May-June 2016

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Blue Dog Art Featured in Longview Exhibit

The Longview Museum of Fine Arts is presenting “The Art of George Rodrigue: A Retrospective,” a collection of more than 50 original paintings by the famed artist through June 25.

Letterbox Enthusiasts Hunt for Treasures

The historic Oakwood Cemetery in Jefferson is not the most likely place to find a teenage girl happily meandering through graves and tombstones. But to Caitlin Thomas, the hunt for treasure is an adventure that propels her through the grim, moss-covered grave markers.

Nick Transfers from Foster Care to College

In 2015, The Department of Family and Protective Services awarded Nick (last name withheld for confidentiality) with the “Texas Foster Youth of the Year” award. He spent six years in the foster care system and is now attending college with a 3.5 GPA.

Enjoy the Outdoors All Year Long with Enclosure System

Homeowners can now comfortably enjoy the outdoors all year long regardless of the weather forecast, thanks to advances in enclosure systems.

Gilmer Band Expands Boundaries

East Texas’ own Darrin Morris, a rising country music artist, has added a powerful manager to his band’s team by partnering with Upward Artist Management which promises to increase Morris’ presence regionally and nationally as well as get noticed in the hot Nashville scene.

Romance Stories Feature Pets and Benefit Charities

Tyler writer Olivia Hardin teamed up with six other bestselling authors from across the nation to release an anthology of steamy romances, each featuring a scene-stealing pet. The best part is that all of the net proceeds of Love Paws are donated to animal rescue charities.

Bluegrass Kicks Off Festival

The Texas Blueberry Festival kicks off Friday night with the Blueberry Bluegrass Concert in the Park June 10 at Festival Plaza in downtown Nacogdoches.

Local Student Wins Place in State Art Contest

Nine-year-old Makayla McLemore of Ben Wheeler won a runner up spot in the 2016 Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Treasures of the Texas Coast Children’s Art Contest.

2016 Summer Movie Releases

A plethora of new movies release this summer so there should be something to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Two are rooted in very different Civil War themes than movies of old with Free State of Jones based on a true story of deserters that opposed slavery, and Captain America: Civil War that follows Marvel’s comic books storyline.

Athens Is Home of the Hamburger

National Hamburger Day is May 28 and while people celebrate with a thick, juicy one with everything on it, they may be interested to learn that the East Texas town of Athens holds claim to where the all-American sandwich got its start.

Stars and Scars Mud Run Scheduled in Kilgore

For a true adventure bound to make competitors get “down and dirty,” sign up for the Stars & Scars Mud Run happening in Kilgore on Saturday, June 25.

Concrete Floats in Engineers' Canoe Competition

Lake Tyler joins the globe’s sites of engineering feats extraordinary when student engineers put to the test their seaworthy vessels actually made of concrete.

Director Launches Film Program at Wiley College

Having first become acquainted with Wiley College during the filming of The Great Debaters in which he acted in a supporting role, film director Nate Parker has more plans for the college in Marshall.

Ring in Freedom for the Free State of Jones

Releasing on June 24 this year is the Free State of Jones starring Longview native Matthew McConaughey as the lead character, Newton Knight. Set during the Civil War, it is based on the true story of Knight who was a farmer, soldier and was best known as the leader of the Knight Company, a band of army deserters that turned against the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Ellen DeGeneres Celebrates Two Milestones

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of Ellen DeGeneres’ graduation from Atlanta High School in Northeast Texas in 1976. By all accounts and not surprisingly she was fun and outgoing. She liked to play tennis and was “Outstanding Tennis Player” of 1975 among other awards she garnered during her high school years. DeGeneres moved to Atlanta with her family when she was 16 years old from the New Orleans area.

Catrow Highlights Children’s Literacy Festival

The third annual Dogwood Children’s Literacy Festival, set for May 21 in Palestine, features David Catrow, a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator.

Video Contest Stars Bankhead Highway

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Bankhead Highway, which traverses through much of East Texas while connecting the east coast with the west coast. To celebrate, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) asks for general public submissions of video capturing experiences along the highway.

Jamie Foxx is Cast as Little John in new Robin Hood

Oscar-winning Hollywood actor and Terrell native Jamie Foxx is cast as Little John in the latest Robin Hood movie set to release in 2017.

Northeast Texas People

Cruise Highway 11 For Summer Adventures

As families and individuals alike get working on their grand travel plans, County Line Magazine offers a handy itinerary for a good head start. Drive down a road less taken: Isn’t that where all adventure begins?

Handy Road Trip Apps

Ryan Beaver Finds Meaning Through His Music

He might live in Nashville now, but country singer/songwriter Ryan Beaver credits his hometown of Emory for the reason he found his passion in music.


The East Texas native and songwriter extraordinaire not only celebrates his birthday June 27 but Will Jennings was recently named to the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association. He was among good company since other inductees this year were Roy Orbison, Joe Ely, and J.D. Souther.

Five Abandoned Places in Northeast Texas

There’s something eerie, yet beautifully intriguing, about old structures covered up with nature or decay because humans no longer care for them. Once thriving operations, one can now only speculate about the memories made in these locations.

Walt Wilkins, Crystal and Will Yates, Headline Wine Fest

The Piney Woods Wine Festival is held in Lindale this year at the Picker’s Pavilion, 205 E. North Street in downtown Lindale. The event features wine tastings by the 16 wineries that make up the Piney Woods Wine Trail, many of them national award winners. Wine is sold by the bottle or glass and samples are $1 each. There’s a $5 admission fee.

Restaurant Offers Fresh Menu and Inviting Ambience

As the proverb goes, there’s nothing new under the sun. A new restaurant in Tyler challenges that notion by doing fresh things with tried-and-true ingredients.

2016 Northeast Texas Poetry in Schools Contest Winners

It was a tough call to just choose a few winners from the 674 poems submitted from students in the Upper East Side of Texas for this year’s annual poetry contest. Their words are incredibly real, with a variety of topics ranging from a new puppy, beauty, family, death, hope and despair to being free. Many thanks to this year’s judges — professional writers and educators Melissa DeCarlo, Ed Garcia, Kate Hart, Justin Robinson, and Carol Thompson — and to the kids who bravely go forth with pen in hand.