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Current SSISD staff will handle duties for now

Travis Primary School is once again without an official principal this week, following Chuck King’s resignation Tuesday from the post, the second to do so in as many months.

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Naturalist training classes start

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The Red River Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist will host two orientation and recruitment meetings which will introduce and describe the Texas Master Naturalist program sponsored by Texas Parks & Wildlife and AgriLife Extension Service. Programs will be taught or supervised by sponsors J.W. Smith and and Roberta Smith, Texas A&M University emeritus professors.

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At least 10 killed when prison bus strikes train in Penwell after storm

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PENWELL, Texas (AP) — At least 10 people were killed Wednesday when a bus carrying state prisoners skidded off an icy highway overpass in West Texas, slid down an embankment and collided with a passing train, a county sheriff said.

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SSMS choir to perform Friday at Mavericks game

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Sulphur Springs Middle School’s choir students will have the chance of a lifetime when they perform in front of 20,000 spectators Friday. The Dallas Mavericks have invited the selected choir to sing the National Anthem at their game against the Denver Nuggets at 7:30 p.m.

“This is going to be a great experience for the choir,” said SSMS choir teacher Aaron Lovelady. The journey to get to American Airlines Center in Dallas actually started seven years ago.

Lovelady was a teacher at Sulphur Springs High School and received an email from the San Antonio Spurs. An organization called On Key Jams was looking for Texas choirs to perform the National Anthem in Houston. Lovelady said then students were thrilled by the experience.

“The next year, we were not planning on taking a choir trip, so the Spurs gave me the number for the Dallas Mavericks. Back then, the Mavericks did not have a program in place, and I worked with their public relations department to find local choirs and build a program,” said Lovelady.

After the new choir program was approved, SSHS was the first school choir to perform the National Anthem at the AAC for the Mavericks.

“That performance was either 2009 or 2010,” said Lovelady. “Since then, the Mavericks have continued to contact us every year. Now, they no longer ask for audition tapes and trust we will bring a high level performance.”

The first year of the program, the SSHS choir was invited back two more times. They performed a Christmas melody before a game and the JV choir performed the National Anthem. In 2013, Lovelady transfered to the middle school but continued the relationship with the Mavericks.

As part of the agreement, the AAC does not charge Lovelady a performance free. Instead, the choir pays a group ticket rate around $40 per person to attend the game after the performance.The tickets come with meal ticket vouchers so that the students can eat during the game. The students will also receive Dallas Maverick T-shirts they will wear during their performance.

“Nintey-nine percent of the time all of the ticket costs are paid for through a cookie dough fundraiser at the beginning of the year,” said Lovelady.

The Dallas Mavericks will only allow 25 students to perform the National Anthem despite SSMS having more than 150 students in their choir.

“I have 20 to 25 kids audition for each part of the performance. Only my top students get to become part of the select choir,” said Lovelady.

Not only will the choir get to perform in front of 20,000 spectators, but they will get to stand in the visitors’ tunnel and meet the Denver Nuggets and receive possible autographs from the players. The game will be shown on Fox Sports Southwest television station or individuals with a subscription to the NBA League Pass. Lovelady says that Fox will typically have a commercial break during the National Anthem, but the NBA League Pass will show the entire game with no interruptions.

Pizza Delivery

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Pizza Inn employee Trey Adair suprises Dinner Bell guests Wednesday morning by delivering several dozen boxes of fresh pizza to First United Methodist Church. The Dinner Bell program has partnered with several restaurants this year to help feed needy Hopkins County residents.

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