News and Culture Notebook
11:27 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Dust settles, uncertainty rises after toll road meeting

An anti-toll road yard sign in Lavon.
Mark Haslett

Who would have guessed that a North Central Texas Council of Governments public meeting about a proposed toll road would provide more drama than the Texas A&M University-Commerce football season opener?

Before the Lions romped past an overmatched East Texas Baptist team at Memorial Stadium, the Council of Governments public forum in Lavon had disbanded early.

The local fire marshal shut the meeting down about 45 minutes into the evening’s proceedings. The crowd of over 300 packed into the NeSmith Elementary School lunchroom constituted a violation of fire code.

Read more
News and Culture Notebook
10:22 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Looking back at the Finals with 'NPR Sports' via YouTube

Before we say adios to the NBA for the few months before it all begins again, I'd like to invite you to join me in remembering NPR's excellent coverage of last year's Spurs-Heat NBA Finals. 

Thanks to for this moment of NPR-themed hilarity. Those of us who are Dallas Mavericks fans who did not jump on the Spurs bandwagon could use a laugh today.

10:09 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Spurs organization has lesson for Cowboys

Credit NPR

  As we have admired the exceptional play of the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs, here’s a question for Dallas Cowboys fans:  Who is Peter Holt?  

I’m a casual basketball fan, so perhaps I’m less knowledgeable than many readers, but my guess is that relatively few outside of San Antonio can identify Peter Holt as the owner of the Spurs.   Breathes there the man or woman who hasn’t heard the name of the Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones? Perhaps there’s a lesson here.

Read more
10:34 am
Fri March 21, 2014

'March Madness' - madness, indeed?

East Texas has a presence in this year's tournament - Stephen F. Austin State, which will play Virginia Commonwealth this evening.
Stephen F. Austin State University

“March Madness,” the NCAA Division I basketball tournament, is great entertainment, like a big summer action-movie blockbuster.  As a means of determining a national champion – if by “national champion” we mean “the best team” – it stinks.

Read more
News and Culture Notebook
8:47 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Enjoy the saint's day, whether the beads are Rosary or Mardi Gras


It’s not certain when St. Patrick's Day morphed from a just another saint's day into an excuse for some to get drunk to the point of near-incontinence on emerald-colored concoctions. But, sadly, that's what the holiday seems to have become in the United States.

Tonight, green Mardi Gras beads, which are as Irish as Vladimir Putin, will fly in bars from Seattle to St. Augustine. Boozy brogues will be attempted, unsuccessfully. Back in the old country, such antics would be dismissed as "a load of bollocks."

Read more
Art in the Evening
8:14 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Evan Jones Trio bassist Pitts finds 'message' in music

Chris Pitts plays bass for the Tyler-based Evan Jones Trio.
provided photo

The American psychologist Abraham Maslov said “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.”

Those words have living evidence in the form of a young double bass player named Chris Pitts. 

A native of Long Beach, Calif., Pitts spent the majority of his youth in the creative melting pot of Seattle. Pitts’ introduction to music came behind a drum set in high school band. After graduation, Pitts almost joined the military, but after his family moved to Texas, Pitts decided to try college.

Read more
Sports Notebook
11:58 am
Wed February 5, 2014

'The Globe' now home for Rangers' hopes

It's Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Texas Rangers

It might seem hard to imagine baseball on this freezing-cold day in early February. But pitchers and catchers will be reporting to training camp soon. And in just a handful of weeks, Texas Rangers fans can rejoice as the first pitch of the season is thrown at…

Globe Life Park in Arlington.


Read more
News and Culture Notebook
4:09 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Orthodox Christian Texans prepare for Christmas

Fr. Seraphim Holland of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in McKinney.
provided photo

Orthodox Christians in Texas and around the world celebrate the Feast of the Nativity - Christmas Day - on Jan. 7.

That's because Dec. 25 in the old Julian calendar falls on Jan. 7 using the newer Gregorian calendar - the one that's in common use today.

Orthodoxy, of course, isn't the most common form of Christianity in Northeast Texas. There is one Orthodox parish in the KETR listening area - St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKinney.

Read more
News and Culture Notebook
1:56 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Christmas favorites, new and old, ring clear


Happy Christmas Eve, Northeast Texas!

We had fun grumbling about our least-favorite Christmas tunes yesterday, but with the day nearly upon us, we'll get into the spirit of the season with a celebration of those Christmas songs that we love. 

An informal poll of KETR staff asking about their favorite Christmas songs resulted in a fun mix of old and new, secular and religious music.

Read more
News and Culture Notebook
2:20 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

The worst Noel? Some Christmas songs are merrier than others


Christmas music is like any other genre of music in that while some of it touches the heart, a few tunes miss the mark.

An informal poll of KETR staff revealed that - unsurprisingly - those Christmas songs cited as "least favorite" are those that have little to do with the religious aspect of the day and more to do with the secular mish-mash of commercial icons that, for better or worse, are now part of the holiday.

Read more
6:36 am
Mon December 16, 2013

An ode to Facebook


Social media – Facebook, Twitter, et al – come in for their share of criticism.   They’re blamed for facilitating bullying, narcissism, and a host of other pathologies.  Here’s a word or two on their behalf, at least on behalf of Facebook.

I suspect that Facebook has lost some of its cache with the young and with-it because old timers such as myself have adopted it for the sort of things us old timers like to do, such as keeping watch on our teenage kids.

Read more
Northeast Texas
7:46 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Bill Bradford, 1920-2013: A great broadcaster

Bill Bradford
Sulphur Springs News-Telegram

You’re familiar with the names of many of the great broadcasters … Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Johnny Carson, Paul Harvey, Oprah Winfrey.  I wonder if you know the name of another great broadcaster who practiced his trade in Northeast Texas, Sulphur Springs, to be exact.

Bill Bradford, the owner and general manager of KSST, has passed away.  He was 93, but remained engaged and productive on-the-air and in managing the daily affairs of the station until nearly the very end.

Read more
News and Culture Notebook
6:00 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'Ben' of famed ice cream duo takes on campaign finance

Ben Cohen sits with KETR News Director Mark Haslett
Jared Horn Texas A&M University-Commerce

Ben Cohen of the famous "Ben & Jerry's" ice cream brand finds the current relationship between money and political campaigns far from sweet. Cohen spoke with KETR briefly before his Tuesday evening engagement at Texas A&M University-Commerce and described his current focus on political activism.


Read more
News and Culture Notebook
3:44 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Kristofferson: Smiling at 77

Kris Kristofferson will play in Greenville Oct. 12. The show at the Dairy Manor will benefit restoration efforts for the Texan Theater.

Kris Kristofferson, the man who lived a dozen different lives before the age that most men are settling into one, isn’t done. He’s got at least one more role to play on this earthly stage. At 77, Kristofferson has become the thankful one.

I got lucky, I got everything I wanted

I got happy, there was nothing else to do

And I'd be crazy not to wonder if I'm worthy

Of the part I play in this dream that's coming true

Read more
News and Culture Notebook
9:53 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Don Carthel's dismissal a loss for Lone Star Conference

Don Carthel and family members watch Colby Carthel address attendees at the announcing of Colby Carthel's hiring as head football coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce in January 2013.
Jared Horn Texas A&M University-Commerce

There’s a shocking story from up on the high plains. West Texas A&M University fired head football coach Don Carthel on Thursday.

Read more