The Commerce Journal

October 15, 2013

Editor excited to be back in Commerce

Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — I’m back, Commerce.

To be fair, I never really left. I just got a promotion. As editor of the Herald-Banner and the Commerce Journal, instead of the reporter for Commerce, my role over the past year has been much more administrative in nature. Joseph Hamrick has been my eyes and ears in Commerce, and has done a great job reporting the news in my former hometown.

Joseph is in San Antonio at bootcamp for the next two months, though, and in his stead I’m picking up some of the slack.

I’ll be joined by some other wonderful people in the Commerce area who will be helping write articles and take photos in his absence.

Getting back to covering Commerce is refreshing to me. As much as I enjoy my current role in Greenville, Commerce will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s where I began my journalism career in 2008 as a student journalist at the Marketing Communications Department at Texas A&M University-Commerce and worked for years on the student newspaper the East Texan.

I was fortunate enough to meet some great people throughout the years and cover amazing events, from Bois D’Arc Bashes to football games to art shows.

Part of what makes covering Commerce so enjoyable are the people involved.

There are old friends, like Paul and Ashley Bryan of A Space Art Gallery in downtown Commerce, who held an art show opening for Janelle Stogner on Oct. 5 that I was able to cover.

And then there are new contacts like A&M-Commerce football coach Colby Carthel, who is gracious with his time and brings a competitive attitude and hard-working spirit to Lion Athletics.

It’s a privilege to interact with the same community leaders whohave been in Commerce during my time here: Dr. Dan Jones at the university, Blake Cooper at Commerce ISD, and Marc Clayton at the city, among many others.

There are some bright times ahead for Commerce. A&M-Commerce continues to grow and bring more students and families to Commerce.

The street improvement program is well underway, and over the next year we’ll see even more streets completed.

Commerce also has some challenges ahead.

The loss of Covidien off of the city’s tax rolls has had a huge negative impact that the city has worked hard to overcome. And the upcoming hospital bond election on Nov. 5 will determine if Hunt Regional Healthcare will build a new facility in Commerce to replace the aging one on Sterling Hart.

I look forward to being able to pursue these stories and many others in-depth over the next eight weeks. And, as always, I need your help.

If you have stories, columns, letters to the editor, make sure to send them my way (!

I feel that the Journal is truly a community newspaper, thanks to the involvement of the community. Let’s keep up the good work.