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

Fans from Southern Mississippi and Washington began arriving early this morning.
Mark Haslett

This evening's story is not a comprehensive history of the Cotton Bowl. As a pro football fan with limited interest in the college game, I lack the knowledge to wax eloquent about the glory days of the Southwest Conference as played out at Fair Park. What follows is a reflection written from the press box where Blackie Sherrod, Bob St. John, Randy Galloway, Frank Luska and many other bright writers worked before this particular dim bulb darkened the doorway.

The shooting happened near the intersection of Lee Street in Washington Street in Commerce.
Google Maps

A shooting Thursday night in Commerce resulted in two people being hospitalized with injuries. The incident occurred shortly after 10 p.m. in the 1300 block of Lee Street, near the intersection of Lee and and Washington Street, one block east of the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus.

Indentities and other details about the victims have not been released. Multiple shots were fired during the incident, police said. Officials said they believe the incident was a continuation of a dispute that had begun earlier during the day.

Waylon Jennings
Wikimedia Commons

Good news, Lions fans. The Carthel regime should be here for three more seasons, maybe longer. 

Colby Carthel has led A&M-Commerce to two consecutive Lone Star Conference football championships.

 Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Dan Jones and Director of Athletics Tim McMurrayannounced today that Head Coach Colby Carthel has signed a three-year contract that keeps him at the helm of the Lions football program through the 2018 season, with opportunities in the agreement to extend it through 2020.

The alarm over an adult apparently soliciting a child near Crockett Elementary School in Greenville has been determined to be a false alarm, according to a release from Greenville police. 

The incident happened during the evening of Nov. 17. A student walking home from Crockett Elementary observed a black Ford Mustang nearby and heard an adult in the car say “Hey, come here,” police said.

In Greenville, a Crockett Elementary School student reported being solicited by a stranger, according to a release by Greenville police.

The incident happened during the evening of Nov. 17, police said. A student walking home from Crockett Elementary observed a black Ford Mustang approach the student, the release said. An adult, described as an African-American with braided hair, said “Hey, come here,” to the child, police said.

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.

Top of the LSC: A&M-Commerce and Midwestern State enter the season as the teams to beat in the Lone Star Conference.

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.