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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As they sorted through their shock, horror and grief, Dallas residents gathered in Thanksgiving Square yesterday to pray for the victims of a sniper attack that left five law enforcement officers dead and nine people wounded on Thursday night.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Hundreds of people gathered in Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas for an interfaith prayer service Friday.

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Zebra mussels are showing up in Tarrant County. Officials say the razor-sharp shells have turned up in the waters of Lake Worth and Eagle Mountain Lake.

Courtesy of TCU

Texas may be known for oil, but it is also the nation’s largest producer of wind energy. And while renewable energy is generally a good thing to most people, it’s not great for bats. Those towering wind turbines that harness the wind’s power kill a lot of bats every year.

Todd Wiseman / Mark Fischer / The Texas Tribune

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the University of Texas' affirmative action program by a 4-3 vote.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

The shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last week put homophobic violence in the spotlight. On a regular basis, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face hate crimes. These incidents are not always deadly, yet they still leave deep physical and emotional scars. They occur against a larger backdrop, a whole story that the data on hate crimes in Texas don’t tell.

MIKE STONE / REUTERS

Democrats are flocking to San Antonio to kick off the state party convention today. In Dallas, Donald Trump supporters – and protestors – will rally at 7 o’clock tonight at Gilley’s in the Cedars area just south of Downtown. Before that, Trump will hit up GOP donors for campaign cash.

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This story is part of A Nation Engaged, a collaborative project between NPR and its member stations. This week's question: "Does my vote matter?

As politicians, pundits and reporters talk about how voters are making their decisions, the issues that motivate them, which candidates excite them. But what about those people who might be staying home in November?

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The electric car company Tesla is novel in many ways. It’s a new company trying to sell a new vision of the automobile, and it sells its cars in a different way: directly to consumers, not through a dealership. But in Texas, state law prohibits car companies from selling cars directly. Customers have to go through an independent dealership instead. For three years, Tesla has been trying without success to change that by lobbying Austin. Now it's lobbying party activists.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Childhood obesity rates may be improving in some cities, but the stats are still staggering. According to one recent survey, a third of American children are overweight. One elementary school in Fort Worth has made wellness a priority, and it’s a strategy that’s starting to pay off.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The State Board of Education candidate who gained national headlines for her controversial Facebook comments lost her Republican runoff Tuesday.

SHELBY KNOWLES / TEXAS TRIBUNE

Voters will head to the Tuesday polls to settle runoff elections from the March primaries. There are a few local seats up for grabs.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

The City of Arlington announced this afternoon its plan to build a new Texas Rangers ball park. The new venue would have a retractable roof and air conditioning and cost about a billion dollars.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Four years ago Joe Hernandez was told he had cataracts and his vision would get worse. It did.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Many Texas Republicans have a testy relationship with the federal government these days, a fact that was on full display this weekend at the GOP convention in Dallas.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Texas Republicans wrapped up their state convention in Dallas this weekend with a highly-anticipated speech from Sen. Ted Cruz.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The school bathroom wars blew up Friday at the Texas Republican convention in Dallas. 

Christopher Connelly/KERA

The Texas Republican Convention gets into full swing Thursday at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas. The event is one of the largest political gatherings in the country. 

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick went to Fort Worth Tuesday to call for the resignation of school district Superintendent Kent Scribner. Fort Worth ISD recently passed a series of guidelines intended to help transgender students – including allowing them to have access to bathrooms based on their gender identity.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

The Dallas County Commissioner’s Court approved a resolution Tuesday calling for higher state air quality standards for North Texas.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

The Rockwall City Council last night rejected the mayor’s controversial proposal that would have regulated bathroom use.

Bob Booth / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A federal trial is underway in Fort Worth related to the 2013 killing of a former cartel lawyer who was gunned down in Southlake. 

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Cataracts, the clouding of eye lenses, are the leading cause of curable blindness worldwide. They’re incredibly treatable, but for people who have lost their ability to see clearly, not being able to get the surgery can mean a life with no livelihood.

Courtesy of SEE International

Dr. Helena Ndume is sometimes called a miracle doctor. That’s because she’s returned the gift of sight to more than 30,000 people in her home country of Namibia, in southwestern Africa, by treating cataracts. She’s in Fort Worth this week, where she’ll train local doctors to do surgeries overseas.

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The American Lung Association released the results of its 17th annual State of the Air report on Wednesday. It’s a report card on the nation’s air quality, ranking metro areas based on ozone and particle pollution. 

Christopher Connelly / KERA

According to legend -- and a Texas historical marker -- early in the morning on April 17, 1897, something strange happened in the small town of Aurora, about 30 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

Max Faulkner / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Ethan Couch, the "affluenza teen" who got probation for killing four people and injuring nine while driving drunk in 2013, is going to spend nearly two more years in jail. That’s what a Tarrant County judge ordered Wednesday in Couch’s first appearance in an adult court, two days after his 19th birthday. The hearing marked a new chapter in Couch’s case.

Courtesty of Trinity Habitat for Humanity

If you’ve been in downtown Fort Worth over the past week, you may have noticed something a bit unusual: A brand-new home under construction in Sundance Square.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

The Fort Worth City Council voted late Tuesday to create a historic district around the core of the city’s iconic Stockyards district. In a historic district, developers that want to build or expand must have their plans reviewed by the city to make sure they are compatible with the neighborhood. The decision came after about three hours of public comments, including from preservationists who were hoping for much larger boundaries.

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Texas public school students across the state started taking the STAAR test today. The state of the state’s public schools has long been a contentious topic – from standardized testing to school finance.

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