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Taking A Great Ape's Blood Pressure Isn't Easy. The Dallas Zoo Has Been Trying For Years

For the past few years, the Dallas Zoo has been trying to get an accurate blood pressure reading for their gorillas – without having to put them to sleep. It’s part of a national effort across several accredited zoos to better understand cardiovascular health in apes to prevent heart disease in captivity.

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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.

Thousands of patients at Parkland Health & Hospital were mailed letters urging them to be screened for colon cancer. Some received an at-home test kit as well.
UT Southwestern Medical Center

What, if anything, can convince people to get tested for colorectal cancer?

 

Researchers have tried a variety of methods — from reminding patients during yearly checkups to paying them — but there may be a cheaper, easier way to boost screening rates, using snail mail.

Molly Evans / KERA News

Five stories that have North Texas talking: New fair food announced; Joe Straus calls for removal of “inaccurate” Confederate plaque at Capitol; Theaster Gates wins 2018 Nasher Prize; and more.

There's a chance Republicans wouldn't be so close to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act if former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania hadn't dropped into the Capitol barbershop this spring.

"I was up on the Hill, I happened to just go by the barbershop to see if I could get a haircut, and Lindsey was in the chair," Santorum said. "And Lindsey asked me what I was doing, and I thought to myself, 'Well, let me just bounce it off Lindsey.' "

Courtney Collins / KERA news

One way teachers offset poverty in the classroom is by reaching into their wallets.

For some parents, filling a shopping cart with school supplies is a chore. For others, it's an impossibility. Many teachers would rather spend their own money, than see kids in their class go without.

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus wants a controversial Confederate plaque removed from the state Capitol in Austin. The plaque, called "Children of the Confederacy Creed,” rejects slavery as an underlying cause of the Civil War. It was installed in 1959.

The attorneys general of 41 U.S. states said Tuesday that they're banding together to investigate the makers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that have, over the past decade, led to a spike in opiate addictions and overdose deaths.

Updated 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

The head of Mexico's civil defense agency has lowered the number of people confirmed dead in Tuesday's earthquake. Luis Felipe Puente now says 217 people were killed. Earlier he said the death toll was 248. He gave no explanation for the revised number.

Updated at 3:30 a.m. ET

The death toll continues to rise in Mexico after Tuesday's earthquake. The country's national civil defense agency confirmed the death toll stands at 248. Rescue teams are digging through the rubble to find survivors.

It wasn't that long ago that the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act died once and for all in the Senate.

John Jordan / The Texas Tribune

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus requested on Tuesday that a contentious Confederate plaque be removed from the Capitol.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump delivered a stern warning to North Korea's leader at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.

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When President Trump announced a ban on travel for citizens from several predominantly Muslim countries in January, a coalition of officials from various blue states quickly rallied to fight it.

"We just started talking to each other Friday afternoon," recalls New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "By Sunday morning, we had 17 states signed on to say, 'This is unconstitutional. We're going into court to stop it.' And we went into courts all over the country and eventually got it struck down."

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

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Puerto Rico is in full-on disaster-response mode after powerful Hurricane Maria hit yesterday. There is no power on the entire island and almost no running water. There have been landslides, flooding and widespread structural damage.

A
Olivier Boitet/The Associated Press 

When Vincent Lancisi and his wife were traveling in the south of France earlier this year, they began chatting with their driver. And he told them a story about his former employer.

“He said, ‘I was a driver for a famous man,’” Lancisi said. “‘You probably don’t know his name but there’s a movie about him made with Jeremy Irons called 'M. Butterfly.'"

“My wife looked at me, her jaw dropped.”

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will not be going home anytime soon. His opinion piece in The Washington Post has drawn fire in the Saudi press, all because he dared write about a crackdown on free speech in the kingdom.

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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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One Crisis Away: No Place To Go

West Dallas has been on the financial edge for generations. And that's just now starting to change.