Local Interest

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

From the official website for Hunt County:

From: Hunt County Judge


Re: Second COVID-19 Positive Result in Hunt County

Each year, radio and television stations across the state of Texas submit their very best work for consideration by the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. Generally in April, an awards ceremony is held in Austin and journalists, videographers, producers, and anchors flock to 6th Street to learn who's work topped each category. This year, concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of the ceremony planned for April 4. As a result, the winners have been announced in a release - and 88.9 KETR is among the top-awarded stations in its division.

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. 

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. 

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:

KETR celebrates Black History Month with two evenings of special programs, coming up this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28-29.

In the fall of 2019, Texas A&M University-Commerce published its 2019-2024 Strategic Plan. At only six pages, this polished full-color document is notably succinct and deserves to have its finer points explored beyond what appears on the page.

This is The President's Perspective, a podcast with the purpose of sharing what's important and what matters to the president and CEO of Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dr. Mark Rudin.

Ryan Scott is still writing, but now he's with Marketing and Communications at A&M-Commerce.
Mark Haslett / KETR

Commerce residents might have noticed that Ryan Scott, who once cranked out multiple articles weekly for the Commerce Journal, is no longer in the news business. But, he hasn’t gone far. Scott is still in Commerce, and now works at the university. Journalists often refer to leaving journalism for public relations as “going to the dark side,” but many ex-journos find that they enjoy helping an organization or institution that they believe in, while enjoying the more regular work schedule that an office job provides. 

The "Reimagine Commerce" plan includes changes for the city's downtown.

This is North by Northeast, conversations that matter to Northeast Texas. On today's episode we discuss Reimagine Commerce. It’s an ambitious proposal designed to make Commerce a better place to live and work. Much of the plan involves a redesign of some of the town’s thoroughfares and that part has inspired some opposition as well as support.

Best Local Talk Show --Category Note

Texas AP Broadcasters (logo)

The Big Friday Night Scoreboard Program has been serving Northeast Texas football fans for a decade with hosts/board operators Jerrod Knight & Ryan Fulkerson joined by Jared Taylor in studio and in the field and frequent contributor BJ Laudermilk.  TBFNSP includes pre-game commentary from high school football experts Terry Bennett and Grant Goodwin with 'Sideline to Sideline', full broadcast of a football game with area scoring updates during the game, a halftime round-up of area games and current scores and analysis, and a post-game scoreboard/call-in show until midnight each Friday.  

Texas AP Broadcasters (logo)

This clip covers the beginning action of a agme that saw an explosion of action from the start with the Commerce Tigers facing the Van Alstyne Panthers. Van Alstyne scores first, then Commerce notches 14 unanswered points.

Play by Play by John Mark Dempsey and Kevin Jefferies With Color Commentary

Sports Play-by-Play (3 entries per station): Sports Play-by-Play originated by a local station. The entry must come from a single event and must be unedited, except for commercial removal. Time Limit: 15 minutes.

Texas AP Broadcasters (logo)

The Commerce Tigers pick up one of their most convincing wins of the season over the Lone Oak Buffaloes on October 4th, 2019. This clip covers a flurry of action to end the 1st half, with scoring passes of 89 and 46 yards by Commerce, and a 43 yard touchdown run by Lone Oak.

Kevin Jefferies on Play by Play and John Mark Dempsey with color commentary.

Sports Play-by-Play (3 entries per station): Sports Play-by-Play originated by a local station. The entry must come from a single event and must be unedited, except for commercial removal. Time Limit: 15 minutes.

Brian Cox has been missing from Greenville, TX since January 5th, 2020.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has issued an urgent alert requesting the public’s help to find missing teen Brian Cox. The 17-year-old boy was last seen in Greenville, Texas on January 5th, 2020. Brian has a medical condition and may need medical attention. He is white with brown hair and hazel eyes. Brian is 5-foot-4 and weighs 120 pounds.

Jim Tyler Anderson, senior lecturer and playwright in residence in the department of Theatre at Texas A&M University-Commerce, died Monday, December 16th, according to an obituary page at the website of Commerce Funeral Home. Anderson was 62.

Developed by AIGA. [Public domain]

Texas A&M University-Commerce has announced that it is set to become a smoke-, vape- and tobacco-free campus on January 1, 2020.

Dr. Mark Rudin, president of A&M-Commerce, sent a letter to the university community on December 13 explaining the details of the decision and policy.

Cover shot, Craddock Hall on the university campus.
Jerrod Knight

Food insecurity can lead to health and social maladies and can affect some groups that you may not expect. KETR’s Jerrod Knight visits a food pantry that exclusively serves students enrolled in college at a northeast Texas four-year university.

Mental health on college campuses across the counry are a hot topic lately. And the reasons make sense. In January, Penn State's Center for Collegiate Mental Health released its tenth annual report presenting key findings and policy implicates in college mental health, and found that college students seeking treatment and the professionals who treat them continue to identify anxiety and depressions as the most common concerns for seeking treatment, among dozens of other concerns.

