA!," and reveal its new logo on it's Facebook page at 10 a.m.

Derek Price operates Greenshoot Media in Commerce, and one of his many enterprises is writing a column on cars for newspapers around the U.S.  As a result, he receives a new car to drive every week.  He recently drove an exotic Italian sports car, the Alfa Romeo 4C, and rhapsodized about it in his column.  Derek also discusses progress on the new sculpture in Commerce City Park being designed by local artist David Zvanut as part of the Hunt Co

Northeast Texas author Jim Ainsworth is an avid reader, and writes book reviews on and  He discusses recent books he's read, a biography, "Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story" by Rick Bragg, and a novel,

Carol Taylor, the chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, reviews the early history of black churches in Hunt County.  Carol says a former slave, A.J. (Andrew Jackson) Hurdle, was a pastor and one of the original founders of the Clark Street Christian Church in Greenville, which remains very active today.  Hurdle also founded churches in Campbell, Caddo Mills and Lone Oak, and started several schools for black children.

Velvete Womack, our wellness commentator and proprietor of Fire and Ice Massage and Spa in Commerce, says mental health sometimes receives less emphasis than physical well-being.  In addition to the recommendations in this article, she says it's important to find meaning in your life, a purpose greater than pleasing yourself.

Jim Beach of Cooper Lake State Park says Saturdays are full of activities at the park, including instructional programs in campfire building, astronomy, fishing, canoeing and others.  The park is about 15 miles east of Commerce, just off State Highway 19.

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the City Council is considering a new set of building codes for the construction of homes in Commerce, establishing minimum standards.  The standards require homes to have exteriors made of brick, masonry or stucco, and a minimum size of 1,000 square feet, depending on the zone in which the home is built.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss announces plans for the Independence Day celebration, including a large fireworks display, on Friday at the Eddie Moore Sports Complex and Bicenntennial Park near the intersection of Highway 11 and Farm Road 3218.  Paul also discusses the recent ribbon cutting for a new attraction at the Northeast Texas Children's Museum.

Hunt Regional Healthcare
Hunt Regional Healthcare

Kim Saenz, the emergency department director of the new Hunt Regional Medical Center at Commerce, says the new facility on Highway 50 has seen a 30% increase in patients over the previous Commerce hospital.  She says more patients are coming from nearby communities such as Campbell and Wolfe City, helping to take pressure off the emergency room at the Hunt Regional hospital in Greenville.

City of Commerce
City of Commerce

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says a state softball tournament for 5-6 year old girls will be in Commerce this weekend, with a tournament for 15-16 year-old girls coming up in mid-July.  Also, the Texas Department of Transportation is replacing sidewalks and ramps in numerous locations throughout Commerce.  The mayor says a North Central Texas Council of Governments grant will also provide new sidewalks on the south side of Live Oak Street leading from the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus to downtown Commerce.

Hunt County Master Gardener Stephanie Suesan Smith covers the basics of container gardening, which she says is a fun and convenient option in our area.

Northeast Texas Children's Museum
Northeast Texas Children's Museum

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says ribbon cuttings have taken place recently for the Dos Laredos Mexican restaurant and the Fine Finds antique and resale store in downtown Commerce, and a ribbon cutting in planned Sunday, June 28 for the new youth building at Cross Trails Cowboy Church west of Commerce off Highway 11.