Mark Haslett

News Director

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed a increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards. Before coming to Northeast Texas, Haslett worked for High Plains Public Radio in Amarillo, where he worked as News Director and later as Director of Programming. His work has been broadcast on KERA, KCUR and other public radio stations, as well as the NPR Newscast. Haslett has also worked as an editor and reporter in both news and sports 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 (now-defunct) WRBC-AM in Jackson, Miss.

Haslett's other professional interests include teaching and massage therapy. He holds a master's degree from the Department of Literature and Languages at Texas A&M University-Commerce and has taught English as a Foreign Language in Campeche, Mexico. Haslett earned a B.A. in English from Tufts University in Medofrd, Mass. He is also a Licensed Massage Therapist and is a graduate of  The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin.

Ways to Connect

Nicklas Allen Gagliardi
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One person is dead and a Rains county man has been charged with murder following a fatal vehicle crash on Interstate 30 in Greenville, local police said in a news release.

Hunt County Volunteer Fire Departments, such as the one serving Merit, are seeking more funding.
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Hunt County voters will not have the option to accept or reject the creation of an Emergency Services District in this November’s general election. If created, such a district would serve as a taxing entity to fund the county’s volunteer fire departments.

Buildings were destroyed in a massive fire during the Tulsa Race Massacre when a white mob attacked the Greenwood neighborhood, a prosperous Black community in Tulsa, Okla., in 1921.
Library of Congress

For almost a century, one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history was either absent from or underpresent in historical texts. In Tulsa in 1921, hundreds were killed when white rioters destroyed the city’s Greenwood neighborhood in a racially motivated attack. Today, people are learning about the Tulsa Race Massacre, and about the neighborhood known as Black Wall Street, where African-Americans built a thriving local community and economy before the disaster.

David Piepenburg
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EDIT, July 17: The Greenville Herald-Banner reported late on July 16 that Piepenburg had been taken into custody Friday evening and that he's being held at the Hunt County Detention Center. No further details were immediately available.

The Marvin Nichols Reservoir, if built, would flood a large section of the Sulphur River valley.
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Today's broadcast of North By Northeast focuses on the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal, which would place a massive reservoir along the Sulphur River, mostly in Red River and Titus counties. Our guest this morning is Janice Bezanson of the Texas Conservation Alliance.

The Hunt County Appraisal District is having to keep up with suburban growth in the southwestern part of the county.
Mark Haslett

What exactly is an appraisal district and what does it do? Brent South of the Hunt County Appraisal District answers these questions and more. South and North By Northeast regular guest Howdy Lisenbee, Commerce city manager, join us for this program.

The South Sulphur River flows along the south side of Commerce before continuing east toward Cooper Lake.

The City of Commerce issued a statement today describing an "accidental discharge" of wastewater near the city's wastewater treatment plant. Flooding led to the failure of a sewer line on June 3, and flooding also prevented repairs on the line until June 9, the city said.

The discharge of untreated wastewater happened at what the release described as an "unnamed creek" about 900 feet west of the city's treatment plant at 4000 FM 3218 in Commerce. The facility is located near the southern city limits, south of Bradford Place Apartments and north of the South Sulphur River.

Bob Hall's district includes Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall and Van Zandt counties, as well as part of Dallas County.

State Senator Bob Hall will be swinging through the heart of the KETR listening area over the next few days, as Hall’s tour of Texas Senate District 2 continues. Hall is hosting town-hall style events, with presentations about policy issues and an opportunity for the public to contribute comments or ask questions.

The City of Commerce has maintained fiscal stability in recent years.

Stephanie Muller, Commerce City Council Place 3, and city manager Howdy Lisenbee discuss how the average tax dollar in Commerce is spent. About 28 cents out of every dollar goes to the police and fire departments, Lisenbee said.

U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon addressed about 150 people on the campus of Texas A&M Univeristy-Commerce on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon, the Republican congressman who represents Northeast Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, addressed and took questions from about 150 people in an event on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce. Presented as a town hall meeting, the gathering was the first of 36 similar events Rep. Fallon plans to hold in 2021, his staff said.

State Rep. Jessica González, D-Dallas, spoke at a press conference at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in East Austin after Democrats broke quorum in opposition to Senate Bill 7, a sweeping GOP voting bill.
Texas Tribune

The sweeping overhaul of Texas elections and voter access was poised from the beginning of the session to pass into law. It had the backing of Republican leaders in both chambers of the Legislature. It had support from the governor.

The square in downtown Commerce features retail outlets as well as restaurants and professional services.
Mark Haslett

Tony Henry, Commerce Place 1 City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem, joins us on North By Northeast this week, along with Commerce City Manager Howdy Lisenbee. We discuss some good, albeit counterintuitive, news about the city’s sales tax revenue during the pandemic. We also talk about the sources of municipal revenue, how sales tax fits in, and how Commerce doesn’t depend on sales tax as much as some cities.

You can follow along with the conversation by reviewing the April 2021 and May 2021 municipal tax revenue numbers.

Downtown Commerce has been on a gradual upswing in recent years.

Commerce City Council Place 2 representative Beckey Thompson and Commerce city manager Howdy Lisenbee join us for this week's North By Northeast chat, during which we review recent downtown business development and discuss details about serving on local boards and commissions.  