BONHAM, Texas — A suspect was arrested, and more than $105,000 in stolen property was recovered after an investigation by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Troy McKinney and the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.


Welding Operations Can Spark Wildfires

Aug 14, 2019

Over the last 14 days in West Texas, temperatures climbed over 100 degrees and the last significant rain occurred in June, resulting in dry conditions ripe for wildfire ignition. Local fire departments responded to multiple fires sparked by welding in the last week.

“Hooray for Brallywood” is the theme for the 2019 Bras for the Cause Hunt County fundraiser to be held on Thursday, October 10th from 6:00 – 8:30 pm in Downtown Greenville.
Provided Image / B4TC Hunt County

For many years, local philanthropists, artists and volunteers have grabbed glue guns and taken on the role of seamstresses, designers and bra wranglers in hopes of raising money to purchase new equipment and offer services to those undergoing cancer treatment at Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville, TX. Bras for the Cause, now in its 11th year, will display those creations the evening of Thursday, October 10th, in Downtown Greenville. Last year, the event raised over $170,000, with every penny staying right in Hunt County. And volunteers are hard at work making sure this year’s event is a blockbuster with the theme “Hooray for Brallywood.”

On the Campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce a mini golf course has sprung up across from the Math Building.
Charles Burriss / KETR

A mini golf course has sprung up across from the Math Building on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce thanks to the efforts of art students attending a summer course at the school. 

Commerce Robbery Attempt Ends in Suspect's Death

Aug 1, 2019
Commerce Police and Texas Department of Public Safety officers responded to a report of a shooting on Park Street Tuesday morning.
Commerce Police Department / Commerce Police Department

In Commerce, police are investigating an apparent home invasion and robbery attempt that resulted in the shooting death of one of the suspects.

The schedule is for conversion of Group 1 on July 31, Group 2 on August 1 and Group 3 on August 2.
The schedule is for conversion of Group 1 on July 31, Group 2 on August 1 and Group 3 on August 2. / FCEC

Public Notice

Fannin County Kids Still Need School Supplies

Jul 31, 2019
Children, youth, and families from First Presbyterian Bonham helped move, sort, and organize school supplies for the Children's Center's annual School Supply Drive.
Provided Image / FCCC

Staff and volunteers at the Fannin County Children’s Center are already hard at work for the 23rd annual School Supply Drive.  Students in Fannin County will head back to class starting as early as August 14.  

Mt. Vernon Eastbound I-30 Traffic to be Detoured Sunday

Jul 30, 2019
I-30 Eastbound Traffic to be Detoured Sunday Near Mt. Vernon

On Sunday, August 4, Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) crews will be replacing a message board on an overhead sign bridge on I-30 eastbound near the Franklin and Titus County Line. This will require the main traffic lanes on I-30 eastbound to be closed between 7 a.m. and noon, or until work is completed.

Lake Ralph Hall Land Aquisition Moves Forward

Jul 23, 2019
The North Sulphur River valley will be flooded to create Lake Ralph Hall.
Mark Haslett / KETR

Property buyouts for the proposed Lake Ralph Hall in Fannin County should be completed in the near future.

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved by resolution financial assistance in the amount of $45.5 million from the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program to the Upper Trinity Regional Water District (Fannin, Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Grayson, and Wise counties) yesterday. The District will use the assistance to finance land acquisition for the proposed Lake Ralph Hall reservoir and its raw water pipeline.

CVFD will host its 50th anniversary party at the fire station this Saturday.
Provided Image

The Campbell Volunteer Fire Department will be celebrating 50 years of service July 20, and they want to invite the community to join in on the fun. CVFD will host its 50th anniversary party at the fire station this Saturday. The Department, formed in 1969, will have several former members, including some from the first year of operation, on hand to help celebrate the station’s anniversary. Assistant Chief Marcus Arvie told the Commerce Journal that this celebration is part of a continued effort to get more involvement from the community.

Texas students have about a month left before classes begin again across the Lone Star State.
Texas A&M Agrilife

With the school year approaching, there's help for Commerce families looking to get their children prepared for the upcoming semester.

For the first time in its 44-year history, 88.9 KETR is being recognized as a national Edward R. Murrow Award winner by the Radio Television Digital News Association for a radio news  story that was produced and aired in 2018.

Reporter George Hale holds three TAPB first place plaques on the evening of the awards banquet.
Jerrod Knight

On a late April Saturday at 6:05pm, glasses clinked behind the bar and nametags were being prepared for distribution by the staff of the Headliner's Club, located 21 floors above 6th Street and Lavaca in Austin, Texas. Within the hour, a record crowd of more than 175 Radio and TV journalists, photographers, anchors, sportscasters and meteorologists would learn how their published work in 2018 fared in competition with submissions from other stations representing nearly every corner of the state of Texas.