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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Business/Economy
10:41 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Downside Of Cheap Prices At The Gas Pump: Oil Field Layoffs

Rig workers and companies that service the oil field are seeing layoffs as oil drops below $50 a barrel and drillers cut back.
Shutterstock

Texas has diversified its economy since the last oil bust, but with prices now down nearly two-thirds from the all-time high, there could be a big financial impact in America’s biggest oil-producing state. The fallout is expected to be felt from the oil patch dinner table to the state capitol.

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Texas News
5:26 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Dallas Focuses on Earthquake Preparedness As Quakes Continue To Rumble

Most of the recent quakes were centered in the state highway 114/183 area, near the former Texas Stadium site.
Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/your-commute/article3847242.html

The cities of Dallas and Irving took a first step toward an earthquake task force Monday with an afternoon conference call that included experts from the US Geological Survey. Seventeen small quakes have hit the Irving area around state highways 114 and 183 in the past week. Several of them were big enough to startle neighbors in Dallas and elsewhere.

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Texas News
10:19 am
Mon January 12, 2015

As North Texas Quakes Continue, Experts Look For A Cause

The swirl of highways in Irving is the center of Irving's earthquake zone.
Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/your-commute/article3847242.html

Another small earthquake vibrated Irving Sunday night: a magnitude of 2.5 at 7:46 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That makes 17 in the last week in North Texas, most of them around the old Texas Stadium site in Irving.  As the quakes continue, speculation circulates as to what's causing them.

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North Texas Earthquakes
10:42 am
Thu January 8, 2015

After Quakes, Inspecting Roads, Trains And Insurance Policies

DART officials say the Orange Line, which runs through Irving, did not suffer damage from this week's earthquakes in Irving.
DART

The shake, rattle and roll of a dozen earthquakes this week in Irving has highway crews checking bridges and homeowners inspecting homes. While there hasn’t been any significant damage to homes, some are wondering about earthquake insurance.

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Texas News
8:13 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

After 12 Quakes In 2 Days, Scientists Deploy More Seismographs In Irving

An aerial view of the old Texas Stadium site in Irving. Several earthquakes have been recorded near the old stadium.
Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/your-commute/article3847242.html

Twelve earthquakes shook North Texas Tuesday and Wednesday -- and seismologists are intensifying their focus on all of the rumbling and rattling near the old Texas Stadium site.

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Texas News
4:47 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Preachapalooza Dallas 2015: Training For Young Preachers

Nick Bettis, 20, and his duct tape-covered Bible.
BJ Austin

The sixth annual National Festival of Young Preachers wrapped up Monday in Dallas.  About 130 participants -- ranging from 14 to 28 years old -- stepped up to the pulpit at what’s known as Preachapalooza.

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Texas News
5:00 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

SMU Seismologists To Study Irving Earthquake Swarm

A Guralp seismic monitoring system helps SMU scientists locate earthquakes in North Texas. SMU seismologists have been studying an earthquake swarm in and near Azle -- and they will soon survey Irving earthquakes.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

Seismologists from SMU plan to install equipment in Irving Monday after a recent rash of minor earthquakes around Highways 114 and 183 – near the old Texas Stadium site and the city’s only producing gas well.

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Arts
4:50 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

What Would Mrs. Patmore Cook? Preparations For 'Downton Abbey' Watch Parties

Sheela Kadam offers proper English fruit pies to customers at The British Emporium in Grapevine.
BJ Austin

The fifth season of "Downton Abbey" makes its U.S. premiere Sunday night on PBS.  That’s KERA-TV, Channel 13, in North Texas. The British miniseries chronicles the lives of the uppercrust Crawley family and their cadre of servants downstairs. Across North Texas, "Downton Abbey" fans are planning proper commemorations.

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News
12:37 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

New Year Brings New Bag Fee For Dallas Stores

Good bags, bad bags. The bad (single-use) bags are on the left; the good (recyclable) bags are on the right. Customers at Dallas stores will be charged a nickel for every single-use plastic or paper bag they take home.
BJ Austin KERA News

The new Dallas carry-out bag ordinance went into effect Thursday. 

Customers at Dallas stores will be charged a nickel for every single-use plastic or paper bag they take home. The goal is to be “greener” and cut down on plastic-bag litter.

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Texas News
5:14 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Community Group Files Civil Rights Complaint Against Dallas Police

A civil rights complaint against the city of Dallas and the Police Department asks that all federal funding for police be withheld until policies and procedures surrounding officer involved shootings of minorities are addressed.
Neff Conner, flickr.com

A federal civil rights complaint was filed Thursday against the city of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department.  The group Dallas Communities Organizing for Change wants the Justice Department to investigate use of excessive force by Dallas police officers.

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