Jasmine Baker, at left, has been covering the WNBA and the Wings since graduating from A&M-Commerce.
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In case you missed it, Nike, the WNBA and the Dallas Wings recently teamed up to made a pretty big mistake with a new alternate jersey. One of the first people to notice was Jasmine Baker, a DFW-area sports journalist who’s also a Texas A&M University-Commerce alumna. In this week’s North By Northeast, Baker is with us to discuss two topics – the story of the ill-fated jersey, and the intersection of social media and sports journalism.

Penny and Smooth keep the conversation flowing on The Dae Late Show.

Podcast hosts O.G. Penny and E. Toosmooth of The Dae Late Show join us for today’s North By Northeast conversation. The Dae Late Show is a podcast that focuses mostly on issues relevant to young adults. We’ll hear an excerpt from the most recent episode, and hear from Smooth and Penny about how the program got started, and where they hope to take it next.

As Hunt County develops, the future of public transit's role in the region is being planned.
Senior Center Resources and Public Transit

If you’d like to have a say in the development of public transportation in Hunt County, you have a chance to do so this week. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTOG) is inviting the public to participate in one of two online public meetings this Tuesday and Thursday. Also, online surveys are available for any local person or organization that would like to participate.

Lamar Elementary School is located at 6321 Jack Finney Blvd. in Greenville.
Greenville ISD

Greenville school officials have suspended a Lamar Elementary School teacher after circulation of a photo that showed the teacher placing a foot on an African-American student’s neck.

Tree branches are a common sight on Commerce sidewalks in the spring. Solid waste disposal trucks will not pick up large branches.

Will the city pick up dead tree branches? What happens when property owners refuse to cut their weeds or clean up trash? We answer this questions and more in this week's North By Northeast, as Commerce City Manager Howdy Lisenbee helps take the guesswork out of local regulations affecting property owners and renters.

One person died and another was seriously injured by a house fire in Greenville on Tuesday.

Despite a decline in COVID disgnoses around the region, cases have been on the rise at Texas A&M University-Commerce in April.

Cases of COVID-19 at Texas A&M University-Commerce have been rising in April, according to an alert published by the university on Tuesday.

A shooting April 8 at a Commerce convenience store left one man critically injured. Police have identified, but not yet arrested, a suspect.
Jerrod Knight

City of Commerce police released a statement Monday about a shooting that happened in Commerce last Thursday. The shooting at a convenience store on Monroe Street resulted in serious injury to a young man, and the suspect, although identified, remains at large, police said.

Severe weather is possible in Northeast Texas Friday night.

Severe thunderstorms are possible in Northeast Texas on Friday afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service said. Large hail is the primary threat with this system, though high winds and isolated tornadoes are also possible, forecasters said.

The new facilities will be built at 8750 North Central Expressway
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Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Mark Rudin discusses the university’s plans for a new site in Dallas at 8750 North Central Expressway, immediately north of Loop 12, during today’s North By Northeast.

Keturi DeLong is Vice President of Philanthropy and Engagement at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

There's more to chairtable giving to what you might think. In this week's North By Northeast, Texas A&M University-Commerce Vice President of Philanthropy and Engagement Keturi DeLong describes the insider's perspective on philanthropy. We discuss the ethics of donor-centered fundraising, the relationship between human behavior, and an old lesson we learned as kids: It really is better to give than to receive.

Severe weather is possible in Northeast Texas this evening, with the timing still uncertain as of Wednesday morning.

Another round of severe thundertorms is possible in Northeast Texas tonight, with hail and high winds the primary threats, with a low tornado threat also forecast across parts of the region.

The City of Commerce is offering free COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible people on Thursday, March 25. The drive-through vaccination event will be held at the city’s Commerce Public Service Building, 1103 Sycamore St. Registration is required. To register
City of Commerce

The City of Commerce is offering free COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible people on Thursday, March 25. The drive-through vaccination event will be held at the city’s Commerce Public Service Building, 1103 Sycamore St.

Commerce police will be enforcing parking rules near the university campus more strictly in the coming weeks.
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce Director of Public Safety Chris Bassham and City Manager Howdy Lisenbee talk city government: COVID vaccine distribution logistics, tips for severe storm season, water distribution during emergencies, and some changes to be aware of regarding parking near the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus.

Many Wolfe City water customers lost water on Sunday and remained without service Monday night.
Mark Haslett / KETR

In Wolfe City, water service is slowly being restored as of Tuesday morning. A broken pump was repaired late Monday, and water began flowing through the city's system again, although it will take some time for levels in the city's water tower to return to normal. A boil water notice is in effect for Wolfe City municipal water customers until further notice.

Many homes and business in Wolfe City have been without water service since March 14. A boil water notice was issued by the city on March 14.
Mark Haslett / KETR

In Wolfe City, many homes and businesses do not have water service as of Monday afternoon. Furthermore, a boil water notice is in effect for those who do have water service.

Sarah Northam, foreground, and Adam Northam stopped by KETR's studios to talk about what's happening at the university library.

The Velma K. Waters Library on the campus of  Texas A&M University-Commerce has remained open throughout the pandemic - though with some changes. The university's library provides resources and services for members of the general public as well as students, faculty and staff.