Even through high school basketball season doesn’t start until November, Lonoke Chamber of Commerce members heard about the upcoming basketball season during their meeting Oct. 3.

"They are very, very excited for the first time they get in that building [Gina Cox Center] and play a game," Lonoke High School boys basketball coach Dean Campbell said. "It’s going to be a lot of fun for our guys."

He said the team finished second in their conference, but were disappointed not only for themselves but for the seniors that the team didn’t make it to the state tournament.

"As a result of that, there is a different attitude that I feel in the weight room and when out on the floor. I see at times they are really working hard, getting themselves out of their comfort zone," Campbell said.

He said the team is hungry to get back winning again. He said the team had a good summer, but had ups and downs that helped them keep focused.

With a month and a half until the season starts, Campbell said the team still has time to get more work done.

Campbell asked the community to please come out to a game to experience the new facility and support the teams.

Lonoke High School girls basketball coach Nathan Morris said the basketball team numbers are up since past years and he credits the new Gina Cox Center for that.

This year, Morris said 15 girls are on the team, but there are only two seniors and all are staying healthy.

"When I tell them we are practicing in there [Gina Cox Center] their eyes light up and practice is better," Morris said.

He said the school would host a Christmas tournament, called the Gold Fish Classic, in the new center Dec. 26, 27 and 28. He said fish farmers are helping sponsor the tournament. Morris also said the school plans to submit a bid to host the state tournament.

Michele Kulesa with the AR Crime Info Service explained a program, called REPORT IT, that if a person wants to keep track of property, a person may set up an account of their personal property with photo and serial number, so if it’s stolen, the person may print out a photo and their information and take it to the police department and when the stolen item is taken to a pawn shop, the pawn shop may enter if the information to check if it was stolen. Go to www.leadsonline.com to register property.

Chamber director John Garner told attendees the chamber’s main fundraiser, Shoot 4 Fun, would be from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Remington Gun Club.

Garner said 22 chamber members are out selling goose bands that give people a chance to win bullets. There is also a men, women and children’s raffle tables. The event has trapshooting along with a kindle corner for children of all ages to shoot BB guns and archery with targets. He also said the event would have free hotdogs, hamburgers and drinks along with a kindle corner for children of all ages to shoot BB guns and archery with targets.

Garner said the I-40 interchange project is 3 weeks ahead of schedule and should be completed by end of July 2014. He also said Waffle House is still coming to Lonoke, but construction hasn’t started yet.

For October, Joe Wilson received the community "hero" award during the luncheon. Chamber president Leanna Rich read Wilson’s nomination: "Very deserving of this award. Lifetime of community service.

•Active in his church for many years. Has been a member of Lonoke Baptist Church for over 60 years.

•Sponsored many kids to be able to go to church camp.

•Has a true heart for the Exceptional School and its clients.

•Always volunteering his time to do anything concerned with the Lion’s Club.

•Volunteered his time to help get fair grounds ready for County Fair until recent years.

•He has helped make it possible for the Lonoke Lodge to help people in need with monetary donations. He also gave his time to buy, prepare, and fry fish for Fish Frys that raised money to help people in need. He still continues to give his time to mow the Lodge yard.

•Wilson has been on the Lonoke Exceptional School board for 20 plus years. He has been involved with the Exceptional School since it was founded in 1971, first through his wife Gretchen and then by serving on the board. He has achieved the status of lifetime board member of Lonoke Exceptional School and serves as treasurer of the Board. He attends every board

meeting and fund-raiser.

*He was born and raised on the farm and farmed most of his life until retirement in 1984. He started farming north of Lonoke on Hwy 89 in the early 1950’s if not before. He always joined his neighbors during harvest and they just moved

from one field to the next harvesting rice and soybeans. There were several neighbors that participated in this.

•He has been a member of White Oak Lake Hunting Club near Camden since the late 60’s and hasn’t missed many deer hunts since that time. To this day, he still enjoys going to the deer woods.

•He is probably one the most loyal customers of Pruett’s Barbeque that the business has ever seen.

•He has received numerous service awards and recognition throughout his lifetime, but maintains a humble attitude. He is still "giving" at the age of 90, almost 91."

The Lone Oak Cafe sponsored the chamber lunch. The next chamber lunch will be at noon Nov. 7.