John Mark Dempsey

Announcer/Reporter/Professor

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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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Tue October 28, 2014

It's Homecoming Week at A&M-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Relations director Derryle Peace says besides the annual homecoming celebration, it's also the University's 125th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of desegregation at A&M-Commerce, then East Texas State College.  Events include a bonfire and fireworks Friday night at 9, a parade Saturday morning at 10, and the homecoming football game with McMurry at 4 p.m. Saturday.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Sir Richard Branson offers unlimited vacation: Good idea?

Randy Pennington
Credit Pennington Group

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, recently announced a policy of unlimited vacation for his employees, provided they do their work.  Dallas business consultant Randy Pennington, an alumnus of East Texas State University, says whether this will work depends on the culture of the company, but it's likely to become more common in the future.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

'Bob Wills Fiddle Contest' Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in downtown Greenville

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville looks ahead to the Bob Wills Fiddle Contest in downtown Greenville, the weekend of October 31-November 2, and also has tips on the best Halloween pumpkin patches around Hunt County.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Commerce Public Libary offers Family Literacy Nights, Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.

Commerce Public Library director Nan Clay says the library now offers Family Literacy Night activities on Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m., in addition to General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes at the same time.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Greenville Municipal Auditorium celebrates 75th anniversary, Friday, October 24

Credit eBay

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor says the Greenville Municipal Building, and the Municipal Auditorium inside, will be 75 years old this Friday, October 24.  The city of Greenville is planning a major observance of the event next week.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Commerce Chamber will hold Christmas parade, Saturday, Dec. 6

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says the annual Christmas parade will be held on Saturday, December 6 this year, rather than the traditional Thursday evening.  The parade will be preceded by a holiday fair on the downtown square in the afternoon.  And Paul says a Fall Market is being held Saturdays on the Fix and Feed parking lot.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

City of Commerce offers Ebola info on web site; 'Halloween on the Square' will be Oct. 31

Credit Northeast Texas Children's Museum

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the city has developed a localized page of information on the Ebola crisis.  And the mayor says the popular "Halloween on the Square" event will be on Halloween Night, Friday, October 31.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Fri October 17, 2014

WT game Saturday night, homecoming game Nov. 1 expected to draw big crowds

With the A&M-Commerce Lions football team ranked in the NCAA Division II top 25 for the first time since 2001, Athletic Director Ryan Ivey says the game Saturday night against West Texas A&M may draw 8-9,000 fans, and the homecoming game November 1 against McMurry may attract an even bigger crowd.  And Ryan says the artificial turf of the new varsity softball field is nearly complete, and some fall games may be played on it soon.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Thu October 16, 2014

It's 'Teen Read Week' at Commerce Public Library; teen art workshop tonight, 6-8 p.m.

The Commerce Public Library is sponsoring "Teen Read Week"  this week, and tonight (Thursday, October 16), the library hosts a teen art workshop from 6-8 p.m., with the focus on collage making.  Amy Stark of the library is our guest on the Blacklands Cafe.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Crossroads Mall remodeling underway; Texan Theater renovation complete

Credit Brad Kellar / Greenville Herald-Banner

Herald-Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard discusses the recently-begun remodeling of the Crossroads Mall project in Greenville and the completion of the renovation of the old Texan Theater in downtown Greenville.  Caleb also discusses the recent Herald-Banner food drive on behalf of FISH,

Hunt County Shared Ministries.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Low cost of housing credited for strong Texas economy

Dr. Dale Funderburk
Credit Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce economics professor Dr. Dale Funderburk says another dip in consumer confidence is holding back the economic recovery. 

And Dale discusses a recent article in which the low cost of housing is given credit for much of the relatively good economy in Texas.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Commerce street project nears completion

Credit Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the long-running city street improvement project is nearing its completion, with the last phase on West Neal Street south of the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus well underway.  The mayor says the dedication of a memorial at the Gen. Claire Chennault house on Monroe Street has been delayed until March, when TAMU System Chancellor John Sharp can attend.  And Mayor Ballotti says a Mexican restaurant is preparing to open in the downtown building most recently occupied by Buck's Barbecue.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Photo Walk Saturday afternoon in downtown Sulphur Springs

Cindy Roller, Luis Noble

Cooper Review editor Cindy Roller and Echo Publishing graphic designer Luis Noble discuss the annual Worldwide Photo Walk, which is being observed in downtown Sulphur Springs at 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Dr. Rick Selvaggi says ebola virus unlikely to spread widely

Dr. Rick Selvaggi

Commerce family practitioner Dr. Rick Selvaggi says ebola virus is very virulent, but because it is not an airborne virus and because of the advanced health-care system in the U.S., it is very unlikely to spread widely here.  But Dr. Rick says it's not impossible that some strain of flu could become pandemic, as the terrible flu outbreak of 1918.

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Blacklands Cafe
6:00 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Time for fall gardening; 'Goblins in the Garden' Oct. 16 in Greenville

Hunt County Master Gardener Dr. Stephanie Suesan Smith says it's time to start getting gardens ready for the winter.  The Master Gardeners, Hunt County Agrilife Extension and the W. Walworth Harrison Public Library present "The Art of Gardening: Goblins in the Garden" at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Outdoor Learning Center, 2311 Washington Street in Greenville.

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