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TEXANS FOR ANDREW WHITE CAMPAIGN; CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY, KERA; OFFICIAL PHOTO; SHUTTERSTOCK

Who’s In: Here Are The Candidates Who’ve Filed In 2018’s Top Texas Races

One thing is clear: The 2018 midterm elections in Texas will be lively. Democrats have pledged a full-frontal assault on statewide offices, which Republicans have controlled since 1994.

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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.

Dallas, TX – My friend and I were talking about the meaning of some widely used Yiddish terms -- and she wanted some answers. Having grown up in a Jewish home I felt I was the authority she was looking for, so I said, "Shoot." She started out with a very common term: "schlep." Oh that's easy. "Schlep. You know, to schlep - to schlep your briefcase, to schlep the water bottle, to schlep the kids - schlep!!!" I don't know why she wasn't satisfied with that explanation, but she wasn't.

Dallas, TX – Suzanne Sprague, KERA 90.1 Reporter: Cuca Gonzalez was horribly sick last year when she arrived at the emergency room for John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Dallas, TX – Suzanne Sprague, KERA 90.1 Reporter: Parkland's budget crisis began last year when it got hit with declining state and federal revenues. County commissioners had to raise taxes 10% to fund the hospital, but even then, administrators needed $30 million of Parkland's reserve funds to keep it operating. So the hospital began putting pressure on physicians to keep costs down. Susan Briner is a pediatrician at one of Parkland's seven community clinics.

Dallas, TX – Presidential wannabe Al Gore doesn't want to take credit for current gas prices. Yet, of the myriad things he has taken credit for - the Internet, Love Canal, "Love Story," and the economy - it's the one thing he genuinely has some responsibility for. After all, in his book, "Earth in the Balance," Gore wrote that higher fossil fuel prices were desirable as a national energy policy, and he cast the tie-breaking vote for 1993's gas tax increase.

DALLAS – Enoch Diaz, Harwood Street resident: This kite here, my daughter, that was her first little project. I save it. I save all this little stuff from the kids, from the years back. (Laughs)

Suzanne Sprague, KERA 90.1 Reporter (to Diaz): You're taking it with you?

Diaz: Those are all good memories.

KHVN 970 AM announcer (on tape): Heaven 97. It is now time for a special edition, a special program, a 15-minute program on the Lee Alcorn controversy.

Suzanne Sprague, KERA 90.1 Reporter: The controversy that rocked Dallas's African-American and Jewish communities began Monday. Local NAACP President Lee Alcorn was appearing on KHVN, a black gospel radio station, when he criticized Al Gore for picking Senator Joseph Lieberman, who is Jewish, over an African-American as his running mate.

DALLAS – Suzanne Sprague, KERA 90.1 Reporter: DART's current plans for light rail in North Texas do not hinge on the results of Saturday's election. The same cities will get light rail service no matter how the vote turns out. The big question is when.

Jesse Oliver, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board Chair: It moves up on an average of five years.

Sprague: Jesse Oliver is chair of the DART Board.

Oliver: So rather than waiting until 2010, 2008 for that service, we're talking about 2004, 2006.

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After The Flood

Meet hurricane evacuees who decided to stay and build a new life in a new town.

Latest from NPR

If you usually ring in the holiday with a freshly cut evergreen, your reality this Christmas could very well be a scrawny Charlie Brown tree instead — or you may wind up paying more for a lush Fraser fir.

This year, there is a tree shortage. Most growers blame the tightened supply on the Great Recession, says Valerie Bauerlein, who covered the story for The Wall Street Journal.

Tania El Khoury splits her time between London and Beirut, where she helped found an artists' collective. Three years ago, moved by stories she was hearing about the Syrian uprising, she created an interactive work called "Gardens Speak." It grew out of an image she saw of a mother digging a grave for her son in her home garden because public funerals had become too dangerous.

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

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

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

Think

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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