Mark Haslett

News Director

Mark Haslett comes to KETR having served at High Plains Public Radio in Amarillo, where he worked as News Director and later as Director of Programming. His work has been broadcast on National Public Radio, KERA, KCUR and other public radio stations. Haslett enjoys the privilege and responsibility of keeping communities well-informed. He has also worked as an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Southwest and Midwest. Haslett developed a passion for radio as a youth, when he helped his father, a program host at WRBC-AM in Jackson, Miss. He enjoys travel and has worked abroad in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Haslett is a graduate of Arlington High School and earned a B.A. in English from Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

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The Lions are seeking a second consecutive Lone Star Conference Championnship. A&M-Commerce celebrated the 2014 title at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 1 following a 91-13 defeat of McMurry.
Texas A&M University-Commerce

There was a time in college football when a talented corps of wide receivers was considered a luxury. Nice, but not essential. Now, teams flourish or fail based on their ability to keep up with the pass-happy pace of today’s game.

A cross marks the spot of a head-on collision that killed two people on State Highway 19 east of Cooper on Aug. 13.
Mark Haslett

Last month, two people died as a result of a head-on crash a few miles east of Cooper. KETR’s Mark Haslett takes a look at the safety record of a stretch of road familiar to everyone who travels between Cooper and Sulphur Springs.

In Greenville, a woman and a young man are recovering from non-life-threatening injuries suffered in a shooting that happened during the early morning of on Sunday.

Greenville police responded to a call in the 2300 block of Walnut Street at 4:22 a.m. on Aug. 30. Police said that an officer arrived to find a teenaged boy with a wounded foot and a woman with a wounded arm.

Commerce Assistant City Manager Steve Wilson
City of Commerce

The Greenville Herald-Banner has reported that the Texas Rangers are investigating Commerce Assistant City Manager Steve Wilson. The purpose of the investigation has not been released.

“Since Mr. Wilson serves as the Assistant City Manager, the Commerce Police Department was conflicted from conducting an investigation and I requested that the Rangers look into the matter,” Hunt County District Attorney Noble Walker told the Herald-Banner. “Once the investigation is complete, we will then determine what, if any, further action is to be taken.”

It's uncertain whether the Bealls stores in Greenville, Paris, Rockwall and Sulphur Springs will survive their parent company's plan to close an undetermined number of locations.
Greenville Herald-Banner

Financial woes at the parent company of Bealls department stores have placed the future of its Northeast Texas and other locations in doubt.

Houston-based Stage Stores, Inc., announced today that it plans “to close approximately 90 underperforming stores” from among its four chains: Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal and Peebles.

Texas county burn bans as of Aug. 11, 2015.
Texas A&M University Forest Service

Kaufman County and Van Zandt County have implemented bans on outdoor burning, as hot and dry conditions intensify throughout Texas.

Grass fires have presented a problem throughout North and Northeast Texas in recent days. On Aug. 10, a three-alarm fire south of Lone Oak, in Hunt County, firefighters from the Lone Oak, Cash, Point, West Tawakoni and Campbell fire departments combined forces to battle a blaze that consumed 18 acres, including 60 hay bales, a tractor and a hay baler, according to Hunt County Fire Marshal Richard Hill.

The swampy areas around Caddo Lake and Lake o' the Pines have had the lowest rainfall totals compared to average local conditions.
National Drought Mitigation Center

The rains of spring are but a memory, and a familiar presence has returned to Texas: Drought.

The most recent federal data for the Lone Star State shows that while it’s mainly precipitation as usual in the bone-dry western half of Texas, the more humid eastern part of the state has been deprived of rainfall.

The Ark-La-Tex region has the lowest precipitation totals compared to average local conditions, with the driest area in the vicinity of Lake o’ the Pines and Caddo Lake.

A vacant property between Farmersville and Lake Lavon is the site of a proposed Muslim cemtery.
Mark Haslett

A proposed Muslim cemetery between Farmersville and Lake Lavon has resulted in concern among locals. Media organizations from The Huffington Post to England’s Daily Mail have run stories on the issue. Currently, the permitting processed has been paused, while the City of Farmersville waits on a plat map of the project from the Islamic Association of Collin County.

Audio transcript

Lucas Hill
provided image

A former Cumby schoolteacher has been indicted on charges of child sexual exploitation.

Lucas R. Hill, 38, of Sulphur Springs, has been charged with producing child pornography, enticing a minor and transferring obscene matter to a child younger than 16.

Law enforcement officers followed up on a tip from a family who found an unknown person had made a Facebook account using pictures of their minor son. An investigation led to Hill.

Lindy Guest of Red River County speaks in opposition to the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir on July 14 in Mount Pleasant.
Mark Haslett

The Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal is decades old, but this summer, there’s a new twist to the old plan. A new version of the lake would make it less than half the size that the original proposal designed. KETR’s Mark Haslett reports.

Audio transcript:

Clarksville City Manager Wayne Dial addresses members of the Texas Water Development Board Region D Planning Group in Mount Pleasant on July 14.
Mark Haslett

Clarksville public officials have a message for regional water planners: Give us options.

The Texas Water Development Board’s Region D group, which serves Northeast Texas, hosted a public forum on July 14 at the Mount Pleasant Civic Center.

Many of the 14 people who addressed the planning group presented their continued opposition to the Marvin Nichols reservoir proposal. If built, the project would flood thousands of acres of bottomland hardwood forest along the Sulphur River between Titus County and Red River County.

Matthew Jay West, 15, of Quinlan, was struck by an unknown vehicle on SH 276 on July 6.
Google Maps

Local law enforcement are searching for a vehicle which struck and killed a teenager walking along State Highway 276 Monday night, before leaving the scene, according to a Greenville Herald-Banner report.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Kyle Bradford said Matthew Jay West, 15, of Quinlan, died as the result of the crash.

In the patchwork of insurance coverage, a hospital can be "in network," but still offer "out of network" services.
NPR

There’s a new law in Texas that could help people who receive unexpectedly high medical bills due to inconsistencies in their health insurance policy.

Attorney General Ken Paxton isn't the only Texas officials who has been evading questions recently.
Texas Public Radio

In the six months before Ken Paxton won election as Texas attorney general last fall, he stayed largely out of sight. Under an ethical cloud amid claims of financial fraud, he avoided public events and rarely spoke to reporters, coasting to victory as part of new Republican leadership including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. 

Two people are reported dead following the crash of a small plane near Quinlan, in southern Hunt County.
Brad Kellar / Greenville Herald-Banner

Update, 3:24 p.m.: The aircraft in a fatal crash near Quinlan this morning has been identified as a Piper PA-24, which was reported to have taken off from the nearby T14 Rockin M airport.

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