Blacklands Cafe

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti reports that progress is being made on starting the feasibility study for a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded regional hospital in Commerce, and on the Tipitina's music facility that would be located in the old A.L. Day Elementary School building.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce athletic director Ryan Ivey says the Lone Star Conference is again looking for a new member after McMurry decided not to become a full-fledged LSC member and remain in NCAA Division III.  Ivey says the LSC will stage a football tournament among its members in the last two weeks of the 2014 regular season.

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau director Milton Babb says regional music stars the Damn Quails will be the musical headliners at the annual Back Street Bash celebration Saturday, March 22 in downtown Greenville.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

A&M-Commerce College of Business and Entrepreneurship development director Wyman Williams is speaking to civic groups and others about the history of the University going back to Mayo College, as the 125th anniversary of the University approaches this fall. One endeavor that has been announced is the Brick Garden Project.

City of Commerce tourism and event coordinator Sherry Johnson is promoting naming rights for three baseball/softball fields at the Eddie Moore Sports Complex.  The city is hoping to raise $7,500-10,000 to support youth sports programs in Commerce.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Mayor John Ballotti says the city will soon be able to complete the paving of Monroe Street between Live Oak and Bonham.  The mayor says work is expected to begin any day on the demolition of the old Lone Star Pizza building on Live Oak, and the construction of a new Schlotzky's restaurant.  And Wal-Mart will soon install gas pumps, the mayor says.

Jody McIntier, the president of the Commerce Humane Association, says they currently have about 140 dogs in the Frank Barchard Animal Shelter in Wolfe City, but around 100 dogs per week are adopted from the shelter.  She says they still receive dogs who have been badly injured in staged dog fights.

Commerce Independent School District

Commerce ISD superintendent Blake Cooper says Commerce's new District 6-3A, Division 1 includes two charter schools, Dallas Life Oak Cliff and Red Oak Life, which are permitted to recruit players from within their school districts.  Other district schools include Caddo Mills, Sunnyvale and Scurry-Rosser.  Non-district football games will include games against North Lamar, Bonham, Quinlan Ford, Edgewood and Melissa.

Hunt County Agrilife Extension

Hunt County Agrilife Extension agent Mary Sue Cole says the Hunt County Fair will start this year on April 25 and run through May 3.  In recent years, the fair has opened in June, after opening in August for many years. Mary Sue says creative arts entries are due April 14.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

A&M-Commerce athletic director Ryan Ivey says the Lion football team will open its 2014 season at home on a Thursday night, Sept. 4, against East Texas Baptist University.  Ivey says head coach Colby Carthel recruited 54 freshmen football players by dividing seven athletic scholarships among them, supplementing scholarships with grants and other forms of financial aid.  And Ivey says the Lion men's basketball team, coming off a 79-76 win over national no.

Cooper Review

Cooper Review editor Cindy Roller says the Federal Emergency Management Agency turned down Delta County's request for emergency assistance following the December ice storm.  Damage in Delta County from the storm is estimated at $2 million.

Herald-Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard ranges far and wide to discuss recent stories in the area, including debate over allowing a funeral home to locate in a residential area of north Greenville, and the Commerce City Council's decision not to allow bars to stay open until 2 a.m.  Caleb also discusses a stiff sentence for a Caddo Mills man found guilty of animal cruelty.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce professor of economics Dr. Dale Funderburk says raising the minimum wage has the very visible effect of helping many people immediately, but the longer term effects --  which he believes include fewer jobs in the economy -- are harder to see and measure.

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau director Milton Babb says the recent fund raiser at Landon's Winery for a public art project in downtown Greenville was a major success, raising more than $18,000, and ensuring that the project will go forward.  It'll be located on the side of the Armstrong Appliance building on the southeast corner of the courthouse square.   Also, construction of the new Splash Kingdom water park on Interstate 30 in Greenville has begun.

Commerce ISD

The Texas Education Agency has approved new high school graduation requirements under House Bill 5, which take effect this fall.  Commerce ISD superintendent Blake Cooper says the requirements give students more flexibility in choosing "endorsements," similar to college majors.  In particular, students who are more inclined toward vocational education will find expanded opportunities.

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