Commerce Community Action Program (C-CAP), Facebook

Dr. Bob Johnson, founder of the Commerce Community Action Program and a retired professor of social work at Texas A&M-Commerce, says C-CAP has distributed a fact sheet on ways to maintain good mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

Piece of Mind: Counties Are Stepping Up

Mar 23, 2020
Hunt County issues a shelter in place order for residents.

By John Kanelis

Hunt County commissioners have joined a growing list of counties that have done what needs to be done: mandating "shelter in place" for residents.

They are reacting as they should in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has circled the globe. 

Hunt County won't be the final county. You can take that to the bank.

Shelter in place isn't anything approaching house arrest. It means we can still venture out, run essential errands, such as going to grocery store for food and other necessary goods.

The Hunt County Commisioner's Court has issued a disaster declaration for the county that details a shelter-in-place, or "stay at home" order. The order goes into effect Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and directs all non-essential employees and businesses to cease activity or stay at home except for essential activities and business. 

Creek fishing often produces a ‘mixed creel’. Luke landed white and yellow bass, crappie and catfish this past week on a fishing trip above Lake Fork.
Luke Clayton


by Luke Clayton

As I sloshed along the muddy trail leading to the secluded section of creek I planned to fish, I found myself stopping occasionally not only for a short ‘breather’ but also to admire the sights and smells of early spring. Buds were swelling on the trees, tiny leaves were beginning to appear. Birds were voicing their joy that they had survived yet another winter and it was time to go about their work of procreating.

Laid Off? Here's How To Apply For Unemployment In Texas

Mar 21, 2020
Texas has waived some requirements for receiving unemployment benefits.

With much of Texas’ service sectors shut down and the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic being felt across the local, state and national economy, people are being laid off.

Creative Commons, gurneyh

Jeremy Gamez, our personal technology commentor, discusses the demands placed on computers when we are required to work from home.  Jeremy is employed by the Division of Business and Administration at Texas A&M-Commerce.

 Elaborating on the new Louisiana travel restrictions, Abbott said they will be enforced by the Texas Department of Public Safety "at and near entry points from Louisiana."
Eddie Gaspar / Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued an executive order that will close many Texas restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses this weekend, as governments across the U.S. move to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The order takes effect at 12 a.m. Saturday morning and continues through April 3, Abbott said in a briefing from the Texas Capitol.


Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams says when the City Council meets next month on April 15, they expect to meet by video if the coronavirus situation is still the same.  The city is developing the capability to conduct a video-conference meeting, which is permissable by law if the public can participate, the mayor says.  The council met this week and received a report on how Hunt Regional Healthcare is dealing with the disease outbreak.  The mayor says

Commerce ISD, Facebook

Charlie Alderman, Commerce ISD superintendent, says while school is closed because of the coronavirus threat, food packets are being distributed in a drive-thru fashion from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. for breakfast and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch at the A.C.

Piece of Mind: This GOP Runoff Is a Head-Scratcher

Mar 17, 2020
Public Domain

By John Kanelis

It’s fair to wonder about the upcoming runoff election for a Northeast Texas legislative district seat: How does someone as conservative as state Rep. Dan Flynn face a primary challenge from the right?

Flynn, a Van Republican, is running against Bryan Slaton, a businessman from Royse City. The two are running for the House District 2 seat that Flynn has occupied since 2003.

Special Programming from 88.9 KETR: Texas A&M University-Commerce president Dr. Mark Rudin, Dean of Students Dr. Thomas Newsom, and Student Health Services Director Maxine Mendoza-Welch joined KETR's Jerrod Knight on the air Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. to answer call-in and submitted questions regarding the university's actions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and how those actions are impacting students and the campus community. 

Texas A&M-Commerce Athletics

Tim McMurray, Texas A&M-Commerce athletic director, says the Lions will open the 2020 football season at home at 6 p.m., Saturday, September 5 against Simon Fraser, an NCAA Division 2 team from British Columbia, Canada.   The Lions will host perennial Division 2 playoff team Bowie State from Maryland, at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 19.  The homecoming game will be at 4 p.m., Saturday, October 24 vs. West Texas A&M.  The Lions host six home games during the 2020 season.

The NCAA has allowed Division II institutions to self-apply extension of eligibility waivers for student-athletes whose 2019-20 spring season was canceled, provided, among other things, that the student-athlete’s season was ultimately canceled for reasons related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has canceled the state's requirement for high-stakes standardized testing as public schools face the prospect of long-term closures to combat the coronavirus.

