Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ribbon Cutting- Kroger Signature Store

Cindy Joice, store manager, welcomed sponsors, Chamber members and guests to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Kroger Signature Store on 1215 North Street, 936-569-8226.

Stop by soon and see the new look!

Monday, April 27, 2009

First Friday Cruise Nights

First Friday Cruise Nights, continues May 1st! Come Shop Downtown Nacogdoches Friday from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

First Friday Nights continues this month with live entertainment, great late night shopping and dining. You can stop by the Old Towne General Store, or Hotel Fredonia for some dinner before you head off to wander through our many unique antique and specialty stores. A list of participating stores will be available inside the Visitor's Center, which is also open late till eight. So bring the entire family down, grab a bite to eat and shop for some spectacular finds, all right here in the heart of historic downtown. After you get done shopping join us for live entertainment at Hotel Fredonia's "Jazz on the Patio."

We also invite enthusiasts to cruise into downtown between 5 and 8 p.m.
Car Clubs, Antique Cars, and Motorcycles are welcome. "We are so excited have this wonderful edition to First Friday Nights," said Main Street Manager Sarah O'Brien, "We have been trying to find a way to 'rev up' our event and this couldn't be a more perfect fit."
Enthusiasts are asked to contact Doug James at Lone Star Scooters and ATV 936-560-2228 for questions.

For more information on historic downtown Nacogdoches call 936-559-2573 or email or log on to for more information.

Shop Nac First is a program of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. Visit for more information.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Local businessman will receive national honor

On May 19, Bill Elliott, president of Elliott Electric Supply, will be presented with National Association of Electrical Distributors' highest honor - the Arthur W. Hooper Award. The award is presented "to an individual who has served the industry in an outstanding and unselfish way over the course of his or her career in the distribution of electrical goods." - "A Man of Honor" by Misty Byers, the Electrical Distributor, April 2009.

Elliott Electric is the 24th largest electrical distributor in the country with 98 branches, more than 800 employees and is approaching $400 million in sales.

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is proud that Bill Elliott chose Nacogdoches as home for his business and his family, and congratulates him for this most recent honor.

Elliott Electric was named Large Business of the Year by the Chamber in 2008. "Because of its impressive growth and importance to the community, Elliott is a role model for other businesses,” said Kim Luna Snyder, 2007-2008 Chamber chair.

Photo: Bill Elliott, left, and Billy Elliott, VP of Elliott Electric, accepting the Large Business of the Year Award at the 2008 Chamber Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet in Nacogdoches.
(Photo by Bruce R. Partain)

Why Nacogdoches?
Before he moved to Nacogdoches in 1972, Bill Elliott worked for his father’s company, Powerline Supply Co. in Bossier City, Louisiana, while studying music at Louisiana Technical College. He eventually worked full-time for his dad, and branched off in a separate venture with his brother. The urge to run his own company led him to Nacogdoches.

He had scouted the area and noticed there wasn’t an electrical supply house in town.

“I liked the area, and thought with my limited resources, it would be a good place to build a small organization and a great place to raise a family,” Elliott said.

With $20,000 of his own money and an $80,000 SBA-backed loan from Commercial Bank, Elliott and his wife Micky built a small facility on Shawnee Street. “We used chicken-house construction methods,” he chuckled.

Community contribution
After Micky’s death, Bill’s friend Wyndell Westmoreland encouraged him to honor Micky with a project at SFA. The bridge over Lanana Creek to the Azalea Garden is his tribute.

It is a fitting symbol for a company that has bridged from humble beginnings to an ever-expanding, successful corporation.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Expert offers tips to fight ID theft, fraud

Click to read full story by Andrew Goodridge, The Daily Sentinel

Identity theft, computer fraud and other electronic crimes are a growing problem around the world, and Nacogdoches is not immune to the threat, according to Tim Leonard, vice president at Commercial Bank of Texas.

Pictured is Tim Leonard speaking at the Nacogdoches County Chamber Fourth Friday Luncheon.

Leonard's presentation at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce's Fourth Friday luncheon, titled "I.D. Theft 2009: Arming you with the knowledge to fight identity theft and fraud," covered a wide range of topics aimed at protecting local business owners and citizens from a number of high-tech dangers. Leonard is a Microsoft certified systems engineer, Cisco certified network associate and Encase certified computer forensics examiner, and he also serves as chief information and security officer at the bank.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ribbon Cutting - Nacogdoches New Directions Industries

Nacogdoches New Directions Industries
Thursday, April 23
1718 S. University Dr.
Contact: Susan Rushing, CEO, Burke Center

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SFA Springfest

All of the business owners in Nacogdoches are invited to attend SFA's Springfest on Saturday, April 25. There will be over 100o students and alumni in attendance. This is a great way to promote your business to SFA stundents and the surrounding community. You are invited to set up a booth free of charge. If you are interested please contact Caleb Ericksen or Amanda Horne at 936-468-1222.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

City Commission candidates speak at forum

(Click on photos for larger view)
Mayoral candidates Roger Van Horn, left, and Richard Johnson.

