Blacklands Cafe

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce assistant professor of counseling Dr. Linda Ball says "little things" add up in the long-term success of marriages and relationships.

Commerce general practitioner Dr. Rick Selvaggi discusses new guidelines on the pneumonia vaccine.  And the television commercials tell us to ask our physician about the shingles vaccine -- so we ask Dr. Rick about it.

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Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor has spent the year looking back at 1914, 100 years ago, and shares her reflections.  One of the events of 1914 was the Christmas Truce during World War I, when British and German troops spontaneously laid down their arms and enjoyed each others' company for the day.  A British food store chain, Sainsbury's, has produced a commercial commemorating the event.

The Texas Education Agency has issued "report cards" on all Texas schools.  Commerce ISD assistant superintendent Charlie Alderman discusses the report cards, which show the Commerce schools all met standards with several distinctions.

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Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says the chamber and the city have received the three new, electronic LED message boards that will be placed around the city as a means of keeping citizens informed about local events.  And the Chamber website and the Chamber office in downtown Commerce are now featuring many fascinating historical photos of the city and its people.

The Executive Director of the Hunt County United Way, Frances Dalbey, says Hunt County Shared Ministries, or FISH, has seen a 60 percent increase demand for food assistance compared to last year.  Another United Way agency that can benefit from Christmas generosity is Little Libraries, which brings books to children who otherwise might not enjoy them.

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the current campaign of demolishing substandard houses will be organized in regions, corresponding to the city's regular curbside pickup schedule for debris.  And the mayor says a state/federal program will fund the construction of three new houses in Commerce.

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Cooper Review editor Cindy Roller reports that the Cooper ISD board recently received a favorable report on state testing of Cooper High School students.  Also, a new pictorial history of Cooper and Delta County, "Between the Sulphurs," is now available.

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Herald-Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard discusses the effort to demolish dozens of substandard houses in Commerce, and several developments in the revival of downtown Greenville.

Commerce general practitioner Dr. Rick Selvaggi says anyone planning to travel by plane, especially out of the country, over the holidays should be sure their vaccines are up to date.  And Dr. Rick says the flu season so far has been light, but he still advises everyone to get a flu shot.

Author Jim Ainsworth has published three new books.  Two are novels, "Rails to a River" and "First Born Son," and the third is a collection of essays, "A River of Stories."  A launch party and autograph signing session takes place Tuesday, December 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Center.

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the City Council will discuss in January the option of using sales taxes to pay for a repair of the city pool or a new splash park, or neither project.  Commerce is a Type A sales tax city.  Type A sales taxes may be used for recreational projects, if the voters approve, the mayor says.

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, discusses the history of Christmas parades, with the Commerce and Greenville parades scheduled for this Saturday night, December 6.  And Jim Conrad, the archivist emeritus of Texas A&M University-Commerce, tells us about an open house at the Commerce Public Library from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, in conjunction with the local parade.

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Roxton ISD superintendent Trevor Rogers says a new program in the Lamar County school district will pay for its students to earn up to 60 hours of college credit.  Trevor guests on the Blacklands Cafe with Jon Gammon of the Roxton Progress newspaper.

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Bert Cooper, the executive director of Community Seeds in Lone Oak, says the faith-based organization will hold its annual fund-raising dinner, featuring prime rib, at 6 p.m. Thursday at the National Guard armory in Greenville.  Community Seeds recently opened a transitional housing facility for people who are receiving job training with Community Seeds or other programs.

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