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

Frederick Luis Aldama, at left, visited KETR on March 10. Also pictured are KETR's Matt Meinke, center, and Mark Haslett, right.
Sarah Northam

Frederick Luis Aldama, who recently spoke on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce, says that Latino culture and mainstream culture in the United States are converging in new and important ways. Aldama also points out that Latino culture in the U.S. is itself increasingly diverse.

The Lions' new softball facility features a blue infleld and a Texas-sized logo in the outfield.
Texas A&M University-Commerce

The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball program is only playing its second season, but the Lions are already one of the better teams in NCAA Division II.

Mount Pleasant Republican Thomas Ratliff
State of Texas

Thomas Ratliff, who has represented Northeast Texas on the Texas State Board of Education since 2011, chose not to run for re-election in this year's Republican Party primary election. The top two finishers in that contest - Mary Lou Bruner and Keven M. Ellis - will face one another in a May 24 runoff election, as neither candidate won a majority of the March 1 vote. Ratliff is candid in his concerns about Bruner, who he sees as someone who would be a "distraction" on the 15-member body that manages the state's Permanent School Funs and sets textbook standards for the state's public schools.

Vamsi Kalakuntla hosts "Friday Night with DJ VK" on KETR.
Mark Haslett

Vamsi Kalakuntla hosts "Friday Night with DJ VK," which features dance music from India and around the world. Kalakuntla says that he enjoys hosting a program that helps people begin their weekend on a fun note. 

Three people died in an accident involving two tractor-trailers.

Interstate 30 between Rockwall and Greenville will be in a state of transition more or less indefinitely, although not continuously. The highway is being widened to improve carrying capacity and safety.

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe defeated challenger Lou Gigliotti in the 2016 Republican primary election.
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Ratcliffe rumbles past Gigliotti

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe should be returning to Washington, D.C., to continue his representation of the 4th Congressional District in the seat formerly held by elder statesman Ralph Hall. Ratcliffe rolled past challenger Lou Gigliotti by an almost three-to-one margin. With 95.1 percent of precincts reporting, Ratcliffe had 66.2 percent of the votes (71,263), while Gigliotti trailed with 23.3 percent (25,096). Another Republican challenger, Ray Hall, finished with 10.5 percent (11,342).

Bryan Slaton of Royse City, left, lost by 369 votes to incumbent Dan Flynn of Van in the primary election for the Republican nomination for the Texas House of Representatives District 2 office.
public images

On a night when some Texas Republicans felt the wrath of the party’s right wing, State Rep. Dan Flynn kept his office – but just barely. By the time late numbers from Van Zandt County finally rolled in, to the joy of bleary-eyed politicos from Sulphur Bluff to Edom, Flynn had defeated challenger Bryan Slaton by a paltry 369 votes.

Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas
Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps more than any figure, Sam Houston personifies the spirit of Texas: Brave, ambitious, generous, unpredictable, prone to excess, humorous and sometimes violent. Texas State Historian Bill O'Neal, an East Texas State University alumnus, has written "Sam Houston: A Study in Leadership," a new work which will be premiered during a free public event on March 2 at Universities Center Dallas.

Bryan Slaton of Royse City, left, lost by 369 votes to incumbent Dan Flynn of Van in the primary election for the Republican nomination for the Texas House of Representatives District 2 office.
public images

Early-voting turnout in this year's party primary elections has been high, thanks in part to the presidential race. But among Republicans, some competitive and controversial campaigns for state, regional and local offices have also contributed to voter interest.

Senior guard Anthony Adams is averaging 13 points per game for the Lions.

Don't be fooled by the fact that the Lions aren't at the top of the Lone Star Conference. The Texas A&M University-Commerce men's basketball team, which won the LSC tournament last season, are among the six teams considered to be legitimate contenders for this year's conference crown. 

Artaejah Gay and the Lions have returned to winning ways during the 2015-16 season.

With last Saturday's victory over Eastern New Mexico, the Texas A&M University-Commerce women's basketball team assured itself of its first winning season since 2009. KETR's play-by-play announcer Charlie Chitwood discusses this year's Lions in advance of next week's Lone Star Conference tournament.

Crowning the Center Point Queen: Center Point, in Camp County, began as a Freedmen's community following the Civil War. In 1899, G.W. Goulsby opened a one-room school, the first in the settlement. In 1916 a new five-room school was built.
image courtesy of Edgie Reeves / Northeast Texas Digital Collections

For years, documents vital to the history of African-Americans in Northeast Texas gathered dust in storage or were known only to a few people. The African-American History Collection, part of the Northeast Texas Digital Collections at Texas A&M University-Commerce, provides an online archive that allows people around the world to see historic photographs, peruse school yearbooks, read church publications and hear oral histories.

Greenville police are investigating a drive-by shooting that occurred on the evening of Feb. 1. Five people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

The shooting happened in the 4200 block of Third Street, around 7:30 p.m. Shots were fired at a house, which was damaged, although no people were shot or otherwise injured.

A release from Greenville police said that a witness followed a vehicle suspected to be used in the shooting. Officers were able to find and stop the vehicle.

Commerce High will be in 3A Division I, District 7, while Cooper High will be in 3A Division 2 District 6.
Cindy Roller / KETR/Cooper Review

The 2016-18 UIL realignment will bring an about-face for the Commerce Tigers football team.

Over the past two years, Commerce High School has been in a district composed mostly of schools from suburban Dallas and others to the west. The next two years will give the Tigers a more rural, mostly eastern set of neighbors.

The truck, which was being driven by an employee of Siddons-Martin, was headed east when it left the road for unknown reasons. No City of Greenville employees were in the truck at the time of the accident.
Greenville Herald-Banner

A Greenville fire truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in Farmersville today. Two injuries, both reported as non-life-threatening, resulted from the accident.

Greenville Fire-Rescue Unit 4 was being returned from Siddons-Martin a dealer/service center in Denton today, when the truck left the roadway and struck the Dairy Queen at 201 East Audie Murphy Parkway (U.S. Highway 380).