KETR

Blacklands Cafe

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor discusses the fiddling history of the Greenville Municipal Auditorium, where this weekend's Bob Willis Fiddling Festival will take place.  And Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss discusses plans for Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce associate professor of astronomy and the director of the University Planetarium, Dr. Kent Montgomery, discusses the 1977 event when the "Big Ear" radio telescope in Ohio picked up the strongest ever signal from an unknown source in space, lasting more than 70 seconds.

Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Relations director Derryle Peace says besides the annual homecoming celebration, it's also the University's 125th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of desegregation at A&M-Commerce, then East Texas State College.  Events include a bonfire and fireworks Friday night at 9, a parade Saturday morning at 10, and the homecoming football game with McMurry at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Pennington Group

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, recently announced a policy of unlimited vacation for his employees, provided they do their work.  Dallas business consultant Randy Pennington, an alumnus of East Texas State University, says whether this will work depends on the culture of the company, but it's likely to become more common in the future.

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville looks ahead to the Bob Wills Fiddle Contest in downtown Greenville, the weekend of October 31-November 2, and also has tips on the best Halloween pumpkin patches around Hunt County.

Commerce Public Library director Nan Clay says the library now offers Family Literacy Night activities on Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m., in addition to General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes at the same time.

eBay

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor says the Greenville Municipal Building, and the Municipal Auditorium inside, will be 75 years old this Friday, October 24.  The city of Greenville is planning a major observance of the event next week.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says the annual Christmas parade will be held on Saturday, December 6 this year, rather than the traditional Thursday evening.  The parade will be preceded by a holiday fair on the downtown square in the afternoon.  And Paul says a Fall Market is being held Saturdays on the Fix and Feed parking lot.

Northeast Texas Children's Museum

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the city has developed a localized page of information on the Ebola crisis.  And the mayor says the popular "Halloween on the Square" event will be on Halloween Night, Friday, October 31.

With the A&M-Commerce Lions football team ranked in the NCAA Division II top 25 for the first time since 2001, Athletic Director Ryan Ivey says the game Saturday night against West Texas A&M may draw 8-9,000 fans, and the homecoming game November 1 against McMurry may attract an even bigger crowd.  And Ryan says the artificial turf of the new varsity softball field is nearly complete, and some fall games may be played on it soon.

The Commerce Public Library is sponsoring "Teen Read Week"  this week, and tonight (Thursday, October 16), the library hosts a teen art workshop from 6-8 p.m., with the focus on collage making.  Amy Stark of the library is our guest on the Blacklands Cafe.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce economics professor Dr. Dale Funderburk says another dip in consumer confidence is holding back the economic recovery. 

And Dale discusses a recent article in which the low cost of housing is given credit for much of the relatively good economy in Texas.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the long-running city street improvement project is nearing its completion, with the last phase on West Neal Street south of the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus well underway.  The mayor says the dedication of a memorial at the Gen. Claire Chennault house on Monroe Street has been delayed until March, when TAMU System Chancellor John Sharp can attend.  And Mayor Ballotti says a Mexican restaurant is preparing to open in the downtown building most recently occupied by Buck's Barbecue.

Cooper Review editor Cindy Roller and Echo Publishing graphic designer Luis Noble discuss the annual Worldwide Photo Walk, which is being observed in downtown Sulphur Springs at 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

Commerce family practitioner Dr. Rick Selvaggi says ebola virus is very virulent, but because it is not an airborne virus and because of the advanced health-care system in the U.S., it is very unlikely to spread widely here.  But Dr. Rick says it's not impossible that some strain of flu could become pandemic, as the terrible flu outbreak of 1918.

