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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Business and tourism groups are continuing to speak out against the state’s so-called “bathroom bill,” being deliberated during the special legislative session that's underway.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

What happens when your school heads to the state championship for smart kids three years running? At Seagoville High School in the Dallas school district, students take notice – and the Academic Decathlon team doubles in size. Mark Harrington, the coach and teacher, is the force behind this team.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — A Texas GOP congressman says if the three female Republican senators who oppose a bill repealing Obamacare were men from South Texas, he might challenge them to a duel. 

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News: Tom Perez is optimistic that Democrats can mount a comeback in Texas -- and across the country.

Gage Skidmore

After last year’s presidential election, Democrats are in rebuilding mode in Texas and across the country. Democrats lost the White House and they’re the minority in Congress and in most statehouses. In Texas, the last time a Democrat won statewide office was in 1994. Despite all of this, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is optimistic.

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Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, told lawmakers in a statement on Monday that he "did not collude... with any foreign government."

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The driver of a broiling tractor-trailer found packed with immigrants outside a Walmart in San Antonio was charged Monday in the deaths of 10 of his passengers and could face the death penalty.

Meet The Owner Of A Gay Bar Who Is Challenging Texas Gov. Abbott

22 hours ago
Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

Jeffrey Payne thinks Texas is ready to turn blue. That’s why the openly gay, 49-year-old Dallas Democrat who owns five businesses — including The Dallas Eagle, a popular gay bar — is doing what some might say is impossible: attempting to win the governor’s seat by running against one of the most popular and well-funded governors in recent memory. 

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Homeland security has taken over the investigation into what police in San Antonio believe was a case of human smuggling. Nine people are now dead after they were found in a sweltering semi-trailer outside a Walmart Sunday.

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Spuds, chips or fries, we consume a lot of potatoes in a lot of ways. Some are healthy and some not. It all depends on how you prepare them. But, there are plenty of health benefits in the vegetable itself.

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Following the deaths of nine people in what police are calling a "human trafficking crime," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took to Facebook Sunday to highlight the importance of cracking down on "sanctuary cities."

Senate Committee Passes Texas 'Bathroom Bill' After 10 Hours Of Testimony

Jul 22, 2017
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

As part of state lawmakers’ second attempt at passing a bathroom bill this year, a panel of Senate lawmakers voted Friday to advance a measure to restrict bathroom use for transgender Texans.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Hundreds of people lined up today in Austin to oppose a so-called "bathroom bill."

Mengwen Cao / KUT

The special session is underway, and of the 20 items Gov. Greg Abbott says he wants lawmakers to tackle, one is getting a lot of attention from teachers: pay increases for educators.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

A Texas Senate committee this morning will hear testimony on the controversial bathroom bill.

Facebook / Detroit Police Department

Dallas made a landmark hire this week – Renee Hall will be the first woman to run the city’s police department. Now serving as deputy chief in Detroit, Hall is determined to make her mark in Dallas not just as a woman, but as a standout leader.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News: 

This summer, high school and junior high students are gathering at Southern Methodist University for week-long engineering camps.

Bob Daemmrich/The Texas Tribune

The Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood announced on Thursday they're suing over a provision in Texas' Senate Bill 8, which outlaws dilation and evacuation abortions.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Throughout the summer, high school and junior high students have been gathering at Southern Methodist University for week-long engineering camps. High schoolers tackled a tough challenge. Devise - then build – one of several electronic items like an alarm clock or home burglary system.  Only make it smaller, cheaper and faster than what’s out there. And finish it in just days.

Dave Fehling NPR StateImpact / KUHF Houston Public Radio

A Washington, D.C.-based environmental advocacy group sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, arguing the federal government isn't properly policing air pollution permits the state of Texas issued to some of the largest industrial facilities in the U.S.

Bob Daemmrich / For the Texas Tribune

Texas legislators could end up passing bills to reform the state's school finance system and help out retired teachers this special session.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

When Senate Republicans abandoned plans to overhaul the Affordable Care Act this week, President Donald Trump blamed Democrats and some Republican senators for the bill’s failure. 

Jolie McCullough / The Texas Tribune

ROSHARON — Just 30 miles south of the urban epicenter of Houston, the scene around one of Texas’ oldest maximum-security prisons has a much more rustic quality.

Eric Schell / Handout via Reuters

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Mack Beggs joins fight against “bathroom bill”; Dallas has a new police chief; that Spiral Diner pie in “A Ghost Story”; and more.

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Across Texas, city officials are critical of the special session agenda set by Gov. Greg Abbott -- they say many of the items are basically an attempt by state lawmakers to influence what city leaders do at the local level.

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Renee Hall will be the first female chief of the Dallas Police Department.

Hall is the permanent replacement for Chief David Brown. He retired in October after leading the department and the city through the aftermath of the July 7 ambush that left five officers dead.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Dallas has a new top cop, and for the first time in the history of the city, a woman will lead the Police Department. Renee Hall will assume chief duties in Dallas in September after finishing up as deputy chief in Detroit. 

MESQUITE HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK/PARKER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE VIA AP

A fired Balch Springs police officer says in a court filing that his actions were justifiable when he fired into a moving car carrying five black teenagers, killing a 15-year-old boy.

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Eating a ripe, juicy peach -- from a fruit stand along a country road or from a farmer's market or inside a grocery store -- is a summertime ritual for many Texans. 

While we can get peaches and most produce all year round, the best chance to eat homegrown fruits and vegetables at their peak is knowing their typical season. 

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A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel ushered in a new era for cancer treatment last week. The panel unanimously recommended the approval of the first treatment to fight acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a common blood cancer in children – with a patient’s own cells.

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