KETR

John Mark Dempsey

Announcer/Reporter/Host

Dr. John Mark Dempsey is an associate professor of radio-television at A&M-Commerce, part of the department of Literature and Languages.  He works part-time as a news announcer-producer for the Texas State Network in Dallas.  Dr. Dempsey was the first student to broadcast on KETR back in 1975 and was also the first person to broadcast Commerce Tigers football on the station (as a student.)

Ways to Connect

texasbaptists.org

First Baptist Church of Commerce pastor Dr. Jeff Johnson tells the story of Saint Nicholas, the 4th century saint and bishop of Myra, in modern-day Turkey.  When Jeff's daughters were young and they asked him if Santa Claus was real, he told them, "Yes."  Hear the story in this Blacklands Cafe.  

Hunt County Historical Commission

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor says in the years after the Civil War, people in Hunt County used to celebrate Christmas as a community, with a large Christmas tree in the county seat of Greenville.  Christmas trees in homes were rare or non-existent.  A large crowd of people would gather  on Christmas Day to observe the holiday, and children would receive modest gifts.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

A&M-Commerce associate professor of counseling Dr. LaVelle Hendricks discusses anger management techniques, and says Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is an example of someone who struggles with controlling his anger.

Our technology commentator Rick Miller says 3-D printers are available in "box stores" for around $1,300, and a small hand-held 3-D printer that can render small, plastic figures is available for about $99.  There is concern that guns can actually be printed, but body parts such as hands and ears have also been produced with 3-D printers.  Rick offers this list of the 10 weirdest 3-D

First United Methodist Church-Commerce

First United Methodist Church of Commerce senior pastor Valarie Englert says we've heard complaints about the commercialization of Christmas for a very long time, and it's up to each of us to change our ways of observing Christmas if we want it to be different.  Other holiday topics: Santa Claus and the "war on Christmas."

NPR

Social media – Facebook, Twitter, et al – come in for their share of criticism.   They’re blamed for facilitating bullying, narcissism, and a host of other pathologies.  Here’s a word or two on their behalf, at least on behalf of Facebook.

I suspect that Facebook has lost some of its cache with the young and with-it because old timers such as myself have adopted it for the sort of things us old timers like to do, such as keeping watch on our teenage kids.

Texas Agrilife

Hunt County Extension Agent Mary Sue Cole offers advice on preparing and storing holiday foods, from thawing the turkey to storing and reheating the leftovers.

Housewarmers of Greenville

Pud Kearns of Housewarmers of Greenville says newcomers and long-time citizens alike will find plenty of Christmas activities this weekend in Greenville, including the annual Christmas Parade tonight at 7, a Jazzy Classic Christmas at the Central Christian Church in downtown Greenville at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and the Park Street Candlelight Tour of Homes Sunday from 3-7 p.m.

Hunt County United Way

Hunt County United Way executive director Frances Dalbey says children under 3 with developmental delays are served by the Early Childhood Intervention program, which is aided by the United Way.  The annual United Way fund raising campaign is now underway.

Sulphur Springs News-Telegram

You’re familiar with the names of many of the great broadcasters … Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Johnny Carson, Paul Harvey, Oprah Winfrey.  I wonder if you know the name of another great broadcaster who practiced his trade in Northeast Texas, Sulphur Springs, to be exact.

Bill Bradford, the owner and general manager of KSST, has passed away.  He was 93, but remained engaged and productive on-the-air and in managing the daily affairs of the station until nearly the very end.

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.

United Way of Hunt County

Hunt County United Way Executive Director Frances Dalbey says Clothe-A-Child needs volunteers at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, December 3-4 to help children and parents shop for clothes at Wal-Mart.

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.

Commerce ISD

Commerce ISD superintendent Blake Cooper says, starting in the fall of 2014, incoming high school students will choose one of several "endorsements," which are similar to college majors.  The endorsements will give more flexibility to students in the courses they take.

Hunt County United Way

Hunt County United Way executive director Frances Dalbey says the Hunt County Shared Ministries organization (FISH) needs volunteers to help wrap Thanksgiving food packages from about 5-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, November 19-21.  FISH is located at 2805 King St. in Greenville.  Volunteers will also be needed December 17-19 to wrap Christmas food packages.

Texas Agricultural Extension Agency

Hunt County Extension Agent Mary Sue Cole says, even though Texans recently passed Prop 6 providing for major new water projects, conservation will still be necessary for Texas to have the water it needs in the future.  And so, she invites Texans to take the "40-Gallon Challenge."

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau director Milton Babb is developing an idea to offer a tour of Greenville's historic churches, some of which, like Central Christian Church in downtown Greenville, have spectacular examples of vintage stained-glass windows.

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