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West Explosion: One Year Later
8:58 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

On Anniversary Of Explosion, West Pays Tribute -- And Looks Forward

“We remember those fallen, but we also have a fantastic story of rebuilding this town," says West Mayor Tommy Muska.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

Various West officials – representing the city, the schools and churches -- gathered Thursday afternoon to talk about life in West since last April’s fertilizer plant explosion. The blast rocked the small town in McLennan County, killing 15 people, including 12 volunteer firefighters, and injuring more than 200.

There’s been a lot of progress over the past year, Mayor Tommy Muska says.

“Today is a hard day for all of us,” he said. “We remember those fallen, but we also have a fantastic story of rebuilding this town.”

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West Explosion: One Year Later
8:34 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

‘They Want To Be Normal:’ Dallas Writer Who Grew Up In West Reflects On His Hometown

"Everybody I talked to -- they seem like they’ve bounced back," Zac Crain with D Magazine says about West. He grew up in the small town, which was rocked by a fertilizer plant explosion in April 2013.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

D Magazine’s Zac Crain is Facebook friends with practically half the town of West. He grew up just 500 yards from the fertilizer plant that exploded a year ago. He talked about life after the explosion. “It worried me that it was a town that could die out," he said. Crain reflected on the town the morning after the explosion. (Here's an expanded version.) Crain also profiled the town for D in July.

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Beer!
3:03 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Cheers! Meet The Brewmasters Behind The North Texas Craft Beer Craze

MaxyM shutterstock.com/gallery-715492p1.html

In the past few years, North Texas has gone from a brewery desert to one of the country’s hubs for craft beer.

Credit new state laws and imaginative brewmeisters who are getting creative and creating tasty pints. A few North Texas beer scientists recently discussed the craft beer craze on “Think,” KERA’s midday talk show.

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Sports
12:48 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Dallas Is Both A Basketball And Hockey Playoff Town (For Now)

It's playoff time for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. They face the San Antonio Spurs this weekend. Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars are also in the playoffs -- against the Anaheim Ducks.
Natursports shutterstock.com/gallery-498355p1.html

For the first time since 2008, Dallas is a basketball -- and hockey -- playoff town.

The Dallas Stars started their first postseason run in six years Wednesday night against the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks in California. (The Ducks defeated the Stars in the first game, 4-3. Game 2 is 9 p.m. Friday in California.)

Their basketball brethren, the Dallas Mavericks, are harboring some long-shot dreams, too: They start the NBA playoffs this weekend, their first postseason appearance since 2012.

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Texas News
11:01 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Marking The One-Year Anniversary Of The West Explosion

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the fertilizer plant explosion in West.
Joe Berti

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the day when West, Texas, changed forever. A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the small town in McLennan County, killing 15 people, including 12 volunteer firefighters, and injuring more than 200.

A memorial service, called West 4-17 Forever Forward, takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the West Fair and Rodeo Grounds. A moment of silence will be observed at 7:51 p.m., marking the time of the explosion.

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The High Five
7:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Tony Romo Is Among The World's Highest-Paid Athletes

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo makes $26.5 million a year.
Photo Works shutterstock.com/gallery-340777p1.html

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Romo and company make a ton of money; remembering the one-year anniversary of the West explosion; the latest on Ted Nugent; and more.

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Texas News
8:19 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

South Korea Ferry Disaster Sends Shock Waves All The Way To North Texas

Minjung Kim, a radio host at Dallas Korean Radio, says the whole nation of Korea is in shock.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

The ferry that sank off the Korean peninsula is sending shock waves all the way to North Texas.

Minjung Kim got word of the ship sinking overnight, and immediately went to work, getting the latest details for her broadcast on Dallas Korean Radio, AM 730.

The KERA Radio Story.

“Especially the fact that most of the passengers were young high school kids makes this tragedy even more painful,” Kim told KERA. “The whole nation of Korea is in shock.”

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Education
7:21 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Dallas City Council Gets An Educational Lesson On Home-Rule School Proposal

Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston, center, wondered if DISD's reforms need a governance change that would be prompted by home-rule.
Bill Zeeble KERA News

Dallas school administrators and board members met at Dallas City Hall Wednesday to discuss the home-rule proposal that could change the way the DISD is run and governed. Despite the mayor’s support of home-rule, City Council members want more information.

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Politics
3:58 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Watch Dan Patrick’s Full Debate Response On Declaring Bankruptcy In The 1980s

The four Republican Texas lieutenant governor candidates faced off in a January debate in the KERA studios. From left: Jerry Patterson, Dan Patrick (who made the May 27 runoff), Todd Staples and incumbent David Dewhurst (also in the runoff).
LM Otero Associated Press

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's campaign released a television ad Wednesday that criticizes his opponent, State Sen. Dan Patrick, for not repaying his personal bankruptcy debts in the 1980s.

The ad features footage from the Jan. 27 "Texas Debate: The Race For Lieutenant Governor," filmed at KERA's studios. The debate moderator, KERA’s Shelley Kofler, is shown asking Patrick about the bankruptcy. You can watch the Dewhurst ad, called "Mother of All Debts," and Patrick's full response to the question during the debate, and read the Patrick campaign's response to the ad.

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Reporter's Notebook
3:15 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

One Mom’s Wild Ride To Delivering Her Baby Boy

Our little guy was almost eight days late and weighed just under eight pounds at birth.
Courtney Collins KERA News

In the days leading up to the birth of my son, I had a gut feeling it would be a breeze. My mom, after all, was only in labor for seven hours total with three children. And four of those hours were with me, the most stubborn of the Collins kids.

My pregnancy had been easy: I was a week overdue, but worked my normal schedule until the day before my doctor wanted to induce. A lot of first-time moms need drugs to get labor started; induction is downright commonplace. The birth part was going to follow suit; I just knew it.

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