Friday, August 31, 2007

Riders on the Orphan Train

A Literary/Musical Performance
Tuesday, Sept. 4
6 p.m.
Nacogdoches Public Library - Free!
1112 North Street

Novelist Alison Moore and Musician Phillip Lancaster will deliver a presentation on "Riders of the Orphan Train." More than 250,000 orphans and unwanted children were put on trains in New York between 1854 and 1929 and sent all over the United States to be given away.

The program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by the Friends of the Nacogdoches Library.

Contact Mercedes Franks for more info:
Nacogdoches Public Library
1112 North Street
Nacogdoches, TX 75961
(936) 559-2970

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nacogdoches ISD Tax Ratification, Sep. 15

The Nacogdoches ISD Board of Trustees has called a rollback election from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Saturday, September 15, 2007. Voting will take place at the Chamberlain Building. The election is an opportunity for voters to vote for or against approving a $1.37 per $100 valuation tax rate in Nacogdoches ISD. The new rate is $0.13 higher than the school district rollback rate.

While the official election day is September 15, early voting begins today and continues through September 11. Early voting is held at the C.L. Simon Recreation Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If the tax rate is approved, results will include:
1. Significant additional dollars (over $3,000,000 total with about $1.8 million local and $1.2 million state)
2. A $0.22 reduction in tax rate with an increase in total revenue
3. No future M&O tax increases
4. Significant economic development in Nacogdoches

If the tax rate is not approved, results will include:
1. Tax rate will be rolled back to $1.24
2. The district does not gain $3,000,000 in additional funds
3. The average homeowner will save $70 on his or her annual tax bill
4. Employees and the community will not benefit from significant salary increases

This election is a result of a recently passed bill by the Texas Legislation called House Bill 1 (HB1). This bill places a cap on the amount of revenue per student at the 2005-2006 level.

A sample ballot and more information can be found at the Nacogdoches ISD webpage.

Timpson Harvest Fest 2007

The 2nd Annual Timpson Harvest Fest will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2007. There will be games & events, a hayride, praise dancers, a story tellers tent, a basketball tournament, arts and crafts, and great food. The fun starts at 9:oo a. m. on the square. Booths are still available. For more information contact Faye Johnson at (936) 254-2641.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Chamber celebrates new Edward Jones Investments downtown office location

The Daily Sentinel recently attended a Nacogdoches County Chamber ribbon cutting for Edward Jones Investments, 424 E. Main St., (936)560-4904.

Financial Advisor Rick Thornton welcomed Chamber members and guests to the new office location.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Texas Employment Handbook

The Texas Employment Handbook is now available for only $160 plus $10 shipping and handling. This is a discounted price for Nacogdoches County Chamber members through the Texas Association of Business. Call 936-560-5533 or visit us at 2516 North Street for a form, or check out "Download Forms" on our website -

New Chamber member ERA Ford Realty and Land Services

The Daily Sentinel recently attended a Nacogdoches County Chamber ribbon cutting for ERA Ford Realty and Land Services, 2805 North St., Ste. J, (936)564-6200.

Owner Jo Ann Ford and the ERA agents welcomed Chamber members and guests. Gumbo and other treats were served after the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SFA to host fall plant sale

The annual Fabulous Fall Festival plant sale at Stephen F. Austin State University ’s Mast Arboretum will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the intramural field on Wilson Drive.

“As usual, a great selection of rare, unusual, and Texas-tough trees, shrubs, vines, herbaceous perennials, and grasses will be available,” said Dawn Stover, Mast Arboretum research associate. Staples of the fall sale include asters, garden mums, and sages, as well as several outstanding varieties of ornamental grasses.

Greg Grant, Pineywoods Native Plant Center research associate, will have a wide range of native trees available including oaks, pines, red maple, and black walnut, with fall being the best time to establish trees according to Stover.

“There will be a number of hard to find items including native and hybrid coral bean, crinum lilies, the rare Brazoria sabal palm, the new hybrid coneflowers, variegated sky vine, giant Farfugium, and the rare Hibiscus hamabo. We will also offer a line of drought resistant plants like snake herb, wooly stemodia, bamboo muhly grass and heliotrope. ” Stover said.

Proceeds from the plant sale help support the SFA Mast Arboretum, the Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, and educational programs.

For more information, call (936) 468-4404 or visit the Web site at:

Photo by Bruce Partain.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chamber offers QuickBooks workshops

Two QuickBooks workshops will be held Tuesday, Aug. 21 at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, 2516 North St.

Basic QuickBooks, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., will address the basic skills needed for all QuickBooks users including when to use accounts receivable, accounts payable, invoicing and payroll and avoiding common mistakes. Also learn easy short cuts and useful tips for the program.

QuickBooks Payroll workshop, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., will cover payroll start up, setting up employee and payroll taxes, paying an employee and taxing entities and producing reports.
Lois Jackson, certified QuickBooks advanced pro-advisor with Axley & Rode, LLP, will instruct both workshops.

Left, Lois Jackson with Axley and Rode, LLP will lead the upcoming QuickBooks workshops.

"QuickBooks is a good program for both large and small businesses, and as it becomes more popular, we find more need for trainings such as these,” Jackson said.

Following is registration fee information for the workshops: attending morning or afternoon workshop, $49 for Chamber members and $79 for non-members; and attending both workshops, $85 for Chamber members and $135 for non-members. All proceeds benefit the Nacogdoches County Chamber.

“This is a small investment for this valuable information,” Jackson said. “QuickBooks is a popular program for managing standard accounting tasks plus payroll and inventory. These workshops will teach the fundamentals of this powerful software.”

Workshops compliments of Chamber member and certified public accountants Axley & Rode, LLP. Please visit for a registration form or call 936-560-5533.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Export opportunities discussed at Chamber event

Left: Chamber Chair Jim Elder and Chamber Government Affairs Committee Chair Mike Hebert welcome local business and community leaders to the Exporting 101 - Leveraging the Resources of the U.S. Government seminar held at the Chamber office. Below: Opening comments delivered by Congressman Louie Gohmert.

The resources offered by the U.S. Commercial Service for exporting products and services were presented by Senior International Trade Specialist, North Texas Greg Thompson Tuesday morning at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce office. Local industry representatives and business owners interested in beginning or expanding export business attended.

U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert welcomed attendees. He discussed the importance of the balance of trade, and the impact the export market has on the East Texas region and said, “You can get things done when you know how they work.”

Thompson explained how the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce works and the services available for U.S. businesses.

The U.S. Commercial Service is a worldwide network of trade specialists working to increase trade between American businesses and their respective countries. “Creating prosperity through global trade” is the organization’s vision statement.

“We help identify the best potential markets for a service or product. We help identify the best foreign partners that will be a good fit. We can give information for overseas marketing opportunities, and we provide legal information concerning registrations, certifications, duties, HS codes and other things that go along with doing business in foreign markets,” Thompson said.

Thompson described one program offered, The Gold Key Matching Service, as a “sophisticated dating service.”

“After discussing the product or service with the U.S. supplier, we determine the best foreign partner. We then schedule a conference call between the two that will include our trade specialist. If the opportunity is there, we’ll help arrange the trip so that all can discuss, face-to-face, the details,” Thompson said. “This service legitimizes the supplier and will open doors with the country’s higher-level officials that may not open by a supplier working alone.”

A free market research resource available at is the Country Commercial Guide, CCG. The CCG is a handbook listing profiles for every country that does export business with them. Thompson explained the importance of knowing a foreign market’s demographics and culture.

Thompson may be contacted by phone, 214-712-1932, or by email,, for more information.

Below from left: Trade Specialist Greg Thompson, Log-Master Owner Edward Gibson, U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert and SFA Dept. of General Business Lecturer Marcus Cox at the Nacogdoches County Chamber Exporting 101 event.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Evening on the Brick Streets

The event formally known as Progressive Dinner will be "Evening On The Brick Streets" this year, September 13, from 6:00 until 8:00. Refreshments (including wine) and appetizers will be served inside of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, 200 E. Main St., beginning at 6:00.

The Downtown Business Association will be honoring Mize Department Store owners Mike Bay & Anita Standridge for their years of dedication to our downtown. The night will continue with the entree and dessert being served outdoors on Pillar Street behind the CVB with the musical group "The GMC Trio" performing. Tickets for the event remain at $20.00 each and as always, the funds will go for Christmas lighting for the downtown area. Make your plans now to join us on the brick streets. Call 936-564-7351 for more information.

Photo by Bruce Partain.

Monday, August 06, 2007

And the awardees are...

The Nacogdoches County Chamber Board of Directors announces that Margie Tipton is the 2007 Citizen of the Year. The Business Excellence awards are also announced. Bright Coop is Large Business of the Year; The Daily Sentinel is Medium Business of the Year; Point A Media is Small Business of the Year.

All award recipients will be honored at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 at The Fredonia. Contact the Chamber office for tickets and table sponsorships. Contact Michelle Smith, 569-1947, to donate items for the online auction.

Chamber Membership Growing!

The following businesses joined the
Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce between March 24 and July 23.
Be sure to welcome them
as new Chamber members.
Bill T. Teague
Nacogdoches Furniture Company
Diamond Trophy & Engraving
Forman & Sons Construction
Glass City
George Clark & Associates
Lanana Hall, Inc.
Motherwell Home Health Professionals
Nacogdoches Cardiac Imaging Center, PLLC
Nacogdoches County Democratic Party
Nacogdoches Tumble & Cheer
SFA Stone Fort Museum
Stateline Bar-B-Que (two locations)
Twice the Shine House Cleaning
For more information on these businesses and organizations or any Chamber member, please visit our online directory.

Looking for more involvement? Try a Chamber Committee!

The Transportation Committee meets quarterly. The next meeting is Thursday, August 9, at 4 p.m. at the Chamber. Mike Haas has organized a program from TxDOT's David Selman on the South 59/Loop 224 interchange. RSVP to Bruce Partain, .

The Agribusiness Committee met July 16 to begin plans for the 2008 Agricultural Appreciation and Awards Banquet, scholarships and related Ag. Tour. David Alders chairs the committee, which meets again from 10 a.m. to noon at the Chamber on Thursday, Sept. 6. RSVP to Bruce Partain, .

The SFA/Chamber Connection Committee continues to work on several projects, including the Spirit Flags, Treasure Hunt, and Meet and Greet New SFA Parents. All these programs are in progress right now, and many Chamber members are taking the opportunity to connect with SFA parents, students, staff, and faculty. The committee meets again August 28 at 3:30 p.m. at the Chamber. RSVP to Kelly Daniel,

Left: Paint the town purple!
The SFA Spirit Flag subscription program is a partnership between SFA and the Chamber. Contact David Madrid, 554-2704, for more information about this opportunity to support our Lumberjacks.

Friday, August 03, 2007

August 2007 Calendar of Events

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce invites you to the following events:

Wednesday, August 8:
Ribbon Cutting
Glass City
3510 North St., #2
4:30 pm
Owner: Elisa Jaime

Thursday, August 9:
--Ribbon Cutting
Nacogdoches Lighting and Floor Covering
732 N. University Dr.
4 pm
Owner: Angie Crisp

--Transportation Committee Meeting
Chamber Board Room
4 pm

Tuesday, August 14:
Exporting 101 - Leveraging the Resources of the U.S. Government
Chamber Board Room, 2516 North St.
8 am - 9:30 am

Join U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert and U.S. Dept. of Commerce Senior International Trade Specialist Greg Thompson to discover how to find international buyers and use trade finance tools to win international sales and grow business. This event will introduce you to the basic information, method, and strategies to help sell products and services abroad. It is designed for those thinking about exporting or wanting to expand exports to multiple markets. This event is free. Please reserve your place by contacting Sherry Lovell at the Chamber office, or 936-560-5533.

Friday, August 17:
Ribbon Cutting
ERA Ford Realty and Land Services
2805 North St., Ste. J

1:15 pm
Owner: Jo Ann Ford

Tuesday, August 21:
QuickBooks© Workshops

Two separate workshops offered. Attend one that suits your needs or join us for both.
Basic Quickbooks© - 8:30 - 11:30 am

Basic skills for all QuickBooks© users.
Quickbooks© Payroll - 1:30 - 4:30 pm

Advanced class for payroll instruction.
Chamber Board Room, 2516 North St.

Thursday, August 23:
Ribbon Cutting
Edward Jones Investments
424 E. Main St.

11:30 am
Financial Advisor: Rick Thornton

We look forward to seeing you there!

Preserving Nacogdoches History

Join the efforts to preserve an important part of Nacogdoches history.

The Old University Building is in need of a new roof, and the Federation of Women's Clubs is currently working to raise the projected amount.

"The application deadline for consideration for a grant from the Texas Historical Commission is August 31, 2007, " said Carolyn Alhashimi. "We need and appreciate the continued support of our friends in this effort."

All donations are tax deductible and may be sent to the Federation at P.O. Box 633113, Nacogdoches, Texas 75963.

Old University Building history: Chartered in 1845, the Old University Building is the only original building of a university chartered by the Republic of Texas still standing. Located at 515 N. Mound. Tour hours are Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. Free Admission. Phone: 936-569-7292.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Create Business Beyond U.S. Borders

U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce will present “Exporting 101 – Leveraging the Resources of the U.S. Government” 8:00 to 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 14 at the Chamber office, 2516 North St.

Photo: Louie Gohmert, U.S. Congressman

The interactive event is designed for business people interested in exporting products and services or wanting to expand to multiple markets. U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert and U.S. Commercial Service, Senior International Trade Specialist, North Texas Greg Thompson will lead the session.

Basic export information, method and strategies to help sell products and services abroad will be introduced and discussed.

"East Texas boasts a broad array of goods and services, and it is critical for the growth of our economy to maintain a balance of trade," Rep. Louie Gohmert said.

Anyone interested in export including manufacturers, service providers, wholesalers, distributors and international sales and marketing managers should attend. Admission is free of charge, and preregistration is encouraged as space is limited. Register by contacting Sherry Lovell at the Nacogdoches County Chamber by phone, 936-560-5533, fax, 936-560-3920 or email, or by contacting J.P. Northern by phone, 817-310-3744, fax, 817-310-3757 or email,

“Texas is the number one exporting state in the country,” Thompson said. “Exporting is key to our economic stability and growth.”

Gohmert was first sworn in January 4, 2005 by Speaker Dennis Hastert as Congressman for the First District of Texas. Now into his second term in the House of Representatives, Gohmert is assigned to three House committees which are beneficial to the citizens of east Texas: the House Committees on Judiciary, Natural Resources and Small Business.

Photo: Greg Thompson, U.S. Commercial Service, Senior International Trade Specialist, North Texas

Thompson has been with the Commercial Service for 10 years, and the U.S. Department of Commerce for 15. He is well-versed in most international issues.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Regional News


As a result of bills passed in the 80th Legislature (Senate Bill 1659 and House Bill 3113) and signed by the governor, the Texas State Railroad will be transferred to a Rail Authority created by those bills. The Rail Authority has a contract with American Heritage Railways (AHR), a private company, to operate the Texas State Railways and AHR will receive ownership of the railroad over the next eight years. The Rail Authority is controlled by the cities of Palestine and Rusk, located on each end of the railroad. So, the Texas State Railroad will be operated and controlled by a combination public entity (Rail Authority) and private entity (American Heritage Railways) for the next eight years. At that time, if all goes well, American Heritage Railways will achieve total ownership of the Texas State Railroad and the Rail Authority will be dissolved. This transfer from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the Rail Authority will occur on September 1, 2007. The Legislature also passed in its appropriations bill (House Bill 1) for the Rail Authority to have $12,000,000 for the maintenance of the tracks.

American Heritage Railways has not finalized their contract with the Texas State Railroad Rail Authority. According to Paul Schrank, vice president of AHR, "It's going through the motions." This only leads to speculation on the intentions of AHR. According to legislation, on September 1, 2007 the operation and responsibility of the Texas State Railroad will be transferred to the Texas State Railroad Rail Authority.

Photos by Bruce Partain.