Blacklands Cafe

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Dr. Kent Montgomery, associate professor of astronomy and director of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Planetarium, says a total lunar eclipse occurs between 4 and 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, and those who'd like to get a good view of it are welcome at the A&M-Commerce observatory on County Road 4208, just east of Highway 50, south of Commerce.  Also, current Friday night shows at the Planetarium are "Exploding Universe" and "Perfect Little Planet."

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