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Being Homeless Isn't Against The Law, But Sleeping On The Streets Comes At A Cost

Once a year, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers and The Stewpot downtown host “ community court .” It’s an opportunity for homeless people to trade in tickets for community service, tickets issued for riding DART trains and buses without paying, for jaywalking — relatively minor offenses.

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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.

Max Faulkner / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The latest on the Dallas-Fort Worth rail project; Denton renames Robert E. Lee Elementary; Dallas City Manager reflects on his first nine months; and more.

Updated at 10:14 a.m. ET

A bipartisan measure aimed at improving background checks for gun sales has been introduced in the Senate, following a mass shooting in Texas that officials say might have been prevented if the gunman's conviction on assault charges had been flagged in a national database.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

More than 113,000 Texas students were homeless during the 2014-15 school year. That’s a 12 percent increase from the year before, according to a new report out Wednesday on youth homelessness. The report by Texas Appleseed and Texas Network of Youth Services also finds that homeless students are more likely to repeat a grade, or drop out of school.

A group of House and Senate lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday to overhaul the system for filing and settling harassment claims from congressional employees.

"Zero tolerance is meaningless unless it is backed up with enforcement and accountability," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a leading co-sponsor of the ME TOO Congress Act, named after the #MeToo social media awareness campaign for victims of sexual harassment and assault.

Marquan Ellis was evicted from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada when he was 18.

His mother battled with a drug and gambling addiction while he stayed at his godmother's house. But he couldn't stay there forever.

He found his way to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth where he enrolled in the independent living program.

Editor's note: This post contains language that some may find offensive.

In her onetime role as a Dallas County assistant district attorney, Jody Warner was accustomed to prosecuting others, but she found herself on the defensive after an Uber driver released audio, recorded Friday, in which she can be heard hurling insults and curse words at him. By Monday, Warner had lost her job.

It began when Shaun Platt was driving Warner, 32, home from a bar and she disagreed with the route he was taking.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has entered the West Wing.

Mueller's team is charged with looking into whether anyone on President Trump's campaign worked with the Russians who attacked the 2016 election, so it was inevitable that investigators would want to talk with aides now working in the White House.

Some, like top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, communications director Hope Hicks and policy adviser Stephen Miller, were key players in the campaign as well.

Alexandra Arriaga / The Texas Tribune

Gage Kemp was 17 when he first became homeless.

“The home I grew up in, there was a lot of drug abuse and violence, and I got bullied a lot,” Kemp said. “My parents were on hard drugs, and my dad told me to get out. It was in that moment I realized I was free, in a sense.”

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

When Dallas doctor Don Read enrolled in medical school at the UT Medical Branch at Galveston in 1964, he had to pay more than other students because he wasn’t a Texas resident.

“Back then I paid $500,” he said. “So things have changed a little bit since then.”

They sure have.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

A dissolution committee that will oversee the closing of Dallas County Schools will appoint a CEO Wednesday to wind down operations through the end of the school year.

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Latest from NPR

Whether you're the star chef of the family or you're assigned dish duty, the odds are pretty good you've got that all-important Thanksgiving dinner on your mind.

Along with the fun — and let's be honest, the occasional tension — that comes with getting together with friends and family, the cooking itself can be overwhelming for many people.

NPR's Michel Martin got together with Christopher Sorensen, the culinary director for Blue Apron,, to whip up a few Thanksgiving-friendly meals and to talk about getting comfortable in the kitchen this holiday season.

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Tracing The Path Of A Gun

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New Orleans made history last night. For the first time ever, the city has elected a woman as mayor - LaToya Cantrell. But Cantrell says that there are other big numbers that matter more. NPR's Colin Dwyer reports.

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History, science, politics, books and more with Krys Boyd.

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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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