Mayoral candidates Roger Van Horn, left, and Richard Johnson.

Northeast Ward candidates, from left, David Crawford, Shelley Brophy and Latterious Starks.

Candidates await their turn to speak.

Northwest Ward candidates Gary Willis, left, and Don Partin.

Question Monitors Kim Luna Snyder and Dr. Paul Risk. In the background - Moderator Taylor Hemness.

Facilitator Kathryn Robertson.

A small but enthusiastic crowd of 52 gathered at Nacogdoches High School Monday, April 20, to hear all seven candidates for city commission offices take part in a Candidates Forum sponsored by the Nacogdoches County Chamber. Moderator Taylor Hemness of KTRE/KLTV asked dozens of questions, most of them supplied by audience members.

All candidates running for upcoming city elected positions took part. Candidates are: mayor race, Roger Van Horn and Richard Johnson; Northwest Ward commissioner race, Don Partin and Gary Willis; and Northeast Ward commissioner race, Shelley Brophy, David Crawford and Latterious Starkes.
Early voting will be at C.L. Simon Recreation Center, 1112 North St. and runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 27 through May 1, as well as May 4 and 5, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Election day voting is Saturday, May 9 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Thomas J. Rusk elementary school, 411 N. Mound St.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Pictures of CASA of Deep East Texas "And Justice Is Served"

Articles of the event in local media:
Daily Sentinel

Photos by Bruce Partain

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Southern man

Gil y Barbo, the US flag and azaleas. Three great symbols!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tax Day Protest

Rally 'round the bag: Thousands turn out for downtown Tea Party
By Matthew Stoff, Daily Sentinel
Photo composite by Christy Wooten.

No one could accuse East Texans of political apathy on Wednesday, when an estimated 2,000 protesters packed the downtown square in Nacogdoches to rally against big government, taxes and reckless spending.
Wielding American flags and sporting signs written with both wit and anger, the crowds assembled on Pilar Street at the Plaza Principal stage to hear local speakers talk about responsible government and to hear musical acts in celebration of liberty and other political ideals.
A collage of photographs show the large crowd which attended the East Texas Tea Party downtown on Wednesday in protest of the current actions and spending of the federal government.

The Tax Day Tea Party Event — one of hundreds held across the country out of frustration with the federal government — drew families and individuals from all over East Texas. Even the young joined in, cheering with the crowds and taking in the spectacle of colors and crowds. One young boy held a sign that read, "I'm only seven. I owe how much?"
Though many in attendance were united by their anger with the country's state of affairs, the crowd embodied a plurality of opinions and individual complaints rather than a single stand against a set of issues. More than anything, it seemed, the crowd gathered to draw attention to a feeling of unease that has accompanied Washington, D.C.'s response to large-scale economic troubles.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Everyone invited to attend the Ribbon Cutting for Nacogdoches Young Life

Nacogdoches Young Life
4:30 p.m., Wed., April 15
1426 Pruitt Hill Drive - Grissom House
Contact: Rip Gibbs, Associate Regional Director, 936-615-9671

Click to view invitation flier.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Get to know the candidates

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce will host a free City Election Candidates Forum, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Monday, April 20, at the Nacogdoches High School auditorium. All from the community are invited to attend.

Taylor Hemness, KTRE/KLTV anchor, will emcee.

After candidates deliver brief opening remarks, they will each be allowed to answer questions that could be customized for each race. Note cards will be available to attendees for submitting written questions from the audience and presented to the candidates by Hemness. If time allows, candidates may be able to give a one minute summary as a wrap up.

“There's a lot of interest in the city commission and mayor’s election this year,” said Chamber Chair Donna Finley. “This forum is the perfect opportunity for voters to learn more and to meet the candidates.”

All candidates running for upcoming city elected positions have confirmed attendance. Candidates are: mayor race, Roger Van Horn and Richard Johnson; Northwest Ward commissioner race, Don Partin and Gary Willis; and Northeast Ward commissioner race, Shelley Brophy, David Crawford and Latterious Starkes.

Voting day for City of Nacogdoches is Saturday, May 9. Early voting will be at C.L. Simon Recreation Center, 1112 North St. and runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 27 through May 1, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., May 4 and 5.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Earth Day celebration

Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful invites everyone to celebrate Earth Day 2009.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 18,
on the
SFA Intramural Fields on Wilson Dr.
The Earth Day celebration takes place in conjunction with the annual SFA plant sale adjacent to the
SFA Mast Arboretum.

The event will include computer recycling (no TVs or other electronic devices will be accepted) through Goodwill Industries, speakers, children’s activities, music, information booths and free food.

Click for more info about the event and Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Gold Level honor presented to "Heart Healthy" Nacogdoches

During a Nacogdoches City Commissioners meeting, members of the Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition presented commissioners with newly-won credentials certifying the city as a "Heart and Stroke Healthy City" by the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. A large group of supporters from area businesses, health organizations and local government sported bright blue shirts and watched as coalition leader Kinnie Parker explained the significance of the designation.

As one of four Gold level cities in the state, Nacogdoches has demonstrated certified heart-healthy policies, including a strict smoking ordinance, sensible medical procedures and healthy food options.
The four Gold cities are: Nacogdoches, Tyler, Austin and Houston.

Pictured above from left, Walter F. Buell, M.D., P.A., member of the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke; Program Director, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital
and Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition leader Kinnie Parker; and Mayor Roger Van Horn. (Photo by Brittany Logan)
Click to read full meeting report by Matthew Stoff, The Daily Sentinel.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Duran Pools & Spas Ribbon Cutting

The Daily Sentinel recently attended a Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for Duran Pools & Spas, 8724 Hwy 259 N., (936) 564-4461, Owners Danny and Debbie Adkins, welcomed sponsors, Chamber members and guests.

Melasky Family named Farm Family of the Year

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples greets, from left, Eddie, Doris, Steve and Stan Melasky at the eighth annual Nacogdoches County Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet Monday night at the Fredonia. More than 300 supporters of agribusiness and education honored the Melaskys as Farm Family of the Year. Other awardees included Agriculture Educator of the Year John Boyette, Agribusiness of the Year Nacogdoches Livestock Exchange, Inc., and Agriculture Pioneer Tim Chauvin. (Photo by Bruce R. Partain)

The Eddie Melasky family will be honored as the Farm Family of the Year at the Eighth Annual Nacogdoches County Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet on Monday, April 6 at the Fredonia.
The Melasky family history in Nacogdoches County began in 1968, after they moved from Brazos County. The Melaskys continued doing what they knew best, operating a dairy, which is second nature to the family. According to Eddie Melasky, when the family settled here more than 86 dairymen were in the county. They felt right at home in Nacogdoches County.
When asked what brought them to the county Doris Melasky said, “East Texas was the best place in Texas to raise a family and to continue being in agriculture and to grow with the other agriculture industries that were here.”
Mr. Melasky said that the timber and poultry industries are key in their farming program. The family milks some 200 head of cattle each day and feeds some 400 head. The dairy, timber and cattle operations go hand in hand. The timber industry provides some relief from time to time with input cost being high for year to year operations, whether it is from opening new pasture land for cattle to graze or to provide benefits for wildlife that can be helpful for recreation. Mr. Melasky said, “The recreation aids in rejuvenating you after a long day of work on the farm.”
Another relief for the Malasky family is the poultry farm that was added in 1985. Poultry provides some much needed fertility requirements for producing adequate forages in the pastures for grazing and for cutting hay, as well as a supplemental income that will help for other unforeseen expenses.
The Melaskys’ two sons, Stan and Steve, make big contributions in the entire farming operation. They showed in the Piney Woods Fair throughout school and continue to help their parents increase the family farm which is now more than 1300 acres, and added another agriculture aspect with beef cattle.
The Melaskys are also past recipients of the Farm Family for the State of Texas, which was received for the Farmers Home Administration in 1976. Mrs. Melasky was quoted, “Dairying is kind of like a life-long commitment. When you have to purchase land, cattle, and equipment, it’s something you just don’t get in and out of. Everything we have acquired has come from the dairy. Life is short. If you like what you are doing, you don’t have to work a day in your life.”

Monday, April 06, 2009

Ag tour show off cream of the crop!

The Daily Sentinel

For anyone curious about raising strawberries, growing peaches, irrigating tomatoes or any other leading agricultural techniques, the Nacogdoches County Agriculture Tour was the place to be Friday.

