Northeast Texas

Rotating Electrical Outages Accompany Winter Storm

Feb 15, 2021
Snow covers Monroe Street in Commerce. Planned power outages caused interruptions in electrical service across Northeast Texas this morning.

A winter storm system is bringing frigid temperatures to the central United States, including Northeast Texas, where the region is buried under several inches of snow and ice. Temperatures across the region remained in the single digits well into Monday morning. The National Weather Service forecasts afternoon highs in the mid teens.

Northeast Texas economist Dr. Dale Funderburk reflects on a story that Texas has moved up to the ninth greatest economy in the world, comparing the state to countries.  Texas moved ahead of Canada and South Korea, in the new report.

Billy Sims went from Hooks, Texas, to the NFL.
@RealBillySims on Twitter

Who’s the best all-time running back from Northeast Texas? Hopefully, you consider Billy Sims before giving your answer. And maybe he is your answer.

As testing expands, the presence of COVID-19 in Texas nursing homes is becoming apparent.

One death in a Paris nursing home and dozens of other confirmed COVID-19 cases in that home and one in Rockwall are consistent with a nationwide trend of residents and staff of long-term care facilities coming down with the illness caused by the coronavirus.

An undated photo of Whitley Hall on the campus of A&M-Commerce. Like much of Northeast Texas, the campus is quieter than usual.
Texas A&M University-Commerce / Marketing and Communications

In an effort to keep up with coronavirus and COVID-19 developments around the region, this blog will be kept during the crisis. A statistical account of COVID-19 cases in the KETR listening area and local restrictions in place can be found here. This blog will be kept in reverse chronological order, with newest entries at the top.

Last updated, April 15, 3:09 p.m.

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.

Aggie Horticulture

Wayne Bowman, Hunt County Master Gardener, discourses on the appearance of the colors of fall in the trees of Northeast Texas.  Wayne says home owners should rake and dispose of the leaves in their yards to prevent the leaves from choking their lawns, but fallen leaves in wooded, rural areas provided good nutrients for the trees. 

Jair Lazaro / Unsplash

Eight of nine rural hospitals in Northeast Texas are running on negative operating margins. That’s according to a study by the Chartis Center for Rural Health that measures just how thin the ice is beneath the country’s rural hospitals.

Overall, Texans can expect to live, on average, at 78.53 years, according to a report released this week by UT Southwestern Medical Center. But in Northeast Texas, the numbers are, for the most part, notably lower -- especially for African-Americans.

Gov. Greg Abbott gave his State of the State address in Austin this morning. He touted the lure of Texas to jobseekers and companies -- and the contributions of oil and technology to the state. But Abbott also talked about economic growth in some of the state’s more rural areas, including Northeast Texas.

"Our economic might is not limited to our large cities," Abbott said. "It touches smaller communities across the state. In places like Lufkin and Mt. Pleasant; in Temple and Paris."

Fencepost, Facebook

Sharon Feldt of Sulphur Springs is the editor of the new "Fencepost" quarterly magazine, which features stories and photos about people and life in Northeast Texas.  The full-color magazine is published in the Wood County town of Yantis.  To subscribe to the quarterly magazine, call (832) 687-6617 or email

The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas, which serves the Diocese of Dallas.
Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas released a list containing the names of 31 priests and other church officials “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct with minors since 1950.

Texas Congressmen Weigh In On Shutdown

Jan 25, 2019
Robin Jerstad / The Texas Tribune

Northeast Texas' three U.S. House representatives -- Louie Gomert, John Ratcliffe, and Lance Gooden, all Republicans -- said it is.

Would-be storm spotters looking to take advantage of the National Weather Service’s signature severe weather watch program will have to ride out the government shutdown too. Turns out the shutdown has stalled the agency’s Skywarn Program. That’s led to three classes in Northeast-to-Central Texas postponed this week, including one scheduled for Saturday in Collin County.

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.

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.


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.

While the so-called blue wave did manage to drip into a few parts of Texas Tuesday, Northeast Texas stayed as red as it has ever been.

Update, Oct. 23, 2018, 7:50 p.m.: Early voting totals at the end of the day Tuesday in Lamar County were 3,137.

Early voting is moving at a snappy pace in Northeast Texas. Hunt and Lamar counties, first-day totals are even besting first-day turnout from the 2016 presidential election.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Rain this past week has lessened drought conditions in much of Northeast Texas, though we're far from out of trouble. A patch of extreme drought remains in half of Franklin County. A week ago extreme conditions covered several counties east of Hunt and Fannin counties.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Thursday’s report from U.S. Drought Monitor shows a patch of extreme drought over large parts of Hopkins and Franklin counties for the first time since midwinter 2017.

U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor

The City of Greenville says it will not be issuing burn permits for residents or businesses for a while. The move is the limit of the city’s authority to ban outdoor burning. 

U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought conditions grew across Northeast Texas this past week. But the Panhandle has finally gotten some relief.

Two Northeast Texas development organizations will get a share of more than $3 million in grant money from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The agency today announced grants to fund 19 recreational trail-related projects across the state.

Paris Economic Development Corporation

Michael Paris, executive director of the Paris Economic Development Corporation, reflects on a recent column in the Paris News by Mary Madewell, expressing optimism for the economy of Paris and Northeast Texas.

Texas A&M Real Estate Center

Texas A&M-Commerce economics professor Dr. Dale Funderburk comments on predictions by long-time Texas economist Dr. Ray Perryman that Texarkana will see an annual job rate growth of 1.54 percent over the next five years.  And Dr. Perryman predicts an annual economic growth rate of 4.5 percent in the Tyler area over the same period.

TPWD photo
TPWD photo

Springtime in Texas is a pretty good deal, most days. The weather's warmer than much of the country and it's always tempting to take a stroll through the yard or the woods.

But all, of course, is not perfect. Springtime in Texas also means the beginning of tick season. 

U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor

Northeast Texas is finally out of drought. After several weeks of increasingly dry conditions regionwide, last week’s heavy rains removed all layers of drought status between Dallas County and Texarkana.

U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor

According to the Texas Water Development Board, Northeast Texas is still in a state of moderate drought, despite all the rain that fell on the area last week.

U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor

Texas is in its worst state of drought in more than three years.