KETR

Texas

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

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.

The projected number of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles on U.S. roads last year was the highest since 1990. And the number of such deaths in Texas was the third highest in the country.

That’s according to a new study from the national Governors Highway Safety Association.

KETR News File Photo

State lawmakers are busily trying to bring down Texas’ property tax rate this session.

One proposal is to cap local property tax revenues at 2.5 percent and then let voters decide on what to do with anything over that.

For the state’s community colleges, that could mean a noticeable loss of revenue.

Maria Pagan / Unsplash

State Sen. Bob Hall says Texas' Driver Responsibility Program was well intentioned once. But it took the same path as most good intentions on its way to crippling the state's low-income drivers.

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."

Dose Juice / Unsplash

Federal food assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, dodged a bullet recently, at least temporarily, when the USDA announced that federal food assistance dollars will flow through February.

But here in Texas, that that could create a different problem.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute is making it easier to report wild hog sightings in the state. The NRI has a new webpage where Texas residents can provide details of how many hogs they saw, where they saw them, and what kind of damage the animals cause – such as crop or fence damage, wallowing, or rubbing.

The FBI says violent crime in Texas was up in 2017 – at the same time the ratio of police officers to residents dropped to its lowest level in decades. The stats are from the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, or UCR, released Monday.

 Trisha Downing
Unsplash

Drought in Texas has not been good for the state’s cotton crops. Neither has all the rain. Depending on where growers are in the state, extra dry or extra wet weather has been problematic for cotton growers. That’s according to the Texas Farm Bureau, which reports that cotton harvests across the US are down about 5 percent from last season. And that despite that plantings are up more than 11 percent.

Mark Haslett
Mark Haslett, KETR News

U.S. Customs & Immigration Enforcement said Friday that the number of undocumented workers arrested in an enforcement raid on a Sumner-area business is 159. Of those, 145 were Mexico nationals. The remainder a mix of Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran nationals.

A report issued this week by personal finance website WalletHub puts Texas near the bottom for women’s equity issues in the U. S. 

Judge Jason Murray, his wife Heather, and their family were featured in a recent promotion for National Day of the Cowboy.
Heather Murray / Facebook

Once again Delta County is on the map. The positive spotlight featured Delta County Judge Jason Murray, his wife, Heather Murray, and their three children as they were highlighted in an American Hat Company promotion honoring the National Day of the Cowboy.

The American Hat Company Inc., based in Bowie, Texas, is an endorsing sponsor of J&J Roping Company, owned by the Murray brothers, Jason and Judd. The company has been making quality American made products since 1915.

WikiCommons

A study of Texas school districts by the Dallas Morning News shows more parents around the state are opting to not vaccinate their children. The report says schools in Northeast Texas have an average number of students not vaccinated. Most districts in the state fall between about a half-percent to around 3 percent.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Northeast Texas remains in moderate to severe drought this week. The conditions are part of a growing trend across Texas. 

One Texas crop had an unremarkable week. Another had a pretty good one.

Photo by Anandu Vinod
Photo by Anandu Vinod

A report released Thursday finds that when it comes to weather-related damage, Texas is the costliest and deadliest place to live.

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

After a generally damp winter and spring, signs of drought have returned to three counties in Northeast Texas.

Simmons Cemetery Clean Up Set For Next Saturday

May 4, 2018
Zogail Smith helps mow overgrown areas of Simmons Cemetery.
Jennifer Dwyer / BFT Ranch

Simmons Cemetery Clean Up will be Saturday, May 12, 2018 starting at 8 a.m. Chainsaws and String Trimmers will be available. Come one, Come all!

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. 

Note: This story is an amended version of an earlier article that appeared on KETR.org.

Photo by  Pepi Stojanovski
Photo by Pepi Stojanovski

A new report from WalletHub puts Texas near the bottom of the list in terms of property taxes and affordability. In fact, the report puts Texas sixth-to-last based on how much residents pay for what they own. 

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

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

WikiCommons
WikiCommons

The number of flu deaths in Collin and Dallas counties combined reached 86 this week. Seven new flu-related deaths in Dallas County Wednesday bring the total to 38; another five deaths in Collin County were confirmed Thursday bring the total to 48.

WikiCommons
WikiCommons

Texas is one of five states to have more than 10 percent of its voting age population behind bars for felony convictions, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts that looks at the rise in felony incarcerations between 1980 and 2010.

USDA photo
USDA photo

Texas has joined a dozen states in a lawsuit over cage-free products sales. 

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