The Commerce Journal

Local News

October 8, 2013

Increase in drug and alcohol arrests

COMMERCE — The increase in drug and alcohol related arrests by the Texas A&M University-Commerce Police Department is par for the course, according to Crime Information Officer Lt. Jason Bone.

Bone said the trends usually continue and peak in the months of May and November.

“People are normally better behaved at the beginning,” he said, adding that once students become more comfortable with each other, they attend more parties. “No, it’s not unusual. We typically will have a huge amount around homecoming.”

Whitley Hall was the center of a long night for UPD officers responding to such drinking parties.

On Sept. 25 just before 11:30 p.m. an officer arrived at the fifth floor of the hall to meet with a residence advisor regarding an intoxicated female.

When the officer arrived, the RA pointed out 21-year-old Austin Fisher and 18-year-old Samantha Rowe standing inside one of the residences, with another female, 18-year-old Melissa Burnett, lying unresponsive on a bed.

The officer called for American Medical Response personnel to assist and interviewed Fisher while waiting.

According to the report, Fisher admitted that he thought Burnett was “18 or 19 years old” and knowingly provided her with alcohol while at his house before transporting her to her room.

The RA advised the officer that she saw Fisher assisting Burnett into Whitley Hall and had inquired about what was going on but was not given a definitive answer by Fisher.

After a short time the officer was able to get Burnett to respond to him, but she was unable to speak coherently. For safety reasons, the officer had her lie back down until AMR arrived.

Upon questioning Rowe, she denied being at Fisher’s residence but had met them at Whitley Hall.

Burnett was transported to Hunt Regional Community Hospital in Commerce and was issued a citation for consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Fisher was charged for funishing alcohol to a minor and was transported to Hunt County Criminal Justice Center in Greenville.

Burnett, Fisher and Rowe were all issued dean referrals.

Rowe did not take the arrest of her friend well.

No more than 30 minutes later another officer was dispatched to Whitley Hall for an intoxicated female running from the hall director.

The hall director advised the officer that Rowe had ran from him and was now running across State Highway 24 toward Lonestar Eatery.

The officer pursued Rowe and another officer assisted in detaining Rowe in front of Magnuson Hotel around 12:19 a.m.

The report stated Rowe calmed down and the officers were able to find out her identity, but while escorting Rowe to the car she became combative and and kicked a Commerce Police Officer in the face, knocking him on the ground and also bit a UPD officer in his leg.

Rowe then allegedly made comments about her life being over.

The officers interviewed Rowe’s roommate who said Rowe became upset after her friend was arrested and had consumed alcohol at a party held off campus.

Rowe was held at the University Police Department until a counselor with A.D.A.P.T. arrived to speak with her and advised she was showing signs of depression.

Rowe was cleared of medical conditions and was transported to Hunt County Criminal Justice Center for possible use of unknown narcotics.

Rowe was charged with two counts of assault on a public servant and one count of resist arrest/search/transport.

Text Only
Local News
  • A&M-Commerce announces guaranteed tuition plan

    Texas A&M University-Commerce will roll out a new guaranteed tuition plan called [in]tuition beginning in the fall semester of 2014. [in]tuition guarantees all students a set rate on tuition and mandatory fees for two or four years, depending on their classification.

    July 20, 2014

  • Muralupdate1.jpg Organizations come together to beautify Commerce

    Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Texas A&M University-Commerce and the City of Commerce have partnered to bring a new “Vintage” mural to Commerce, highlighting the city’s and iconic brand’s longstanding relationship and heritage.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canadian tour bus accident leaves one dead, 50 injured

    A teenage girl died and more than 50 people were injured when a Canadian tour bus skidded off Interstate 87, broke through a median guard rail and rolled on its side down a steep embankment in northeastern New York.

    July 19, 2014

  • Council approves members, passes glass bottle ordinance

    The Commerce Parks and Recreation Board is now fully staffed, following the approval of three members by the Commerce City Council.

    July 18, 2014

  • Dan_Flynn.jpg State lawmaker intends to re-file 10 Commandments legislation

    The Texas Department of Transportation initiated a fierce debate earlier this year after informing a Texas woman that she could no longer display a sign featuring the 10 Commandments.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gomery Michigan ex-prosecutor arrested in murder-for-hire plot

    A former Michigan prosecutor was charged Monday with soliciting a hitman to murder the attorney who represented a business partner in a contentious fraud and malpractice lawsuit over the ownership of a golf course.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • School tax rate increases

    Low property values and a decrease in enrollment caused a slight tax increase for Commerce Independent School District, according to Finance Director John Walker.

    July 14, 2014

  • g258000000000000000c4985ae14aba1b54c02044ccfe867384c3b14f48.jpg Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death

    Unchecked tears rolled down Paul Martin’s lined face as he clutched the hand of an Air Force servicewoman who handed him a handwritten note at the graveside service for his older brother.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet new pastor Dr. Gregory Neal, enjoy FUMC Commerce ‘Jeopardy’

    “What is a fun way to meet the new pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Commerce?”

    July 11, 2014

  • Hospital to open next spring

    Hospital officials and local politicians were in Commerce last week to mark the ground breaking of Hunt Regional Emergency Medical Center at Commerce, an approximately $5 million facility that will be located on Highway 24 between Whitley Residence Hall and the President’s House.

    July 9, 2014

Featured Ads


How many games do you think the Lions will win in 2014?

7-9 wins
4-6 wins
1-3 wins
     View Results
Must Read
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide