Monday, October 30, 2006

Rewards for jobs well done

At recent Chamber events, several 2006 Lone Star Legislative Summit coordinators were recognized for all of their hard work that made the first legislative summit a success.

Each were presented with "Texas Forever" prints created by artist Harold Coats. The presentations were gestures of appreciation from Stan Lenox with Rep. Roy Blake, Jr.'s office.

Left: Bruce Partain, Chamber President (far left) and Jim Elder, Chamber Chair (far right) present Mike Hebert (center left) and John Ruckel (center right) with "Texas Forever" prints at the Chamber board meeting on Oct. 26.

Below: Bruce Partain (center) presents Larry King (left) and Debbie Baisden (right) with "Texas Forever" prints at the Chamber's Fourth Friday Luncheon on Oct. 27.

The Lone Star Legislative Summit was a two-day meeting held in August that brought representative from national and state government to East Texas.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Haunted House thrills with chills

Visit the Haunted House in Nacogdoches - if you dare!

From Oct. 27 through Oct. 31, the spookiness begins each night at dark and lasts till the monsters go home.

The Haunted House is located at the Nacogdoches County Expo Center in barn 3, cost is $5. For more information contact Greg Nichols at (936) 615- 3002 or Partrick Lanmon at (936) 462-3834.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Save the Texas State Railroad

Texas State Railroad crew with a restored steam locomotive at Rusk depot. (Photo: Bruce Partain)

Rallying for Rails
Excerpted from a story by Hannah Buchanan
Jacksonville Daily Progress

Texans came together Saturday afternoon Saturday afternoon at the Texas State Railroad’s Rusk Depot with one thing on their mind-preserving the Lone Star State’s official railroad.

The historic steam train system running between Palestine and Rusk through the heart of the Pineywoods faces permanent shut down by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at the end of the year unless additional funds are found.

A “Save the Train” event was organized by the Texas State Railroad Preservation Task Force. Anyone involved with the event, either as a participant or a volunteer, should be proud, said TSRRPT chairman Steve Presley in a press conference. The funds will go a long way to keep the train on track. TPWD, TSRR and other local officials were on hand to welcome engine No. 201 and many there enjoyed a train ride from the Rusk Depot to the Palestine Depot, where a concert featuring Texas legend Lee Roy Parnell took place at 8 p.m.

More than $100,000 in sponsorships alone was pledged for the event. Proceeds from the “Save The Train” event will help promote and market the TSRR and provide financial assistance to develop a permanent operating plan, according to promotional materials.

Full story.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nacogdoches Depot Renovation

Excerpted from a story
The Daily Sentinel
Thursday, October 19, 2006
(edited for space)

It's funny how some things tend to come around full circle. The construction of Southern Pacific railroad depot in 1911, in many ways breathed new life into the city of Nacogdoches. Nearly a century later, the city was able to repay that favor by shaking off years, ripping out everything that didn't belong, restoring that which was missing, and finally, reviving the worn-down depot, to which much was owed. Thursday, the city opened the doors for an hour to showcase the newly restored structure. Local historian Dr. Archie P. McDonald noted that the train depot was a place between places, where people arrived and people left, and it was the lifeblood to Nacogdoches. According to McDonald, without the combination of the Houston East & West Texas rail line and state Hwy. 21, Nacogdoches might have remained a historic town that never grew. Mayor Bob Dunn said he was pleased to be able to have such a fine facility to show to the public — and judging from the "ooos" and "ahhhs" from the crowd, the depot was a hit.
Older generations stood around recounting stories about what they remembered about the depot, while the younger, more energetic crowd walked around the perimeter, trying to decipher some of the penciled-in historical graffiti that was preserved during the restoration process. The depot restoration was made possible through a statewide transportation enhancement grant through TxDOT. That's why, combined with the railroad's importance to Nacogdoches, city officials said they felt it was only appropriate to earmark the building as a transportation museum — showcasing the historical impact transportation has had on Nacogdoches.

Read the full story.

A few quick facts about the depot:

In 1883, the first railroad came to Nacogdoches, brought by a man named Paul Bremond.
  • The first railroad was called the Houston East & West Texas, or HE&WT.
  • With the coming of the railroad, the economy of East Texas began to shift from farming and cotton growing to lumber and other industries.
  • The first rail lines through Nacogdoches were narrow gauge. They were converted to standard gauge in one day, June 29, 1894 by force of 1000 men without disrupting the regular train schedule.
  • The first depot in Nacogdoches was wooden and burned to the ground after being stuck by lighting on May 21, 1910.
  • The present-day brick depot was built by Southern Pacific and opened April 3, 1911.
  • The old Southern Pacific station is the only surving passenger depot on the old HE&WT line. The depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

The Alive After Five had a great turn out!

