Thursday, November 30, 2006

PEP training for promoting East Texas to the retirement market

Pictured above from left: Trent Ashby, PEP executive director, and Jane Ainsworth and Sally Alvis with Ainsworth-Alvis review the new Texas Forest Country brochure which will be available in mid-January 2007.

Nacogdoches County meets the many requirements of people looking for the right place to spend their retirement years. Pineywoods Economic Partnership is helping businesses and people in Nacogdoches County promote the benefits.

On the morning of Thursday, November 30, PEP sponsored a training at the San Augustine City Council Chamber that covered basic and creative ways to attract retirees.

The PEP and Ainsworth-Alvis crew then gave another training session that same afternoon at the Winaway Bed & Breakfast in Woodville, Texas for other Texas Forest Country partners.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Holiday cheer is spreading

In downtown Nacogdoches, you may visit historic sites and dine at quaint tea rooms and shop for the perfect gift in our unique shops. You may also meet some very interesting people.

Meet Ruby Woodard of "Fingers and Lips." Ruby enjoys sharing her many talents with others. In fact, if you happen to meet Ruby in person, she'll whistle a tune that's as dazzling as the millions of lights along our brick streets.

Ruby is a part of the warmth and charm of our city, and she is spreading holiday cheer in a very merry way. And with all the events of the season, she has a busy month ahead of her. She can keep her calendar up to date, as can anyone, by simply visiting the Chamber's event calendar or the Convention and Visitors Bureau's event calendar.

Check out all the holiday activities and start spreading your own holiday cheer.

Photo by Bruce Partain.

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Run!

Jingle Bell 5k Fun Run & 3k Walk

Start the weekend off on the right foot by taking part in the 2006 Jingle Bell Run. The certified 5K event begins at 8:30 a.m., and the 3K event will start at 8:35 a.m. An awards presentation will be held at 10 a.m. Packet pick-up and registration will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the Visitors' Center, located at 200 E. Main St. Race-day registration will be held from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. at the Visitors' Center. Pre-registration is $12 through Nov. 20. Regular registration is $15 through Dec. 2. The fee for children 12 and under is $6. Proceeds benefit Nacogdoches Main Street.

This event is sponsored by Nacogdoches Main Street, Regions Bank, KJ103 and R&K Distributors

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wassail Festival!

The sixth annual downtown Nacogdoches Wassail Fest was held Saturday, Nov. 25. Attendees enjoyed wassail tasting and the lots of goodies while doing after-Thanksgiving shopping.

Participating stores included Julia's Salon, Glass Castles, The Olde Towne General Store, Heart of Texas, House of Traditions, The Good Book, Lanana Creek Gallery, House of Versailles, Nacogdoches Antique Market, Wrap-it-up, Fredonia Hotel, Kennedy's Jewlery, The Cottage, The Old Warehouse, The Butterfly, Sloane's Antiques, The Healing Center, and Brick Street Antiques.

Source: The Daily Sentinel

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Leadership Nacogdoches class is schooled in higher education

The Leadership Nacogdoches 2006 - 2007 class spent a busy day Thursday, Nov. 16, touring Stephen F. Austin State University.

The session kicked-off with breakfast at the Alumni Association office. Jim Jeter, Associate Vice President for Alumni Affairs, explained the purpose, services and vision of the
SFA Alumni Association.

The class then met with Interim President Dr. Baker Pattillo who gave an overview of the university. Dr. Pattillo covered topics ranging from past university presidents to future construction plans. He also described his day-to-day responsibilities as university president and answered what he said is "one of the most asked questions, 'what's it like living in the president's house?'"

A tour of one of the new campus living facilities,
Lumberjack Village, grabbed the attention of class members. Hall Director Derrick Scroggins led the class through the indoor recreation rooms with flat-screen tv's, pool tables, card tables and a shuffle board table. Lumberjack Village offers outdoor recreation areas, a convenience store, study lounges, community kitchens and meeting rooms. The tour prompted a lot of "ooh's" and "ah's" from class members.

Riding on an SFA bus, the class went to the downtown
SFA Columbia Regional Geospatial Service Center for a tour led by P.R. Blackwell and a presentation by Darrel McDonald. The two assistant directors discussed the center's research projects including VOISE and gave the class an opportunity to present their ideas for projects.

Next, assistant Director John Branch gave the class a tour of the athletic facilities. The class took in a nice, high view of the field at Homer Bryce Stadium from the sky box and the press box. They enjoyed lunch in the Champions Room while listening to Athletics Director Robert Hill give specific details plus the future plans of the
SFA athletics program.

From there, research associates Barb Stump and Dawn Stover gave tours of the
Ruby Mize Azalea Garden and the SFA Arboretum. The class learned that they were doing much more than strolling through beautiful gardens. They were viewing complicated research and planning projects growing right before their eyes.

A tour of
SFA's College of Fine Arts led by Director of Arts Information Sylvia Bierschenk was next on the agenda. Not only did the class see the exhibit and performing areas, but they also received a schedule of the tons of events available for the public. "If anyone says there's nothing to do in Nacogdoches, they need to come see me, and I'll sell them a ticket," Bierschenk said. Bierschenk made the point that the fine arts performances available to the public are high-quality and reasonably priced, usually lower than the cost of a movie ticket.

The class visited
Dr. Shiyou Li's laboratory. Dr. Li mentioned that most people assume that sources for pharmaceutical compounds are only found in tropical plants. However, he and his team are finding pharmaceutical crop sources in plants that can commonly be found in East Texas, some in our own back yards.

Debbie Baisden, vice president of finance and administration, spent the last of the day with the leadership class. She discussed the main revenue resources for SFA. She also answered questions concerning the costs for students to attend universities like SFA, and why SFA is an attractive choice for higher education.

The class was able to see many interesting activities at SFA, but session leader Dr. Violet Rogers, dean of the College of Business, said SFA has much, much more to offer. She and Dr. Nancy Speck-Mangham organized the session. They managed to fit as many activities as possible in to a busy day to give the class a multi-level look at the university.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A creative ribbon cutting

Creative Ceramics is now open to the public, and owner Sylvia Barr welcomes any one of any age or skill level to "come get creative."

On Friday, Nov. 17, friends, family and Chamber members gathered to cut the red ribbon and celebrate the new business opening. Sylvia gave tours of her newly-built workshop, her kiln and all the ceramic pieces ready to be painted, fired and displayed. No experience is required with Sylvia and her staff around to offer advice and instruction.

Creative Ceramics is open Thur., 1:00 - 9:00 p.m., Fri., 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sat., 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. The workshop is located at 5978 FM 2864 in Nacogdoches. Directions: take Hwy. 259N. Just past the Cushing "Y" turn RIGHT on to FM 2664. Then follow the signs to the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Creative Ceramics will be one mile north of the church on FM 2864 on the RIGHT. Phone: 936-559-8938.

We are offering birthday parties, bridal showers, school field trips, how-to
classes, cheap therapy or a perfect family outing. This is a great way to have

Monday, November 20, 2006

Just Plain Folks Music Award

Tim Chauvin, a Nacogdoches local resident, has received one of the twelve nominations for Best song of the Year in the Traditional Folk Song category for the Annual Just Plain Folks Music Award.
Brian Austin Witney, President and Founder of JPF, said the following about the nomination process: "We have 350,000+ songs and 25,500+ albums entered from over 100 countries and territories. Though we have 12-20+ song nominees and 8 album nominees for each category (12 in the singer-songwriter category), that still represents a tiny tiny tiny percentage of the entries. The odds are far less to get a nomination in our awards then to win nearly any other awards program in the world. As comparison, the Grammy's typically consider about 1000 albums each year in their process. This really is a true life example where you should be VERY proud to be a nominee. It's a big deal to reach this level, whether you win a final awards or not."

For more information on Tim Chauvin check out his website at

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shelley's Bakery Cafe

Friends, family, employees and Chamber members came out in large numbers to celebrate the ribbon cutting of Shelley's Bakery Cafe, 112 N. Church St. in historic downtown Nacogdoches. Check out Shelley's website for more info about this extremely popular restaurant and caterer.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ladyjacks host canned food drive

The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack basketball team will sponsor a canned food drive on Monday, Nov. 20, when the Ladyjacks host SMU. The canned food drive will support Nacogdoches HOPE and Harvest House. Fans with three canned food items will receive free admission to the basketball game.
The game against the Mustangs will begin at 7 p.m. at the William R. Johnson Coliseum. The Ladyjacks are 1-1 (.500) on the season after defeating Southern Mississippi, 69-62, Sunday afternoon in Hattiesburg.

For further information please contact:
Darba Rollins
SFA Ladyjack Basketball & Volleyball

Monday, November 13, 2006

Go Dragons!

The Nacogdoches Dragons varsity football team has made the state playoffs for the first time since 1992.
The entire community is excited about the team's success.
The team's booster club is planning a
Downtown "Drive Through" Spirit Send Off:

Friday, November 17 3:15- 3:25pm

Merchants and supporters are encouraged to stand outside stores and cheer for the Dragons!

The "Drive Through" route is Main Street, starting at University and heading west to North Street.

Businesses are encouraged to paint windows and add support to message boards such as:


Black Out Nacogdoches:
Get your Black Out Shirt at
Aaron's Rent To Own Store - 717 North University Drive -
Axley & Rode CPA's - 420 North Street
House of Traditions - 314 E. Main Street- Downtown

More info:
All School Pep Rally Tentative for Friday at NHS 2:15 pm

Playoff T-shirts Special shirts with Play Off design for purchase Email Betsy Tucker at

Football tickets go on sale...
Wednesday at 7:45 am at the athletic office in the 9th grade building.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 students

Football game vs. Texas High (ranked #1 in state)
Friday, November 17th
7:30 pm
Tyler Rose Stadium

For more info on getting involved and sponsoring spirit towels, programs and more, contact:

Angela Wiederhold
phone 936-568-9200
fax 936-568-9230

Football, fun and chili

The Nacogdoches County Go-Texan Team ranked No. 1 in chili at the SFA Student Foundation’s 7th Annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, November 4 at Lumberjack Alley.

The SFA Student Foundation Association, a community-oriented leadership organization, presented the showmanship award. This award is for overall excellent customer service. There was a two-way tie for first place between Nacogdoches County Go-Texans and Beat Sam. Appleby Smoke Eaters came in second place, and Sonic came in third place.

Sonic won the “Class Act Jack,” for best presentation and a $25 prize. Beat Sam won the “What in the Jack is That?” for the most unusual chili, for $50. Sonic also won the “Fire-Jack,” the spiciest chili for $75. The Nacogdoches County Go-Texan won “Master Chili-Jack,” the best overall chili for $100.

There were 10 teams, with two teams who entered twice with different recipes: Hardeman House, Student Activities Association, a group called Grad Asses, Appleby Smoke Eaters, Sonic Drive-In, Nacogdoches County Go-Texan Committee, Tashiana Briggs, Beat Sam, Appleby Smoke Team 2 and Sonic Drive-In 2.

Nacogdoches County Go-Texan provides youth scholarships through the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This was their third year competing.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

All gave some, some gave all

Members of VFW Memorial Post 3893 take part in the Veterans Day parade, Saturday morning in the historic downtown of Nacogdoches, Texas.

"It is the veteran, not the preacher,who has given us freedom of religion.
"It is the veteran, not the reporter,who has given us freedom of the press.
"It is the veteran, not the poet,who has given us freedom of speech.
"It is the veteran, not the campus organizer,who has given us freedom to assemble.
"It is the veteran, not the lawyer,who has given us the right to a fair trial.
"It is the veteran, not the politician,who has given us the right to vote.
"It is the veteran, who serves under the flag."

Thank you, veterans - whether you are preachers, reporters, poets, organizers, lawyers, politicians or anything else - a grateful nation acknowledges your contribution.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nacogdoches county featured on new website

A newly-developed website, Texas Forest Country, is focused on East Texas and all that the region offers. The first aim of the website is to specifically attract retirees, and the site contains information directed toward those considering retirement locations.

In October, PEP (Pineywoods Economic Partnership) unveiled Texas Forest Country to the world. Chairman David Alders says it positions East Texas to market the friendly folks and the pristine forests and waterways that make up this distinct region of the state.

Alders credited former PEP Chair Gene Nethery for promoting this vision five years ago and the Temple-Inland Foundation for providing the seed money to conduct a feasibility study on East Texas as a retirement destination.

Where to stay and what to see and do is highlighted, along with current weather conditions and a pictorial library. The site creators, Ainsworth / Alvis, LLC, are striving to showcase the region from all points of view. “The more information our site can provide, the better it will serve the viewing public!” Jane Ainsworth said.

To increase traffic to the new site, please share the web URL with all of your contacts: No one can know too much about our unique region.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Magnolia Courts Assisted Living and Memory Care Community

Magnolia Courts Assisted Living and Memory Care Community held their Chamber of Commerce groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at their location, 5902 North Street. The facility is just south of Millard's Crossing Historical Village. A complimentary lunch was held at noon following the groundbreaking. Magnolia Courts will feature 45 assisted living and 14 memory care units. Expected opening for the facility is mid-year 2007. More info:
Daily Sentinel article, October 22, 2006
Signature Senior Living website
Contact: LeNetia Grisby: phone 936-569-6227, fax 936-569-6231

Artist's rendering of the facility...

Historic Restoration Grant Program

The City of Nacogdoches is now accepting applications for its annual Historic Restoration Grant Program. Applications are available in the Planning Department at City Hall, 202 East Pilar Street Room 110. The applications should be returned to the Planning Department by 5:00 pm, November 13, 2006. Grant applications will be reviewed by the Nacogdoches Historic Landmark Preservation Committee at their December meeting. The committee will then forward their recommendations to the city commission for final funding approval.

The program has provided a unique funding opportunity for small business owners and homeowners. To be considered for funding opportunity, a property must be under the cities historic overlay zoning. In addition, an applicant must be granted funding and a certificate of appropriateness by the committee before starting the restoration work.

Once grants are approved, applicants have one year from City Commission approval to complete the work authorized under the grant. The applicant receives payment from the city on a reimbursement basis upon completion of the project and final review by the historic landmark committee.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Major Improvements for A.L. Mangham, Jr. Regional Airport

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison made a special announcement regarding the A.L. Mangham, Jr., Regional Airport, Friday, November 3 at the old terminal building. The big news was that $4 million in federal dollars had passed all the hurdles needed to be targeted toward some major improvements for the airport. State Representative Roy Blake, Jr and Nacogdoches Mayor Bob Dunn joined Senator Hutchison at the news conference. Also, former Nacogdoches Mayor A.L. Mangham, Jr.- for whom the airport is named was present. Hutchison, who owns a house on Mound Street and has family ties to Nacogdoches, said the money would be used, among other projects, to lengthen and improve the airport's runway, which would allow larger planes to land in Nacogdoches to assist in economic development. "It's a big day," she said.
An extended runway will make the airport more accessible to jets and other aircraft, she said. And that matters when the city is working with various industries to help bring more economic development to the oldest town in Texas. "This will add so much potential," Hutchison said. "And you know I'm very committed to the future of Nacogdoches, in every way."
In addition, there was a ceremony officially opening the City's recently renovated pilots' lounge - including a posting of the Colors by the City's Public Safety Color Guard.
Source: City of Nacogdoches and The Daily Sentinel

Monday, November 06, 2006

Durst-Taylor officially opens doors

The Durst-Taylor Historic House and Gardens, located on 304 N. St., is now officially open to the public!
The museum will operate the same hours as the Sterne-Hoya Musuem, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
The ca. 1835 wood frame house is interpreted to the 1840 to 1860 time period when the property was owned by the Blackburn family. It is the second oldest strucure still standing on its original site in Nacogdoches.
Visitors start tours of the historical site at the Visitors' Center/Barn before being guided through the property, which also includes a blacksmith shop, smokehouse, and heritage gardens.

Fall Foliage on its way East Texas

Maps of the Deep East Texas Fall Foliage Trail are now available at the Visitors' Center, located at 200 E. Main St.
Travelers can view the fall foliage along numerous highways in the region, including the three major routes through Nacogdoches. They are U.S. Hwy. 59, State Hwy.21, and State Hwy. 7.
Recent cool nights and sunny days have spurred the annual color change in area forests and along the roadsides. Local fall color typically peaks in late November.
Visitors can call the CVB at 888-OLDEST-TOWN throughout the month of November for updates on the best routes to travel.
Source: Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau

Lighting ceremony to kick off festival

The Nacogdoches holiday season will get an electrifying kick off November 18 when more than 3 million lights are set aglow downtown.

The Lighting & Opening Ceremony kicks off the 10th annual Nine Flags Festival and marks the official start of the holiday season.

Festivities will get under way at 5 p.m. with live entertainment, food vendor booths, carriage rides and pictures with Santa. Children's activities include train and Ferris-wheel rides, face-painting and demonstrations by Texas trick roper Burt Hairgrove. Festival organizers will also raffle off an 8-foot stuffed Christmas stocking.

The lights are set to come on just before 8 p.m., and the evening will culminate in an exciting fireworks display. Admission to the festival is free.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ribbon cutting for new Republican headquarters

On Thursday, Oct. 12, many gathered for a ribbon cutting at the Nacogdoches County Republican Party's headquarters on University Drive. Those attending included candidates for public office and the county party chair Jackie Yates. For more information, please call 936-569-6710 or visit
NOTE: The Republican Party is a member of the Chamber, but the Chamber does not endorse any candidate or party. All political parties are welcome to join the Chamber and take advantage of the ribbon cutting benefit.