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Blacklands Cafe

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the contractor for the street improvement project is being fined $1,000 per day for not completing the project by the end of August.  The mayor says he expects all street improvements in the current phase of street repairs will be complete by the end of the year.

Commerce physician Dr. Rick Selvaggi says despite the recent decline in the number of children receiving vaccinations, the risks involved are small, and vaccines are second only to clean drinking water in making life safer for humanity.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Relations director Derryle Peace says in addition to the University's 125th anniversary being observed this academic year, A&M-Commerce is also noting its 120th year in Commerce since moving from Cooper, and the 50th anniversary of desegregation at what was then East Texas State College.  Derryle also discusses the Brick Garden Project, which is part of the 125th anniversary.

Hunt County Master Gardeners

Hunt County Master Gardener Dr. Stephanie Suesan Smith says it's time to start fall gardens.  Stephanie says it's possible to feed a family for a year on the fruits and vegetables you can grow on a quarter-acre plot.  And she says it's also time to plant fall perennial flowering plants and, by the end of the month, wildflowers.

The Commerce Community Cares organization has started its fund raising campaign for 2014-15, according to  Dick Latson.  One of the organizations that receive funding from Community Cares is the Commerce Public Library.  Librarian Nan Clay says the library offers much more than shelves of books.  A library card can allow you to receive e-books or movies, free of charge.  And the library hosts an adult literacy program.

Northeast Texas Children's Museum

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says it appears that city of Commerce taxes will remain the same for 2014-15.  The mayor credits City Manager Marc Clayton for good fiscal management in avoiding a tax hike.  Dr. Ballotti also discusses what he considers a successful arrangement that allowed Commerce citizens to use the A&M-Commerce Morris Recreation Center and its swimming pool over the summer, and the status of the street repair program.

Hunt County Agrilife Extension Service

Hunt County Agrilife Extension agent Mary Sue Cole discusses the "Friend to Friend" event to promote breast-cancer screenings at 10 a.m., Saturday, September 13 at the Lone Oak Baptist Church.   At 10 a.m.,  Thursday, September 11, Agrilife Extension hosts a Kidney Smart program for people who suffer from kidney ailments.

Hunt County United Way executive director Frances Dalbey says the number of cases in which neglected children are removed from their home is up 33% this year.  Children in these cases are monitored by volunteers for CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), which is a program that receives funding from the United Way.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says investors are showing interest in downtown Commerce buildings, with some buildings already having been purchased for use as office space and retail space.  And Paul says the Chamber building will be the latest to have a new mural in downtown Commerce.

Texas A&M University-Commerce today observes the 125th anniversary of Dr. William L. Mayo opening the doors of Mayo College in Cooper, September 2, 1889.  A birthday celebration will take place at the statue of Mayo, in front of the old president's home, at 10:45 a.m.  Wyman Williams, the director of development for the College of Business, who has been presenting the University's history to service clubs and others for several months, is the guest on the Blacklands Cafe.

Hunt County Historical Commission

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor says Greenville's North Texas Fair, held on the property now partly occupied by the Greenville YMCA, was a major regional event in the early part of the 20th Century.  The fair sought not just to entertain but to educate, with events such as the "Better Babies Contest."

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville describes a new twist on the "ice-bucket challenge."  Instead of emptying ice buckets, the citizens of Hunt County are challenged to fill Home Depot work buckets with donations to Hunt County Shared Ministries, or FISH, which provides food for people in need, and whose shelves have become nearly empty in recent weeks.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Director Ryan Ivey says opening the football season at home on a Thursday night, September 4, against East Texas Baptist is a chance to "embrace our campus community."  Ryan also says work is now well underway on the new A&M-Commerce softball facility.

Hunt County Shared Ministries, or FISH, has seen a 60% increase in demand for food assistance this year, says Hunt County United Way executive director Frances Dalbey.  FISH has a fund raising barbecue on Saturday, September 27, and donations can be made at the FISH headquarters on King Street south of downtown Greenville.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Dan Jones supports the campaign of associate professor of counseling Dr. LaVelle Hendricks to "buy Commerce."  Dr. Hendricks is promoting the importance of A&M-Commerce faculty and staff, and employees of other Commerce organizations, patronizing Commerce businesses.  Oct. 7-11 will be "Shop Commerce" week.

