February 22, 2024 – The 2024 spring severe weather season is not too far away, and the National Weather Service and local public safety officials want you to be ready. The National Weather Service (NWS) Office located in Fort Worth will be conducting a free Severe Weather Education class in Hopkins County on Tuesday, February 27th, 2024, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Sulphur Springs City Hall. Officially known as the SKYWARN Storm Spotter Training Class, the program will be held in partnership with the City of Sulphur Springs. There is no cost to attend this class, no pre-registration is required, and you do not have to be a resident of Hopkins County to attend.
This class is for established storm spotters and/or anyone who is interested in learning more about severe weather threats in North and Central Texas and how to be prepared. The class will feature an in-depth review and study of the various threats posed by severe thunderstorms. The program will also explore thunderstorm characteristics and features associated with severe and non-severe storms. Additionally, the program highlights severe weather safety and how you can report severe weather information to the NWS Fort Worth Office and local public safety officials.
The Hopkins County Severe Weather Education class is part of NWS Fort Worth’s annual severe weather preparedness campaign and is one of several severe weather training programs the NWS Fort Worth Office will conduct around the region between January and March 2024. Other classes across the region can be found at: https://www.weather.gov/fwd/skywarnmap. The National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth provides forecasts, warnings, and weather-related services for 46 counties in North and Central Texas. For more information, visit the NWS Fort Worth Office website at https://weather.gov/fortworth, find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSDallasFortWorth or on Twitter: @NWSFortWorth.
By Butch Burney
February 22, 2024 – Need glasses for the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse? Want a T-shirt and sticker? We know where you can get them.
We have eclipse merchandise at the Chamber of Commerce, including T-shirts, stickers and glasses. With tens of thousands of visitors targeting Hopkins County for April 8, don’t wait until the last minute.
The Chamber has an eclipse website, TotalEclipseSSTx.com, in which you can upload information about events, attractions, lodging, retail shops and restaurants. That will be the information clearinghouse for what is happening in Hopkins County on April 8 and the weekend leading up to that day.
We will be hosting a free concert on Saturday, April 6, downtown, featuring The Paper Dolls, Jason Waldon and the Alibis and Dubb and the Luv Machines. Plus, there will be vendors’ market at The Venue at 219 that weekend.
Check out the website, upload information and get prepared!
Chamber Golf Tournament
For all the linksters out there, the Chamber’s annual golf tournament, which is historically the first Friday in April, has been moved to the first Friday in May due to the eclipse traffic. We will post registration information the middle of next week.
The tournament is limited to 43 teams – 18 in the morning and 25 in the afternoon.
Cocktails and Conversation
Join us for our next Cocktails and Conversation mixer, hosted by the Haus of Sabo at their new studio located at 206 Church St. The mixer will be from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, March 7.
You don’t have to be a Chamber member to attend and there is no charge.
Come and enjoy some cocktails and conversation.
Pioneer Café will host a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at their new location on Jefferson Street. Please join us for this event.
Lone Star Community Response will have a ribbon cutting at noon on Feb. 22 at the Chamber office. Everyone is welcome.
Gear Up Supplements will have a ribbon cutting at their location at 101 Bill Bradford Road at noon Friday, Feb. 23. Please join us.
Jade’s Facial and Wax will have a ribbon cutting at noon on Monday, Feb. 26, at 1217 South Broadway St., Suite 1. Please join us.
February 22, 2024 – KSST is excited to bring you Texas Ranger Baseball once again this year. Spring Training games will begin broadcasting Friday, February 23.
The Friday game will be played in Surprise Stadium in Arizona in the early afternoon. The Texas Rangers Network require affiliates like KSST to broadcast some games in delay, starting at 8PM central.
- Friday February 23, 8PM (delayed)
- Saturday February 24, 2PM
- Sunday February 25, 2PM
- Friday March 1, 8PM (delayed)
Please remember that pre-season games can be a moving target. We will do our best to get the all the games on the air. Also remember that Sulphur Springs Wildcat and Ladycat games take broadcast priority over Texas Rangers Game broadcasts.
February 22, 2024 – As the official start of tax season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is issuing a crucial warning about scams that could potentially cost taxpayers hundreds of dollars.
The latest scam to be aware of involves an email that appears to be from the IRS and features the agency’s logo. This deceptive email talks about the “Third round of economic impact payments,” stating it concerns “an important matter regarding your recent tax return filing.”
The email notes “we have identified certain inconsistencies or missing information” and falsely promises a refund of $976 once the documents requested are submitted. There’s also a button labeled “complete my information”, but it is a trap that the IRS warns against clicking.
“It’s hard to imagine what someone’s going to come up with next as a scam,” Robert Marvin IRS Media Relations Specialist said.
He points out the red flags taxpayers should watch for, such as inconsistencies in the email content. For example, at the very bottom of that email with the IRS logo, there’s the presence of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s, that should be a warning sign.
Marvin emphasizes the importance of scrutinizing emails for “strange versions and spellings of IRS,” and advises being alert to “typos, misspellings, and things that don’t look normal in business correspondence.”
The IRS says there’s a one hard and fast rule to always keep in mind.
“The IRS does not initiate with taxpayers, request for information through email, through text or social media, we just don’t do business that way. When we’re requesting for information we use the US Mail,” said Marvin.
According to the IRS, thieves ramp up efforts to steal your personal information during tax season. Their goal is to file fraudulent tax returns and claim your refund. Before giving any personal information, contact the IRS directly.
February 20, 2024 – Democrats and Republicans can cast their votes to narrow down their choice of candidates to appear on an upcoming November general election during the March 5th Primary. Republicans will also get to answer some questions on immigration, border security, and property taxes, although the outcomes of those votes are not binding. You can see a copy of each of the March 5th Primary ballots by clicking on the links below:
February 20, 2024 – Early voting for the March 5th primary is underway in Hopkins County, not only for local offices, but for state-wide and presidential as well. Registered Republicans will have the larger ballot as they will consider 22 offices and 13 non-binding ballot propostions. On the Democratic side, 13 offices will be considered with zero ballot propostions. Many of the Republican elections will decide who will hold that office in the future as there are no Democratic challegers for the future general election.
State House Representative District 2 primary is being held this election cycle as that seat was just filled for it’s unexpired term which ends a the end of this year. Jill Dutton will be on the ballot as incumbent and again being challenged by Brent Money on the Republican Primary Ballot. Kristen Washington is running unopposed for the same seat on the Democratic Primary Ballot.
Local Offices on Republican Primary Ballot that do not have a Democratic challenger are as follows:
8th Judicial District Judge
62nd Judicial District Judge
District Attorney, 8th Judicial District
Dustanna Hyde Rabe
Johnny Paul “JP” Moseley
County Tax Assessor-Collector
County Commissioner, Precinct 1 (on ballot for voters residing in Precinct 1)
Steven Big Smith
County Commissioner, Precinct 3 (on ballot for voters residing in Precinct 3)
William (Bill) Holden
Constable, Precinct 1 (on ballot for voters residing in Precincts 1 & 2)
Dennis L. Findley
Constable, Precinct 2 (on ballot for voers residing in Precincts 3 & 4)
John Brian Beadle
Donnie W. Wisenbaker
February 20, 2024 – Republicans will have 13 ballot propostions to consider during the upcoming March 5th primary election. These ballot propostions are NOT legally binding, but just a way to gauge the consensus of Texas Republicans during this election on a range of topics. The following is a list of the 13 propositions that Republicans can answer on the ballot to give their opinion on topics ranging from taxes, border security, immigration and school vouchers. Early voting is now open by public appearance at 128G Jefferson St., in Sulphur Springs. Election day is Tuesday, March 5th.
2024 Ballot Propositions:
1.) Texas should eliminate all property taxes without increasing Texans’ overall tax burden
2.) Texas should create a Border Protection Unit, and deploy additional state law enforcement and military forces, to seal the border, to use physical force to prevent illegal entry and trafficking, and to deport illegal aliens to Mexico or to their nations of origin.
3.) The Texas Legislature should require the use of E-Verify by all employers in Texas to protect jobs for legal workers by preventing the hiring of illegal aliens.
4.) The Texas Legislature should end all subsidies and public services, including in-state college tuition and enrollment in public schools, for illegal aliens.
5.) Texas urges the United States Congress not to grant any form of amnesty or a pathway to legalization for illegal aliens.
6.) The Texas Legislature should prohibit the deployment of the Texas National Guard to a foreign conflict unless Congress first formally declares war.
7.) The Texas Legislature should establish authority within the Texas State Comptroller’s office to administer access to gold and silver through the Texas Bullion Depository for use as legal tender.
8.) The State of Texas should ensure that Texans are free to give or to withhold consent for any vaccine without coercion.
