News and Culture Notebook

KETR News Director Mark Haslett’s multimedia blog about Northeast Texas and the world.


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.

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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.

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."

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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.

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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.


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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

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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.

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News and Culture Notebook
1:42 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Stunning video of Dallas shot by mini-copter

Brian Aiken's video of Dallas has been buzzing on the Internet.

If you're wondering how high those little helicopters with cameras can go, the answer is: Pretty high. Watch this video of Dallas.

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News and Culture Notebook
10:09 am
Sun August 4, 2013

John Graves: The soft-spoken master of Texas literature

John Graves
wikimedia commons

W.K. Stratton, president of the Texas Institute of Letters, shares his thoughts on Texas writer John Graves, who died July 31 at his home near Glen Rose.

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News and Culture Notebook
2:22 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, United States of America

If you've never heard Paul Robeson singing "Ballad for Americans," here it is.

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Mark Haslett's blog
11:04 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

New media and soccer, L.A. style

Jorge Villafana of Chivas USA, right, and Zach Loyd of FC Dallas compete during a Major League Soccer match in 2012 in Carson, Calif. FC Dallas is hosting Chivas USA on July 4 in Frisco.

FC Dallas is hosting Chivas USA on July 4 in Frisco. Here's a look at the 21st-century fan culture of Los Angeles' "other" soccer team.

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News and Culture Notebook
10:27 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Larger 'dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico predicted

An oxygen-starved hypoxic zone, commonly called a dead zone and shown in red, forms each summer in the Gulf of Mexico. Fish and shellfish either leave the oxygen-depleted waters or die, resulting in losses to commercial and sports fisheries.

If you're planning a Gulf of Mexico trip this summer, it might be worth the extra drive to visit South Texas instead of Louisiana.

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Mark Haslett's Blog
11:56 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Some weekend reading about domestic surveillance

President Obama and former president George W. Bush: Similar stances when it comes to what have been called "national security" issues.

As usual, the headlines are long on drama, short on context. ProPublica offers some help in understanding an issue that seems to have the country and its government on different pages.

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Mark Haslett's Blog
5:23 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

How do you say something's the crawfish's pajamas?

Mmm, crawfish beignets. Or are they crawdad beignets? Depends on what part of the South you're from. And if you say "crayfish," chances are you also say "you guys."

Maps are fun, visual representations of data are more fun and talking about how Southerners are different from the rest of the country - that's the most fun of all.

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News and Culture Notebook
8:11 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Baseball's melee that will live in infamy

Credit Mark Haslett

Tonight's anniversary of an ugly moment in baseball history provides a reminder that the past isn't any more innocent than our own time.

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