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With Dallas Police And Fire Pension Fund In Trouble, City Explores Solutions

On Friday, a state district judge ruled that members of the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund can vote on proposed benefit cuts. Some firefighters and police officers had filed a lawsuit in part to block members from voting on the cuts. The pension fund has been struggling – and some worry it could ultimately bankrupt the city.
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The High Five

KERA takes a look at five stories that have North Texas talking — buzz from DFW and across the state.

Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

The cigar box guitar was an invention of poor musicians during the mid-1800s, but recently there’s been a renaissance. Art&Seek’s Hady Mawajdeh talks with historians, musicians and makers of cigar box guitars to learn about the instrument.

Kenny Tong / Shutterstock.com

On Friday, a state district judge ruled that members of the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund can vote on proposed benefit cuts. Some firefighters and police officers had filed a lawsuit in part to block members from voting on the cuts. The pension fund has been struggling – and some worry it could ultimately bankrupt the city.

Billions In Pension Shortfalls Threatening Texas Cities' Budgets

16 hours ago
Illustration by Todd Wiseman / Vittorio Ferrari / Texas Tribune

The state’s largest cities face tens of billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities to employee pension funds, a series of separate financial situations that is spurring massive account withdrawals, ongoing lawsuits, mounting political friction and national media attention.

Texas Child Protective Services Funding Gets Final OK — With Restrictions

17 hours ago
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

A board of lawmakers has given final approval for $150 million in funding to help pull the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services out of its crisis mode — but there are strings attached. 

Fort Worth Police Department / YouTube

Stormtroopers have tried multiple times to join the Fort Worth Police Department, but they're just not cutting it.  

Texas Lawmakers Set A Spending Cap They Likely Won't Reach

21 hours ago
Illustration by Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

The Legislative Budget Board on Thursday set the state’s growth rate, a number that in flush times looms large over lawmakers haggling over state spending.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News: A decision’s expected today in a lawsuit concerning the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension fund. Plaintiffs in the suit claim the 12-member pension board operates in violation of State law. The State created the board with seven trustees.

Here Are 6 Ways To Save Money During the Holidays

23 hours ago
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The average American will spend more than $900 on holiday gifts this year. On Think, Krys Boyd talked with tech journalist David Pogue about some money saving tips for shoppers. He’s the author of "Pogue's Basics: Money - Essential Tips and Shortcuts (That No One Bothers to Tell You)."

Unemployment dropped by 0.3 percentage points, to 4.6 percent, last month — the lowest rate since 2007 — according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Rebuilding A Life: One Year Later

We return to Rowlett and Garland to see how four families are rebuilding their lives after the December 2015 tornadoes.

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Here Are 39 Things You Should Do In Texas Before You Die

Texas Independence Day is March 2. (On that day, back in 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted at Washington-on-the-Brazos.) So, to celebrate, the KERA News staff figured we’d come up with a list of quintessential Texas experiences – a bucket list of things you should do in the Lone Star state before you kick the bucket.
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In-Depth Interviews

History, science, politics, books and more with KERA's Krys Boyd.

Vital Signs

KERA's series on real-life health.