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Swinson receives national honors

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After fours years worth of projects, research and scientific experimentation, Sulphur Springs High School student Taylor Swinson is now one of three students in the last 50 years in Sulphur Springs to receive the FFA National Agscience Proficiency award in Animal Systems. “I had to first pass the state qualifier, then the western region competition, that convers FFA members from California to Texas,” said Swinson. “I became the western region winner and then my work was judged at the national competition.” The FFA National Judging competition began in June. Swinson was then interviewed about what she had done in her high school career and that was judged against students from Georgia, Kentucky and Missouri. Swinson spoke about how her experimentation on sheep have progressed in the last four years. She determined what changes in nutrition and selection could be made to sheep in order to outperform other show ring animals in competition. “The projects I worked on were determining what genetics to keep in my flock, testing supplements, cured sheep of copper toxicity and the cause of resistance in antibiotics,” said Swinson. During the FFA national competition, one of her biggest projects she talked about was testing the effectiveness of feed supplements and treatment to reduce copper toxicity in stressed sheep. Copper toxicity is know to lead to shock or even death in sheep. “Sheep keep their cooper storage in their liver. During times of stress, such as feed storages, the copper is dumped from their liver which can send the lamb into shock,” she said. In order to fight the effects of the problem, Swinson started doing research on those issues. She found that there were several different ways to treat the levels but could be very expense. For the test she placed five lambs of feed. One received ration and various treatments. Swinson then drew blood for a baseline and ran a copper serum test before and after each treatment. “I lost one of my show lambs my sophomore year to copper toxicity,” said Swinson. “I found the best treatment that was cost effective to bring copper levels back to normal. I concluded that sodium thiosulfate was the most cost effective because it dropped copper levels from 1.49 to 1.27ppm at $2 a treatment.” After presenting her body of work and solutions to curing copper toxicity to the National Agriscience Proficiency panel of judges, she was elected the national winner of the competition.

SSHS to host Veterans Day Celebration Nov. 11

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Sulphur Springs High School will host a Veterans Day program Tuesday, Nov. 11, to celebrate current and past members of the military along with their spouses.

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Senior Citizens Center offers variety of programs, including 4 new classes

The Senior Citizens Center in Sulphur Springs offers a variety of activities regularly for people age 50 and older, including bingo, several exercise and fitness classes, and even a monthly birthday party for regulars.

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Sounds of the Season

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 As the holiday season approaches, the North East Texas Choral Society and Music Director Carol Allen are hard at work on their Christmas performance entitled “Once Upon a Christmas,” which will premier Dec. 5 at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center.

The annual event will include a 100-member chorus performing all the Christmas favorites along with a few new songs that Allen says will bring joy to the holiday season.

“If you have never heard 100 voices singing together, you do not know what you are missing,” said Allen. “Every concert, we have more than one person that says, ‘This is my first time and I will never miss another.’”

Sulphur Springs High School music teacher Beth Crutcher will be one of the soloists this year. This is Crutcher’s second outing with the choral society, but Allen says this presentation will be very special.

“Beth will sing 'And The Stars Sang,' a truly beautiful song,” said Allen. “The way the song fits with her voice is just gorgeous, I look forward to woking with her during her career at Sulphur Springs High School.”

Others performing solos will be Marlin Chisom, Kellie Cody, Waylon Jordan and Mike Dodd. Allen explained that each solo or duet was especially chosen for a performer’s voice.

“It will be an enchanting and magical experience,” she said.

One of the highlights of the evening will be the rendition of “Christmas Dreams.

” Allen said the piece is not only musically complex but will bring a tear to the eye of everyone in the audience.

“If there is one song that deeply describes Christmas, it would be that song,” she said. “If you paid your $10 and came to the concert and only heard that one song, you would walk out the door and say you spent the best $10 all Christmas season.”

Like in previous years, the concert will have two parts. The first act will feature traditional Christmas favorites, followed by songs about the birth and life of Jesus Christ in the second act.

“We try to bring both sides of the Christmas experience. You have songs about Santa Claus and favorites like 'I'll be home for Christmas' that tug at your heart,” said Allen. “We also tell the story of a baby that comes as the audience waits, anticipates, believes until salvation comes to the earth once again. We believe in both sides of Christmas.”

The concert will be Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. in the Civic Center. Tickets are $10 in advance for adults and $5 for children or $12 dollars at the door with a special $25 dollar family price. For $25, the family package includes two adult tickets and four children’s tickets.

Allen encouraged everyone to bring as many children as they could for the performances.

“You have known these songs all your life and are waiting to hear them again,” said Allen. “We want everyone to enjoy this experience.” She also recommended that those who are cold-natured should bring a blanket to the concert.

The News-Telegram will also be giving away two pairs of tickets Tuesday, Nov. 25, for the concert the following week. To submit an entry, email your name and telephone number to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or stop by the News-Telegram office at 601 Church St. and ask for Jon Lance or Butch Burney. There will also be a post on Facebook to leave your information at the mySSnews.com web page. The drawing will be the morning of Nov. 25 with the winner contacted by noon.

United Way gets biggest weekly donations to date

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Hopkins County United Way’s weekly campaign report Wednesday blew away last week's record-breaking donations with several homeruns by heavy hitters like Grocery Supply Company, Ocean Spray, Flowserve and Sulphur Springs Independent School District. Campaign President Chris Voorheese commented that through the year there have been several great weeks but Wednesday morning, at the AgriLife Extension building, something big happened.

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