BJ Austin

Reporter

BJ Austin has more than 25 years of broadcast journalism experience, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.

At KERA, BJ was runner-up for Texas Health Journalist of the Year in the 2013 Anson Jones, M.D., Awards from the Texas Medical Association. She earned a 2009 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters honorable mention for best specialty/beat reporting and a 2010 honorable mention for best general-assignment story for "Zoo Poo." She has also shared several awards, including a a 2010 TAPB first-place trophy for KERA’s radio series "Living with the Trinity: Thirsty"; a 2009 TAPB second-place honor for best continuing coverage for "Family Values: What Voters Want"; and a 2010 regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for "The Economy Project."

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Texas News
3:05 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

In Dallas, Poverty Has Skyrocketed Over The Past Decade

The Dallas mayor's annual Back to School Fair offers free school supplies, as well as health, vision and dental screenings.
Twitter/Mayor Mike Rawlings (@ Mike_Rawlings)

Dallas’ poor population has exploded.

From 2000 to 2012, the number of poor people in Dallas rose by 41 percent. That far outweighs the city's overall 5 percent population growth during the same period.

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Transportation
10:27 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

More Toll Lanes To Open Along I-35E This Weekend

The I-35E/Loop 12 elevated interchange under construction.
The LBJ Express Project Texas Department of Transportation

A new stretch of TEXpress toll lanes will open Saturday on I-35E. It’s the second segment of so-called managed lanes in the $2.7 billion LBJ Express Project

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Animals
2:09 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Arlington Police Officer Saves The Same Pit Bull Twice

Arlington police Sgt. Gary Carter with Jeffrey, a pit bull he's saved twice this summer.
Arlington Police Department

Last month’s Facebook posting of Arlington Police Sgt. Gary Carter’s gentle handling of a pit bull on the loose went viral and has had more than 12 million views. Now, Sgt. Carter has saved the same pit bull again.

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Texas News
1:39 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Texas Confirms First Human Case Of Chikungunya, A Mosquito-Borne Illness

The Aedes mosquito carries chikungunya.
Credit mrfiza/Shutterstock

State health officials have confirmed the first human case of chikungunya in Texas.

It’s a mosquito-borne illness that can cause very severe joint pain, a rash, and high fever. But it’s rarely fatal.

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Texas News
4:15 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

A Year After A Deadly Tornado Ripped Through Granbury, The Rebuilding Continues

A year ago Thursday, the most powerful North Texas tornado in two decades ripped through Granbury, southwest of Fort Worth.
BJ Austin KERA News

A year ago Thursday, the most powerful North Texas tornado in two decades ripped through Granbury, southwest of Fort Worth.  It devastated one neighborhood in particular: Rancho Brazos. Six people were killed and several dozen were injured. A year later, the rebuilding continues.

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Earthquakes
6:17 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

As Azle Residents Sound Off About Earthquakes Tonight, More Tremors Reported

Critics of gas drilling will hold a public meeting in Azle Monday night.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

Critics of gas drilling will hold a public meeting in Azle Monday night.

The meeting comes as more earthquakes continue to rock the area northwest of Fort Worth. A 2.2-magnitude quake struck near Azle on Saturday. And yet another earthquake hit near Azle Monday morning, registering 3.1.

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Dallas City Hall
6:45 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Dallas City Council Names Three City Manager Finalists, Including A.C. Gonzalez

Shutterstock

It took hours, behind closed doors, but Dallas City Council members narrowed their list from six candidates to three -- interim Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, former North Carolina county manager David Cooke, and Deanna Santana, a city administrator in California.

A second round of interviews will begin next week.

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Texas News
3:39 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Bone Appétit? Plano To Consider Whether To Allow Pooches On Patios

Bone appetit? Dogs could be allowed on patios with diners in Plano -- the City Council votes on the matter Tuesday.
Shutterstock

A vote of the Plano City Council Tuesday night could open restaurant patios to diners and their dogs.

The issue was raised by the Katy Trail Ice House Outpost that opened last summer in Plano. The original Ice House in Dallas is a popular spot for Fido and friends, and operators wanted to do the same in Plano.

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Texas News
10:26 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Fuel Spill Forces Six-Hour Closure Of Westbound Lanes Of Interstate 30 Near Downtown Dallas

This traffic camera showed the view on Interstate 30 near Sylvan, the site of this morning's accident.
TxDOT

Update, 2:57 p.m. Monday: A wreck involving an 18-wheeler caused big problems on westbound Interstate 30 near Sylvan Avenue in Dallas this morning.

“A car was trying to exit on Sylvan and hit the barrier," said Katrina Keys with TxDOT’s Horseshoe Project. "And then an 18-wheeler was trying to swerve out of the way and that’s when the 18-wheeler tipped over.  And that’s really what caused all the traffic backup.”

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Texas News
1:07 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Three Things You Need To Know About LBJ Freeway Toll Lanes That Debuted Over The Weekend

Phase 1 of the TEXpress on LBJ Freeway opens Saturday.
LBJ TEXpress

Last Saturday, you could start going faster on part of the chronically congested LBJ Freeway in north Dallas. But it’s going to cost you.

The so-called “managed toll lanes” are part of the $2 billion LBJ Express project and promise speeds of at least 50 miles an hour. The first segment of the so-called TEXpress managed toll lanes on LBJ is the 3-mile stretch between Preston Road and Greenville Avenue. 

Here are three things you need to know:

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