Eric Aasen | KERA News

Eric Aasen

Managing Editor

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department. He also oversees keranews.org, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard.

Eric joined KERA in 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.

Ways to Connect

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Julián Castro, the San Antonio mayor who surged onto the national stage at last year's Democratic Convention, tells KERA he'll stay in his current job for four more years. But if Hillary Clinton comes calling, he's got a suggested running mate: his identical twin brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro. 

Julián Castro sat down today with Rick Holter, KERA’s vice president of news. Castro is the first guest in the new KERA series “The Friday Conversation,”  to air Fridays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on KERA 90.1 FM.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Update 5:55 p.m.: State Fair of Texas organizers had long been concerned about weather conditions and how that might impact Big Tex's debut. While Big Tex has been built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the curtain that shielded him from public view was causing problems. Fair officials didn't want to risk any issues with their new cowboy.

1:46 p.m. The Big Tex boots, sponsored by Lucchese, include the Texas flag, bluebonnets and Texas State Capitol. These are intricate, fancy boots.

1:39 p.m. Big Tex has made his debut -- a patriotic outfit with a mostly-white shirt. The curtain was dropped minutes ago.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

In just a few days, Texans will be able to start going online to check out health insurance options as part of the Affordable Care Act. And today an all-star cast headlined by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to Dallas to pitch the new marketplace. 

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: The invasion of the spider webs, Ted Cruz's talkathon vs. Wendy Davis filibuster, Big Tex as a work of art, and more.

There were countless reports of silky spider webs across Dallas-Fort Worth this morning. Spiders are attempting to make their annual move for the fall — baby spiders in particular, The Dallas Morning News reports.

In San Patricio County, a game warden received a call about someone keeping a family of deer as pets, while in Henderson County, a man accidentally shot a deer out of season, claiming to have mistaken the animal for a dog. StateImpact Texas took a look through the Game Warden Field Notes from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

CBS News via UStream

Update, 12:03 p.m: Sen. Ted Cruz has ended a marathon Senate speech opposing President Barack Obama's health care law after talking for 21 hours, 19 minutes.
 
The Texas Republican and tea party conservative stopped speaking at 11 a.m. Dallas time Wednesday, sitting down to yield the floor, The Associated Press is reporting. The Texas freshman began talking Tuesday afternoon, seeking to urge defunding of the 3-year-old health system overhaul. Fellow conservatives helped by making occasional remarks.

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Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we take a look at some odd odds and ends.

Let’s admit it: Big Tex is an odd duck. He has a colorful history, too. Let’s take a look back at some of the more unusual things that have happened to him.

CBS News via UStream

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A bedtime story from Ted Cruz, classical music groups love the Dallas City Performance Hall, should Big Tex be burned down every year?, and more.

Marianna Taschinger, who lives in Groves, Tex., near Beaumont, is suing her ex-boyfriend for posting nude images of her on a website that features so-called "revenge porn." Police say there is little they can do. Lawmakers in California passed the first law aimed at revenge porn sites, The New York Times reports.

Update, 12:50 p.m. Tuesday: Authorities say a North Texas woman was responsible for a murder-suicide in which she fatally shot her husband and three sons before killing herself.
 
The Navarro County Sheriff's Office said this morning that 33-year-old Guadalupe Ronquillo-Ovalle shot her husband Israel Alvarez, as well as their three sons, ages 4, 8 and 10, The Associated Press is reporting. Then Ronquillo-Ovalle shot herself in the head.

Blame sequestration in part for Monday's layoffs, Bell's president said in a statement. Bell Helicopter makes the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, which takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Marco Becerra/mabecerra / Flickr

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Big-screen video boards get even bigger, Texas packs a deadly punch, watch homemade planes crash into the water, and more.

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Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we take a look at Big Tex, the fashion icon.

informedmindstravel / Flickr

Prada Marfa might be doomed. No, there's no fancy store in Marfa. Instead, it's a roadside advertisement -- and Texas officials say it's illegal.

State transportation officials are pondering what to do about the iconic structure in West Texas, The Associated Press is reporting. Blame it on the Playboy bunny.

Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project said that among the six states with the largest numbers of immigrants here illegally, only Texas had a consistent increase in illegal immigration from 2007 to 2011. That's due in part to the state's stronger economy. Its number was unchanged from 2011 to 2012.

Dallas Zoo

For years, the Dallas Zoo has tried to play matchmaker with Patrick the gorilla.

But Patrick won’t be anyone’s close friend.

So the Western lowland gorilla is moving on to a new home in South Carolina.

Patrick has spent the past 18 years at the Dallas Zoo, but he doesn’t socialize. He prefers being by himself, zoo officials say.

While checking on her friends and family in Kenya on Facebook, Esther Kanyua, a Southern Methodist University graduate student, learned that her friend from high school was one of the victims in the shooting, KTVT reports.

West Texas is awash in oil money, but not everyone benefits, according to StateImpact, an NPR project with KUT Radio in Austin.

Besides Wendy Davis, who else might be on the Democratic ticket in Texas next year? The Texas Tribune reports that party leaders have talked to candidates who might fill out the ballot behind her, including Leticia Van de Putte.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas is a hotbed for UFO sightings,  the Dallas mayor apologizes for a 40-year-old killing, VideoFest is just a couple weeks away, and more.

Christian Bradford/greychr / Flickr

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we take a look at his final hours -- and some video tributes.

State Fair of Texas

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we explore Big Tex's roots in a small town.

Before Big Tex was Big Tex, he was a Santa Claus in Kerens, about an hour south of Dallas in Navarro County.

Eric Aasen / KERA News

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re going to offer a daily online look at All Things Big Tex each day until next Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we offer you an up-close-and-personal look at his new home.

Dallas school trustees are scheduled to meet again on Thursday behind closed doors to discuss Superintendent Mike Miles.

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BlackBerry says it will lay off 4,500 employees, or 40 percent of its global workforce, as it reports a nearly $1 billion second-quarter loss in a surprise early release of earnings results.

The stock dropped 19 percent to $8.50 after reopening for trading. Shares had been halted pending the news, The Associated Press is reporting.
 
BlackBerry's U.S. headquarters is in Las Colinas.

New rules could be put in place by next summer that would help prevent the spread of zebra mussels. If approved, all boats in a 17-county area across North Texas would have to be completely drained after use.

Take a look at these pictures of plastified animals -- a cool new exhibit at the Perot Museum. Jeff Rudolph, CEO of the California Science Center in Los Angeles, says that the process of plastination turns animals and organs into pieces of art and draws visitors in. “It lets us see ourselves and other living things in a way we really don’t otherwise get to see them and understand how they work,” he says.

Brandi Korte/ladybugbkt / Flickr

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park Sept. 27 -- next Friday.

(If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re going to offer a daily online look at All Things Big Tex each day until next Friday.

Programming note: Eric Aasen, KERA's digital news editor who's a Big Tex expert, will talk about Big Tex around 12:20 p.m. today on KERA's "Anything You Ever Wanted To Know" with host Jeff Whittington. That's on KERA Radio, 90.1 FM. 

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: The rain keeps falling, the pope keeps talking, Skinny the cat isn't so fat, and more.

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