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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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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Health/Science
2:48 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

When It Comes To The Flu, Texas Leads The Country -- And It's Getting Worse

Across Texas, the flu is on the rise.
Shutterstock

As we enter influenza season, the flu is hitting Texas hardest, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Its website shows that levels of the illness are higher in Texas and Mississippi than all other states. That’s as of the latest report from the last week of November.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Dallas City Council Approves More Restrictive Gas Drilling Ordinance

Jim Schermbeck with Downwinders At Risk is pleased with the 1,500-foot restriction.
Bill Zeeble KERA News

The Dallas City Council passed a new, more restrictive gas drilling ordinance this afternoon. It includes a 1,500-foot setback from homes, businesses, schools and other so-called protected uses.

An 11th hour amendment was approved that requires a tougher two-thirds majority council vote to reduce the setback.

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Weather
11:50 am
Tue December 10, 2013

'Moguls For Cars:' What’s This Cobblestone Ice That’s Covering North Texas Roads?

Cobblestone ice has made travel downright dangerous. Over the weekend, Ross Hailey of the Star-Telegram captured this truck driving over cobblestone ice in Haltom City.
Credit Star-Telegram/Ross Hailey

The ice storm that’s blanketed North Texas streets and highways has spawned a new name: cobblestone ice.

Cobblestone ice – sounds poetic, doesn’t it?

Not if you’ve had to drive through it.

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Crime
11:05 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Man Arrested After Gun Fired Through Irving Motel Room Wall, Killing Woman

Michael Shane Gray has been charged with negligent homicide, Irving police said.
Irving Police

A 36-year-old man from Dallas has been charged with negligent homicide after his gun went off and the bullet killed a woman in the motel room next door.

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Health/Science
11:02 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Parkland Doctor Breaks 50-Year Silence About The Day JFK Was Shot

Dr. Red Duke gets a handshake and thank you after telling the story of his work as a Parkland Hospital doctor November 22, 1963.
BJ Austin KERA News

Throughout November, KERA will mark the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination by taking a closer look at that fateful day, what it meant to the country, how it changed Dallas, and more.

Today, we take a look at Dr. Red Duke, who worked to save the life of John Connally, the Texas governor who was wounded after bullets struck Kennedy's motorcade. Connally sat in front of Kennedy. KERA's BJ Austin has the story:

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