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Blacklands Cafe

Tipitina's

Rick Parent, the director of the Tipitina's Creative Co-op on College Street in east Commerce, says the facility is ready to receive visitors and begin scheduling activities.  Rick is inviting artists and musicians to schedule lessons and other group activities there.  For now, Tipitina's will operate in an external building on the campus of the old A.L. Day Elementary School, although renovation work continues on the main building.

Cindy Roller

Emily Glass, who has now relinquished the title of Sulphur Springs mayor to John Sellers, says the city has undertaken a new comprehensive plan, building on the success of the city's revitalized downtown, known as "Celebration Plaza."  The original planner of the downtown project, Ian Lockwood of Toole Design, recently returned to help formulate the 20-year comprehensive plan.

First Presbyterian Church

Dick Latson of Commerce Community Cares and Isabel Davis of the Commerce Food Pantry comment on the annual fund raising campaign of Commerce Community Cares, which benefits 13 Commerce organizations, including the Food Pantry.  Isabel says the Commerce Food Pantry serves about 150 people per week.  She says the organization will now receive food supplies from the North Texas Food Bank, based in Dallas, for only the cost of delivery.

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Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the city has a deal with Toole Design and Ian Lockwood, the person behind the revitalization of downtown Sulphur Springs.  Lockwood and his team will be in Commerce July 10-13 and August 7-10 to meet with citizens and to formulate a comprehensive plan for the city.  Texas A&M University-Commerce is participating in the effort.  On another topic, the city is looking for a finance director to replace Brady Olson, who has left for another position.

Texas Parks and Wildlife

On today's Blacklands Cafe, outtakes with three of our regulars, Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor, discussing the somewhat mixed reaction to the entry of the U.S. into World War I, 100 years ago; Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor and interim dean of business Dr. Dale Funderburk, commenting on the importance of transportation to the ranking of Texas as the no.1 state for business by CEO magazine; and A&M-Commerce associate professor of counseling Dr.

Commerce ISD

Commerce ISD superintendent Charlie Alderman says the results of the state legislative session were not good for public schools.  He says the legislature has reduced direct state funding to public schools by $1.2 billion, in hopes that rising home values will increase local property-tax revenues and offset the cut.

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Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd reflects on news that Bonham is no. 217 on the list of the top 250 towns in Texas to buy a home, according to analysis provided by LendEDU.  Caddo Mills is no. 156, Greenville is no. 221 and Leonard is no. 249.  The study reviewed data on 1,000 Texas towns and based the rankings on three criteria: the median income to home value ratio; a five-year population forecast; and a five-year income forecast.

Amazon.com

Texas A&M-Commerce student C.J. Davidson has published a novel, "A Daughter's Curse," which she says was inspired by her own difficult childhood and she hopes will be an inspiration to other young people who are the victims of domestic violence.  

Disney

Herald-Banner movie reviewer Alice Reese says the new "Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadmen Tell No Tales" is better than the last couple of movies in the five-part series.  Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom return and Alice says it would be a fitting end to the series, but she doubts that will be the case.

Aggies Invent

The director of the Texas A&M-Commerce Planetarium, Dr. Kent Montgomery, considers an article in Astronomy magazine on the efforts to send people to Mars.  NASA plans to land a crew on Mars in 2030 and the private company Space X even sooner, in 2024.  In fact, six companies are designing prototypes of habitats for living on Mars that are scheduled for completion next year.  Dr.

Paris News

Lauren Corbell, the city editor of the Paris News, reviews the recent success of the city of Paris' $10 million bond election and the failure of the North Lamar ISD's $44.9 million bond proposal.  The city will spend most of the bond funds to rebuild 18 city streets, while also making improvements to parks.  North Lamar had proposed to rebuild Higgins Elementary and Bailey Intermediate School, but for the second time in two years, voters rejected the plan.  Now, 26 portable buildings will be installed to serve about 200 students.

Texas World War I Centennial

Carol Taylor, the chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says the organization is asking citizens to share stories of their family members' service in World War I.  The commission meets at 7 p.m. Thursday (May 25) at the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum and everyone is welcome.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I.

Visitsulphurspringstx.org

Sulphur Springs community development director Tory Niewiadomski says the planner behind the revitalization of downtown Sulphur Springs, Ian Lockwood of Toole Design, will return to the city this week to help the city plan further improvements.  A welcome dinner takes place from 5:30-7:30 tonight (Monday, May 22) at the Hopkins County Civic Center.  On Tuesday, Lockwood will meet with community organizations before an open session with the public from 4-7 p.m. at City Hall.  He'll give a preliminary report on his findings at 7 p.m.