East Texas Physician Care, 1002 North Mound, was the host for the Chamber's Thursday, October 19 Alive After Five mixer.

We joined Dr. George Hugman, Dr. Olin Fearing, Dr. Jeremy Smith, many friends, and family as they celebrated with us. There was delicious food, refreshing beverages and many great door prizes.

Here are a few fun pictures from the event!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Spooky fun for Halloween

There's plenty of fun for all ages. Come to the city's historic downtown on Saturday, Oct 28., from 5 - 9 p.m. Scare on the Square is the place for thrills and chills. Enjoy trick-or-treating, costume contests, a haunted house, entertainment, games, hay rides and much more.

The Stone Fort Museum will open its doors after hours on Halloween for a frightful evening of fun at the Stone Fort Museum Halloween Festival and Exhibit. An exhibit on early Texas circuses will open inside the Museum, and a big tent outside will hold midway games, fortune tellers, spooky movies and a circus sideshow. 5 - 10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, on the campus of SFA.

For more information on either event, please call 1-888-OLDEST-TOWN (1-888-653-3788).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bee there or Bee Square

The Thomas J. Rusk Elementary School PTA is challenging the community of Nacogdoches to enter the TJR Elementary First Annual Adult Spelling Bee. The winning team will forevermore hold the prestigious title of Nacogdoches Spelling Bee Champion. This event will take place on Thursday, January 25 @ 6:30 p.m. in the TJR Auditorium. Teams of 4 will compete for the title. The entry fee is $250 per team with an option to buy passes to continue spelling if a word is misspelled. These coupons are available for $25 each. teams will also be recognized for Most Creative Team and Most Spirited Team (to name a few). The proceeds from this fun new event will benefit the TJR Playground Fund.
TJR is a growing school with a tremendous principal and phenomenal teachers. Having been in existence for only 3 years and having added 100 more students this year alone, the campus is in dire need of a larger playground. We have precious students who are wanting to excel; however, with 88 percent being on free or reduced lunches, the families are limited on what they can give. The students have sold Candy Bars this fall to benefit this fund and will continue to participate in smaller fundraising projects throughout the year.

For more information, please contact Linda McKnight @ 936-564-7671, 560-0252, or 554-2494.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Treasure Hunt rewards SFA students

Pictured: From left, Chamber Chairman Jim Elder, SFA freshman Philippa Scroggie and Hollie Smith, coordinator of orientation for SFA.

The SFA/Chamber Connection “Treasure Hunt” finished off with big prizes for three lucky SFA students. The winners are Brent Hight, who received an IPod donated by Etech, Inc., and Philippa Scroggie, who won a digital camera donated by Buzz Magazine and the Daily Sentinel. Freshman Ashley Wilson received a $250 scholarship from the SFA Alumni Association.

The Treasure Map project started with 8,000 maps featuring 22 participating businesses. Many students took the challenge to visit at least 15 businesses.

Drawings were held Oct. 17 and winners will be featured at the Oct. 21 SFASU homecoming game.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fourth Friday Luncheon Goes to College

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce's Fourth Friday Luncheon is Oct. 27, with a change in venue. We'll be meeting at Stephen F. Austin State University, in the UC Regents Suite at the Student Center. Parking is available in the garage just south of the Student Center.

Dr. James Kroll, director, will present an update on the Columbia Geospatial Regional Service Center. Kroll will cover topics such as:

  • Trends and changes in the forest industry
  • Biofuel research
  • Other aspects of spatial economic analysis

Tours will be available after the luncheon. The facility is located in the heart of historic downtown Nacogdoches at 106 S. Pecan, just west of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

RSVPs are required. Please call 560-5533, or fax in a form, available at
Click here to download a form right now.
Lunch is $15 at the door. Save two dollars by paying at the Chamber by Thursday, Oct. 26.

Friday, October 13, 2006

City Government Is Exciting!

Left: D'nese Haddox takes a bird's eye view of downtown Nacogdoches.

Right: Mark Holl and Ken Smith study one of the exhibits at the Nacogdoches Public Library.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, the Leadership Nacogdoches 2006 - 2007 class focused on the workings of city government. Class members had a busy day visiting City Hall, the Fire Station, the Police Station, the Library and Recreation Center and the Animal Shelter.

Aron Kulhavy, City Planner, and Larissa Philpot, Assistant City Planner, did an excellent job of scheduling the activities. The class now has a much better understanding of the responsibilities, organization and work that are all associated with managing the city of Nacogdoches.

At the end of the day the class studied the city's commissions, boards and committees in detail. They were invited to become more active in decision making proceedures by attending City Commission meetings regularly and by joining one of the commissions, boards or committees that represents their personal or professional interests.

