KETR

Blacklands Cafe

Commerce Independent School District

Commerce ISD superintendent Blake Cooper says the school district will soon install security buzzers in all of its schools, so that office personnel will have to "buzz in" visitors before they may enter the school.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

A&M-Commerce president Dr. Dan Jones and Commerce mayor Dr. John Ballotti say the university and the city are doing a feasibility study of applying for a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to attract a regional medical center to Commerce.  This would be in addition to the new Hunt Memorial Hospital District facility that will be built here this year.

Our personal technology commentator Rick Miller says the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas featured dozens of amazing new tech wonders, including "onesies," that will help parents take better care of babies, and Google Glass, which is having a positive effect on law enforcement.

Grammy-winning Commerce-area music producer, guitarist, and singer-songwriter Brad Davis has been accepted as a student at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Housewarmers of Greenville

Pud Kearns of Housewarmers previews numerous upcoming events in Greenville, including the observance of Martin Luther King Junior's birthday this Saturday and Sunday; a master gardener's program on Thursday of this week; a pie-making class on Thursday, January 23; and upcoming Greenville Entertainment Series and Dallas Symphony Orchestra programs in the Municipal Auditorium.  With so many things to do, Pud says Greenville and Hunt County are definitely not "the hinterlands."

Texas A&M University-Commerce

KETR general manager Jerrod Knight reveals some of his tips for preparing haute cuisine in this edition of the Blacklands Cafe.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce executive director Doug Rohrabaugh says the annual chamber banquet has been set for Thursday evening, March 13.  Nominations for "Citizen of the Year" and other honors will be accepted beginning this week.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce associate professor of counseling Dr. LaVelle Hendricks says yet another menacing new drug is taking a terrible toll on abusers.  It's a synthetic drug called "krokodil," and while it's not yet widespread, it's beginning to appear in the western U.S.

Hunt County Extension Service

Hunt County Extension Agent Mary Sue Cole recommends the DASH diet, developed by the National Heart and Lung Institute, for post-holiday dieting.  Also, the extension service has workshops coming up on food preparation and pie making.  For more information, call (903) 455-9885.

Hunt County United Way

Hunt County United Way executive director Frances Dalbey discusses Hunt County Kids, an organization that primarily operates in the Quinlan area of southern Hunt County.

Hunt County Historical Commission

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor discusses the career of Ruby Allmond, trailblazing Northeast Texas female fiddler and songwriter, whose papers and memorabilia are housed at the James Gee Library at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Herald-Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard says Quanex Building Products is coming to Greenville, and the city of Commerce is hoping to get a grant to make major improvements to the Commerce Municipal Airport in 2014.

Certified public accountant, certified financial planner and author Jim Ainsworth, one of our commentators on the political scene, says if a recent Time magazine article, "Why Texas Is Our Future," is correct, it's probably a good thing for the country.

Hunt County Historical Commission

One more tip of the cap to Christmas, as we discuss how Christmas was celebrated in Hunt County in the late 19th Century, after the Civil War and Reconstruction.  Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor says one highlight of the community Christmas Day celebration was "shooting the anvil," which definitely would not meet safety standards today.

Hunt County Historical Commission

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor says in the years after the Civil War, people in Hunt County used to celebrate Christmas as a community, with a large Christmas tree in the county seat of Greenville.  Christmas trees in homes were rare or non-existent.  A large crowd of people would gather  on Christmas Day to observe the holiday, and children would receive modest gifts.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

A&M-Commerce associate professor of counseling Dr. LaVelle Hendricks discusses anger management techniques, and says Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is an example of someone who struggles with controlling his anger.

Our technology commentator Rick Miller says 3-D printers are available in "box stores" for around $1,300, and a small hand-held 3-D printer that can render small, plastic figures is available for about $99.  There is concern that guns can actually be printed, but body parts such as hands and ears have also been produced with 3-D printers.  Rick offers this list of the 10 weirdest 3-D

First United Methodist Church-Commerce

First United Methodist Church of Commerce senior pastor Valarie Englert says we've heard complaints about the commercialization of Christmas for a very long time, and it's up to each of us to change our ways of observing Christmas if we want it to be different.  Other holiday topics: Santa Claus and the "war on Christmas."

Texas Agrilife

Hunt County Extension Agent Mary Sue Cole offers advice on preparing and storing holiday foods, from thawing the turkey to storing and reheating the leftovers.

Housewarmers of Greenville

Pud Kearns of Housewarmers of Greenville says newcomers and long-time citizens alike will find plenty of Christmas activities this weekend in Greenville, including the annual Christmas Parade tonight at 7, a Jazzy Classic Christmas at the Central Christian Church in downtown Greenville at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and the Park Street Candlelight Tour of Homes Sunday from 3-7 p.m.

Hunt County United Way

Hunt County United Way executive director Frances Dalbey says children under 3 with developmental delays are served by the Early Childhood Intervention program, which is aided by the United Way.  The annual United Way fund raising campaign is now underway.

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Milton Babb, the tourism and marketing director of the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the success of Landon's Winery and the major renovation of the Texan Theatre are just two signs that downtown Greenville is making a comeback.

Hunt County Historical Commission

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor relates the story of the Shawnee tribe in Northeast Texas, including a very surprising tale of settlers coming to the defense of the Shawnee.

Commerce ISD

Commerce ISD superintendent Blake Cooper says the new UIL enrollment limits for the various classifications will have little effect on Commerce High School.  It will be in the 3A, Division 1 division, but that is essentially the same as 2A, Division 1 currently, because the UIL is redesignating its divisions from the largest (5A to 6A) to the smallest (six-man to 1A).  Also, Cooper says the school board hopes that its approval of the Freeport Exemption for manufacturing companies will help attract industry to the city. 

First United Methodist Church, Commerce

First United Methodist Church of Commerce senior pastor Valarie Englert says a sermon from the Old Testmament on the "refiner's fire" helped her learn to focus on the essence of Christmas.  She recommends a book called "Unplug the Christmas Machine."

Bluegrass Valley Records

Grammy-Award-winning music producer, guitarist and singer-songwriter Brad Davis, who calls the Commerce-area home, is about to release a new album paying tribute to the late country music superstar George Jones.  The songs on the album are produced bluegrass-style.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Doug Rohrabaugh says entries for the annual Christmas parade will start lining up at 6 p.m. Thursday evening in the Farmers Market on Bonham Alley, with parade beginning at 7, going from Bonham to Bois D'Arc to Live Oak to Washington.  One of the attractions will be pep rally for the A&M-Commerce football team, which plays Harding University in the Live United Texarkana Bowl at 12 noon Saturday.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

With the Dow Jones average over 16,000, it seems that good times are back on Wall Street.  But A&M-Commerce economics professor and the interim dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship Dr. Dale Funderburk says the "quantitative easing" of the Federal Reserve, injecting large sums of money into the economy, may be artificially pumping up the market.

The city of Commerce and the Commerce ISD governing bodies have approved the Freeport Exemption, a business tax exemption that both hope will encourage new business to locate in Commerce, according to Herald Banner and Commerce Journal editor Caleb Slinkard.  In this edition of the Blacklands Cafe, Caleb also discusses the Splash Kingdom water park that is coming to Greenville soon.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Former A&M-Commerce/East Texas State political science department head Dr. Charles Elliott says it appears President Obama is not being well-served by his advisors in the recent problems with the Affordable Care Act.

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