KETR

Scott Morgan

Host: All Things Considered

Scott Morgan has been an award-winning journalist since 2001. His work has appeared in several newspapers and magazines as well as online. He has also been an editor, freelancer, speaker, writing teacher, author, and podcaster.

Scott's role, until his departure in March 2019, was to present up-to-the-minute local news during All Things Considered each afternoon here on 88.9 KETR. He also contributed as a reporter to other news products from the station.

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WikiCommons

  Como Mayor Darla Henry is asking residents to stop sending most things down the drain -- they're clogging up the city's waste disposal pipes.

 

Hunt County has a new temporary county judge. The Commissioner’s Court this week named Precinct 1 Commissioner Eric Evans as a fill-in for the late John Horne. The Herald Banner reports that Evans will serve as county judge until the commissioners decide between 11 candidates seeking to be appointed.

A special session has been scheduled for Friday to consider the candidates. The commissioners could decide as early as January 22nd. The appointee will serve in the post until the November 2020 election.

One of the potential causalities of the ongoing partial government shutdown could be those who reliy on federal nutrition aid. The USDA says funds for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, are guaranteed through February. But if the shutdown drags into next month, people who rely on the program could be hit hard.

WikiCommons

The Texas Municipal Power Agency has pulled the plug on Gibbons Creek. That’s the coal-fired steam plant that provided power to four municipalities in Texas, including Greenville.

Bob Kahm, general manager of the TMPA, says the agency decided last month to take Gibbons Creek offline.

“We filed for indefinite suspension,” Kahm says. “We’re not sure it’ll ever run again."

U.S. Drought Monitor

At the beginning of 2018, two-thirds of Texas was in a state of drought. Now at the beginning of 2019, less than 7 percent of the state is dealing with any dry conditions.

Police in Kaufman County charged a man living in the home where a foster infant was found dead last weekend with possession of child pornography.

Meanwhile a jailed former daycare worker in Collin County faces new charges of hurting children in her care.

Wolfe City police and the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office are looking into KKK fliers left at homes around the city. Police say about 80 fliers wrapped in plastic sleeves and weighed down with rocks started showing up in residents’ driveways just before New Year’s. The fliers appear to be applications and literature about the Ku Klux Klan.

In a statement, Sheriff Randy Meeks called the incident "very unsettling to everyone."

He said there were no threats to any people or property in the fliers.

Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Depending on the roads you travel around Northeast Texas, you might have started seeing some salt streaks on the highways and bridges. That’s because the National Weather service is calling for rain on Wednesday and Thursday that could freeze, and TxDOT is laying down some brine to keep the streets more drivable.

Unsplash

It's an old tradition -- firing a celebration shot or two into the air to ring in the new year. And it's a tradition police departments say they want to see go away forever.

"Don't do that," says Jay Sanders, director of public safety at the Sulphur Springs Police Department.  “What goes up must come down."

That’s not a cliché, that’s physics. Bullets will always arc and return to the ground, unless they hit something on the way down. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “bullets fired into the air during celebrations fall with sufficient force to cause injury and death.” CDC studies in Puerto Rico, where celebratory gunfire is common, find that two people die and two dozen are injured every year from guns being fired into the air.

Nagatoshi Shimamura / Unsplash

If you’re looking for the best cities to ring in the new year, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston are pretty good bets, at least according to personal finance website WalletHub.

CenturyLink Map

A large-scale 911 Outage in the countryThursday and Friday affected Northeast Texas. Residents in several cities and counties in the region and in several states had trouble dialing 911 since Thursday. And while service is said to be back up in Northeast Texas, dialing 911 might continue to be spotty. Text to 911, however should work.

TxDOT

Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, 10:43 a.m.

The storms that blew through Northeast Texas Wednesday dumped 8 inches of rain on the region. That rainfall left several roads too flooded to drive, including parts of Interstate 30 in Royse City.

Wind gusts above 30 mph helped knock out power to approximately 2,000 Northeast Texans, as well as some traffic lights. Power has largely been restored.

US Census

A survey of broadband coverage by the US Census for the years 2013 to 2017 shows that most of Northeast Texas falls in the moderately connected zone, where 65 to 75 percent of residents are subscribed to broadband. That includes about half of the more rural counties in the region. The other half shows between 55 and 65 percent high-speed subscription rates.

