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
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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West Explosion: One Year Later
10:11 am
Fri April 18, 2014

‘They Want To Be Normal:’ Dallas Writer Who Grew Up In West Reflects On His Hometown

"Everybody I talked to -- they seem like they’ve bounced back," Zac Crain with D Magazine says about West. He grew up in the small town, which was rocked by a fertilizer plant explosion in April 2013.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

D Magazine’s Zac Crain is Facebook friends with practically half the town of West. He grew up just 500 yards from the fertilizer plant that exploded a year ago. He talked with KERA about life after the explosion. “It worried me that it was a town that could die out," he said. Crain reflected on the town the morning after the explosion. (Here's an expanded version.) Crain also profiled the town for D in July.

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Beer!
3:03 pm
Thu April 17, 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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Sports
12:48 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Dallas Is Both A Basketball And Hockey Playoff Town (For Now)

It's playoff time for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. They face the San Antonio Spurs this weekend. Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars are also in the playoffs -- against the Anaheim Ducks.
Natursports shutterstock.com/gallery-498355p1.html

For the first time since 2008, Dallas is a basketball -- and hockey -- playoff town.

The Dallas Stars started their first postseason run in six years Wednesday night against the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks in California. (The Ducks defeated the Stars in the first game, 4-3. Game 2 is 9 p.m. Friday in California.)

Their basketball brethren, the Dallas Mavericks, are harboring some long-shot dreams, too: They start the NBA playoffs this weekend, their first postseason appearance since 2012.

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Texas News
11:01 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Marking The One-Year Anniversary Of The West Explosion

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the fertilizer plant explosion in West.
Joe Berti

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the day when West, Texas, changed forever. A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the small town in McLennan County, killing 15 people, including 12 volunteer firefighters, and injuring more than 200.

A memorial service, called West 4-17 Forever Forward, takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the West Fair and Rodeo Grounds. A moment of silence will be observed at 7:51 p.m., marking the time of the explosion.

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The High Five
7:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Tony Romo Is Among The World's Highest-Paid Athletes

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo makes $26.5 million a year.
Photo Works shutterstock.com/gallery-340777p1.html

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Romo and company make a ton of money; remembering the one-year anniversary of the West explosion; the latest on Ted Nugent; and more.

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Politics
3:58 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Watch Dan Patrick’s Full Debate Response On Declaring Bankruptcy In The 1980s

The four Republican Texas lieutenant governor candidates faced off in a January debate in the KERA studios. From left: Jerry Patterson, Dan Patrick (who made the May 27 runoff), Todd Staples and incumbent David Dewhurst (also in the runoff).
LM Otero Associated Press

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's campaign released a television ad Wednesday that criticizes his opponent, State Sen. Dan Patrick, for not repaying his personal bankruptcy debts in the 1980s.

The ad features footage from the Jan. 27 "Texas Debate: The Race For Lieutenant Governor," filmed at KERA's studios. The debate moderator, KERA’s Shelley Kofler, is shown asking Patrick about the bankruptcy. You can watch the Dewhurst ad, called "Mother of All Debts," and Patrick's full response to the question during the debate, and read the Patrick campaign's response to the ad.

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Texas News
12:03 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Dallas Is The Worst Outdoor City In America, Outside Magazine Declares

Message to Outside magazine, which declares Dallas is the worst outdoor city in the country: Dallas can certainly be outdoorsy. Ever been to White Rock Lake?
Laurie L. Snidow Shutterstock.com

Dallas isn’t outdoorsy, Outside magazine says. It calls Dallas “outdoor-challenged.” In fact, the magazine has declared that Dallas is the worst outdoor city in the country.

Outside surveyed the 50 biggest cities in the country. So how did the magazine crunch the numbers?

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The High Five
8:16 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Greg Abbott Will Get A $20,000 Tax Refund, While Wendy Davis Gets An Extension

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott released his 2013 tax return -- he expects to get a $20,000 refund. He and his wife Cecilia earned more than $190,000.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

Five stories that have North Texas talking: it’s tax time for the political candidates; GOP convention officials to visit Dallas soon; remembering Margaret Crow; and more.

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