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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 – Bill Zeeble, KERA 90.1 Reporter: In the dry, hot heart of Arizona lies the 372,000 acre Gila River reservation, home to the Native American Pima tribe. The local hospital, some telephone polls, and the occasional low-rise building interrupt the pale, flat desert vista of green, single story-tall cactus. Conditions appear so barren and harsh, one might conclude things haven't changed here for thousands of years, which is about as long as Native Americans have lived here.

Dallas, TX – Bill Zeeble , KERA 90.1 Reporter: 17 year-old Andrew Martinez lives in the heart of San Antonio's Hispanic barrio with his mom, an aunt, and diabetes.

Andrew Martinez: The whole family's diabetic in this household.

Dallas, TX – Kurt Hubler, KERA 90.1 Reporter: When the R-S-R smelter first opened at Singleton and Westmoreland in the late 1930?s, it provided material used in ammunition for World War Two, by removing lead from automotive batteries. But residents like Patricia Stevens, now the President of the Westmoreland Heights Neighborhood Association, say growing up next to the facility was a battle in itself.

Dallas, TX – [Ambient sound of hyperbaric chamber]

Bill Zeeble, KERA 90.1 Reporter: 16 million people in this country have diabetes. While two-thirds know it, the rest - five and a half million - don't. It's called "the silent killer."

Margaret Eckerd, insurance employee and diabetic: I was just discovered to have the diabetes.

FORT WORTH – Suzanne Sprague, KERA 90.1 Reporter: When you walk into the Wayne Thiebaud exhibit, the first painting you'll see is a still life of cakes. They're 17 of them. All on simple cake stands. Exhibition organizer Stephen Nash of San Francisco describes Thiebaud's technique as "gooey," with paint almost dripping off the canvas.

Stephen Nash, Chief Curator of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco: Well, he is like a pastry chef in a way where he's actually decorating the cakes and pies with frosting, so to speak.

DALLAS – Virginia Whitehill, Activist and Grandmother: Jill, look at this. This is the woman who made - Grace Murray Hopper - made the modern computer possible.

FORT WORTH – Kenneth Barr, Mayor, City of Fort Worth: Motion by a vote of six to one. [Clapping]

DALLAS – [Ambient sound of Buddhists chanting]

Suzanne Sprague, KERA 90.1 Reporter: Devout Buddhists in Dallas begin each morning with 90 minutes of devotional meditation. They dress in black robes and sit on tiny platforms while incense and the steady beat of a spiritual chant fill the air.

[More chanting]

Dallas, TX – Suzanne Sprague, KERA 90.1 Reporter: The speakers' list at yesterday's public hearing read like a "Who's Who" of Dallas community leaders. The heads of the League of Women Voters, the Chamber of Commerce, several private hospitals, and the Greater Dallas Community of Churches all turned out in support of Parkland's 31% tax increase. Ron Steinhart is chairman of the Dallas Citizens Council.

Dallas,TX – If Al Gore loses the election this fall, would his running mate, Joe Lieberman, be a likely prospect for president in 2004? Certainly Senator Lieberman was the star of the Democratic convention. It was his speech, said one observer, that ushered out the Clinton era and turned the party toward this year's nominees. Could he point the way also toward a Democratic restoration four, or eight, years from now?

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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

California fire officials say the massive Thomas Fire has claimed the life of a firefighter.

"I am very saddened to report that a firefighter fatality has occurred on the Thomas Incident," Chief Ken Pimlott, the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, tweeted. "Please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers and all the responders on the front lines in your thoughts as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions."

A judge in New York City sentenced the nephews of Venezuela's first lady to 18 years in prison on Thursday, following their convictions on drug trafficking charges.

Outside Puerto Rico's capital, a three-story-high mountain of debris and waste sits smack in the middle of what was a suburban soccer field before Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Blue bleachers peek out from the edge of the trash pile, as a line of trucks rolls in to dump even more tree branches and moldy furniture. Workmen wearing yellow hard hats operate diggers to add the new waste to the growing pile in the center of the field.

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Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Vladimir Putin always has a lot to say at his end-of-year press conferences.

And Thursday in Moscow, the Russian president returned to the podium once again for a nearly four-hour session with reporters.

Although the annual event is — for the most part — predictable and heavily scripted, dissonant voices somehow manage to pipe up. 

Russia’s influence in the Middle East is growing

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Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/Reuters

Vladimir Putin conducted a whirlwind tour of the greater Middle East region this week. For some observers, it was a showcase for Russia’s growing influence in the region. According to Ishaan Tharoor, “he exhibited the kind of clever strategic policymaking that the US is simply not doing in the region.”

Tharoor is a foreign affairs writer with the Washington Post and recently wrote “Putin is outplaying Trump in the Middle East.” 

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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