The County AgriLife Extension Office organized a tour of area farms to show off the latest and greatest in local agriculture. A group of about 30 participants met Friday morning at the Nacogdoches Expo Center for coffee and doughnuts before heading to Millard Farm, where strawberries were the main attraction. The group then headed to McCarty Farm to see more than 30 varieties of tomatoes, 12 kinds of sweet peppers, and even more hot peppers, squash, soybeans, green beans and eggplant.
Matthew Stoff/The Daily Sentinel
Farm owner R.W. McCarty, left, demonstrates the use of old-fashioned farm equipment during the Nacogdoches Agriculture Tour on Friday. Extenstion Agent Chad Gulley, right, and a group of visitors looked on.

Several in the group took notes as Extension Agent Chad Gulley pointed out the elaborate drip irrigation system, which controls weeds and moisture content. Participants asked questions about the setup, and the farm owner showed off the black plastic T-tape system that covers the bed of young crops and functions like a miniature greenhouse.

R.W. McCarty, the farm owner, also demonstrated an old-fashioned hand-pushed seeding device he had inherited from his family. He then compared it to a large, modern John Deere tractor resting nearby.

Ann McCarty, who has operated the farm with her husband and son for 30 years, said the family started growing just for its own needs, but watched as the operation has grown to a commercial size in the past 10 years. "It just kept getting bigger and bigger," she said.

McCarty said she was pleased to bring a group of interested visitors to her home, but noted that the farm is as serious as it is entertaining. "It's a lot of work," she said.

Participants on the agriculture tour learned more than how to make simple wire cages to protect their crops or how to use a smokehouse to store and keep their products. In fact, some participants were experts themselves in area agriculture. Extension Agent Crispin Skinner said the tour was also a way to show off the achievements of Nacogdoches and its agricultural pioneers.

"A lot of people don't realize that we are one of the best in the state when it comes to agriculture," he said as the tour was headed to lunch and then on to the Van Dover Peach Farm. Skinner said Nacogdoches is consistently in the top 15 counties in the state for production. And, Skinner said, the tour not only demonstrated the economic and technical successes of the local industry but the diversity of ventures within the county. As an example, Skinner said that most people don't know that there are four peach orchards in Nacogdoches County.

The tour is even a useful and interesting event for people who are not working in the field, according to Bruce Partain, president of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, which helps to promote the event. Partain cited the entrepreneurial workmanship at the Millard Strawberry Farm as an inspiration for professionals in any line of work.

Partain also said the tour was a chance for city-dwellers to reconnect with and learn about the dominant industry in the county that operates just beyond the every-day lives of many residents. "Even if you're not a farmer, you can learn some valuable lessons," Partain said.

The agricultural tour is held each year in advance of the annual Agricultural Appreciation and Awareness Banquet. This year's banquet will be at 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, at the Fredonia Hotel in honor of Nacogdoches County's agriculture industry. For more information, contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Service at 560-7711.

Photos by Bruce Partain

The City's New Web site!

The City of Nacogdoches rolled out its newly revamped Internet City Website. The new Website has an easier to navigate layout with links readily available to the most popular services the City hosts online. Citizens will have much easier access now to frequently sought information such as on-line utility bill payments, GIS maps, agendas and open records requests.

According to the City’s Information Technology Manager Michael Donnell, these changes were made to enhance customer service. “IT staff researched municipal web sites throughout the state before settling on this new design. We wanted a clean look that at the same time still captured the charm of the oldest town in Texas.”

The main banner for the City’s website will showcase City employees – and will change periodically to highlight different departments. Another new feature is the interactive capital improvements projects map. By accessing the SERVICES tab on the right-hand column of the City’s Home Page, website visitors can view the status of current, completed and proposed capital improvement projects. By clicking on the associated icon, users will see the project description, photo (when applicable), timeline and estimated cost.

Visit Nacogdoches' revised website at

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Volunteers work hard to make Texas a cleaner place

Photo by Christy Wooten/ The Daily Sentinel. Kayley Brookshire, left, 8, puts the first aluminum can in the recycle bin as the Don't Mess with Texas Trash-Off, which was sponsored locally by Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation, starts Saturday morning. Kayley, along with other members of Vineyard Church, picked up trash along two county roads. View a slideshow of the day's activities at

Not all kids slept in on a Saturday morning. Central student council members got up at sunrise with one thing in mind. "Making our highways and roads pretty to look at and keep Texas beautiful," said Brooke Johnson, a volunteer. Their school is on Highway 69, so the roadway is their concern during the Don't Mess With Texas Trash Off. Hundreds of volunteers across Texas want other roadways kept clean.

