Blacklands Cafe

Commerce ISD, Facebook

Charlie Alderman, Commerce ISD superintendent, says about 14-15% of Commerce students are engaged in online learning, down from 19% at the beginning of the school year.  He expects that percentage to decline further in the near future.  Only one student has tested postive for the coronavirus in about the past week and a half, the superintedent says.

Cooper Lake State Park, Facebook

Steve Killian, superintendent of Cooper Lake State Park, says admissions at the Doctor's Creek unit of the park was up 50 percent in August compared to last year, and the South Sulphur unit was up 30 percent.  Cooper Lake was 10th in admissions for all state parks in June.  Steve says the park has recently had some controlled burns of several hundred acres that are necessary for the park's ecosystem.


Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the City Council received a report from Acting City Manager Ned Muse that the city actually saw an increase in sales-tax and property tax revenue during the 2019-20 fiscal year, just ended, despite the coronavirus lockdowns.  One reason is a new state law that allows cities to receive sales taxes from online purchases. 

CASA, Facebook

Lori Cope, the director of CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Hunt County, reports that a major increase in the number of removals of children from their homes, and placements in foster care, has been seen since school resumed and teachers have seen evidence of abuse or neglect.  CASA recently had received reports of 21 child removals from homes since early August, compared to 16 from April 1 through July during the coronavirus pandemic.

Greenville Animal Hospital, Facebook

Dr. Karri McCreary, co-owner of the Greenville Animal Hospital, reflects on a story that telemedcine for pets is catching on during the coronavirus pandemic, but she says, so far, it's not a trend in Northeast Texas.

The Broken Hearts Gallery, Facebook

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie reviewer, says "The Broken-Hearts Gallery," new in theaters this weekend, features a great comic performance by a young Australian actress, Geraldine Viswanathan, but will primarily be appreciated by milennial audiences.  Alice also discusses "Tenet," the science-fiction action movie, that is the biggest hit since the coronavirus situation began.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Wayne Bowman, Hunt County Master Gardener, says if you intend to grow any fall vegetables, time is running out.  It's important to plant so that you can harvest a crop before the first frost by around mid-November.  Wayne recommends buying transplants from garden centers at this point, in particular the "cole crops," such as cabbage, turnips and collard greens.  Wayne also discusses soil testing in this conversation.

Texas General Land Office

Carol Taylor, Hunt County Historical Commission chairman, says the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Wolfe City recently received the 100th historical marker presented in Hunt County.  The predominantly-black church was founded in 1889 by a committee made up of men and woman, and blacks and whites, very unsual for the time.

Commerce Chamber of Commerce, Facebook

Paul Voss, Commerce Chamber of Commerce president, says the Chamber has decided not to hold the annual Bois D'Arc Bash this year for the first time since it started in 1987.  The reason, of course, is the continuing threat of the coronavirus.  Paul says not holding the popular celebration will cause considerable financial stress for the Chamber.

Fiederels / Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Frances Dalbey, community outreach specialist with Hunt Regional Healthcare, says it is National Cholesterol Education Month.  As on many other topics, Hunt Regional provides a comprehensive fact sheet on the best ways to avoid "bad" cholesterol.

VisitEstonia / Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Autumn Johnson, director of Campus Recreation at Texas A&M University-Commerce, reflects on an article advocating that hedonism has its place.  A University of Zurich study finds that enjoying short-term pleasures contribute as much to happiness as self-control.

FurLined / Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Derek Price, author of the nationally syndicated "Cargazing" colum that appears in the Herald-Banner, reflects on a USA Today article naming the cars best suited for traveling with dogs.

Texas A&M Today

Kim Saenz, director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, reflects on a story about a new program led by Texas A&M in which telemedcine kiosks are placed in rural communities, such as Cameron, north of Bryan-College Station.

Emily Glass, co-owner of The Venue at Two-Nineteen and former Sulphur Springs mayor, comments on the $750,000 Texas Parks and Wildlife grant received by the city for improvements at Pacific Park on the city's east side.  Sulphur Springs voters have also approved a bond issue for the project, pushing the total value of planned improvements to the park at $2.25 million.  Also, plans

Commerce ISD

Charlie Alderman, Commerce ISD superintendent, says Commerce High School reopens today (Monday, August 31) and Commerce Elementary School will reopen Tuesday, September 1.  The schools closed last week because at 10 percent of students had a "close contact" with someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus.  The new standard set by the school board will be that the schools will close if one percent of students test positive for COVID-19.

