Christopher Connelly | KERA News

Christopher Connelly

Fort Worth Reporter

Christopher Connelly is a KERA reporter based in Fort Worth. Christopher joined KERA after a year and a half covering the Maryland legislature for WYPR, the NPR member station in Baltimore. Before that, he was a Joan B. Kroc Fellow at NPR – one of three post-graduates who spend a year working as a reporter, show producer and digital producer at network HQ in Washington, D.C.

Christopher is a graduate of Antioch College in Ohio – he got his first taste of public radio there at WYSO – and he earned a master’s in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. He also has deep Texas roots: He spent summers visiting his grandparents in Fort Worth, and he has multiple aunts, uncles and cousins living there now.

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Texas could lose big if it pursues policies that curtail the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. That’s the message from a study commissioned by the Texas Association of Business, the state’s chamber of commerce. The study finds that the state potentially faces huge losses, and it comes as fights over LGBT rights are brewing in Austin ahead of the next legislative session.

Robert White / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A proposed bill from a Tarrant County lawmaker is causing a stir in education circles. Texas Sen. Konni Burton said the bill is intended to bolster a parent’s right to information about his or her child. But critics say it’s vaguely worded, and some worry it could put LGBT kids at risk.

Dave Wilson via flickr

The next legislative session doesn’t start until January, but the battle lines are being drawn. One issue is sure to be contentious: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Lawmakers have introduced a number of bills, some intended to help LGBT folks, others that would strip protections and reverse recent gains.

Paul Woolrich via flickr

While Donald Trump won Texas handily, Hillary Clinton won most of the state’s big cities. Dallas County went blue by a big margin, and Democrats dominated local races. While they flipped a handful of state house seats, Democrats fell short of the gains they had hoped for. In Dallas County, just one seat moved from red to blue.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

The Texas Rangers will be getting a new stadium. That news after voters in Arlington overwhelmingly approved a plan to use local tax dollars to pay for half of a $1 billion ballpark with a retractable roof.

Texas Public Radio

Election Day in Texas hasn't been without issues at the polls. At a high school in Richmond, near Houston, machine problems reportedly caused dozens of people to leave without voting. KERA has received reports of long lines, last-minute polling station changes and some voter ID confusion. 

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

Throughout North Texas, there are very few competitive state legislative races, and they all happen to be in Dallas County. Democrats in the county are hoping that changing demographics, higher turnout and Donald Trump might be the right combination to help them take a handful of Republican-held seats.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

If you build it, they will…stay? That’s the pitch from supporters of plan to build a new, $1 billion ballpark for the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Voters there will decide whether or not to pay for half of it with city funds. Opponents say it’s a bad deal for the city.

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All 36 of Texas’ congressional seats are on the ballot this fall, but only one of those races is considered truly competitive. The vast majority of state House and Senate races aren’t particularly competitive, either. One big reason: A lot of the state's districts are drawn to give one party or the other a big majority.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

Restaurants come and go all the time, but in Fort Worth’s West Seventh district, a taqueria is going a bit beyond a simple relocation. It’s moving an entire building, complete with its concrete slab, all the way across town. It’s a slow process — one that's weeks in the making and will take days to complete — but it’s a labor of love.

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Donald Trump was in Texas again on Tuesday. The Republican presidential nominee held no public events, but stopped at private fundraisers in Dallas and San Antonio.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

Attorney General Loretta Lynch finished her visit to North Texas Tuesday at a National Night Out celebration at UNT-Dallas.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

We're just weeks away from picking a new president and congress. But for some, that's nowhere near enough change. It’s not hard to find an audience in Texas receptive to the message that the federal government is in need of a drastic fix. One group has an ambitious plan to do just that.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

An 89-year-old Fort Worth woman is on a mission to make Juneteenth a nationally observed holiday. Juneteenth marks the day that word arrived in Texas that slavery had been abolished. To bring attention to her cause, she’s on a symbolic walk to Washington, and she’s determined to spread the word any way she can.

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At least seven coal-fired power plants in Texas could face closure in coming years because more renewables and cheap gas makes coal power too expensive. That’s according to a new report commissioned by the environmental group Public Citizen.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

This summer, it’s started to look a bit like a tax revolt in North Texas. Frisco voters just turned down a school tax increase, Dallas schools decided not to ask for a tax hike. And in Dallas County, Judge Clay Jenkins said he wants to cut property tax rates.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

An unusual journey began in Fort Worth last night. An 89-year-old woman named Opal Lee started a walk to the White House. Her goal: Make Juneteenth a national day of observance.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

It’s the first week of school in many districts across North Texas, and students are returning to the classroom after a summer of racial turmoil in America and police shootings in Dallas. 

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Donald Trump steered clear of fundraising throughout the GOP primary, but has embraced donations since then. But are North Texas donors embracing him? 

Courtesy of the Fort Worth Transit Authority

Construction on a $1 billion rail project is about to get underway in North Texas. TEX Rail will link Fort Worth with DFW International, giving Tarrant County a direct route to the airport. 

dallashabitatphotos via flickr

Dallas police officers have been leaving the force in droves in recent years, most of them going to other North Texas departments. 

Robert Hart / Texas Tribune

Texas is taking the Obama administration to court again on Friday. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking a federal judge in Fort Worth to temporarily block federal rules that would let transgender kids use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity. The Obama administration says Texas is jumping the gun.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

It’s been almost a month since a gunman opened fire on police officers downtown Dallas. Since then, the department has been sorting through a deluge of job applications. Last week, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gave a shout out to the city.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

As baby boomers head into retirement and are living longer, they’re more independent that any previous generation. Cities across the country are watching the demographic trend and trying to figure out if they are ready to accommodate the needs of this silver tsunami. In Fort Worth, it’s a work in progress.

After months of uproar over the guidelines for transgender students in Fort Worth school, the district released an updated version yesterday. Many opponents of the original anti-bullying effort applauded the new version, but some transgender advocates say the changes strip out many of the strongest elements in the original.

Critics of the original transgender guidelines were vocal, especially about bathrooms. Opponents argued that the guidelines would have let transgender kids use the bathroom of their choice. Superintendent Kent Scribner says that was never true.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he wants to classify attacks on police as hate crimes. The idea has the backing of law enforcement groups, but it’s raised some concerns among advocates for hate crimes legislation.

Charley Wilkison says police officers feel like they have a target on their backs. He’s the head of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas. That feeling, he says, started long before cops were gunned down in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

Texas has sent off another of its officers killed in the line of duty last week. The funeral for Dallas Police Officer Michael Krol on Friday was the fourth of five. The Michigan native known as a big guy with a big heart.

Sgt. Michael Smith was one of five law enforcement officers killed when a gunman fired on police at a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas last week. He’s remembered as a kind man, a good friend and a role model for a young boy at his church.

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

President Obama was in Dallas to take part in a service honoring the victims of last week’s attack. He was joined by former president George W. Bush, and a host of other dignitaries. The speakers didn’t just honor the officers, but addressed the importance – and pitfalls – of modern policing.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

President Barack Obama is coming to Dallas Tuesday to take part in an interfaith memorial service for the victims of last week’s shooting. Obama will be joined at the Meyerson Symphony Center by former President George W. Bush and other dignitaries.

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