Scott Morgan / KETR News

Collin County Judge John Roach spent eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Like a lot of veterans, he signed up right out of high school.

Actually, in his case, he was on the way to basic training mere hours after he got his diploma.

But fresh-out-of-school signups are by no means uncommon. And neither, he says, are the problems that can lead to once time of service is up.

NETT Coalition

Texas House Rep. Gary Van Deaver is looking for more backup at the state level to get the Northeast Texas Trail integrated into the state parks system. 

Yes, Virginia

Dec 24, 2018
Aaron Burden / Unsplash

For the past 17 years, I've had only one continuing Christmas tradition -- I read the most famous editorial ever published, the response of Francis Pharcellus Church, editor of the (New York) Sun newspaper to a letter by a little girl named Virginia O'Hanlon.

It still makes me cry.

WikiCommons

It seems 2018 was a rough year for pecan growers in Texas. Between the rain, the bugs, and the politics, fortune did not smile on the state tree of Texas, nor the people who harvest from it.

Unsplash

Solar farm developers are looking at Northeast Texas for three new projects in the year ahead. And they’re getting mixed reactions. 

MetroTex Association of Realtors Image

Home sales in northern Metroplex suburbs remained cool in November – especially in Collin and Dallas counties. 

Jed Villejo / Unsplash

Like a lot of rural school districts in Texas, the North Lamar ISD is short on bus drivers. Six short, to be exact.

North Lamar’s Transportation Director, Clint Hildreth, says half a dozen of the districts routes have had to be realigned to make up for the shortfall in drivers. But the children would never actually know that.

Scott Morgan / KETR News

Seventy miles east of Dallas lies the City of  Grand Saline. This otherwise textbook rural Texas town is fabled to be the producer of all the pretzel salt Americans consume. 

But it's also a city burdened with an ugly reputation. For black Texans, Grand Saline represents a place to avoid at all costs; a city perceived to be so racist that people of color don’t even stop for gas on the way through.

Earlier this week, Collin College became the first community college in Texas to greenlight a school marshal program. And it was a narrow decision – 5 to 4, during Tuesday’s trustee meeting.

Northeast Texas’ state legislators are busy pre-filing bills for the 2019 session. The 86th State Legislature begins in less than a month.

NOAA

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for central and eastern Texas, including Rains and Hopkins counties, through Saturday.

Heavy rainfall in the region is likely through Saturday night. Two to four inches of rain are possible.

No severe storms are expected. KETR will monitor developments.

A Texas State Senator wants to make elections in the state a little more old-school. 

A man sentenced to prison in Fannin County died on his first day last week. TV station KXII reprts that 66-year-old Paul Plecker died in his cell just hours after being put into it. Plecker had been sentenced to 30 years for aggravated sexual assault of a child He’s believed to have died of natural causes.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the death

Commerce ISD police say a district fourth-grader who caused a stir in class Tuedsday was unharmed, as were others in class.

WikiCommons

Personal finance website WalletHub ranked Plano the third safest city in America in a new study out Monday. The Collin County city ranks first overall in home and community safety -- but 113th for natural disaster risk.

Plano-based psychiatrist Sejal Mehta says a few pointed questions in the exam room could actually be the difference between life and death for suicidal patients.
Issam Hammoudi / Unsplash

Are you thinking about committing suicide?

Dr. Sejal Mehta, a Plano-based psychiatrist, says that sometimes a direct question like this is best when talking to patients who might be having dangerous thoughts.

"It’s OK to ask questions point blank about suicide," says Dr. Mehta." And that’s what the medical community needs to be comfortable with."

Correction: Dec. 3, 2018 -- The amount of assetts each bank holds has been amended for accuracy.

 

Sulphur Springs-based Alliance Bank is acquiring Mount Vernon BankShares, Inc. That’s the owner of First National Bank of Mount Vernon.  The deal was announced Thursday.

 

As of September 30, 2018, Alliance Bank had total assets of $740 million.  On a combined basis, Alliance Bank and First National Bank will have approximately $930 million in total assets.

 

 

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