Eric Aasen

Digital News Editor

Eric Aasen is KERA’s digital news editor. He oversees keranews.org, the station’s news website, and its blogs, Breakthroughs, and Class of 17. He also reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio.

Eric joined KERA in September 2013 after 11 years as a reporter at The Dallas Morning News. His subjects ranged from the fiery demise of Big Tex (the iconic State Fair of Texas cowboy), to a friendly goose who helped children cross a busy street to school. He’s won numerous awards, including honors from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors for his feature writing and breaking news reporting.

A Minnesota native, Eric has wanted to be a journalist since he was in the third grade. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University in Indiana, where he earned a political science degree and served as editor-in-chief of The DePauw student newspaper.

Eric and his wife, who’s also a journalist, have a daughter and son.

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The High Five
8:28 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Jury Awards $3 Million Verdict To North Texas Family In Fracking Lawsuit

Paul Moseley/Star-Telegram archive star-telegram.com/2013/12/26/5444166/drilling-in-barnett-shale-slows.html

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A family gets $3 million in a fracking verdict; a dozen cattle were killed on a highway near downtown Fort Worth; a jazz ensemble performs Thursday night; and more.

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Humor
2:51 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

We’re Not Joking: Fort Worth Is The Country's Least Funny City

Fort Worth: You're not too funny for words.
Leena Robinson shutterstock.com/gallery-935740p1.html

This is no joke: Fort Worth is the least funny big city in the country.

Yes, scholars have researched the topic and have even produced a book showcasing their work: The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner.

They surveyed the 50 biggest cities in the country. They say they discovered that humor has a “local flavor” – what’s funny in Dallas might not be as hilarious in Chicago.

Fort Worth isn't too funny for words. Cowtown ranked dead last on a list that ranks the funniness of the 50 cities. Arlington, you’re a bit funnier, but not by much. Arlington placed No. 46 on the list.

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The High Five
7:22 am
Wed April 23, 2014

As Gov. Rick Perry Visits New York, He's Under Investigation In Texas

Gov. Rick Perry is under investigation regarding whether he abused his power in Austin.
Gov. Rick Perry's office

Five stories that have North Texas talking: the U.S. Chemical Safety Board says the West fertilizer plant could have been prevented; Austin City Limits announces its lineup; Gov. Rick Perry talks up Texas in New York; and more.

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The High Five
12:15 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

In Texas, We Love To Talk And Text And Email (And Check Facebook) While We Drive

Texans love to text -- and do other stuff -- and drive, according to a new study.
Syda Productions shutterstock.com/gallery-64260p1.html

Five stories that have North Texas talking: how many Texans text while driving?; University of Texas at Dallas alums score big on “Shark Tank;” Wichita Falls is short on water; and more.

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Architecture
12:08 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Jeff Whittington Says Dallas City Hall Should Be Demolished (Well, Kind Of)

Dallas City Hall was designed by I.M. Pei, the famous architect.
Shutterstock

Are local journalists more in touch with the public's views on Dallas architecture than actual architects?

On Monday night, architects, local politicians, journalists and others gathered to compete in “Firmily Feud,” an architecture game show based on “Family Feud,” the classic game show. Four teams faced off: developers vs. the press; the city of Dallas vs. non-profits.

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Arts & Culture
4:30 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

For 120 Years, Four Generations Of One Family Photograph North Texas

Dance school girls, 1949.
Byrd Williams III

For more than a century, a family of Fort Worth photographers has captured vivid scenes across Dallas-Fort Worth and around the state. Four generations of Williams photographers have shot thousands of images, ranging from Pancho Villa's soldiers to author Larry McMurtry, from western landscapes to street life in Fort Worth.

The University of North Texas recently acquired thousands of these pictures. KERA’s Anne Bothwell talked with Byrd Williams IV, whose photos, along with those of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, are included in the collection. It includes more than 10,000 prints and 300,000 negatives.

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The High Five
7:34 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Thanks To The Drought, A Woman’s Remains Are Discovered In Lake Granbury

A look at Lake Granbury last month. Drought conditions helped authorities spot a pickup truck in the lake last week. Inside were a woman's remains. Authorities suggest the remains belong to Helen Holladay, missing since 1979.
Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/04/18/5748677/womans-skeletal-remains-pulled.html?rh=1

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Has a missing woman’s remains been discovered?; remembering William Blair Jr., Dallas is a basketball and hockey playoff team (at least for now); and more:

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Beer!
12:00 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Cheers! Meet The Brewmasters Behind The North Texas Craft Beer Craze

MaxyM shutterstock.com/gallery-715492p1.html

In the past few years, North Texas has gone from a brewery desert to one of the country’s hubs for craft beer.

Credit new state laws and imaginative brewmeisters who are getting creative and creating tasty pints. A few North Texas beer scientists recently discussed the craft beer craze on “Think,” KERA’s midday talk show.

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The High Five
12:42 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

A Barbecue Showdown: North Texas Pitmaster Competes On National BBQ Show

Here's some of the barbecue served up at Meat Church in Waxahachie. (Looks good, doesn't it?) Meat Church pitmaster Matt Pitman is competing on a national barbecue show Saturday night.
Meat Church Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A local barbecue guru competes on a national show; Glenn Beck expands his media empire; an earthquake hit Dallas Thursday; and more:

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West Explosion: One Year Later
11:21 am
Fri April 18, 2014

On Anniversary Of Explosion, West Pays Tribute -- And Looks Forward

“We remember those fallen, but we also have a fantastic story of rebuilding this town," says West Mayor Tommy Muska.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

Update, Friday afternoon: Today, the morning after a citywide memorial, KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao talked with Amber Adamson, author of an upcoming book called “The Last Alarm: First Responders’ Stories of the West Explosion.”

The KERA Radio Story.

Update, Thursday afternoon: A year after a deadly explosion, West is rebuilding.

The small central Texas town paid tribute Thursday night to 15 people killed a year ago when a fertilizer plant exploded in a ball of fire. The blast injured hundreds of people, destroyed homes and schools and left a nearly 100 foot-wide crater.

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