Texas A&M Real Estate Center

Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor and the interim dean of the College of Business Dr. Dale Funderburk considers a recent survey of CEO Magazine readers that ranks Texas as the no.

Our wellness commentator Velvete Womack considers the benefits of sleep.  While experts recommend that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day,  Velvete says those hours do not necessarily need to be in one continuous stretch.  And she offers some surprising sleep aids, including plunging your feet in ice water.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Rick Miller with the Center for Applied Leadership reflects on an article in the Harvard Business Review, "Why Leadership Development Isn't Developing Leaders."  Rick says leadership development must be experiential, involving students in activities that require them to work together.

Texas A&M Foundation

Texas A&M-Commerce associate professor of counseling Dr. LaVelle Hendricks is leading a group of A&M-Commerce students on a retreat to Hacienda Santa Clara Study and Research Center near San Miguel, Mexico, a facility affiliated with Texas A&M.  While there, the students will study the drug laws and drug-abuse treatment policies of Mexico.

Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, the chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, describes the reaction of Hunt County citizens to the the declaration of war that brought the U.S. into World War I in the spring of 1917.  A crowd of 5,000 gathered to hear Gov. James Ferguson speak at the old Hunt County Courthouse and to show support for the war, as a giant U.S. flag was raised.

Snatchedmovietickets.com

Herald-Banner movie reviewer Alice Reese says the comedy "Snatched" with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn has its share of big laughs, but is not the equal of Schumer's smash hit "Trainwreck."  It's Goldie Hawn's first movie role in 15 years, playing Schumer's mother as they're kidnapped in South America.

Alpha Romeo

Derek Price, author of the syndicated "Cargazing" column which appears in the Herald-Banner, recently participated in the Texas Auto Roundup at the Circuit of the Americas race track in Austin, and says the Alpha Romeo Giluia was named the "Car of Texas."  Derek says he was also very impressed by the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan as a family vehicle.

Amazon.com

Our regular books commentator from Sulphur Springs, Sharon Feldt, has written her third children's book, Sarah O'Shea and the Wacky Faucet.  It follows The Scary Hair of Sarah O'Shea and The Stable.  And Sharon says she's now starting to work on her first novel.

Texas Department of State Health Services

Hunt Regional Healthcare registered nutritionist Sally Rhodes reflects on a recent article, "Six Brain Healthy Foods to Eat for a Mood Boost."  Among the foods given: dark chocolate.

Texas State University Marketing

Jeremy Gamez, our personal technology commentator and business technical analyst for the Texas A&M-Commerce provost's office, reflects on an article "Death of the Smart Phone and the Birth of the Next Big Thing."  The author of the ZD Net article says the smart phone has peaked in terms of sales and profits, and so technology companies are looking for the "next big thing."  He thinks that will be some type of "smart glasses," despite the fact that Google Glass fizzled.

Texas A&M University Real Estate Center

Dr. Dale Funderburk, Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor and interim dean of the College of Business, says it's easy to be confused by conflicting views of the economy, often offered by renowned economists themselves.  But Dr. Funderburk says there are some basic ways of analyzing the economy that will help you to make your own judgment of how things stand.

Hunt County United Way

Hunt County United Way executive director Frances Dalbey says members of non-profit boards and others interested in working with non-profit organizations are invited to the annual training session for United Way board members at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11.  The event takes place at the Senior Citizens Center in Greenville at 4912 Lee Street.  Frances says a new Little Library will open this week at the Norris Community Center in Commerce.

Caleb Pirtle Twitter

Sharon Feldt, our books commentator from Sulphur Springs and a children's author, says the Silver Leos writers' group will host a writing workshop from 8 to 5 this Saturday in the Rayburn Student Center at Texas A&M-Commerce.

Commerce Public Library

Amy Stark of the Commerce Public Library board of directors says the library has much more to offer than stacks of books.  "Storytime" for preschool children is at 10:30 a.m. each Tuesday, and a summer reading program for children will begin in June.  Amy says the library is collecting 400 pounds of plastic caps and lids that will be converted to a bench for Authors' Park next to the library.

Greenville Animal Hospital

Dr. Karri McCreary, co-owner of the Greenville Animal Hospital, says she and others in Hunt County Pets Alive regularly transport shelter pets to New York and Wisconsin, where they find new homes.  She says people are needed in Hunt County to provide temporary foster homes for shelter pets while they're waiting to be transported.

The Promise film

Herald-Banner movie critic Alice Reese enjoyed "The Promise," starring Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon, but says it might better have focused on the history of the bitter conflict between Turks and Armenians during World War I, and left the romance aside.

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