WATCH: Light ’em up! 40th annual Great Texas Balloon Race

Founded in 1978, the Great Texas Balloon Race has become one of the premiere ballooning events in the world. Click here to watch highlights.

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Hidden among the pines, The Blue Hole is preserved as a Texas treasure

Nestled in the Angelina National Forest in Deep East Texas, 36 miles southeast of Lufkin, is one of the hidden jewels of Texas. The Blue Hole, as it’s known, is a brilliant blue-green-colored lake surrounded by the craggy white sandstone cliffs of a former rock quarry. First opened in the late 1800s, rock was removed…

New spacecraft named after astronaut killed in E. Texas space shuttle tragedy

The next cargo spacecraft to launch to the International Space Station will bear the name of an American astronaut killed in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy over East Texas. An Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo resupply spacecraft bearing the name S.S. Rick Husband will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on March 22. Husband served as commander of…

Where to find the best gumbo in Texas

Texas is proud of its culinary heritage — a figurative and literal melting pot of cultures and signature dishes known the world over. Drawing discerning foodies from around the world, the Lone Star State is no longer catering only to those with a taste for barbecue. Kitchens are serving up creations by world-renowned chefs and…

East Texas Symphony presents ‘Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant’

Have you ever heard of a “Zipperpotamus,” a “Panthermometer,” or a “Pop-Up Toadster?” These imaginative animals come to life illustrated in the children’s book, “Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant” were brought to life in the East Texas Symphony’s Family Concert on Saturday, February 27. I had the great privilege of serving as narrator for the poetry,…

Remembering a pioneer in East Texas television history

This week, we learned of the passing of KLTV’s first chief engineer, Hudson Collins, who lived a long life of 94 years. While I never had the opportunity to meet him, I’m fascinated by many of the details of his pioneering career. An engineer is an important position in any television station, but he holds…

Pastor’s spiritual walk leads him from orphanage to Capitol Hill

As a coach, pastor, and foster parent, Reverend Jerome R. Milton has touched the lives of hundreds of East Texans. On December 12, 2012, his devotion to spreading the word of God earned him an invitation to lead the U.S. House of Representatives in prayer as guest chaplain. After an introduction by East Texas congressman…

Actor Kirk Cameron shares his spiritual walk from atheist to evangelist

Actor Kirk Cameron became a pop culture idol as the star of the 1980s hit TV comedy ‘Growing Pains.’ Raised in a family without God, he found his faith while portraying teenager Mike Seaver on the ABC sitcom. Now, as one of the most prominent Christian voices in Hollywood, Cameron is inspiring others by sharing…

Advice from a 105-year-old with no intent of slowing down

What a privilege and honor it was Wednesday morning to visit with Tyler resident Earline Andrews on her 105 birthday. She happens to be the oldest living graduate of my alma mater, Northwestern State University! I don’t think she could have been more delighted when we arrived with a beautiful bouquet of flowers on behalf…

Celebrating 60 years of broadcasting in East Texas

Happy birthday KTRE! This weekend our station, serving Deep East Texas, celebrated 60 years of broadcasting excellence and service to the community. Hundreds of East Texans, local and state dignitaries, along with KTRE staffers, both past and present, gathered at the studios north of Lufkin for a Texas-sized celebration. A few families even camped out in…

Theology on Tap serves up Bible study with a twist

A Christian men’s group in Tyler is reaching out the faithful in an unlikely way, through Bible study with a twist. Theology on Tap provides fellowship and conversations about faith and spirituality in a casual setting. Rev. Justin Braun, a priest with the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, helped start the group in 2012. “We’re East…

Tornado flattens Hopkins Co. homes, businesses; fire station destroyed

The National Weather Service is expected to survey a nearly five-mile wide debris field to determine if a tornado is responsible for extensive damage in Hopkins County on Thursday, April 3, 2014. A trained storm spotter reported a possible tornado that touched down around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday in the community of Birthright, north of Sulphur…