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

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.

flickr

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.

Flickr

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.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

President Obama’s time in the White House, at this point, is measured in months, but according to presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, Obama is using every tool in the executive toolbox to being seen as a lame duck.

truthout.org via flickr

A race for a seat on the State Board of Education representing Northeast Texas is getting an unusual amount of attention.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Campaigns for the Texas Board of Education seldom make news, especially in the 31 rural and small-town counties east of Dallas that make up District 9. Republican candidate Mary Lou Bruner has changed that.

glynlowe via flickr

Fort Worth’s Zoning Commission voted Wednesday to support a historic overlay district that would add protections to the oldest buildings in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The vote isn’t binding – it’s ultimately up to the City Council – but the designation could have a big impact on how the Stockyards are redeveloped.

dydavis via flickr

Fort Worth’s Zoning Commission will weigh in on how much of the iconic Fort Worth Stockyards should be included in a historic overlay district on Wednesday. At the crux of the debate is which and how many of the buildings should have added protections because they’re important to the city’s history. 

Texas House of Representatives

When it comes to just about every state legislative race in Texas, the March 1 primary is effectively the election. There are deep red Republican districts and deep blue battles in Democratic districts. There are just a handful of purple districts with competitive general election races come fall.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Across Texas, insurgent Republicans who rode Tea Party anger to Austin are now facing challenges themselves. That’s the dynamic in Tarrant County, where state Rep. Jonathan Stickland and challenger Scott Fisher are racing toward Tuesday's primary.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson is seeking his fifth and, he says, final term. 

Christopher Connelly/KERA

A Texas judge says the case of Ethan Couch, a teenager who used an "affluenza" defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck, will be moved to adult court.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

State Rep. Charlie Geren is in the middle one of the toughest primary fights in Texas. Entrepreneur Bo French is challenging the 15-year House veteran in a district that stretches from Fort Worth to the northwest corner of Tarrant County. It’s a battle over the future direction of the statehouse that offers voters in House District 99 the choice between experienced deal maker, or replace him with a fresh face promising a more conservative agenda.

Shutterstock

As Texans start heading to the polls for early voting Tuesday, they’ll get to name their choice for their party’s presidential nominee. Some of them will also be choosing sides in fierce battles over seats in the state legislature, races where millions of dollars are being spent to convince Republicans in North Texas how to vote.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

The Denton County Republican Party held its biggest fundraiser of the year on Ronald Reagan’s birthday and it was a show of force. About 1,000 Republicans in formal wear crowded into a cavernous banquet hall Saturday to hear from elected leaders.

Christian Boschult/Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Thousands of residents in far North Fort Worth are being told to boil their water today because of possible contamination. Restaurants are closed, schools have shut down water fountains and the city is handing out bottled water.

The city started handing out water early this morning – first from small tanker trucks and then in packages of bottled water. 

Christopher Connelly/KERA

This week, the Naval Air Station in Fort Worth launched an annual training exercise. It’s designed to make sure the joint reserve base is ready to respond to security threats. The opening day began with a staged attack.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Edward "Rusty" Rose, a prominent Dallas businessman and former co-owner of the Texas Rangers, has died.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A grand jury may have cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing, but Governor Greg Abbott says that’s not stopping the state from looking into the group.

Irving has been in the national spotlight in recent months, especially after a Muslim teen was arrested and suspended for bringing a homemade clock to school. But during her annual State of the City address Tuesday night, Mayor Beth Van Duyne steered clear of controversy. Instead, she highlighted several economic development efforts.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Growing up in Indiana, Phil Crone loved having a bedroom in the basement.

“It was dark. It was cold. I didn’t know the difference noon and 6 a.m.,” he says. “It was wonderful.”

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Folks right in the path of the Christmas weekend tornadoes couldn’t do much to save their houses. For those who avoid a direct hit, building codes are supposed to protect homes from serious damage.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio made his first public campaign appearance in North Texas Wednesday.

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