Leadership Nacogdoches continues in November with the class exploring higher education opportunities at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Historic Downtown Walking Tours

Each Saturday in October brings the opportunity to enjoy a guided walking tour of the historic downtown district. Tours depart at 10:30 a.m. from the Visitors' Center, located at 200 E. Main St. on the downtown square. The Old University Building (pictured above) is just one of the historical sites included in the tour. Tickets are $2. Children 12 and under are free. For more information, please call toll free 1-888-OLDEST-TOWN.

Monday, October 09, 2006

An Alive After Five that really, really cares

East Texas Physician Care, 1002 North Mound, is the host for the Chamber's Thursday, October 19 Alive After Five mixer.

Join with Dr. George Hugman, Dr. Olin Fearing, Dr. Jeremy Smith and their team of professionals as they celebrate with delicious food and refreshing beverages.

The reception - 5:30 to 7 p.m. - is come-as-you-are, and gives every Chamber member a chance to meet and greet others in business.

Register for great door prizes and take home some goodies!

All chamber members are entered in the $450 cash drawing, but you must be present to win!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Nacogdoches County: Hopes to be certified

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce has submitted a county-wide community assessment and application to become a Texas Certified Retirement Community (CRC).
The Chamber's Retiree Marketing Committee - chaired by Doug and Joyce Swearingen - assembled the information for the Texas Department of Agriculture and gathered the $15,000 fee from several sources.
The City of Nacogdoches contributed $7,500 and 29 other companies and individuals invested contributions for the remaining $7,500.*
Nacogdoches County will be the designated government entity on the application. The CRC designation will be part of the Chamber and its partners' marketing efforts to encourage retirees to relocate to East Texas, and specifically Nacogdoches County.
"We are also involved in a joint Lufkin-Nacogdoches effort, and are part of the Texas Forest Country campaign, a 12-county effort of the Pineywoods Economic Partnership," said Doug Swearingen.
Once the application is accepted, Nacogdoches County will be one of the first Texas counties or cities to be included in the Texas CRC marketing campaign.

Contributing to the $15,000 CRC Application Fee were the following:
* $7,500: City of Nacogdoches
* $1,000: Citizens 1st Bank, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital
* $500: Austin Hills, BancorpSouth, Fredonia Hotel, Nacogdoches Medical Center
* $250: 1st Choice Realty - Linda Heddins, A.G. Edwards, Charles Pool Real Estate, Coldwell Banker Choice Realtors, Heritage Title, Landmark Realty, Nacogdoches Abstract & Title, Nacogdoches Board of Realtors, Timber Springs
* $200: Doug and Joyce Swearingen, S. Carney Realtors
* $150: Brad Fontenot State Farm
* $100: 1st Choice Realty - Mary Jane McDuffie, Alamo Realty, Austin Bank, Axley & Rode, Edward Jones, Leon and Patsy Hallman, R&K Distributors, SFA Dept. of Gerontology, Sports Shack, Still Financial and University Rental. More than 30 letters of support were also contributed.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A delicious win

The Daily Sentinel
Thursday, October 05, 2006
(edited for space)
Camilla Saulsbury of Nacogdoches was finishing up her doctorate in sociology when she realized her true calling in life — food writing and recipe development.
Fortunately, she has a supportive husband and supportive parents who encouraged her to follow her dreams. And fortunately, she found a recipe for success ... Several of them, actually.
Last weekend Saulsbury won $50,000 in Sutter Homes' 16th Annual Build A Better Burger Contest.
"Her clever twist on a classic bacon and cheeseburger, which included fresh figs, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon grilled fennel and baby arugula, landed her the number one spot out of the nearly 9,000 recipes received," a press release from Sutter Homes said.
As if this feat isn't impressive enough, Saulsbury previously won first-place honors in the 46th National Chicken Cooking Contest in Charlotte, N.C., a designation that earned her a $100,000 check, a new GE tri-vection oven and a set of premium knives for her recipe for "Mahogany Broiled Chicken with Smoky Lime Sweet Potatoes and Cilantro Chimichurri."
She has also won $20,000 in a Pace Salsa Contest, $10,000 in a Post Cereal Brunch Cookoff and $50,000 in GE appliances in a Better Homes and Gardens contest.
Read the full story and get the award-winning recipe here.
Read more about Camilla at the Food Network.

Way to go, Clint!

LOS ANGELES (October 3, 2006) - Nacogdoches native and former NHS Dragon Clint Dempsey has been named the 2006 Futbol de Primera Player of the Year. Dempsey received a total of 237 points in voting by 207 sports journalists who participated in this year's balloting.
Dempsey scored four goals in nine games with the U.S. National Team in 2006, including one of the U.S. goals in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He has 23 caps and six goals since his 2004 debut with the national team.
Fútbol de Primera controls the exclusive radio rights for the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups in the United States, as well as the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and South America's Copa Libertadores.
Source:, the official website of U.S. Soccer, governing body of soccer in the United States
See also: