Ad campaign gets the boot; Victoria officials reconsider growing hotel tax fund

Victoria will consider soon how to spend nearly $3 million generated by its skyrocketing hotel taxes. However, critics fear the money will be as ill-spent as a recent $1 million advertising campaign that ended in March with no measurable success. City officials quietly pulled the plug on the campaign, “Bring Your Boots,” earlier this year.Continue reading “Ad campaign gets the boot; Victoria officials reconsider growing hotel tax fund”

Longtime guitarist teaching new generation of songwriters

MINEOLA — Aging window panes on the old Beckham Hotel rattle like a snare drum as the afternoon train passes through town. From the building’s structure to the towers of precariously stacked CDs or the guitar-lined walls and eclectic visitors, the hotel is filled with a menagerie of sounds. The owner, John DeFoore, a 65-year-oldContinue reading “Longtime guitarist teaching new generation of songwriters”

Robin Hood Studios nears half-century legacy among musicians

Comfortably slouched facing a nine-and-a-half-foot Bösendorfer Imperial Grand piano, Robin Hood Brians Jr. lifts a black lid covering nine extra keys on the bass end and performs a Ray Charles classic, “Georgia on my Mind.” The 97-key piano is merely one element among the $10,000 tube microphones and instrument cases in Brians’ nearly 50-year-old recording studio, Robin Hood Studios in Tyler. MusiciansContinue reading “Robin Hood Studios nears half-century legacy among musicians”

Canton resident’s dream becomes million-dollar business

*State AP Wire CANTON — He reclines in his chair, inside a cramped office surrounded by wall-to-wall framed magazine clippings and 40-year-old photographs of his drag-racing days. By most measures, Gary Hatfield is a modest man, wearing white tennis shoes with crew-cut socks, denim shorts and a mauve work shirt for his business, Hatfield Restorations,Continue reading “Canton resident’s dream becomes million-dollar business”

Cicadas season nears end later this month

*State AP Wire, USA Today A summer without the spastic flight, echoing song and discarded shells of cicadas is unthinkable for Sherry Jimerson Price. She was raised with a love of the ancient insects and remembers collecting their abandoned husks to wear as broaches at her grandmother’s house, not far from where she and herContinue reading “Cicadas season nears end later this month”

Mineola Honors Black Barnstorming Baseball Team

MINEOLA – In a time when racial prejudices divided businesses, water fountains and even the nation’s greatest pastime, The Mineola Black Spiders kept swinging. “They weren’t the greatest, they didn’t make it to the majors … but it is something noteworthy,” said Lou Mallory of the Wood County Historical Commission. The Black Spiders began playing in the late 1920s at Epperson Field in Mineola,Continue reading “Mineola Honors Black Barnstorming Baseball Team”

Highway 80’s Long-Lost Predecessor Remembered

*State AP Wire CANTON – The history of Van Zandt County, from ancient times to the 20th century, rolls along the Old Dallas- Shreveport Road. Before barbed wire fences and paved highways cut up the historic road, it was a seamless stretch of prehistoric trade routes from Dallas to Shreveport established by the Caddo. “Their trails were just like today’sContinue reading “Highway 80’s Long-Lost Predecessor Remembered”

Water Needs Threaten Family Ranch

Lawrence Greer’s old black truck rattles across the cattle guard into Twin Mills Ranch. It is an overcast day, filled with emotion, fear, uncertainties and suspicions. “There’s no need to create such a division between residents,” Greer said. Though he does not own the ranch, its existence is invaluable to him. His great-grandparents settled northContinue reading “Water Needs Threaten Family Ranch”

Mineola’s Mayor Takes Pride In Nature Preserve

MINEOLA — Mindlessly wandering through trails of the Sabine bottomlands, one could easily lose his or her way among the deep hardwood forest spanning nearly 3,000 acres of the Mineola Nature preserve. Mayor Bo Whitus, a cheerleader of sorts for the preserve, admits it happened to him a few times. “Just keep going east, and you’llContinue reading “Mineola’s Mayor Takes Pride In Nature Preserve”

106-Year-Old Stylist Recalls Business, Rose Parade Work

*State AP Wire QUITMAN – Lottie Davison sat in her wheelchair, guarding the doorway in her dimly lit room. Her white hair was neatly set, and specks of gloss highlighted the creases in her lips where a swipe of red lipstick lingered from the morning. Mrs. Davison, 106, was expecting company. Fifteen minutes before her appointment, sheContinue reading “106-Year-Old Stylist Recalls Business, Rose Parade Work”