Abbott's Monday morning announcement said he's also asking the federal government to waive its education testing requirements for the school year.

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Safety Office is asking students, faculty and staff returning from international travel on or after March 14 through specific airports to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Domestic travelers returning home, even through the same airports, are not being asked to quarantine at this time.

The text of the message follows:


Kim Saenz, director of the Hunt Regional Emergency Centers in Commerce and Quinlan, says Hunt Regional has been holding meetings to make plans for dealing with the coronavirus.  She says visitors to the emegency centers and Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville are being screened at the door for possible coronavirus or other infection.  Kim says, to her knowledge, one person had been tested for coronavirus in the Greenville facility as of late last week.

Located 66 miles northeast of Dallas, Commerce, TX has been home to the institution now called Texas A&M University-Commerce since an 1894 fire forced its relocation from Cooper, TX. A&M-Commerce occupies a unique space straddling a line between an urban and a rural identity.

I Still Believe, Facebook

Alice Reese, Herald-Banner movie critic, says the faith-inspired "I Still Believe," based on the story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp, will be a hit with the audiences that made "I Can Only Imagine" a major hit.  It is the work of Jon and Andrew Erwin, who made the previous movie.  Alice says "The Hunt," a highly controversial satire that portrays the hunting of humans for sport that was delayed from its planne

Northeast Texas Coronavirus Cases: County Data

Mar 12, 2020
Information regarding the number of COVID-19 cases in Northeast Texas will be updated throughout the crisis.

Piece of Mind: Good Call With Class Cancellation

Mar 12, 2020

By John Kanelis

So, just how serious should we take the current outbreak of a dangerous infectious disease, the coronavirus that is sweeping across Planet Earth?

Try this: Texas A&M University-Commerce has just canceled all “face to face” classes on campus, telling students and faculty to go to online coursework only.

That, I submit, is a very good call.

TAMUC isn’t the only university in Texas to make this move. Other campuses in the Texas A&M University System have done so, as has the University of Texas-Austin.

In a Thursday note to the campus community, Texas A&M University-Commerce president Dr. Mark Rudin explained that, effective immediately, all face-to-face classes are transitioning to online instruction until further notice. The suspension of in-person classes applies to all A&M-Commerce campuses, including the RELLIS campus.

Greenville Animal Hospital, Facebook

Dr. Karri McCreary, co-owner of the Greenville Animal Hospital, says it's not always easy to tell when a pet is in pain.  Pets' instinct may be to hide the pain, she says, because, in nature, it would be dangerous for them to show a weakness.

Penny Stark, organizer of the Freedom Folk Music Festival at the Texan Theater in downtown Greenville at 2 p.m. Saturday (March 14).  Among the performers is Hannah Kirby of Sulphur Springs, who gained a great deal of fame from a successful run on the NBC television program, "The Voice."  KETR's Matt Meinke, the host of "Notably Texan," will be the master of ceremonies.

UPDATE: Texas A&M University-Commerce has transitioned to online instruction "until further notice" as of March 12, 2020.

Previous story: Texas A&M University-Commerce president Mark Rudin shared an update Tuesday regarding the institution's plan of action should any student on the Commerce campus contract the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Hunt County Master Gardener Wayne Bowman shares his early-spring gardening tips.

Texas A&M-Commerce Athletics

Tim McMurray, Texas A&M-Commerce athletic director, discusses the participation of the A&M-Commerce women's basketball team in the NCAA Division 2 regional tournament at Lubbock this weekend.  The Lions are the no. 2 seed and play Eastern New Mexico at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Coronavirus Case Confirmed In Collin County

Mar 9, 2020
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus.
National Institutes of Health

A man in Collin County tested positive for the new coronavirus — the first case in Texas thought to be caught domestically and not related to a group of Houston-area travelers who took cruises in Egypt in February.

Piece of Mind: 'No' On Straight-Ticket Voting!

Mar 7, 2020
Eddie Gaspar / Texas Tribune

By John Kanelis

I will get straight to the point with this blog post.

South Texas Democrats have rocks in their noggins if they intend to argue that the elimination of straight-ticket, partisan voting is unconstitutional and that it discriminates against minority voters.

Jeff Rice shows off a good size Bowfin (Grinnel). Bowfin and several other fish are great table fare but overlooked by many anglers.
Demi Rice

Through my many years as an outdoors writer, fishing with anglers in both fresh and saltwater, I’ve learned that fish that I grew up thinking were ‘trash’ fish actually were very tasty when prepared properly. 


by Luke Clayton