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.

Ways to Connect

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.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

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.

1082492116 / Shutterstock.com

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.

Shutterstock

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 News

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.

Pages