Bill Zeeble | KERA News

Bill Zeeble

Reporter

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues. He’s won numerous awards over the years, with top honors from the Dallas Press Club, Texas Medical Association, the Dallas and Texas Bar Associations, the American Diabetes Association and a national health reporting grant from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Zeeble was born in Philadelphia, Pa. and grew up in the nearby suburb of Cherry Hill, NJ, where he became an accomplished timpanist and drummer. Heading to college near Chicago on a scholarship, he fell in love with public radio, working at the college classical/NPR station, and he has pursued public radio ever since.

His first real radio gig was with a classical station in Corpus Christi, where the new Texan was dubbed “Billy Ted”; he was also a manager at WWNO-FM in New Orleans. Several stories he covered on television for KERA 13 helped homeowners avoid losing their homes. Zeeble remains dedicated to radio, however, and spends time working with NPR to teach students how to do radio journalism. His radio pieces have aired on nearly every national news show carried on KERA, from NPR and American Public Media to the BBC. He and his wife have 2 dogs and 2 cats, adopted and rescued. His home desk is messy with vintage fountain pens and parts to aid his passion to make them work again.

Ways to Connect

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Texas ranks third in the country for the highest number of homeless students in public schools, and research suggests these kids fall behind academically because they’re prone to more health problems.

UNT System

The University of North Texas System Chancellor Lee Jackson said Thursday he’ll retire at the end of August. He’s been on the job for the last 15 years. Jackson’s service in North Texas goes back decades.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A state senate committee takes up Senate Bill 6, the so-called bathroom bill Tuesday. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has long favored legislation that would require people in public schools and government buildings to use the restroom according to the sex on their birth certificate.  

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Through demographic and economic changes over the years, Duncanville High School, in a suburb south of Dallas, has maintained one constant — a winning girls basketball team.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Poverty is surging at Kimball High School in Dallas. Fifteen years ago, 57 percent of the families were economically disadvantaged. Today, it’s 83 percent. The Oak Cliff school is battling those numbers and turning around a dismal academic record — in part with its hospitality and tourism program.

The 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which takes place every four years, begins later this spring in Fort Worth, Texas. For the past six weeks, judges have been traveling the world to hear potential competitors audition. One notable stop is Moscow — where the American pianist for whom the contest is named stunned the world 59 years ago, winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition at the height of the Cold War.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Kimball High School in Dallas has endured a demographic earthquake over the past 50 years. First came integration, then busing and white flight, followed by waves of immigration, economic troubles and competition from charter and private schools. Again and again, the educational landscape has been reshaped — and so has the Oak Cliff neighborhood of southern Dallas.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Jury selection starts Tuesday in the trial of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price. He faces charges of accepting nearly $1 million in bribes in exchange for providing insider information and voting in favor of certain projects. What’s at stake for one of the most visible African-American political voices in North Texas?

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

City and county leaders in Dallas Tuesday announced a partnership of organizations focused on tackling homelessness. Their appointees will work with nonprofits and private groups to strengthen the efforts.

Shutterstock

Like schools in the state's large cities, many rural districts in Texas are worried the Legislature will embrace vouchers – which would allow families to get state money to move kids from public schools to private and religious alternatives.

They have pretty significant differences with their big-city brethren, though, when it comes to teacher retention and special services for students.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Audition judges for the next Van Cliburn International Piano Competition heard young pianists play for a career-making break in the Russian capital of Moscow last month. Cliburn himself won his big competition in Moscow 59 years ago, and Russians remember.  

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

MOSCOW — While Donald Trump was taking the oath of office in Washington, D.C. Friday, a group of North Texans was getting a long-distance perspective — from the streets and concert halls of Russia.

Bill Zeeeble / KERA News

On an Oak Cliff boulevard near the iconic Texas Theatre stands a colorful tree-trunk-like structure with a hand on top. The 17-and-a-half-foot sculpture’s only been there a few weeks and was officially dedicated in December. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Faith Johnson was sworn in as Dallas County's first African-American female district attorney Monday. At the ceremony, Johnson said she was excited and grateful to both God and Republicans.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In 1995, Texas lawmakers approved public charter schools to give parents more education options. The law created a marketplace that’s challenging traditional public schools to compete and improve, or potentially lose students. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Federal officials have fanned out across the state after allegations that Texas capped special education enrollment at 8.5 percent to save money. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Federal and state education officials got an earful from angry parents Monday night at a meeting in Richardson. Most say their school districts have denied special education services to their kids who deserved them.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

This week, we saw the end of a three-month strike by Fort Worth Symphony musicians.  The players and management agreed on a four-year contract. The deal freezes wages for two years and provides small raises the last two. An unnamed donor gave the orchestra $700,000, clearing the symphony’s deficit. But there’s more to do. 

Duncanville ISD

Superintendent Marc Smith is creating new programs and partnerships he hopes will help Duncanville schools stand out. With 13,000 students, Duncanville is twice as big as Marshall Independent School District in East Texas. That's where Smith had worked since 2012 before heading west this spring. 

Shutterstock

U.S. Department of Education officials want to hear from Texas families and students on getting access to special education services. The two-hour sessions are scheduled to begin Dec. 12.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas school and county leaders have unveiled truancy reforms aimed at keeping more kids in class.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Most kids in Dallas schools get free breakfast and lunch on campus every school day. So what happens when Dallas schools are closed all week for the Thanksgiving break?  

Shutterstock

Fort Worth symphony patrons and arts leaders are reflecting on how the absence of the orchestra is affecting the city right now, and how it could in the future if the strike continues into next year. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Democrats gathered on election night hoping for a big Hillary Clinton win. As the night wore on however, those feelings faded.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Schools face a constant challenge — how to get families more engaged in what’s happening in the class. In North Texas, some schools are experimenting with teachers making home visits. In Irving, one teacher’s been doing just that for years.  

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

There’s a construction boom in North Texas. It’s so hot that builders not only need workers, but managers. To fill that need, local colleges have seen their own boom of students seeking construction management degrees.  

Shutterstock

Three Texas schools made the top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report list of best global universities. And none of them are in North Texas.

When Rosley Espinoza's daughter was very young, in preschool, she started acting differently. She seemed distracted and would get in trouble at school.

"Lack of interest, teachers' notes coming home with behavior notes," Espinoza says, speaking in Spanish.

She says she asked school officials to evaluate her daughter, Citlali, for special education, but they didn't.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A new report out today says Texas needs to do a better job of educating young kids. And parents also need help finding affordable, quality childcare.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Texas has the lowest special education enrollment numbers in the nation. Parents of some special needs students say they’ve spent years fighting with Texas schools to get services for their kids — services schools are required to provide under federal law. 

Pages