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Blacklands Cafe

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Milton Babb, the tourism and marketing director of the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the success of Landon's Winery and the major renovation of the Texan Theatre are just two signs that downtown Greenville is making a comeback.

Hunt County Historical Commission

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor relates the story of the Shawnee tribe in Northeast Texas, including a very surprising tale of settlers coming to the defense of the Shawnee.

Commerce ISD

Commerce ISD superintendent Blake Cooper says the new UIL enrollment limits for the various classifications will have little effect on Commerce High School.  It will be in the 3A, Division 1 division, but that is essentially the same as 2A, Division 1 currently, because the UIL is redesignating its divisions from the largest (5A to 6A) to the smallest (six-man to 1A).  Also, Cooper says the school board hopes that its approval of the Freeport Exemption for manufacturing companies will help attract industry to the city. 

First United Methodist Church, Commerce

First United Methodist Church of Commerce senior pastor Valarie Englert says a sermon from the Old Testmament on the "refiner's fire" helped her learn to focus on the essence of Christmas.  She recommends a book called "Unplug the Christmas Machine."

Bluegrass Valley Records

Grammy-Award-winning music producer, guitarist and singer-songwriter Brad Davis, who calls the Commerce-area home, is about to release a new album paying tribute to the late country music superstar George Jones.  The songs on the album are produced bluegrass-style.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Doug Rohrabaugh says entries for the annual Christmas parade will start lining up at 6 p.m. Thursday evening in the Farmers Market on Bonham Alley, with parade beginning at 7, going from Bonham to Bois D'Arc to Live Oak to Washington.  One of the attractions will be pep rally for the A&M-Commerce football team, which plays Harding University in the Live United Texarkana Bowl at 12 noon Saturday.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

With the Dow Jones average over 16,000, it seems that good times are back on Wall Street.  But A&M-Commerce economics professor and the interim dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship Dr. Dale Funderburk says the "quantitative easing" of the Federal Reserve, injecting large sums of money into the economy, may be artificially pumping up the market.

The city of Commerce and the Commerce ISD governing bodies have approved the Freeport Exemption, a business tax exemption that both hope will encourage new business to locate in Commerce, according to Herald Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard.  In this edition of the Blacklands Cafe, Caleb also discusses the Splash Kingdom water park that is coming to Greenville soon.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Former A&M-Commerce/East Texas State political science department head Dr. Charles Elliott says it appears President Obama is not being well-served by his advisors in the recent problems with the Affordable Care Act.

Hunt Memorial Hospital District chief executive officer Rich Carter says the HMHD will soon be ready to start assisting Hunt County citizens sort through the options of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare."  When the service is ready around Dec. 1, the number to call will be (903) 408-5888.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says Phase 1 of the city's street improvement project is nearing completion.  And he says important progress is being made on the plans to locate a Tipitina's music venue in the old A.L. Day Elementary School.

Amazon.com, UNT Press

On this 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Dr. Charles Elliott, former head of the Department of Political Science at A&M-Commerce and ETSU, and a commentator at-large on the political scene for the Blacklands Cafe, says Obamacare -- like Medicare and Medicaid before it -- just needs time to work out the kinks.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Our personal technology advisor, Rick Miller, gives us the lowdown on good tech items to buy for holiday gift shopping, and items it might be best to wait to buy.

Longtime Northeast Texas resident and author Jim Ainsworth, one of our occasional commentators at-large on the political scene, offers several alternatives to Obamacare.  Jim is a certified public accountant, certified financial planner and chartered life underwriter.

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