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.

Ways to Connect

Lou Gigliotti of Princeton has filed to be on the Texas Republican Party ballot along with incumbent John Ratcliffe.
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U.S. Rep.  John Ratcliffe will likely have at least one opponent in the upcoming Republican primary election.

Lou Gigliotti of Princeton has filed to be on the Texas Republican Party ballot along with Ratcliffe.

Filing for the March 1, 2016, primary elections began on Nov. 14 and continues through Dec. 14. Early voting for the primary elections will occur Feb. 16-26.

Commerce Director of Public Works Steve Wilson
City of Commerce

A City of Commerce official has filed a lawsuit against a member of the Commerce City Council, the City of Commerce and a local bank. Stephen Wilson, the former assistant city manager, filed the suit earlier this month, and papers were served to various parties on Nov. 17.

The suit alleges that councilwoman Sue Davis “has tried and continues to try to ruin the reputation, destroy the career, and even expose to criminal liability one of the city’s employees,” referring Wilson.

The City of Commerce City Council unanimously moved to appoint Gene Lockhart to fill a vacant seat on the council.

Mayor Pro Tem Richard Hill assumed that office following the Nov. 4 resignation of former mayor Dr. John Ballotti. Hill’s seat on the council has been empty since then.

Lockhart will serve on the council until the May 2016 elections, in which voters will select a new mayor.

On the road again? There's a chance the Lions could travel to Midwestern State for a first-round playoff game.

The Javelinas from down in South Texas will always be Texas A&M University-Commerce's traditional rival. And yes, the Rams from down San Angelo way have been kind of pesky of late. The Lions also like to get after Tarleton and WT. But if you're looking for a serious rivalry - one with just a bit of bitterness - look up Highway 82 toward Wichita Falls.

The purpose of the LSC Playoffs, like the Lions' alternate uniform, is kind of gray.
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Some folks around the Lone Star Conference have called it a “circular firing squad.” Others have used names that aren’t printable. Even those not quite as grumpy about the idea have a hard time explaining it because, like a transitional relationship status, it’s complicated.

Perhaps a catechism might be the best format for exegesis of a concept as nuanced as the Lone Star Conference Football Playoffs. Texas A&M University-Commerce and Midwestern State University will kick off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Commerce in the title game of this tournament. 

Exit Interview: Ballotti Discusses Resignation

Nov 6, 2015
Dr. John Ballotti resigned from his position as mayor of Commerce on Nov. 4.
Mark Haslett

Dr. John Ballotti resigned from his position as mayor of Commerce on Nov. 4. He read the following letter at a City Council meeting that evening to announce his decision.

The pipeline from Cushing, Okla., to the Texas Gulf Coast began operating in January 2014.
StateImpact Texas

President Obama announced today that the United States has rejected the Canadian company TransCanada’s application for a permit to complete the Keystone XL pipeline.

However, in Northeast Texas, TransCanada’s pipeline remains a done deal. The southern leg of the Keystone XL project, renamed the Gulf Coast Pipeline, was constructed in 2012-13 and went into active service in January 2014.

Collin, Dallas, Delta, Fannin, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar and Rockwall counties are currently under a tornado watch until 8 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for 43 Texas counties, including Collin, Dallas, Delta, Fannin, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar and Rockwall counties. The watch is currently scheduled to remain in effect until 8 p.m. this evening. The total area under watch includes roughly the eastern half of Oklahoma and large parts of North and Central Texas.

Edit, 4:02 p.m.: Hopkins and Franklin counties have now been added to the tornado watch area.

The new law will go into effect on Aug. 1, 2016.
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Texas A&M University-Commerce is seeking input from students, faculty and staff as it crafts its policy regarding the new “Campus Concealed Carry” law which will go into effect on Aug. 1, 2016. All schools in The Texas A&M University System, including A&M-Commerce, will submit campus-carry policies and procedures to the chancellor and the Board of Regents by Feb. 1, 2016, for review. The schools and the system will then have six months to determine final specifics of each member institution’s policy until the new law becomes active.

The Lions have won the Lone Star Conference football championship for two consecutive seasons.

No one expected winning a second consecutive Lone Star Conference championship to be easy. And it wasn’t. But Texas A&M University-Commerce secured back-to-back league titles with a 27-14 defeat of Midwestern State University at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 24.

Dr. Christopher Gonzalez, Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez spoke with KETR's Mark Haslett on Oct. 15 before a presentation at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Sarah Northam / Texas A&M University-Commerce

The enduring power of the “Love and Rockets” comics by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez lies in the storytelling.

Critics have focused on particular aspects – the influence of Mexican-American culture, the influence of punk rock, the drawing styles, and of course, the now-venerable reaction of “Boy, those are some mighty grown-up themes for a comic book!” But the readers keep coming back because, 34 years after “Love and Rockets” started, they still love the stories.

The new marker is written in both traditional and contemporary Mandarin Chinese.
Jared Horn / Texas A&M University-Commerce

An official Texas State Historical Marker - the first of its kind in Chinese - was unveiled at the birthplace of Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault at 1509 Monroe St. in Commerce on Oct. 14. About 300 people attended the dedication ceremony, which was broadcast live on KETR.

Nate Newton, left, stopped by KETR before a speaking engagement at A&M-Commerce. At right is Dr. LaVelle Hendricks, who organized the event.
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro Guard Nate Newton has some words for parents who have casually allowed their child to play football until high school, at which point they become concerned about head injuries.

“If you’re not going to teach kids how to tackle properly in Pop Warner and you’re not going to teach them how to tackle properly in middle school – and then you start worrying about it in high school, it’s a little bit too late,” Newton said.

Wide receiver Lance Evans (7-97, 3 TDs) had a stellar evening for the Lions.

The much-anticipated matchup between no. 18 Texas A&M University-Commerce and no. 10 Delta State University lived up to its billing as a tilt between two heavyweights. But even though the Lions led for most of the evening, when the bell rang out the end of the final round, the visiting Statesmen won the evening with a 51-44 triumph.

Sulphur Springs Police have said that a standoff in Cumby ended in suicide today.
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A police attempt to serve a warrant to a Cumby man led to a standoff that ended in a Cumby man’s death, apparently by suicide, according to police.

Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jay Sanders said that his department’s Special Crimes Unit went to Commerce Street in Cumby this morning to serve a warrant to a man living there. The man came to the door with a rifle but did not point it at the officers, he said. As officers took cover and the man went back inside, Sanders said. Officers then heard a gunshot, he said. Police called the Hopkins County Command SWAT unit to provide backup.