Blacklands Cafe

Honest Thief, Wikipedia

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie reviewer, enjoyed the latest Liam Neeson adventure movie, "Honest Thief," which topped the movie box-office charts last weekend.  Two re-released Halloween movies, "Hocus Pocus" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas," are in the top 10.

Wikimedia Commons

Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the City Council will consider a tax-abatement agreement in a special meeting tonight (October 22) for Huaru Group Holding, Inc. to open a manufacturing facility in the former Zurn Industries building at 116 Maple St. in Commerce.  Plastic pipe would be produced in the facility. The council will also consider a conditional-use permit to allow an expansion of the Fix and Feed store at 2500 Mangum St.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Wayne Bowman, Hunt County Master Gardener, says trees can be planted year round if they are planted from containers, with "ball roots" (covered with soil).  The hole should be about three times the size of the ball.  Wayne also says leaves should be raked into flower beds and gardens rather than bagged and sent to the landfill.

BMW, Facebook

Derek Price, author of the nationally syndicated "Cargazing" column that appears in the Herald-Banner, reflects on the rising popularity of electric cars in Europe, where sales of electric vehicles now amounts to 10 percent of all cars sold. 

Community Seeds, Facebook

Bert Cooper, director of Community Seeds in Lone Oak, says through the "Farmers to Famlies" program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Go Fresh USA, Community Seeds has given away more than 25,000 boxes of food since April.  Bert says the new incubator kitchen, which will allow entrepreneurs to prepare food products for commercial sale, will open in downtown Lone Oak around November 1.

Cooper Lake State Park, Facebook

Steve Killian, superintendent of Cooper Lake State Park, says the park is making plans to extend the trails in the South Sulphur Unit by about 10 miles, by connecting existing trails.  The park could use volunteers to help building the trails, he says.  The park continues to see an increase of 20 percent or more in attendance, Steve Says, and the park's 14 cabins are booked about a month in advance.

A&M-Commerce Marketing Communications

Dr. LaVelle Hendricks, associate professor of counseling at Texas A&M-Commerce and a faculty leader of the recent civility project, discusses the results of a survey on the campus engagement of the university's faculty, staff and administrators. the survey finds 26 percent disengaged, 44 percent partially engaged, and 30 percent fully engaged.

Allessandro Zangrilli, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Sarah Latham, Rains County Agrilife Extension Agent, reflects on a study that says most children do not get enough sleep, leading to problems with being overweight and trouble in school.


Kim Saenz, the director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, says the Hunt Regional Board of Directors has tabled a proposal to convert the Emergency Center in Commerce into an urgent-care center, which would not be open 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week.  Otherwise, Kim says she believes many people continue to avoid seeking medical care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brad Davis Music, Facebook

Commerce's Grammy-Award winning music producer Brad Davis has opened a music-supply store, Brick Row Music, in his downtown Commerce recording studio.  Brad also says a tour is being planned with his long-time associate Billy Bob Thornton that would include Billy Bob and three other well-known singers in a group similar to the Highwaymen or the Traveling Wilburys.

"The War with Grandpa," Facebook.

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie critic, enjoyed two movies that have been released for theaters this week, "The War with Grandpa," starring Robert DeNiro, and "On the Rocks" with Bill Murray.

Wikimedia Commons

Sarah Latham, Rains County Agrilife Extension Agent, reflects on a Texas A&M Agrilife-USDA project to reverse a dramatic decline in the population of honey bees.  Scientists are attempting to improve the nutrition of the bees, which declined 40 percent in 2018-19.  Sarah also discusses an

Bras for the Cause, Facebook

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville reminds us that the annual Bras for

Commerce Rotary Club, Facebook


Jim Ayres of the Commerce Rotary Club says the second "Waves of Glory" event, honoring veterans and, this year, first responders, with U.S. flags in City Park, will take place Saturday, Nov. 7 through Friday, Nov. 13, encompassing Veteran's Day.  Veterans and first responders, living and dead, can be nominated for recognition through Oct. 16 at

Emily Glass, former Sulphur Springs mayor and co-owner of the Venue at two-nineteen, discusses the city council's decision to seek a $2.6 million grant for developing a heavy-industrial road serving the former Thermo mine property.  The road would be necessary for industrial development of the property, which is under consideration by the zoning board, although most of the property would still be developed as a recreational area.  Also, Emily says plans have been made for a drive-t

Morris Recreation Center, Facebook

Dan Semprini, director of fitness and wellness at the Morris Recreation Center at Texas A&M-Commerce, says teams of four are signing up to compete for prizes in "Fitober" during the month of October.  The deadline to register is Monday (Oct. 5).

Bras for the Cause, Facebook

Pud Kearns, with Housewarmers of Greenville and a leader of Bras for the Cause, says the event will be virtual this year, with three separate Facebook Live programs starting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8.  Proceeds will benefit Hunt Regional Healthcare cancer-treatment facilities.

Northeast Texas Trail, Facebook

Hank Pickering, a volunteer for the the Northeast Texas Trail, says several projects being directed by the Chaparral Rails to Trails organization are progressing.  Trail improvements from Merit to Paris are near completion, and from the Roxton to Paris are underway.  A one-and-a-half mile part of the trail in Wolfe City will soon be paved.  Hank says the NETT raised about $5,800 on North Texas Giving Day, exceeding the goal of $4,000.

Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Facebook

Byron Taylor, president and CEO of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, says the chamber's annual Auction & Casino Night, postponed earlier this year because of the coronavirus, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Emerald Ballroom in downtown Greenville.  The RAFFA Clinic for women is holding a virtual banquet by Zoom at 7 p.m. tonght (Tuesday, Sept.

Texas State Historical Association

Carol Taylor, Hunt County Historical Commission chairman, says the 1920 U.S. census -- 100 years ago -- showed the nation to be changing in fundamental ways, as the majority of people were now living in cities.  The 2020 census is officially scheduled to end on Wednesday (Sept. 30).


Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie critic, reflects on the return of 86-year-old movie icon Sophia Loren in "The Life Ahead," a Netflix movie directed by her son, Edoardo Ponti.  It will be released on November 13.  We also discuss the probable further delay of major movies scheduled for release in the fall.


Paul Voss, Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager, says the city has lost only three businesses during the coronavirus situation, but two have taken over the previous spots, so the net loss is only one.  Voss says small businesses have shown remarkable resilience during the ordeal.

Greenville Animal Hospital, Facebook

Dr. Karri McCreary, veterinarian and co-owner of the Greenville Animal Hospital, reflects on a Pew Research Center study that shows millenials are spending a lot of money on their pets during the coronavirus pandemic, much more than baby boomers.

Sharon Feldt of Sulphur Springs, our books commentator, says "The Nickel Boys" by Coulson Whitehead is the 2020 Pulitzer-Prize winner for fiction, although it is based on the true story of a Florida reform school for boys described as a "grotesque chamber of horrors" which remained open until recent years.

Commerce ISD, Facebook

Charlie Alderman, Commerce ISD superintendent, says about 14-15% of Commerce students are engaged in online learning, down from 19% at the beginning of the school year.  He expects that percentage to decline further in the near future.  Only one student has tested postive for the coronavirus in about the past week and a half, the superintedent says.

Cooper Lake State Park, Facebook

Steve Killian, superintendent of Cooper Lake State Park, says admissions at the Doctor's Creek unit of the park was up 50 percent in August compared to last year, and the South Sulphur unit was up 30 percent.  Cooper Lake was 10th in admissions for all state parks in June.  Steve says the park has recently had some controlled burns of several hundred acres that are necessary for the park's ecosystem.


Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the City Council received a report from Acting City Manager Ned Muse that the city actually saw an increase in sales-tax and property tax revenue during the 2019-20 fiscal year, just ended, despite the coronavirus lockdowns.  One reason is a new state law that allows cities to receive sales taxes from online purchases. 

CASA, Facebook

Lori Cope, the director of CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Hunt County, reports that a major increase in the number of removals of children from their homes, and placements in foster care, has been seen since school resumed and teachers have seen evidence of abuse or neglect.  CASA recently had received reports of 21 child removals from homes since early August, compared to 16 from April 1 through July during the coronavirus pandemic.

Greenville Animal Hospital, Facebook

Dr. Karri McCreary, co-owner of the Greenville Animal Hospital, reflects on a story that telemedcine for pets is catching on during the coronavirus pandemic, but she says, so far, it's not a trend in Northeast Texas.

The Broken Hearts Gallery, Facebook

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie reviewer, says "The Broken-Hearts Gallery," new in theaters this weekend, features a great comic performance by a young Australian actress, Geraldine Viswanathan, but will primarily be appreciated by milennial audiences.  Alice also discusses "Tenet," the science-fiction action movie, that is the biggest hit since the coronavirus situation began.