Blacklands Cafe

A&M-Commerce Athletics

Tim McMurray, Texas A&M-Commerce athletic director, comments on the new football locker room at Memorial Stadium/Ernest Hawkins Field.  The players got to enjoy the new facility for just a couple of days in March before the coronavirus crisis caused the campus to be closed.  Tim also discusses how the athletes are training for what everyone hopes will be the fall 2020 season in football, soccer and volle

Texas A&M Agrilife

Byron Taylor, president and CEO of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, says a study shows the median price of homes in Hunt County are up 9.5% this year, at $197,000.  But listings are down 2.9 percent in the coronavirus crisis.  Also, Byron says the Chamber is cautiously returning to normal activities with a quarterly membership luncheon Friday, June 5 at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center.  On the Chamber's Facebook page is a new video on the

Commerce Chamber of Commerce, Facebook

Paul Voss, Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager, says Hunt County has purchased the building to the east of the Chamber office on Main Street in downtown Commerce.  Renovation of the building is underway and it soon serve as the office for the Justice of the Peace Kerry Crews and Constable Wayne "Doc" Pierce.  Also, Paul says a number of Commerce businesses have now received checks from the federal government to help offset the closings caused by the coronavirus.

Commerce Community Cares, Facebook

Gene Casselberry, longtime Commerce businessman and community leader, passed away over the Memorial Day weekend.  Here, we present an archival conversation with Gene and Dick Latson of Commerce Community Cares.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Hunt County Master Gardener Wayne Bowman says composting -- "hot" or "cold" -- is a useful way to dispose of yard and household waste that produces beneficial compost or mulch for gardens and flower beds. 

The Half of It, Facebook

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie critic, says the teen comedy "The Half of It" is a modern update on "Cyrano de Bergerac," in which a inarticulate suiter persuades a friend to write love letters to a girl he wants to romance.  In this case, the friend is also a girl and has her own feelings for the object of affection. It's available on Netflix.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Sarah Latham, Rains County Agrilife Extension Agent, discusses a Texas A&M Agrilife article describing how to perform home canning of fruits and vegetables, what at one time was a common activity.  Raising chickens for eggs is also covered in the article.

Commerce ISD, Facebook

Charlie Alderman, Commerce ISD superintendent, says Commerce High School seniors will graduate in a video event on YouTube and Facebook Friday night.  Video clips of each senior receiving his or her diploma will be edited into a virtual ceremony that will be streamed online at 7 p.m.  Seniors participated in a car parade from school to school Tuesday night.  The school board has voted to re-open classrooms for the 2020-21 school year Wednesday, August 12.

Our books commentator, Sharon Feldt of Sulphur Springs, says the recent best-selled "One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow" by Olivia Hawker has a storyline that relates to our situation in the current coronavirus crisis.  It is the story of two families facing extreme hardship on the Wyoming frontier.  Sharon also reviews

Cooper Lake State Park, Facebook

Steve Killian, superintendent of Cooper Lake State Park, says the park will reopen for camping Monday, May 18 for those with existing reservations.  Campers may begin making reservations, but Steve says it may be June 1 or thereabouts before they'll be able to camp.  Meanwhile, the park has been hitting its occupancy limit early in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday, so it's important to pay for admission online in advance before arriving at the p

Lion Athletics, Daktronics

Tim McMurray, Texas A&M-Commerce athletic director, discusses the installation of the new 1,900 square foot scoreboard at Memorial Stadium/Ernest Hawkins Field, which is now well underway.  Tim says he's optimistic that football and the other fall sports will be played, but their status remains uncertain.  He says social distancing would be possible in the stadium.

Cynthia Beacom, Hunt County Master Gardener, discusses hydrangeas, a beautiful, flowering perennial.  Cynthia says hydrangeas require a lot of water, but otherwise are not difficult to grow.  She says the color of the plants can be changed by providing acidic plant food.

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says the U.S. Census provides historians with a rich source of information on life in America.  Carol says the 1880 Census especially provided a bounty of information on communities and individuals.  But Carol says the 2020 Census asks so few questions that it will not be very useful to historians of the future.