Hunt County Master Gardener Dr. Stephanie Suesan Smith says it's time to start getting gardens ready for the winter.  The Master Gardeners, Hunt County Agrilife Extension and the W. Walworth Harrison Public Library present "The Art of Gardening: Goblins in the Garden" at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Outdoor Learning Center, 2311 Washington Street in Greenville.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Dr. Kent Montgomery, associate professor of astronomy and director of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Planetarium, says a total lunar eclipse occurs between 4 and 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, and those who'd like to get a good view of it are welcome at the A&M-Commerce observatory on County Road 4208, just east of Highway 50, south of Commerce.  Also, current Friday night shows at the Planetarium are "Exploding Universe" and "Perfect Little Planet."

The Hunt County United Way recently added Raffa, an organization that provides a variety of support services to women in Hunt County, to the list of organizations it assists with funding, according to United Way Executive Director Frances Dalbey.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce associate professor of counseling Dr. LaVelle Hendricks has organized a "Buy Local, Support Commerce" campaign Oct. 5-11.  The University, the Commerce ISD and the city of Commerce are all supporting the campaign.  LaVelle says a similar campaign is planned for the spring.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says the Chamber has recently welcomed several new businesses as members, including a construction and remodeling company, Mass Con, and J&R Storage, which will offer insulated storage buildings.  Paul reports that the owner of Lulu's restaurant has bought Los Mochis Mexican Restaurant and will move Los Mochis into the former College Corner and El Charro building on Lee Street.  And Paul says the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus will perf

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Director Ryan Ivey says A&M-Commerce athletes have contributed nearly 2,000 volunteer hours to the community in the past year.  Ryan says the new athletic academic complex in the Field House is nearing completion.  The athletic department's next major facilities objective is an renovation of the weight training facilities in Whitley Gym.

Commerce ISD superintendent Blake Cooper says enrollment is up by 35 students this school year.   About 90 students have transferred into the school district, he says.  Blake says he is conferring with State Representative Dan Flynn about proposing a change to Texas law that would allow home-school students to take elective classes at Commerce High School and other public high schools in Texas.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says between 8,000 and 10,000 people will likely attend the Bois D'Arc Bash in Commerce this weekend.  The event begins with a golf tournament at Sand Hills County Club on Friday, the Commerce Leadership Institute barbecue Friday night on the downtown square, and a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce associate professor of counseling Dr. LaVelle Hendricks says the public outcry when the video of Ray Rice's assault on his then-girlfriend forced the NFL to extend Rice's suspension to a full season.  Dr. Hendricks says A&M-Commerce students in need of counseling can visit the Counseling Center in the Halladay Student Services Building and members of the public can seek help at the Community Counseling Center in Binnion Hall.

City of Sulphur Springs

Enola Gay Mathews, host of the KSST radio morning program, says the Hopkins County Stew competition and the Fall Festival, will once again be scheduled together, with the Fall Festival set for October 18-25, and the stew event on Saturday, October 25.

Bert Cooper, the executive director of Community Seeds, says the faith-based organization has received the necessary architectural and design approval for its incubator kitchen, which will allow people to prepare and market food.  Community Seeds also has started its fall welders training class.  Bert says people trained in welding are in great demand.

Milton Babb with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce says Rally Round Greenville has grown from an attendance of a few hundred to 8-10,000, and a budget of $600 to $52,000.  Major musical performers this weekend include the Emerald City Band of Dallas playing for a street dance Friday night, the Rev. Horton Heat, James McMurtry and Great White.

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville is one person who can say she saw the Beatles live on stage.  It was 50 years ago, September 18, 1964, when the Fab Four performed their only Dallas concert at the Memorial Auditorium, now the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention

Cooper Review

Cooper Review editor Cindy Roller says, after some legal complications that caused a delay, an election to determine whether the off-premise sale of beer and wine will be allowed in Delta County is now expected to be held in May 2015.

Herald-Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard says the fact that the city manager has taken the  civic center construction project out of the 2014-15 budget does not mean the project is dead, but is certainly another setback.  And Caleb reports that the labor lockout at the Greenville Cytec industrial plant continues.

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