Local Interest

These are stories that may not qualify as 'breaking local news,' but are still of importance and interest to our region.

Pat Fallon, shown here at the state capitol in Austin in 2019, has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since January 2021.
Texas Tribune

On Wednesday, June 2nd and Thursday, June 3rd, Congressman Pat Fallon (TX-04) will hold public town hall events in Texas’s Fourth Congressional District to provide an update on his work in Washington, D.C. and receive feedback from his constituents.

The school board for Greenville Independent School District announced Wednesday that their decision Tuesday for all GISD students to return to in-person classroom instruction by May 3rd, and then by May 12 in a later announcement, has now been nullified; at-home learning will be an option for students for the remainder of the spring semester.

Doug Thomas Memorial Field plaque
Jerrod Knight

The new softball field at Wolfe City High School has been named in memory of longtime teacher and coach Doug Thomas, who died in May 2018 following complications from a stroke earlier that year. He was 61 years old.

A dedication of the new facility took place Monday, April 26, 2021 at 4pm, just ahead of Wolfe City's final regular season matchup against the Bland Tigers, a game rescheduled after Friday's weather.

Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the City of Commerce will be participating in a National Prescription Drug Take BAck event at the Commerce Police Department. The semi-annual community event is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration and happnes in April and in October of each year.

The first Commerce event took place in April of 2019. Since then, each such event results in some 100 pounds of expired prescription medications collected from the local community. Nationally, the total amount of expired drugs collected in October of 2019 was 492.7 tons.

Police activity at Monroe and Chestnut streets on Thursday afternoon after a reported shooting.
Jerrod Knight

Update: A call to the City of Commerce confirmed that one person was injured as a result of today's shooting in Commerce. Other information, including the condition of the victim, was not shared. A separate social media post by Texas A&M University-Commerce appears to indicate that the victim is not a member of the university community.

Texas A&M University-Commerce will soon be making a high-profile expansion into North Dallas, John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System announced today. The university will be taking over the top two floors of 8750 North Central Expressway, where it will set up headquarters for its education and business colleges.


Texas A&M University-Commerce and Dallas College are set to co-host the 2021 MALES Summit: Men at Work, which will take place in a virtual format on April 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The summit for current and prospective students is designed to provide mentoring and support for minority males while developing them personally and professionally as future college graduates. The summit will help students discover pathways to success in school, their careers and life.

Navy Lieutenant Tamaran Stewart of Paris, Texas.
Thomas Cieslak

A U.S. Navy Nurse’s knowledge, initiative and commitment to medical care recently placed her at the forefront of patient safety in Navy Medicine.

Students, faculty, and staff gather, socially distanced, to show the "lucky lion" hand sign at the university's amphitheater.

Cultural competency among students, faculty and staff is a top priority for University President Mark Rudin.


This spring, A&M-Commerce launched its first offering of a new cultural competency course, which garnered a lot of interest from students and university employees.

TAMUC alumna Dionica Bell is a Student Affairs Officer at UC-Davis, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
UC-Davis Photo

Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn into office on Wednesday, January 20, making her the first woman, the first black person, and the first person of south Indian descent to obtain the second highest office within the U.S. Government.

Zachary Adams shared stories of Northeast Texas on KETR's airwaves this year.
provided image

KETR says goodbye to 2020 with only one regret -- we won't have the services of Zachary Adams, who produced a history series for the station as part of his graduate program at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Listeners heard the "Backroads of Northeast Texas" series occasionally during Weekend Edition Saturday and All Things Considered throughout the Fall 2020 semester.

Norris Community History Dates To 1890s

Dec 23, 2020
Norris student-athletes brought home some state hardware to Northeast Texas.
Mount Moriah Baptist Church

The other side of the tracks and the hole, these are just a few of the things that the Norris Community of Commerce has been negatively referred to over the years. This community is a constant story of difficulties, coming together, and overcoming obstacles. Since the 1890s this community has been home to a large African American population. Several institutions and groups are critical to the story of the Norris Community. Among these are the Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church, the Norris School, and the Norris Community Club. 

Cooper Lake Story Provides Context For New Reservoirs

Dec 23, 2020
 Jim Chapman Lake at Cooper Lake State Park provides water for the North Texas Municipal Water District, the Sulphur River Municipal Water District, and the city of Irving.
Zachary Adams

When researching my last article on the Ladonia Square I came across the City of Ladonia website and noticed something interesting on the about section of the city. The second paragraph begins by stating that “The future of Ladonia involves the building of Lake Ralph Hall…” The text goes on to describe how the lake will bring in new economic opportunities to Ladonia, but will it?

Christmas parades, like this one in Cooper in 2017, will once again be held around Northeast Texas.
Cindy Roller / Cooper Review

Some communities around Northeast Texas have canceled their annual Christmas parades due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, others will hold annual parades, with most of those scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5.

Lone Oak-based Community Seeds has been distributing food in Northeast Texas since May.
courtesy image

Folks whose pantries could use a helping hand during the holiday season will be able to pick up food in Greenville at an event hosted by the Lone Oak-based organization Community Seeds.

High school band uniforms usually last for about eight years, says Commerce ISD Director of Bands Kara Wallace.
courtesy photo

The Commerce High School Roaring Tiger Band needs new uniforms. Commerce Director of bands Kara Wallace says that each set of uniorms lasts bands about eight years. The outfits are both stylish and durable, and therefore pricey. Wallace says that a fundrasing effort to fund the purchas of new uniforms is about $23,000 short of the needed total.

