John Mark Dempsey


Dr. John Mark Dempsey is an associate professor of radio-television at A&M-Commerce, part of the department of Literature and Languages.  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 back in 1975 and was also the first person to broadcast Commerce Tigers football on the station (as a student.)

Ways to Connect

CASA Texas

Lori Cope, the executive director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hunt County, says the organization has moved from the Hunt County Courthouse to a building across the street at 2520 Lee Street in Greenville.  Many longtime Greenville residents will remember it at the former McGaughey Drugs building.  CASA has its annual fund raiser,"Superheroes for CASA," a dinner and auction, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, September 24 at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Greenville.


Herald-Banner film critic Alice Reese gives her review of two movies being released this week: "Sully," starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood, about airline pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who landed a jetliner in New York's Hudson River, and "The Hollars," a family "dramedy," or dramatic comedy.

Commerce Funeral Home

A new session of GriefShare begins Monday evening (September 12) at the First Baptist Church of Commerce.  A light supper will be served.  The 13-week program helps people to cope with the loss of a loved one.  Jim Ayres of First Baptist, and co-owner of the Commerce Funeral Home with his wife Teena, discusses the benefits of the GriefShare program on the Blacklands Cafe.


Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says he is impressed with 29-year-old Darrek Ferrell, the new Commerce city manager.  He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas A&M, and has served as assistant city manager in McKinney, and most recently, as city administrator and economic development director for the city of Mount Vernon.

Robert L. Green and Associates

A close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will speak at Texas A&M University-Commerce at 7 p.m. Thursday evening (September 8).  Dr. Robert Green is a retired faculty member at Michigan State University, and headed up the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's educational foundation under King.  Dr. LaVelle Hendricks, associate professor of counseling at A&M-Commerce, says Green still advocates King's non-violent approach for bringing about change.

Pennington Group

Dallas business consultant and East Texas State/Texas A&M-Commerce alumnus Randy Pennington says there are many ways for employers to earn "buy-in" from their employees, in which they feel a personal involvement with the organization and its mission.  The "Five Friends," a group of business consultants and authors that includes Randy, recently produced a video on the subject of "buy-in."

City of Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs Mayor Emily Glass discusses the new super-charging stations for Tesla electric cars located in the city's downtown area.  She says she's been surprised how many Tesla drivers stop to recharge their cars there.  Also, the City Council is planning on significant pay raises for police and fire fighters.

Hunt County United Way

Frances Dalbey, the executive director of the Hunt County United Way, says the organization's annual fund raising campaign is underway.  United Way needs to raise about $200,000 to provide the necessary funding to its 13 partner agencies, and to carry on some of its new endeavors, such as the Little Libraries throughout the county and the Mobile Learning Cafe in Quinlan.

Carol Taylor, the chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says compulsory school attendance is now 100 years old in Texas.  It began in August of 2016, requiring children eight to 14 years old be in school at least 60 days per year.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

"Blogging the Blacklands" writer Brian Pate recently conducted multiple polls of his readers on the greatest football players in East Texas State/Texas A&M-Commerce history.  Many of the voters were former Lion football players.  "King" Arthur James was selected as the greatest running back.  The voters narrowly chose long-time NFL player Wade Wilson as the greatest quarterback over Bob Bounds.  No greatest player of all-time was selected as such, but the consensus was that Harvey Martin, who went on to star at defensive end for the Dalla

Herald-Banner film critic Alice Reese has a new favorite movie this summer: "Kubo and the Two Strings," a stop-action animated movie set in mythical Japan with the voices of Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron.  Alice also likes "Southside with You," a romantic film about the courtship of Barack and Michelle Obama.


Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the city's tax rate for 2016-17 will likely remain the same at 82 cents per $100 in property value.  That rate will generate an additional $40,000 in revenue because of an increase in property values, the mayor says.  A public hearing on the tax rate is set for Tuesday night, September 6. On another topic, the mayor says the city received 46 applications for the city manager's job and the field has now been narrowed to three.

Commerce ISD

Charlie Alderman, the lone finalist for the position of Commerce ISD superintendent, is expected to be officially hired for the job at a meeting of the Commerce school board tonight (Wednesday, August 24).  Alderman is a Commerce native, the son of long-time CISD teachers and administrators Alvis and Marcie Alderman.  In this program, Charlie says the Commerce ISD met accountability standards in 2015-16.  Also, the Commerce ISD has started a new Pride Prep Academy for high-achieving students, who will be taking college classes from Texas A&M Uni

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Director Tim McMurray says the athletic department has hired a Director of Sports Performance, Josh Stoner.  He comes from the University of Missouri, a member of the Southeastern Conference, where he was in charge of football strength conditioning.  Stoner will work alongside director of Strength and Conditioning Director Lance Farmer.