Adopt a Highway is a great program, but what would it take to make it totally unnecessary? "If people wouldn't litter and would keep trash in the car and keep trash out of back of trucks so it doesn't fly away, wouldn't have this problem," explained Allison Beck, coordinator for the Adopt a Highway program in Nacogdoches County. Unfortunately, Keep Texas Beautiful and TxDOT don't see that happening any time soon. So, they promote grassroots efforts to educate and engage Texans in improving their community environment. "We hope by promoting these kinds of events, getting everyone out to help clean up their community that we can make a difference," said Debbie Stevens, Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful member and trash off coordinator. Statewide during last year's trash-off, 61,000 volunteers collected more than 5 million pounds of litter.

Click to read story by Donna McCollum, KTRE.

Click to read story by Michele Marcotte, The Daily Sentinel.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Fine Line Exhibit

A documentary of voices, stories and portraits by Michael Nye

The FINE LINE Exhibit explores the mind
through the art of photography with sound. It
brings true human stories to life with portraits
that confront stereotypes while illuminating
the courage and fragility of those living with
mental illnesses.
Michael Nye has had more than 30 one-person
photography exhibits, including the Arthur
Roger Gallery in New York City, the Memphis
Brooks Museum of Art and the Tampa Museum
of Art.
In simple and eloquent detail the black-andwhite
portraits and voices draw you closer
into each life by addressing and exploring
many topics: family, confusion, pain, abuse,
treatment and healing.
Consider Beth. She was
one of the most talented
writers in her high school
– she performed her own
original songs on stage.
Later, she was unable to
leave her home, and
literally stayed in one
chair in her kitchen for
March 6 to April 12, 2009

The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House
329 East Main, Nacogdoches, Texas
(936) 468-5500 Gallery hours: 12:30 - 5 p.m., Tuesday - Sunday

The Fine Line exhibit is supported by the Nacogdoches Community Collaborative through a grant from the Texas
Health Institute. For more information about the Nacogdoches Community Collaborative contact Anne Bondesen at
(936) 465-0357 or Kinnie Parker at (936) 569-4691.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Online auction bidding and golf tournament fun

Online auction opensClick to bid!
The Blueberry Golf Bash Online Auction is running now through May 5 and participation is easy and fun for everyone, everywhere. A variety of great items are offered with more to come, so check the web site often. Bidding is open to anybody in the world. Instructions for donating a cool item to the auction are available online as well. We link back to your web site when you donate!

Golf tournament – big event! The 12th Annual Blueberry Golf Bash takes place Friday, May 1, at Piney Woods Country Club. Team registration deadline is April 27, with a maximum of 34 teams accepted. Along with friendly tournament competition and the Academy Sports & Outdoor Putting Contest, the day includes lunch provided by Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, a barbeque dinner, refreshments and great prizes.

Click to download registration form.

SINGLE HOLE SPONSOR $100 - Sign placed on 1 of the tee boxes. Ideas for Hole Sponsor sign: promote business, product, and service; congratulate someone for a notable accomplishment; announce big event date; wish someone a happy birthday or anniversary; or your own unique message.

Team sponsor levels are Eagle - $1,500; Birdie - $850; and Par - $500.

TxDOT Summer Employment Program 2009

Information about the TxDOT Summer Employment Program

Program Highlights:
- TxDOT’s summer employment program began in the 1950s.
- Approximately 47,837 students have spent their summers working for the department.
- The goal of the program is to provide students with on-the-job experience, while cultivating a qualified, diverse work force.
- On-the-job experience helps students establish career credentials, while enhancing their professional growth. Working side by side with experienced professionals in the transportation field enables students to learn the latest techniques of the industry, while at the same time using practical application of their skills.
The program also provides students with salaried positions to help supplement educational expenses.
- TxDOT benefits from the program because many of the summer students who were hired become regular full-time employees upon graduating. Today, more than 1,900 former student employees hold positions at TxDOT. Some of these are in mid- and upper-level management positions.

Available Jobs:
Approximately 340 students are expected to be hired this summer.
Positions are available statewide and at Austin headquarters.
Jobs are in administrative, information technology, engineering and maintenance fields.
Positions are available from May 1 through August 15.

Eligibility Requirements:
- Must be at least 17 years old,
- Be eligible to work in the U.S., and
- Be enrolled as a full-time student at a high school, technical school, college or university the spring semester before the summer work period OR be currently accepted for enrollment at an institution of higher learning.
- Students meeting these requirements are encouraged to complete a state application.

How to Apply:
Interested persons should visit the TxDOT web site at
Paper applications are also available at the Human Resources Employment Office at each district headquarters.
Note: Summer Hire job postings will be available in April.