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Fort Worth Native, 'Apollo 13' Actor Bill Paxton Dies At 61

Bill Paxton, who as a boy in Fort Worth witnessed John F. Kennedy's final day and who grew up to be a Hollywood stalwart in such films as "Apollo 13" and "Titanic," has died from complications after surgery. He was 61.

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The High Five

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

Tuesday night, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time. After a chaotic first month, it will be a chance for Trump to reset his relationship with voters, who currently give him historically-low approval ratings.

It will also be a chance for him to reassure congressional Republicans, whose view of the new administration runs the gamut from optimism to unease.

12:39 a.m.: Next up on Pop Culture Happy Hour's end, we'll record a late-night Small Batch, which ought to be up in your feeds overnight. Too bad there won't be much to discuss...

Vanessa Lua / Flickr

Bill Paxton, who as a boy in Fort Worth witnessed John F. Kennedy's final day and who grew up to be a Hollywood stalwart in such films as "Apollo 13" and "Titanic," has died from complications after surgery. He was 61.

3:23 p.m. ET: Perez wins DNC chairmanship, names Ellison deputy

Former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez won the DNC chairmanship on second round.

It was met by protest from about a dozen Keith Ellison supporters, who chanted, repeatedly, "Not big money, party for the people."

They were shushed and overshouted.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Two North Texas lawmakers took a break from the legislative session to share a stage in Dallas Friday morning. Republican Senator Don Huffines and Democratic Representative Rafael Anchia debated a range of hot button issues being considered in Austin.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Two North Texas lawmakers took a break from the legislative session to share a stage in Dallas Friday. Republican Senator Don Huffines and Democratic Representative Rafael Anchia debated a range of hot button issues being considered in Austin. Neither Huffines nor Anchia shied away from the controversial topics swirling under the Capitol dome.

Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, will headline a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in North Texas on Wednesday. 

Because of racial bias, actor Selmore Haines III left the theater for 30 years. Now, he's back in Jubilee Theatre's one-man show
Jubilee Theatre

Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre is tackling the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall. And actor Selmore Haines III is starring in the one-man show. As Marshall was fighting discrimination, Haines was experiencing it – and it almost kept him from becoming an actor.

The White House is admitting that it discussed with the FBI media reports that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence agents and that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly knock down the story.

FBI Director James Comey refused.

Libre Initiative

New federal memos this week on immigration enforcement have stoked fears that millions of people could be deported. A UT-Dallas student who’s part of the DACA program spent the night in a Richardson jail. He’d been pulled over on a traffic warrant, but was detained when his immigration status was discovered.

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Race, Poverty And The Changing Face Of Schools

Take a deep dive into how four different high schools in North Texas have changed over the decades.

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Latest from NPR

When it comes to climate change, we often think of the cars we drive and the energy we use in our homes and offices. They are after all, some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. But what about the toast you ate for breakfast this morning?

A new study published Monday in Nature Plants breaks down the environmental cost of producing a loaf of bread, from wheat field to bakery. It finds that the bulk of the associated greenhouse gas emissions come from just one of the many steps that go into making that loaf: farming.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

One of the very first bills President Trump signed into law this month killed a Securities and Exchange Commission rule meant to promote transparency in countries riddled with corruption. Trump said getting rid of the rule, which required oil, gas and mining companies to disclose overseas royalties and other payments, would bring back jobs and save extraction companies many hours of paperwork and, potentially, hundreds of millions of dollars.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A 19-year-old white man accused of kicking a coat hanger up the rectum of a mentally disabled black teammate received no jail time at his sentencing on Friday.

Former high school football player John R. K. Howard entered a so-called "Alford plea," meaning he maintains his innocence while admitting a judge or jury would likely find him guilty. He was sentenced to probation and community service, and his conviction might be entirely dismissed at a later date.

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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 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.