9.) The Republican Party of Texas should restrict voting in the Republican Primary to only registered Republicans.
10.) The Texas Constitution should be amended to restore authority to the Texas Attorney General to prosecute election crimes.
11.) Texas parents and guardians should have the right to select schools, whether public or private, for their children, and the funding should follow the student.
12.) The Texas Constitution should be amended to require proof of citizenship before any individual can be registered to vote.
13.) Texas should ban the sale of Texas land to citizens, governments, and entities from China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
February 20, 2024 – If you are like me, you stop by CANHelp in Sulphur Springs at least once a week. It’s part of my routine. I find treasures, and I help people in Hopkins County at the same time. Win-Win.
You have probably noticed some big changes to the CANHelp building this month.
A new building has been added to improve the donation process. It provides the benefit of a drive though, and protects donations from the elements. It will also give CANHelp a better chance to prevent dumping of un-sellable items, and prevent theft of donations.
CANHelp has also added large signs around the donation area, giving details on what items are not accepted.
Dumping of soiled mattresses and other unsellable furniture has been a problem for CANHelp. Disposal of these items takes resources that should be used to help people in the community. Every change has been thoroughly thought out, and each is intended to help the Hopkins County population by making CANHelp more efficient.
What started out as a resource guide of available services in 2000 within Hopkins County, Hopkins County Community Action Network as we were originally known, has transformed into CANHelp — a non-profit organization, based in faith, whose mission is to provide assistance to individuals in the communities of Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County. CANHelp offers programs and training to those who want to become financially self-sufficient, various food and health items, and other basic needs to those experiencing crises, as well as information and referral services to those who call 2-1-1 Texas. CANHelp also houses a 10,000 square foot thrift store run by dedicated staff and volunteers. Every service CANHelp provides upholds our core values of people, faith, integrity, excellence, and partnerships. CANHelp and our staff are dedicated to their clients and the community. We strive to change lives in our communities and to help guide people toward self-sufficiency.CANHelp
February 19, 2024 – COMMERCE, TX—The Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Music is elevating its status to become the School of Music, effective September 1, 2024.
Approval to change the department’s designation was granted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in January 2024.
While the music department was first accredited in 1969, A&M-Commerce has offered music courses dating back more than 100 years. In that time, the university has mentored countless music educators and performers across an array of disciplines. With more than 250 total students, the department helps musicians to hone their craft as vocalists, percussionists, pianists, or with brass or woodwind instruments. Additionally, a Guitar Performance program is slated to be offered beginning in Fall 2024.
Dr. Eric Branscome, head of the Department of Music, explained that the School of Music designation is something that has been highly sought after for several years.
“The idea to become a school of music was first presented over a decade ago,” said Branscome, who assumed his role in 2021.
Branscome notes that the latest proposal to become a School of Music began in the last year, going through a slew of approvals at the university level before being submitted to THECB in August 2023. The new designation gives A&M-Commerce a leg up when it comes to recruiting students.
“Holding a designation of a School of Music denotes a higher level of distinction and signifies that we have cultivated a long tradition of excellence in music education,” Branscome said. “While we welcome our performance-minded music students, our strength has always been about teaching and mentoring future music educators, and this new designation is a testament to that.”
Further expected benefits include attracting additional world-class faculty to the university’s music program and increasing the department’s endowed donor base.
The redesignation announcement was first shared with A&M-Commerce music students and alumni during the annual Texas Music Educators Association convention in San Antonio, Texas, in February, as A&M-Commerce hosted a meet and greet for current students and alumni attending the convention.
Branscome says he hopes that music education at A&M-Commerce continues to evolve long after becoming a School of Music.
“We don’t intend for this longstanding goal of ours to be an endpoint, but the starting point of something even greater at A&M-Commerce,” Branscome said. “We have to keep evolving, expanding our curriculum and more to maintain relevance.”
He adds that an inaugural concert to celebrate the official redesignation as the A&M-Commerce School of Music is in the works for Fall 2024, with details to come later this year.
Learn more about Music at A&M-Commerce.
February 19, 2024 – Registered voters in Hopkins County can early vote by personal appearance starting on Tuesday February 20, 2024 for the March 5th Primary. Early Voting is being held at 128G Jefferson Street, in Justice of the Peace #2 Courtroom. Hours will be 8am to 5pm. Early voting for this primary ends March 1, 2024.
At this time a sample ballot has not been provided by the Hopkins County Clerk.