Donna McCollum: 44 Years as the Voice for Deep East Texas

In our industry, a tenure this long is uncommon. But that’s Donna — truly exceptional — both as a journalist and as a person. Retirement is a bittersweet moment for a beloved collegiate. KTRE and KLTV veteran reporter Donna McCollum is retiring after an amazing career of 44 years telling the stories of Deep East…

Texas weathers historic winter storm

The effects of a week below freezing and record-setting winter weather will certainly be felt long after East Texas begins to thaw. Starting Sunday, February 14, much of Texas faced a period of historic cold. Snow, freezing rain, and ice triggered the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning lasting several days. In…

Hemphill museum to commemorate 18th anniversary of Shuttle Columbia tragedy

The Hemphill museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Space Shuttle Columbia will host its annual memorial service on Monday, the 18th anniversary of the tragedy that trust East Texas into international headlines. On the morning of February 1, 2003, the orbiter broke apart in the skies over East Texas, just minutes before Columbia’s…

Iconic ‘Tiny Target’ razed in remote West Texas

A pile of concrete blocks is all that remains of the so-called ‘World’s Smallest Target Store,’ a popular roadside destination in West Texas. Situated along a remote stretch of U.S. Highway 90 in Brewster County, the iconic desert structure drew curiosity seekers to the town of Marathon, not far from Big Bend National Park. KOSA-TV…

Showing off Tyler, Texas as Lone Star Emmy Awards goes virtual

This year’s Lone Star Emmy Awards show is going virtual due to the pandemic. When my co-anchor Erika Bazaldua and I were asked to be presenters in a taped broadcast, we thought it’d be a great idea to show off ‘The Rose Capital of America’ during our segment. Tyler’s Rose Garden Center and Museum served…

Talking Politics: Analyzing Texas election outcomes with international journalists

With a historic voter turnout in Texas during an unprecedented pandemic, the 2020 general election will likely be studied for years. President Donald Trump garnered roughly 600 thousand more votes in the Lone Star State than Democratic challenger Joe Biden, upending pundits’ predictions that Texas would turn “blue.” Democrats did make in-roads, expanding their reach…

Why is there a Prada store in the West Texas desert?

Perhaps you’ve heard of Prada Marfa on social media? Not far from the West Texas town made famous by its mysterious lights on the horizon, another landmark is drawing people to the remote desert community. Established in 2005, the single room structure is the vision of artists Elmgreen and Dragset. The art installation has become…

Big Bend Ranch: Where solitude meets adventure

Spectacular scenery and unmatched adventure await visitors to Big Bend Ranch State Park. The 300,000-plus-acre park in Presidio and Brewster counties is the largest in Texas. The West Texas desert landscape’s geological features and recreational opportunities draw outdoors enthusiasts from around the country. One of the easiest ways to take-in the vastness of the state…

NASA opens $5M Apollo mission control room restoration for public tours

As the country marks 50 years since the history-making Apollo 11 moon landing, visitors to Space Center Houston are getting an inside look at the landmark that helped make the ‘giant leap’ possible. Three weeks ago, NASA and Space Center Houston unveiled a $5 million dollar renovation of Mission Operations Control Room 2, which was…

Shiplappin’ and sweets in Waco, Texas

Waco, Texas may be known as the birthplace of Dr. Pepper and the home of Baylor University, but it’s quickly becoming a destination for fans of ‘Fixer Upper.’ HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines’ put their hometown in the spotlight, transforming homes on their hit TV show. They’re also a driving force behind the revitalization of…

Tyler closer to formalizing sister city relationship in China

A city in southwest China is closer to being named the sixth official sister city of Tyler. The Tyler Sister Cities program is exploring a new partnership with Qujing, a city of more than six million residents located in southwestern China, located about 700 miles west of Hong Kong. Earlier this year, the Tyler City…