Gathering the grapes

Family, community members come together for first harvest Gary Daniels was worried the first harvest of his young Cross Roads vineyard wouldn’t be able to happen after fungus threatened his Tempranillo grape crop. Plenty of healthy grapes survived the gunk, and a crop of family and community helpers turned out Saturday morning to help make quick work of emptying the vines. “It’s all volunteer, and I didn’t have to ask more than once,” Gary said. He had help from fellow Cross Roads residents Sylvia Phillips, Kathryn Langley and Herman Oosterwijk on spreading the word about the harvest. About 15 people came to Loose Grape Vineyard before the heat became too intense. Tempranillo grapes grow in

2020: A call to arms

Unforeseen outcome of 2020 oddness: Huge spike in gun sales His brow slightly furrowed, Tim Cordell leaned in for a closer look at his laptop screen. “Lotta guns being sold today,” he said. “Know how I know? It normally takes five minutes on a slow day to get a background check done. It’s taking forever right now.” Days like that have been common for staff at Cordell Outdoorz since March. An uncertain American populace became anxious with the COVID-19 pandemic and in recent months affected by the protests against racism and police brutality which has led to soaring purchases of firearms nationwide. The metal building at Tioga has been pumping out guns and ammo to willing buyers at an increas

Back to the Point

Booker returns to lead Lady Cat programs Michelle Booker is back in Pilot Point ISD, and she’s excited to fill her new role as the girls’ athletic coordinator. Booker, who was part of the softball and basketball coaching staffs from 2015-2018, wants to build on the strengths her athletes already possess while helping them grow in other ways, she said. “They’re obviously doing something right to be as successful as they are,” Booker said about the girls’ teams, especially softball. “So, again, you don’t want to take that away from them if it’s working, but just be able to contribute in other places, maybe, where we may be lacking in some areas, whether it be confidence or finding what we’re m

Staying close to his roots

Jurecka leads staff at Tioga post office, near Pilot Point home Jerry Jurecka is proof you can go home again. In fact, you don’t really ever have to leave. The Pilot Point native has spent his entire career with the United States Postal System and has never left the confines of north Texas since he joined the USPS at age 19. He is currently in his third month as postmaster at the Tioga Post Office, after spending the previous seven years as postmaster at Collinsville. Jurecka said he enjoys being closer to his residence in Pilot Point, where he can go home for lunch each day. “It was harder to do that in Collinsville, but now I can just run down the road, grab a bite and it’s a lot more conv

FroFrom Iwo Jima to Pilot Point

Pilot Point resident creates flagpole to honor Marines Those with a patriotic spirit can view a tribute to the US Marines effort in Iwo Jima without leaving Pilot Point. This spring, local resident Jim LeGrotte toiled in his workshop for “about 45-50 hours” to create a miniature model of the famous statue, with a goal to finish by Memorial Day, he said. Fueled by materials from the Pilot Point Ace Hardware, LeGrotte completed the project by deadline and proudly posted his work in his yard. “We believe in shopping locally,” he said. As the Independence Day holiday arrives this weekend, many of LeGrotte’s neighbors have commented favorably on the famous silhouetted soldiers, in unison working

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