Commerce ISD

As students begin the 2014-15 school year today, Commerce ISD Superintendent Blake Cooper says the CISD performed well on the 2013-14 STAAR test results, as Commerce High School earned four of six possible distinctions, Commerce Middle School earned two, and A.C. Williams Elementary School earned one ; the district placed in the top 25% in attendance and reading-and-writing measurements; and that all of the district's schools met state standards.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says it's been a busy week with three ribbon cuttings for the 10-2-4 Ranch west of Commerce, Dickey's Barbecue and Glamour Cuts.  Paul discusses plans for a new beauty pageant to be held in connection with the Bois D'Arc Bash, September 26-28.

myssnews.com

Enola Gay Mathews, host of the KSST radio morning show, discusses the revival of downtown Sulphur Springs, including an unlikely attraction ... a public restroom.

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Herald Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard discusses the recent outburst of violence in Greenville, including the stabbing deaths of two young men at a skating rink last weekend.  A community rally opposing violence is set for 2 p.m., Sunday, August 24 at the Hunt County Courthouse in downtown Greenville.  Caleb also discusses the status of the Crossroad Mall remodeling project and the proposed YMCA/convention center building.

Pennington Group

Randy Pennington -- author, speaker, business consultant, native of Greenville and alumnus of East Texas State University -- says change is happening exponentially, which means it's literally overwhelming for many people.  His latest book is "Make Change Work."

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce assistant professor of counseling Dr. Linda Ball discusses marriage issues.  She says research shows that it takes married couples six years to realize that problems exist in their relationship.

Cooper Review

Cooper Review editor Cindy Roller discusses the new slaughtering plant that will apparently be coming to Cooper, providing 15-20 jobs.  Cindy also discusses plans for a new program at Cooper Elementary School that will provide free breakfast and lunch for all children at the school.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce associate professor of astronomy and the director of the University Planetarium, Dr.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Director Ryan Ivey reflects on the ruling in the Ed O'Bannon case that college athletes should be compensated for the commercial use of their names and likenesses, and the NCAA's decision to allow the biggest conferences to operate autonomously, in particular in granting stipends to athletes.

Commerce Community Cares, a charitable organization, is about to start its fund-raising campaign for 2014-15.  The organization provides funding to the Commerce Food Pantry, which helps about 40-50 families per week, according to Dennis White, one of the leaders of the Food Bank.  White and Dick Latson of Commerce Community Cares guest on the Blacklands Cafe.

Northeast Texas Children's Museum

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says the City Council has decided a tax increase won't be necessary in fiscal year 2014-15, and city employees will see a pay increase.  The mayor says a committee has been formed to study installing fountains in downtown Commerce in the open area next to the new Dr Pepper mural.  Also, the mayor says the current Monroe Street paving project south of Live Oak Street should be complete in mid-September.

Hunt County Master Gardener Dr. Stephanie Suesan Smith says its time now to plant fall garden crops, such as corn, beans, cucumbers, okra and pumpkins.  In September, it will be time to plant perennial flowering plants that will come back in the spring.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Mayor Dr. John Ballotti says ground breaking should take place soon on a new CVS Pharmacy on State Highway 24/50 near Whitley Hall, the Texas A&M University-Commerce high-rise dormitory.  Already underway near the same location is construction of the new Hunt Regional Healthcare emergency-care facility.

Community Seeds

The executive director of Lone Oak-based Community Seeds, Bert Cooper, says two recent graduates of its programs exemplify what the faith-based organization is trying to accomplish.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce manager Paul Voss says the Chamber is promoting a campaign called "This Is Our Commerce," to encourage Commerce citizens and businesses to patronize each other more regularly.  And Paul says the Chamber is seeing a healthy growth in membership.

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