Those interested in learning more and perhaps donating to the effort can find details at the fundraising web page created by Wallace.

Ladonia Square Endures In Post-Railroad Era

Nov 21, 2020
The south side of the Ladonia square maintains its historic appearance - with new soda machines.
Zachary Adams

Think about a town in Fannin County with a population of over 2,000 people. It has several grocery stores, drug stores, banks, clothing stores, and 4 hotels. You’d be forgiven if you think I’m referring to Bonham, which is easily the largest city in Fannin County. In fact, I’m referring to Ladonia. But not Ladonia as it is today. That description comes from Ladonia Historian Muriel Burleson. It describes the city as it was in the 1890s.

2nd Lt. Ray Charles Walker, center back, with his student pilots in 1943.
provided image

Mary Walker Clark is known to longtime KETR listeners as the host of a travel segment that ran for some years. But the retired Paris attorney has been far from idle since that program's run ended. Clark's new book, Landing In My Present, take the reader from the dusty plains of West Texas to the icy heights of the Himalayan Mountains along the Chinese-Indian border. The story explores the life of her father, Second Lieutenant Charles Walker, a U.S. Army Air Forces World War II veteran whose service included piloting planes delivering fuel and other supplies to help China survive the Japanese embargo to the east.

Legacy of Neylandville's St. Paul School Continues

Nov 11, 2020
A historical marker stands at the site of St. Paul School.
Zachary Adams

Neylandville isn’t the most renowned of Northeast Texas communities, but its legacy to the region is bigger than its small population might suggest. The region’s university recently named its library after a Neylandville local.

Ladonia Fossil Park To Lie Underneath Lake Ralph Hall

Nov 11, 2020
The North Sulphur River's channel dwarfs its water flow.

Descending the stone steps of the Ladonia Fossil Park is like stepping back into another age. Stepping down into the mostly dry bed of the North Sulphur River, the ground is active territory for all manner of arrowheads, fossils, and interesting rocks.

In 1932 the Fannin County School Board consolidated the schools, along with Providence School and formed the Bartley-Woods School.
Zachary Adams

I played junior high football for the Fannindel schools in Ladonia. Our games routinely took us across all manner of country roads throughout Fannin County. One evening, as we travelled through the small city of Windom our coach/bus driver began telling us about the Bartley-Woods School. 

The Honey Grove Library & Learning Center is located on the Northeast corner of the Square in Honey Grove.
Jessica Adams

            Dr. David Graham Hall was born in 1858 in New Hampshire. Hall obtained a Harvard education and became a doctor, eventually setting up a practice in Dallas. This medical practice attracted attention that was controversial to say the least. Hall earned the nickname “Shooting Doctor” due to the large hypodermic needles he used. Additionally, there were incidents with an experimental typhoid vaccine that would turn the skin of patients blue. But it is not the medical practices of Dr. Hall that should be remembered, it is his charitable work.

Bug Tussle signs were popular with souvenir hunters and many people would marry there to have Bug Tussle on their marriage license.
Zachary Adams

In southeastern Fannin County, between the cities of Ladonia and Honey Grove stand the remains of a little country general store. The business once had gas pumps and a blacksmith shop in addition to the main store. Today, all that is left is the main building, a small, A-frame, tin building and a sign proclaiming "Welcome to Bug Tussle."

Dr. Kimberly McLeod, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services, is the lead organizer of the Sept. 24 symposium.
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Identifying the problem of systemic racism often results in so much resistance that sometimes, the conversation about whether it exists upstages a more practical concern - how to end systemic racism.


Today, Thursday, Septemeber 17, 2020, is North Texas Giving Day, and 88.9 KETR needs your support! We invite you to join the generosity movement and help us reach our goal of $6,500. 

As one of the projects in the New Deal during the Great Depression in the United States, the Public Works of Art Project, begun in 1933, was developed to bring artist workers back into the job market and assure the American public that better financial times were on the way. Among the most high-profile works were United States Post Office murals produced between 1934 and 1943. 

The Commerce Tigers kick for an extra point in the first quarter of their August 28th game versus Edgewood.
Mark Haslett

The Commerce Tigers football broadcast began its 46th season the air at 88.9 KETR on Friday, August 28th, and an early-schedule Tigers win marked the occasion. Commerce defeated the Edgewood Bulldogs by a score of 42 to 12.

Following the football game broadcast, The Big Friday Night Scoreboard Program returned to the air to round up final scores for games in the region.

Texas A&M University-Commerce is set to resume its fall semester on Monday, August 24. With the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic class offerings range from in-person to online-only to a number of hybrid curriculum options. The student experience for commuters and residents alike is going to differ in a number of ways from any previous semester in the school's history. 

Hospitals across north, central and east Texas are in daily contact with Carter BloodCare to verify that there is enough blood to perform all the surgeries and medical procedures on their schedules. Hospital patients are in jeopardy of not receiving the blood transfusions they need. 

An illustration created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the structure of the coronavirus now named COVID-19.

Students, faculty and staff at all 11 Texas A&M System universities across the state will soon have quick and easy access to free testing for COVID-19.


“Ensuring the health and safety of our students is our top priority,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. “Facilitating increased accessibility and availability of COVID-19 testing will help us mitigate the spread and help to protect each other by taking preventative and proactive measures.”