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Hillcrest junction upgrade for I-30 planned

After more than a few confusing weeks for drivers of big trucks and motorists alike, more change is coming to the intersections of Hillcrest and Interstate 30 frontage roads West Industrial Drive and West Shannon Road.

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Cumby names valedictorian, salutatorian

Cumby High School recognized this year’s seniors who will graduate with distinction, including this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian, and presented class awards and other honors to students in grades 6-12 during the annual Academic Banquet Monday night.

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SSMS fine arts plans event for Thursday

Jennifer Turner, the head band director at Sulphur Springs Middle School, says her band program has had a very successful year, and plans to celebrate its success Thursday.

Turner and the SSMS band teachers invite the community to attend the first-ever Fine Arts Showcase at Sulphur Springs Middle School. This event will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday and will feature bands and other groups of the school’s fine arts program. Choir, strings and theater students will all perform, and art students will also have pieces displayed throughout the school.

The band program includes three UIL competing bands: Honors, which is the varsity group; Blue Band, which competes as a non-varsity group; and Gold Band, which competes as a sub-non varsity.  Honors Band is directed by Turner, The Blue Band is directed by Robert McDaniel, and the Gold Band is directed by Jeffrey Garza.

All three of the groups earned a First Division rating from all three judges on stage at the UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest, which took place April 7.  

Out of 48 competing bands, the SSMS Honors Band played the hardest program out of the entire region and also took home a sweepstakes rating. In order for a band to receive and sweepstakes rating, a band has to receive and division one rating from all six judges in the Concert and Sightreading portion of the UIL competition, Turner said.

The SSMS Honors Band competed with two Grade 3 pieces and a march. On the prescribed music list, a band has to choose  two pieces to play off of that list that are ranked from 1, the easiest, to 5, the hardest. The SSMS Honors band was the only group in the region to compete with two Grade 3 pieces. High schools compete with a Grade 4 or 5.

“That’s what makes us the band to play the hardest program in the region,” Turner said.

“Throughout the year, we were able to keep the achievements high, not just through our UIL competition season,” Turner said. “During the fall, we traveled to Pine Tree High School to take students to audition for Middle School All-Region Band.  We were able to place 33 students between the two All-Region bands.”

Sadie Washburn, playing tenor saxophone, and Jackson Burnett, on French horn, ranked highest among their section, both earning First Band, first chair spots.

Early in the spring semester, SSMS hosted a Solo andEnsemble Competition. Sulphur Springs Middle School had a record 91 students earning first division Medals

Turner said that all band instructors are extremely proud of their hardworking students.

Yantis Elementary works to help former principal

Yantis Elementary School staff and students are pulling together with community members to help their former principal, who suffered a double loss during Saturday’s tornado. They have established an account for Cheryl Hughes, who retired in 2015 and has been residing in Canton. She was the principal at Yantis Elementary for 6 1/2 years. 

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Tax appraisal notices are in the mail

Hopkins County Appraisal District put new tax appraisal notices in the mail Tuesday afternoon, but Hopkins County Chief Appraiser Kathy Singleton said only a few people will be receiving them.

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