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Josh Allen Josh is the Managing Editor of www.eParisExtra.com. If you have a suggestion or comment about a story or possible story, you may email him at josh@eparisextra.com.

Study shows huge economic benefit of ASA Archery Tournament, Tour de Paris

In a press conference this morning at the Love Civic Center, the results of a recent study on the economic impact that two annual events have on our community were released.

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Dr. Steven Schwiff, Dean of the Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance at Texas A&M-Commerce, delivers his results from a recent economic impact study of two annual events this morning at a press conference at the Love Civic Center.

The findings showed huge benefits. The Tour de Pars, which is a one-day event, brings in $114,764 of local spending, while the two-day ASA Archery Tournament brings $1,109,195. The two combine for more than $1.2 million of local spending, according to the study.

Dr. Steven Schwiff, Dean of the Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance at Texas A&M-Commerce, was commissioned to conduct the study by the Paris Convention and Visitors Council and the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Schwiff’s findings concluded an estimated $600,000 of additional spending is generated within the county that is directly related to the two annual events, with 13 jobs that exist within the county that directly depend on the Tour de Paris and the ASA tournament.

It is this additional spending — or ‘new money’ — that the events bring in from tourists that shows the real economic impact they have on our community, not just the total event spending. For example, Dr. Schwiff said, if you have a sporting event in your community and the only people that come to the event are those in the community, that is not an economic impact.

The study also showed that overnight attendees spend a substantial amount more than non-overnight attendees, however 70% of those attending the events are non-overnight. It is estimated that overnight attendees average a group of three and spend $800, while non-overnight individuals spend $115 per person.

The three most effected sectors of our economy by these events are retail, hotel/motel and food/beverage. Since overnight attendees tend to spend more and the ASA tournament is a two-day event, it is able to bring in more spending to our county, as many of the attendees are tourists and non-county residents. Tourism spending from non-county residents generates additional economic activity within the county, according to the study.

Dr. Schwiff’s findings also say that it is estimated that an additional $300,000 to $400,000 in local impact could occur if the county were more diverse.

The ASA Archery Tournament will return to Lamar County for the eighth straight year on Thursday with the Scottie Narrell Memorial Chamber Shoot. The tournament concludes on Sunday. The Tour de Paris will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday, July 19.

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From left: Chamber of Commerce Chairman Erik Roddy, Dr. Steven Schwiff, Tourism Director Becky Semple, and Chamber President Melissa Cook

Warm temperatures return for the weekend; chance of storms on Easter

While last weekend’s cold front brought a round of severe thunderstorms on Sunday and near freezing temperatures to start this week, the coming weekend looks to be different, yet slightly similar to last week.

eParisExtra photo by Josh Allen

eParisExtra photo by Josh Allen

The good news is, the temperatures do not look to drop as they did last week — maintaining temps in the seventies for this weekend — however, the bad news is, there is a chance for scattered thunderstorms on Easter Sunday, with a slight chance of some severe.

It’s still a bit early to tell at what time the storms will come through our area on Sunday, but as of the time of this writing, there is a 50% chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms.

According to meteorologists with the National Weather Service, whereas there may be a few strong thunderstorms return to our area, there does not appear to be a threat of any kind of severe weather outbreak at this time.

Predictions and forecasts can change, so there could be little to no storm activity on Sunday or there may be more than anticipated at this time. eParisExtra will monitor the forecasts from meteorologists and keep you informed.

So far it looks like the system that could potentially bring thunderstorms will be to our west and in the panhandle area of Texas, Oklahoma and parts of Kansas on Saturday, moving east. This will likely put the storm system in northeast and east Texas, southeast and central Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas sometime on Sunday through Sunday night.

This storm system does not look, at this time, to be extremely severe, but could put a damper on some Easter plans and egg hunts with rainy conditions, but let’s hope not.

On a good note, it looks to be warmer — even less windy — than it has been this week for the Easter weekend, starting on Good Friday with a high predicted at 75° and a low of 52°. Saturday, 76° for the high and just under 60° for a low, and Easter Sunday the high is 75° and the low 61°, although there is that 50% of rain and storms on Sunday.

Next week looks to be mostly in the high seventies and eighties.

Keep an eye on eParisExtra.com for more Easter weather updates as the day gets closer.

By Josh Allen, eParisExtra 

Police ask public’s assistance in missing person investigation

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Troy Wilbord Gray, Jr.

“The Paris Police Department is investigating a missing person report and we need the public’s assistance,” Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley said on Monday.

Troy Wilbord Gray, Jr., who was known by some as ‘Leck’, was last seen around 2 a.m. on Thursday, April 10, at his residence in Paris.  Mr. Gray is a black male, 29 years of age, has black hair and brown eyes, is 6’2” and weighs 200 lbs.

The clothing he had on when he left the residence is described only as a polo type shirt, dark shorts and a cap, according to authorities.

“Mr. Gray’s vehicle was found by the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office Friday morning, burned, on a local Farm to Market road,” Chief Hundley said. ”It is very unusual for Mr. Gray to not be in contact with family.”

Wine Fest brings hundreds to downtown

Hundreds of wine connoisseurs, shoppers and downtown enthusiasts gathered on Saturday evening for wine and food tasting and shopping at the annual April in Paris Wine Fest.

Fairhaven Vineyards provides a taste to a participant at Olive Paris during the 2014 Paris Wine Fest. (Photo by Josh Allen, eParisExtra)

Fairhaven Vineyards provides a taste to a participant at Olive Paris during the 2014 Paris Wine Fest. (Photo by Josh Allen, eParisExtra)

The event, which was from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., started at the Paris Community Theatre, where participants received a wristband, custom wine glass and sampling tray, custom tote and map of participating tasting locations.

Proceeds from the event will provide funding to Paris Main Street’s Building Improvement Grant, which is a reimbursement program for owners of property in Paris’ Downtown Historical District to make improvements.

The event has sold out every year, which is limited to 350 participants, and this year was no different. Tickets were $35 each and were completely sold out weeks before the event.

People enjoyed a beautiful Saturday night full of shopping, wine tasting and samples of some of the best food Paris has to offer. Wineries from all over Texas came for the event.

Shops included in this year’s Wine Fest were SoHo Shoes and Accessories, Olive Paris, Paris Baby, Green Boutique, Gypsy Chic Boutique, Collegiate Shop, Carriage House, Spanglers, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Paris Optical.

Restaurants providing food samples for the event were Cozy Cappuccino, The Red Bear Mobile Cuisine, Paris Travel Center (Denny’s, Which Wich and Original Fried Pie Shop), Brookshire’s Bakery, Bois d’ Arc, Paris Bakery, A Piece of Cake Bakery, Schlotzsky’s of Paris, Girls and Cake, Time Flies and Fulbelli’s Restaurant.

Participating wineries providing wine for the tasting were Paris Vineyards, Homestead Winery, Fairhaven Vineyards, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Dionisio Winery, Red Road Vineyard and Winery, Enoch Stomp Vineyards and Winery, Grayson Hills Winery, Landon Winery, Maydelle Country Wines and That Guy’s Coffee.

By Josh Allen, eParisExtra

Grand jury: 24 indicted in April

A Lamar County grand jury last week handed up indictments for 24 individuals to the 6th District Court, including the indictment of Danna Comstock Taylor on the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and Bob Lee Bridges on the charge of driving while intoxicated with a child.

Lamar County Courthouse

Lamar County Courthouse

Others were indicted on charges including drug violations, theft and burglary.

Also indicted were:

Geno Ethan Allen – Possession of a Controlled Substance >4 g <200 g

John Quinton Bybee – Assault of a Family Member w/ Prior Conviction

Jackie Ray Chennault – Possession of Marijuana >4 oz <5 lbs

Evan Mitchell Cobb – Burglary of a Habitation, Felon in Possession of a Firearm

R.J. Diggs – Credit Card Abuse

Keithie Don Ellis – Violation of Protective Order w/ 12 months

Johnny Lee Exum – Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More

Courtney Jill Hampton – Theft <$1500 w/ 2 Prior Convictions

Jalen Juwan Hicks – Possession w/ Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance >1 g <4 g

Clinton Keith Hillman – Burglary of a Building

Steven Lee Irwin – Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More

Loren Dean Jenkins – Burglary of Habitation C1 & C2

Carol Jean Lane - Theft >$1500 <$20K, Possession w/ Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance >4 g <200 g in a Drug Free Zone

Gregory Brian Lawler – Possession of a Controlled Substance <1 g

Byron Anthony McCuin - Possession w/ Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance >1 g <4 g

Misty Michelle Miller – Possession of a Controlled Substance <1 g

Gary Wayne Moore – Possession of a Controlled Substance <1 g

Glenda Sue Potter – Possession of a Controlled Substance <1 g in a Drug Free Zone

Timothy Decarlos Sims – Theft <$1500 w/ 2 Prior Convictions

Cory Aaron Turk - Possession w/ Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance >4 g <200 g in a Drug Free Zone

Quarmontre Wallace - Possession w/ Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance >4 g <200 g

Bryan Michael Widner – Burglary of a Habitation