Bill and Ted Face the Music, Facebook

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie critic, says numerous new movies will be released in theaters this weekend.  One of them is "Bill and Ted Face the Music," a sequel to "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" from 1990, with original stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter.  Also new this weekend are "The Personal History of David Copperfield" and

20047-N-DA693-1179 Navy Medicine / Creative Commons

Kim Saenz, director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, reflects on an article describing the stress that emegency-room nurses and other personnel are feeling after months of working during the coronavirus pandemic.  The article recommends that nurses be required to reveive regular counseling.

CASA, Facebook

Lori Cope, director of CASA (the Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of Hunt County says the number of new cases they've received since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has dropped sharply.  She says last year from March 15-August 15, CASA had 32 new cases, but this year the number was 18.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor contrasts the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic to the devasting 1918 flu outbreak in North Texas.  Many closings occurred then, and people were urged to wear masks.

Cooper Lake State Park, Facebook

Steve Killian, superintendent of Cooper Lake State Park, says attendance is up this summer at the park compared to last year, despite ... or perhaps, because of ... the coronavirus situation.  In fact, Cooper Lake is among the top 10 state parks in attendance this summer. Steve says the park has various ways of helping families enjoy the park even though the organized programs led by park rangers are not taking place for the time being.


Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says the City Council has not yet set the 2020-21 property tax rate, but he and the council do not expect that there will be a tax increase.  The mayor says the city is actually running ahead of its budget for property tax collections and sales taxes this year, despite the coronavirus shut down.

Rains County Agrilife Extension

Sarah Latham, Rains County Agrilife Extension Agent, is presenting an online "Health Talk Express" programs with the extension agents in Rockwall and Fannin Counties.  Sarah's program is on cardiovascular disease, which is significantly higher in Rains County than elsewhere in the state.  We also discuss the trend of more people

Cemeteries of Texas

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, has been touring the 119 cemeteries in the county this summer.  While she's enjoying the tour, it is the responsibility of the Historical Commission to document the county's burial places.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Frances Dalbey, outreach specialist with Hunt Regional Healthcare, discusses ways of keeping senior citizens connected to friends and family despsite coronavirus restrictions.  There is no one-size-fits all solution, so choose things that suit you and senior citizens who are close to you and commit to them.

Made In Italy, Facebook

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie critic, enjoyed the new movie "Made in Italy," a father-and-son story actually starring a father and son, Liam Neeson and his son Micheal Richardson.  It features beautiful scenery from the Tuscany region of Italy.  "Made in Italy" is available online and in some movie theaters.  "Ana" is a comedy-drama set in Puerto Rico and starring Andy Garcia.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Hunt County Master Gardener Wayne Bowman says now is the time to start planting fall vegetable gardens.  In fact, it's already late to start tomatoes from seed, although seedling can still be planted.  Wayne says it's important to take into account the average date of the first frost, generally the second week of November for Hunt County.  Beans, corn and squash won't survive the fro

Commerce ISD, Facebook

Commerce ISD Superintendent Charlie Alderman says things went smoothly on the district's first day of schools since the coronavirus hit last March. For at least the first two weeks, students will use a "hybrid" schedule in which  they are divided in two groups, with each group attending classes two days per week and working online on  the other days.  Charlie says the students he saw were wearing their masks and maintaining social distancing on the first day.

A&M-Commerce Athletics

Tim McMurray, Texas A&M-Commerce athletic director, says fall sports teams -- including football -- will play a half schedule in the spring 2021 semester.  This follows the decision of the Lone Star Conferece to call off competition in football, volleyball and soccer in the fall 2020 season, at least partly because the NCAA Division II decided to have national championship playoffs in the fall sports.  Cross coun

City of Greenville, Facebook

Pud Kearns with Housewarmers of Greenville says a workshop on the city's new comprehensive plan will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, August 13 at the Reecy Davis Recreation Center at 4320 Lee Street and is open to the public.  A display of the material will be on view from 2 to 8 p.m., and then will be on view at the W.