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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Jordan Penn, left, exchanges contact information with veteran civil rights activist Rev. Peter Johnson, a former associate of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Commerce on Jan. 18. Penn is a senior at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Mark Haslett

Attendees at this year’s Hunt County African-American Leadership Conference Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards Ceremony heard a keynote speaker who wasn’t just a witness to history – he was an active participant in history.

Rev. Peter Johnson, State Rep. Dan Flynn and Pastor Larry Dixon were among local and area leaders participating in the 2015 Hunt County African-American Leadership Conference Awards Ceremony.
KETR

Mount Moriah Baptist Church hosted the Hunt County African American Leadership Conference’s 2015 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards Ceremony on Jan. 18 in Commerce.

Rev. Peter Johnson of Dallas, a former associate of King, delivered the afternoon’s keynote address. Johnson participated in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as a student activist in the 1960s and continues similar work today with the Dallas-based Institute for Nonviolence.

Law enforcement officials responded to a fatal shooting in Commerce on Jan. 13.
Kevin Jefferies / KETR

Commerce police said in a Jan. 16 statement that Corey Dominic Heath, 23, of Commerce, was shot on Jan. 13 while attempting a home invasion and robbery.

Heath, 23, of Commerce, died from gunshot wounds on Jan. 13, police said. Officers responding to a call of a possible shooting found Heath dead on the property of Lamplight Lodge Apartments, 1300 Moore St., at about 1 p.m., police said.

Artist Patrick Daugherty specializes in sculptures made from wood.
stickwork.net

Beginning January 17, Texas A&M University-Commerce will host sculptor Patrick Dougherty on campus. Dougherty was commissioned last year to create a piece for the university which he will construct during his visit. He will also hold a lecture on January 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

Law enforcement officials responded to a fatal shooting in Commerce on Jan. 13.
Kevin Jefferies / KETR

Commerce Police continue to search for a suspect following a fatal shooting at a local apartment complex. The identity of the suspect has been “potentially” established, according to a statement by Chief of Police Kerry Crews.

Crews also said that two people have been arrested and remain in custody at the Commerce Police Department on charges of Tampering with Physical Evidence in connection with the shooting.

The name of the suspect and the names of the two in custody have not been released by police.

Law enforcement officials responded to a fatal shooting in Commerce on Jan. 13.
Kevin Jefferies / KETR

Commerce Police are searching for a "person of interest" following a fatal shooting at a local apartment complex, officials said.

Corey Dominic Heath, 23, of Commerce, died from gunshot wounds on Jan. 13, police said. Officers responding to a call of a possible shooting found Heath dead on the property of Lamplight Lodge Apartments, 1300 Moore St., at about 1 p.m., police said. The complex is in central Commerce, one block east of the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus.

An attempt to escape arrest in southern Hunt County ended with a suspect injured and in jail, according to the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department.
Hunt County Sheriff's Dept.

A dramatic attempt to escape from local police in southern Hunt County ended with a suspect injured and in jail, according to a statement released on Jan. 13 by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department.

State Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van)
State of Texas

San Antonio Republican Joe Straus was re-elected to his fourth term as House Speaker today in the first vote of the 84th Texas Legislature. Straus defeated Frisco Republican Scott Turner 128-19. Turner, who represents Rockwall County and part of Collin County (District 33), was supported in his challenge by Tea Party groups and others who said Straus was insufficiently conservative.

Commerce Police have marked off a possible crime scene on the campus of Lamplight Lodge Apartments in Commerce.
Kevin Jefferies / KETR

Note: This post has been updated throughout.

4:53 p.m. - Police said that one suspect, not two, is being sought in connection with the shooting.

2:33 p.m. - Commerce Independent School District staff said that public school campuses in Commerce are under "modified lockdown," meaning that outside doors are locked and that outdoor classes and activities have been relocated indoors. Otherwise, normal class schedules are continuing. Buses will run on their usual schedule, Commerce ISD staff said.

Aliah Walker, 3, of Celeste, died on Dec. 30.
Greenville Herald-Banner

The stepfather of a 3-year-old girl who died last week in Celeste has been arrested and charged with capital murder in connection with the child’s death, according to the Greenville Herald-Banner.

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks released the following statement this afternoon concerning the death of Aliah Christine Walker, 3, of Celeste:

A 37-year-old Paris woman has reported being abducted and later escaping from captivity over the weekend of Dec. 20-21.
Paris Police Dept.

A 37-year-old woman has reported being abducted and later escaping from captivity over the past weekend, Paris police said. 

The woman told officers that the incident about 3 a.m. on Dec. 20, a release from the Paris Police Department said. From the statement:

A possible murder in northern Lamar County has led authorities to arrest two teenagers suspected of the crime.
provided image / Lamar County

A possible murder in northern Lamar County has led authorities to arrest two teenagers suspected of the crime, according to eparisextra.com.

A 66-year-old woman was found dead, apparently killed by a gunshot, on on the afternoon of Dec. 18, the report said. The woman was found in the 3000 block of FM 2648, a little more than 10 miles northeast of Paris, the report said. The woman’s car and some possessions, including a phone and credit cards were missing, Lamar County Sheriff Scott Cass said.

An active investigation of practices at the Commerce Animal Shelter prompted the SPCA of Texas to seize a dog from the facility on Apr. 9. "Medical neglect" was cited as the justification for the seizure.
provided image

A Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas investigation into the City of Commerce’s municipal animal shelter has been closed.

“The case that the SPCA of Texas had open regarding the Commerce Animal Shelter is closed as no violations to Texas Health and Safety Code were found,” SCPA of Texas spokesperson Maura Davies said on Dec. 15. “Should any future reports of suspected animal cruelty be made to the SPCA of Texas regarding the Commerce Animal Shelter, we would open a new case.”

Hundreds attended the Dec. 15 event organized in response to news that the Texas Education Agency plans to revoke the school’s charter.
Caleb Slinkard / Greenville Herald-Banner

The board of Phoenix Charter School hosted a public meeting on the future of the institution at the Texas National Guard Armory in Greenville on Dec. 15. The Greenville Herald-Banner reports that hundreds attended the event organized in response to news that the Texas Education Agency plans to revoke the school’s charter.

Phoenix Charter School is scheduled for closure on July 31, when the contract for charter officially expires.
Brad Kellar / Greenville Herald-Banner

One late financial report, two years of low standardized test scores and one year with a low graduation rate all combined to put Phoenix Charter School in Greenville in danger of losing its State of Texas charter, according to publicly a

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