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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Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Pronouncing the city in strong shape on Wednesday, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price told a gathering of hundreds of business and civic leaders during her sixth annual State of the City address that the fast-growing city faces a lot of opportunities as well as significant challenges.

Christopher Connelly / KERA

A Republican fundraiser brought a who’s who of Republican lawmakers to Fort Worth on Saturday, and it also attracted a couple hundred protesters. The demonstrators were part of a nationwide organizing effort to put pressure on GOP officials to hold town halls and get an earful from their constituents.

Scott Beale via flickr

At the Texas Capitol in Austin, battle lines are sharpening around one of this year’s biggest fights over social issues. It’s a battle over bathrooms, specifically which bathrooms transgender people should be allowed to use. 

Christopher Connelly / KERA

Wind is now the top source of renewable power in the nation. In the latest report from the American Wind Energy Association, Texas leads the nation in wind power production. 

Anthony Graves Foundation

Public radio stations from across the state collaborated on this series looking at the death penalty in Texas – its history, how it’s changed, whom it affects and its future. 

Texas executed Terry Edwards on Thursday evening, making him the second man to be put to death by the state this year. In Texas, more than 240 people sit on death row awaiting execution. Long the leading executioner in the U.S., the Lone Star State put to death fewer people last year than it has in two decades. 

Brandon Formby / Texas Tribune

The 2016 elections scrambled the U.S. political map, but one trend did not change: Almost every big, urban county voted for Democrats. Not so in Texas’ third biggest county, where Fort Worth is the county seat. Tarrant County became the most conservative metropolitan county in the country, giving Donald Trump the widest margin of victory than any of the 20 largest counties in the U.S.

Rodger Mallison Star-Telegram

Donald Trump was propelled to the presidency thanks in part to Tarrant County. Fort Worth and its suburbs make up the only metropolitan county in Texas that still votes Republican for president. And it's one of just two of the nation’s 20 largest urban counties that favored Trump. So why is Tarrant County so reliably red?

Can Texas Republicans Hold America's Reddest Large Urban County?

Jan 17, 2017
Brandon Formby / Texas Tribune

Even though he can openly carry a handgun in Texas with the right permit, Jonathan Grummer thinks that still doesn’t allow him enough freedom in a country where firearms rights are enshrined in the Constitution.  

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A viral video of a white Fort Worth police officer forcefully arresting a black woman and her daughters in December has put a spotlight on the city's police chief, Joel Fitzgerald. As the investigation is beginning to wrap up, many are waiting to see how he handles the fallout.

Christopher Connelly / KERA

William Madison McDonald is far from a household name these days, but he was a legend in his day. Born 150 years ago, McDonald is widely believed to have been the first black millionaire in Texas.

Scott Thomas via flickr

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.

Shutterstock

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.

Wikimedia

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. 

FLICKR/GAGE SKIDMORE

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. 

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