Hunt Regional Healthcare

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville and Bras for the Cause says the Hunt Regional Medical Center is using a robot provided by Bras for the Cause several years ago to sterilize personal protective equipment (PPE) each day.  The robot was originally provided to sterilize cancer-treatment facilities with ultraviolet light, but Hunt Regional realized it could also be used to sterilize valuable PPE in the coronavirus crisis.  Pud also says she believes m

C-CAP, Facebook

Dr. Bob Johnson and Dr.


Paul Voss, manager of the Commerce Chamber of Commerce, says the chamber will assist businesses in applying for the federal loans that have been made available.  He says the council can help businesses apply online, and has packets that contain the information needed to apply.

University of Texas at Dallas

Dr. Kent Montgomery, head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M-Commerce, discusses the last "super moon" of 2020, also known as the "flower moon," which appears this week.  It will be at its largest rising in the east at about sundown Thursday evening (April 7).


Kim Saenz, the director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, discusses the steps involved when a person is tested for the coronavirus.  She says Hunt Regional is now able to test individuals for antibodies.  Kim says all visitors to Hunt Regional facilities receive a brief medical check-up when entering the building to see if they may have coronavirus symptoms.

Lean On Pete, Facebook

Herald-Banner movie critic Alice Reese recommends four films for on-demand, stay-at-home viewing during the coronavirus crisis:  "The Confirmation," "Moon," "Lean on Pete" and "Locke."  Alice says don't expect movie theaters to open until mid-summer despite the guidelines announced by Gov.

Borkazoid, Creative Commons

Jeremy Gamez, our personal technology commentator, says Zoom, the company that has become so popular as a provider of video conferencing technology, has run into some problems with "Zoombombing" in which unwanted participants interrupt meetings.  Jeremy says Zoom is working to improve its security, and provides some advice for Zoom users to avoid uninvited participation.  Jeremy is employed by the Texas A&M-Commerce Division of Bu

State Comptroller's Office

Dr. Dale Funderburk, Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor, says Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to restart the Texas economy, limiting many businesses to 25 percent capacity in their buildings, seems a reasonable move.  But Dr. Funderburk says it is impossible to know if 25 percent is too large or too small as the state attempts to balance the health and the economic risks.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce, Facebook

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says he is delighted with the response of Commerce buisnesses and citizens to the coronavirus crisis.  He says people are volunteering to help each other, and local restaurants offering take-out and delivery service are doing good business.

Commerce ISD

Charlie Alderman, superintendent of the Commerce ISD, says he, other administrators and the school board are considering several options for the Commerce High School graduation ceremony, which is currently still scheduled for May 22.  Charlie says one option is an online, virtual ceremony, but he hopes it will be possible to have an actual, in-person event.  Also, various plans are being discussed for the CHS prom, although it may be a privately organized affair this year.

Texas A&M Today

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville reminds Northeast Texas residents to complete the U.S.


Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the city will take the lead of Gov. Greg Abbott and the Hunt County Commissioners Court as local businesses prepare to reopen after the coronavirus shut down.  The mayor says he agrees with the cautious approach shown by the state and the county in returning to work.

Cooper Lake State Park, Facebook

Steve Killian, superintendent of Cooper Lake State Park, says the park is open again for day-use only (no camping allowed).  Masks and social distancing are required, and the park playground equipment is not open for children.  Entry fees must be paid online in advance.  Those with a season pass should also go online to get a permit.

Texas A&M-Commerce

Dr. Nick Patras, director of the Texas A&M-Commerce Counseling Center, considers a recent USA Today article, "Five Ways You Can Stay In Control of Your Life During the Covid-19 Pandemic."  One way is keeping a "to-do" list of things to do with your time each day.  Dr. Patras also recommends limiting the amount of time you watch or listen to the news about the coronavirus situation.

Hun Regional Healthcare

Kim Saenz, director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, says more testing for the coronavirus is now available, through Hunt Regional Medical Center, the emergency centers, and local medical labs.  Hunt Regional is asking for retired health-care professionals to volunteer to help in the emergency.  Also, Hunt Regional has a link on its web page to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) self-checker for coronavirus.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Hunt County Master Gardener Wayne Bowman says a good way to start vegetable gardening is by "square-foot gardening" in a space as small as four feet by four feet.  Wayne recommends a raised bed, which could even be on a platform.