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Blacklands Cafe

fastandfurious.com

Alice Reese, the Herald-Banner movie critic, says "The Fate of the Furious" (the eighth film of the "Fast and the Furious" franchise) includes beautiful scenes from around the world, including a race filmed in Cuba, only recently opened to U.S. movie makers and other business interests.  Alice says Dame Helen Mirren, a racing fan in real life, steals the film with her role.

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The mayor of Sulphur Springs, Emily Glass, discusses the recent decision of the Luminant company to give the 4,900 acre Thermo coal-mine property to the city.  The mine ceased operations about one year ago.

CASA

Lori Cope, the director of CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of Hunt County, says April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Lori says the number of child abuse cases and children in foster care in Hunt County has increased from about 140 at this time last year to nearly 200 today.  CASA provides volunteers who monitor children in foster care and advocate for them in court.

Hopkins County Heritage Park and Museum

Bill Glover, the director of the Hopkins County Historical Society, describes the Hopkins County Museum and Heritage Park, located a few blocks from downtown Sulphur Springs on East Houston Street.

Commerce ISD

Charlie Alderman, superintendent of the Commerce ISD, says the 2017-18 school year will start much earlier than in recent years, on Monday, August 7.  The schedule will allow the schools to have a break every nine weeks, which Charlie says research shows prevents student and teacher burnout.  The first week-long break will be in October.  The school year will end in the third week of May.

Amortowles.com

Our books commentator, Sharon Feldt of Sulphur Springs, vastly enjoyed the novel "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles, which won many 2016 "Book of the Years" honors.  Having followed her reading of the novel with some research on Russian history, Sharon says the books provides insight into the Russian mind, and teaches us to truly "make the best of a bad situation."

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Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the City Council recently met in executive session with the Toole Design Group, a city planning organization that was behind the renewal of downtown Sulphur Springs.  Ian Lockwood, the planner who worked with Sulphur Springs on the project, was one of those meeting with the City Council.  Toole will come back to the City Council with a proposal for Commerce at a date in the near future.  The mayor says Dr.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Shetina Jones, representing the Commerce Community Action Program (C-CAP), relates the plans for a 45-plot community garden on property behind the First United Methodist Church of Commerce. Individuals or families will cultivate each plot.  C-CAP will later hold classes on canning the produce from the gardens.  Those interested in the community garden should visit Huffman Farm Supply on Bonham Street in downtown Commerce.

Lone Star Garden Tractor Pullers Association

Cindy Roller, editor of the Cooper Review, and Texas youth tractor pulling champ Lane Duncan guest on this edition of the Blacklands Cafe.  Lane discusses the finer points of tractor pulling, which he's been competing in since he was 6 (he's now 12).

Hunt County United Way

The Hunt County United Way's spring luncheon is at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Greenville.  Educator and missionary Kathleen Witte is the speaker and the theme of the luncheon is the "Butterfly Effect."   The dedication of the renovated City Park in Wolfe City took place recently.  The project was accomplished with a grant received by the United Way.

Lifemovie.com

Herald-Banner movie reviewer Alice Reese says "Life," the science-fiction film about the unexpected discovery of life on Mars, asks us to accept some boneheaded behavior by some very smart people, but otherwise is an engaging film.  Alice is more enthusiastic about "The Zookeeper's Wife," a drama about life in Poland under Nazi Germany.

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Lauren Corbell, city editor and columnist of the Paris News, reports that the North Lamar ISD has scheduled a $44.9 million bond election for Saturday, May 6.  Lauren says the North Lamar school board consulted with the public to find out why a previous bond proposal failed.  And Lauren reports the annual Paris Winefest is planned for this Saturday, April 1.  It's a fund raiser to benefit the downtown Paris Main Street program.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Dr. Dale Funderburk, Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor and interim dean of the College of Business, says the import tax now being considered in the Trump administration and in Congress would hit retailers like Wal-Mart hard, because so many of their goods are imported.

Center for Applied Leadership

Rick Miller of the Center for Applied Leadership reflects on a Success magazine article, "Character Is Your Masterpiece to Build."   The author, Jim Rohn, writes that creating character is like an artist chiseling a sculpture. "Character is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices that your make," Rohn writes.

Our wellness commentator, Velvete Womack, discusses a natural and holistic approach to fighting allergies. The approach involves eliminating candida, a type of yeast that thrives in the gastrointestinal tract, by avoiding foods that are based on yeast and refined simple carbohydrates.  These include white flour, white rice, processed sugars, table salt, mushrooms and beer.

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