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Blacklands Cafe

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says the spring Bois d'Arc Car Show scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday in downtown Commerce, may be postponed for several weeks if the threat of stormy weather for Saturday continues.  A decision will be made early Friday.

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A recent survey shows the state of Texas close to the national average in a measurement of preparedness for responding to an emergency.  Kim Saenz, the director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, says they recently conducted a drill to prepare for a possible disaster in the area.

Cindy Roller

Sulphur Springs Mayor Emily Glass says the Hopkins County Courthouse has recently received a new exterior lighting system that lets the courthouse be lit in colors appropriate to the holiday, such as red and green for Christmas or red, white and blue for the Fourth of July.  

Emily reports Sulphur Springs has been hit by "skimmers" at local gasoline pumps, illegal devices that steal credit-card information.  She offers tips for avoiding being a victim.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Jim Anderson, Texas A&M-Commerce theater professor, will direct "Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming," at 8 p.m. Tuesday night (April 25) through 3 p.m. Sunday, April 30 in the University Playhouse.  It's set in the period immediately after World War II and features many gospel songs.  Cumby singer-songwriter Lou Ann Price plays a major role.

Renlita Doors

Emily Porter, the president of the Bonham Economic Development Corporation and the Bonham Tourism Committee, says Bonham manufacturer Renlita Doors will move into a larger building on Albert Broadfoot Street and will expand its operations.  Renlita builds innovative doors that raise into the ceiling for companies such as Holiday Inn Express. 

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Sarah Latham, Hunt County Agrilife extension agent, says the Hunt County Fair on FM 1570 in Greenville will open Friday (April 20th) and continue through Sunday, April 30.  It's the 50th Hunt County Fair of the modern era.  Musical attractions this year include Wade Bowen and the Bellamy Brothers.

Cindy Roller

John Derr, the chief of the Klondike Volunteer Fire Department in Delta County, says they will hold their spring fish fry starting at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Klondike VFD headquarters on FM 1528, off Highway 224.  They're attempting to raise money for a new brush truck, used for fighting grass fires.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Hunt County Master Gardener Byron Chitwood says the best varieties of tomatoes for Northeast Texas are Celebrities and Romas.  He says pests can be managed by spraying plants with water mixed with Dawn dish washing detergent, a couple of tablespoons per gallon.  Or you can plant basil and garlic near your tomato plants to keep away insects.

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Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd discusses new housing developments that have been approved in Bonham and Fannin County.  The mayor says they're a sign of economic and population growth.  Also, Bonham and the county expect an influx of workers during the construction of the Lower Bois d' Arc Creek Reservoir and Lake Ralph Hall projects, which are expected to begin within months.

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.

Texas Parks & Wildlife

A collection of outtakes from recent Blacklands Cafe conversations.  Jim Ainsworth is launching a new novel, Circle of Hurt from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday (March 28) at the Texas A&M-Commerce Alumni Center, and he's also introducing a new book on religious faith, Believing in a Grand Thing, which will be given away to those buying Circle of Hurt.

Texas State University

Derek Price, the owner of Greenshoot Media in Commerce, recently produced a video for Hunt County Public Art using a drone. Derek is licensed to fly drones, and says the remote-controlled devices are becoming more and more practical in everyday life.

jimainsworth.com

Northeast Texas author Jim Ainsworth is set to unveil his new novel, Circle of Hurt, at a release party from 5-8 p.m., Tuesday, March 28 at the Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Center.  Along with the new novel, Jim is releasing a new book on faith, Believing in a Grand Thing, which will be given away to those purchasing Circle of Hurt.

Braddavismusic.com

Grammy-Award winning, Commerce-based music producer Brad Davis is leading a new "Louisiana Hayride" band, as the historic radio program and live music franchise re-emerges.  Brad is actively involved in plans for a "Louisiana Hayride" television program, and is restoring original recordings made on the program in the 1950s.

showtimedtgreenville.com

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville reports that a new events calendar for downtown Greenville, showtimedtgreenville.com.  Also, Pud says the annual Hunt County Shared Ministries, or FISH, barbecue has been moved this year from fall to spring, and will take place Friday, March 31.  An additional location this year will be the First United Methodist Church in Commerce.

Wikipedia

Herald-Banner movie critic Alice Reese observes St. Patrick's Day by reflecting on her favorite movies about Ireland.  Included on her list: "Waking Ned Devine," "The Commitments," "My Left Foot," and no. 1, "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

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