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

Sulphur Springs school officials have issued an apology and said they are investigating the incident.

Two Sulphur Springs Middle School teachers who thought some end-of-year “joke” awards would be funny later found that others were less than amused.

Dallas-based KDFW-TV reported that teachers Tim Couch and Stephanie Garner distributed “8th Annual Ghetto Classroom Awards” to an eighth-grade Special Education class.

Jerrika Wilkins, the mother of one of the students in the class, posted a photograph of the award given to her son, which was “The ‘huh?’ Award,” apparently given because the boy said “Huh?” frequently during class.

The SPCA of Texas removed over 100 cats and dogs from an unnamed facility in Hunt County on June 4.
SPCA of Texas

Update, June 5, 3:57 p.m.:

SPCA of Texas spokesperson Maura Davies has said that the June 4 transfer of animals happened at a location in Commerce. Because of the possibility that criminal charges might be filed, the SPCA of Texas is not releasing any other identifying information about the location or the people involved, other than that the animals were taken from a "rescue group."

One employee from the Hunt County Precinct 2 Constable's office was present during yesterday's event, Davies said.

“The end result of this will be to make it harder to get knowledgeable people to work in the procurement and contracting area, which undercuts the overall intent of the bill,” one engineering-industry official said.
Texas Public Radio

A provision, tucked in a bill awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott's signature, aimed at reducing conflicts of interest in state contracting is drawing concerns among state employees, particularly at the Texas Department of Transportation. 

FM 100 at Bois d’Arc Creek north of Honey Grove has been closed due to flooding.
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information updated at 2:40 p.m on Wed., May 27

Fannin County

FM 100 at Bois d’Arc Creek north of Honey Grove

Hopkins County

FM 71 east of Commerce at South Sulphur River

FM 900 north of Saltillo

Lamar County

US 271 at Red River is open but down to one lane each direction, closure possible if Red River rises

Red River County

FM 410 west of SH 37 near Red River

FM 1159 east of SH 37 at Collier Creek

Paris Junior College has campuses in Paris, Greenville and Sulphur Springs.
Paris Junior College

After enrollment in Texas community colleges peaked at 732,681 in 2011, that number has dropped to 694,881 as of fall 2014. That decline means fewer total hours spent in classrooms, which is the criterion used by the state to fund community colleges. Paris Junior College has made significant budget cuts since the 2011 legislature made enormous cuts to community college budgets. Paris Junior College president Dr. Pamela Anglin says that PJC's funding should remain close to that which was allocated by the 2013 legislature.

The version of Bill 11 that was passed in the House last night is quite different from the version that passed the Senate.

Supporters of campus carry will  be fighting against the clock on Tuesday when the Texas House takes up previously delayed legislation requiring public universities and colleges to allow concealed handguns on their campuses. 

After a month of discussion over whether to attach campus carry to another piece of gun legislation — an effort to squeeze the controversial measure through — House lawmakers opted to consider the bill, Senate Bill 11, on its own.  

JoAnn Hill's home in far northwestern Smith County lost its roof and two of its walls in a May 10 tornado. Hill and her dog survived without injury.
Mark Haslett

The far northwestern corner of Smith County lies between the Van Zandt County and Wood County lines. There, the unincorporated community of Providence lies a few miles west of Mineola. The same storm that produced a tornado that destroyed much of Van on the night of May 10 also created a smaller tornado that damaged homes in Providence.

Two people died and three remain missing as of early evening on May 11 following the tornado that struck Van on the night of May 10.
National Weather Service

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a disaster area in Van Zandt County, following last night's deadly tornado.

A possible tornado caused severe damage in Van on the night of May 10.

UPDATE, 8:33 a.m.

Local officials in Van have announced "multiple fatalities" as a result of the reported tornado that touched down in the eastern Van Zandt County town overnight. The exact number is unknown at this time, officials said.

Earlier on May 11, two people were reported in critical condition and 10 others missing after a line of severe storms hit Van Zandt County on Sunday night, according to hospital and emergency officials.

Original story:

Severe weather across North Texas and East Texas resulted in property damage and injuries on May 10. In Denton County, a tornado touched down in Argyle and that same storm did major damage in Denton on Sunday afternoon.  Later that night, a possible tornado in eastern Van Zandt County touched down in Van and damaged about 30 percent of the town. In Van, 10 people remain missing in the storm’s aftermath, local officials said.

Michael Moore has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Alicia Moore.

The Greenville-Herald Banner has reported that Michael Moore has been found guilty of capital murder in connection with the 2012 death of Alicia Moore of Greenville. The verdict was announced in in the 294th District Court in Van Zandt County court on May 8.


County and municipal elections will be held on May 9 across Texas. Some local races have inspired interest - from a highly contested mayoral race in Greenville to a ballot measure related to alcohol sales in Delta County. But even in those contests, voter participation will likely be low. 

Tony Ross, 34, died on March 8 following his arrest and detention in Sulphur Springs on March 6.
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The death of a Hopkins County man who died following a heart attack suffered in police custody has been ruled a homicide, according to an autopsy report.

Tony Chance Ross, 34, was arrested and jailed by Sulphur Springs police on March 6 and died in a Tyler hospital on March 8. In the autopsy results, the cause of death is listed as “acute methamphetamine intoxication and physical restraint.” The manner of death is listed as “homicide.”

Hannah Kirby
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Following a successful run on NBC's "The Voice," Hannah Kirby will be honored in her home town of Sulphur Springs. Kirby, 21, has been one of the top performers during this season of the program, a singing-competition-themed reality show.

The public is invited to a ceremony scheduled to begin at noon, May 6, at Sulphur Springs City Hall, 201 N. Davis St. A proclamation declaring May 6 Hannah Kirby Day will be read and a ceremonial key to the city will be presented, city events planner Gus Gustafson said. Light lunch snacks and a celebratory cake will be served, he said.

Both the Texas House and Senate are reviewing laws that would affect the operations of payday loan businesses in Texas.

The idea that payday and auto title lenders in Texas should be more regulated is not a new concept. But while such laws exist at the municipal level in some Texas cities, attempts to pass legislation at the state level have failed. At an April 29 press conference at the state capitol, lawmakers and others presented their support for state laws regulating credit access businesses.

Phillip Allen Jones
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The Hunt County Sheriff’s Department is receiving attention from outside the county for the second time this month. A video showing two Hunt County Sheriff's deputies pushing a handcuffed man into a parked car and onto a parking lot has been making the rounds in news reports and on social media.

The video, released by Dallas-based WFAA-TV, shows Phillip Allen Jones, 28, who was a prisoner of the county jail at the time, being wrestled to the pavement outside the Hunt County Courthouse.