Hopkins County Stew

By Billy Sam Elliott | Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce President

July 21, 2005 -- The Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club recently held a ribbon cutting for Harper Allstate Insurance Company and Financial Services, which is owned by Liz Harper and located at 886 East Lennon Drive in Emory. Liz is the former Liz Dawson, daughter of Charles Dawson who recently had a ribbon cutting at his newly acquired business, South Sulphur Feed Store, on Mulberry Street here in Sulphur Springs. Our congratulations also to Lance and Ashley Reppond, the new owners of the Sears store in the Spring Village Shopping Center, who promise the same great service provided by the former owners, Glenn and Mary Hall.

Chamber mixer

The Chamber Ambassador Club, along with James Hulen Photography and Frames, will host a Chamber "mixer" this afternoon from 4 p.m. until 6 pm at the new location of the photography studio at 1003 Gilmer St. The public is invited to attend this event.


Stew time? Already?

Barbara Lennox is the first cook to register for the 2005 "World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest," which is set for Saturday, Sept. 17. Lennox' stew sponsor is Gober-Merrell Auto Group. It doesn't seem possible, but the stew contest is less than two months away. Letters were mailed to all participants of last year's stew contest recently, advising them of the date and deadline for reserving their cooking sites. That deadline for the cooking teams to secure the cooking sites from the year before is Friday, Aug. 26. After that date, the unclaimed cooking sites will be available for new cooking teams, or those who wish to change sites, on a first-come, first-served basis.

I've also heard from another competitor who has missed cooking the past couple of years due to health problems. Joe Cerretani has advised that he will be back this year and will compete in the stew and the Campsite & Costume portion of the contest. Joe is a past winner in the Campsite and Costume contest and will certainly give the other contestants in the Super Campsite contest a run for the money.

The stew contest this year will feature the second annual "Great Duck Race" at "Duck Downs" on the Coleman Lake "aqueduck" (the creek which runs through the stew grounds). Dana Cleaver will, again, head up the duck race, and the Stew Contest Chairman is James Van Winkle. The duck race will immediately follow the stew contest. Ducks may be purchased for $5 each at several locations throughout the city, and the owner of the winning duck will be awarded a $500 prize. Second place finisher will receive $250, third place $100 and the last place finisher will receive the "lame duck" award of $50 just for making the effort. City Manager Marc Maxwell assures us that there will be plenty of water in the stream for the annual "duck downs" event.

This city works

Speaking of Marc Maxwell, Marc met with the Chamber Board of Directors this month, giving the Board an update on various projects currently under way, as well as those projects planned for the future. The City's Capital Improvement Project crew is ceaselessly replacing sewer and water lines, and the city is overlaying several of the city streets, giving them a new appearance and smooth driving surface. The intersection at South Davis and Kyle streets (by Austin Elementary School) is not only serviceable, but beautiful as well, and is a preview of the type of work which will be done by our city crews during the renovation of the downtown area.

The State Highway 11 bypass is still a couple of years away, according to Maxwell, but with the cooperation of Hopkins County Commissioners and Texas Department of Transportation, the project is progressing steadily and the Radio Road extension to Highway 11 has been given a boost by Congressman Ralph Hall who has requested appropriation funding to get that project moving. The city of Sulphur Springs has a lot on their plate right now, but with the able leadership of Maxwell and his administrative staff and employees, we'll see a lot of changes and upgrades in the not-too-distant future.

And this note: Drivers are encouraged to be especially cautious as work continues on the West Loop 301 (State Highway 19) widening project. Stop signs for Highway 11 travelers have replaced the traffic lights at Highway 11 west at Loop 301 (by Joe Bob's Convenience Store) and the traffic on Loop 301 DOES NOT STOP! The same is true for the intersection of West Loop 301 and Main Street (U.S. Highway 67 west).

Business cards wanted

And finally, to Chamber members: Our display of business cards which is located in the Chamber Office is getting low. Visitors to our community frequently peruse this business card display as they stop by the Chamber for maps and other local information. Chamber members are encouraged to bring a supply of their cards to us, at their convenience, for distribution to these visitors.

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