Gus Contreras | KERA News

Gus Contreras

Digital Producer, Reporter

Gus Contreras is a digital producer and reporter at KERA News. Gus produces the local All Things Considered segment and reports on a variety of topics from, sports to immigration. He was an intern and production assistant for All Things Considered in Washington D.C.

He is a first-generation American from El Paso, and attended UT-Arlington. He was the sports and managing editor of The Shorthorn, UTA’s student newspaper.

A sports nut, he enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. When he’s not trying to cook Mexican food at home, Gus enjoys finding new taco places in North Texas.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced its new president and CEO Friday morning. Kim Noltemy is the first woman to hold the position and joins a small but growing group of female symphony leaders around the country. Noltemy has been the Boston Symphony's chief operating officer, and will start in Dallas in January.

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The Texas prison system is having a hard time holding onto officers. There was a 28 percent turnover rate during the 2017 fiscal year, up from 2016 when the rate was about 22 percent. The Houston Chronicle reports more than 3,200 jobs were unfilled over the past fiscal year.

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More than 113,000 Texas students were homeless during the 2014-15 school year. That’s a 12 percent increase from the year before, according to a new report out Wednesday on youth homelessness. The report by Texas Appleseed and Texas Network of Youth Services also finds that homeless students are more likely to repeat a grade, or drop out of school.

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

One in five North Texas children lives in poverty, according to a report out Tuesday called "Beyond ABC," from Children’s Health. It examines the well-being of children in six North Texas counties. The report finds that in five of those counties, the rate of uninsured children is twice the national average. 

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Domestic violence cases have sharply increased in Texas. State figures show more than 214,000 wives, husbands, girlfriends and others were injured or died last year at the hands of a family member. The Houston Chronicle reports that's an increase from about 193,000 in 2011.

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A judge has declared a mistrial in the trial of Christopher "Jake" Carrizal, a leader of the Bandidos biker gang.

State District Judge Matt Johnson ended the trial Friday after McLennan County jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked on a verdict. They had deliberated for 14 hours.

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After a tragedy, people often want to find a way to help, and after Sunday’s church shooting in Sutherland Springs, people across the country have been taking action to show their support. But as KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports, experts say it’s critical to make sure donations go to the people who need them.

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The polls are closing soon in Texas. Across the state, people are considering seven proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. In Dallas, a $1 billion bond package and the fate of an agency that provides bus service to area school districts are on the ballot.

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Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz on Monday offered their condolences to the families of the victims killed in Sunday's shooting in Sutherland Springs. The lawmakers touched on the unity shown by fellow Texans, and about the need to slow down the gun control debate. 

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A city near Austin will be home to the state's gold and the Texas Bullion Depository. State officials today announced the site will be in Leander. In 2015, the Legislature approved a plan to keep the state's gold holdings within its own borders, instead of at a bank in New York City.

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Another Texas Congressman has decided not to seek re-election. San Antonio Republican Rep. Lamar Smith has been in office since the late 1980s. He says it's time for someone else to have the opportunity to serve the 21st district, which includes parts of San Antonio, Austin and the Hill Country. 

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been touting many the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement, as President Trump pursues his campaign promise to dismantle the deal. The governor met this week with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to emphasize how Texas benefits more from NAFTA than any other state. 

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Dallas Congressman Jeb Hensarling has become the latest Republican House member to announce his retirement. Hensarling, who chairs the powerful Financial Services Committee, tells fellow Republicans in an email Tuesday that as his term as chairman comes to an end, it's the right time to leave Congress and spend more time with his teenage kids.

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The Texas Attorney General's office is cracking down on businesses accused of price gouging during the state of disaster declared during Hurricane Harvey. The Consumer Protection Division says it has notified more than 125 gas stations of their violations, and many of them are in North Texas, where the weather was virtually unaffected by the storm.

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President Donald Trump is delaying the release of some files on the John F. Kennedy assassination that were due to come out Thursday. He's approved 2,800 other records for release. White House officials say Trump will state in a coming memo that he had "no choice" but to keep others secret because of national security concerns. 

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President Donald Trump was in Dallas Wednesday for a hurricane briefing and Republican fundraising. The president met with Gov. Greg Abbott and other state officials to discuss the state's ongoing hurricane recovery after Harvey. While in town, the president also raised money for his joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee. 

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Fort Worth is growing fast. The city is on track to become the nation’s 14th largest city next year, and the 12th largest by 2019. The growth is exciting, but it comes with challenges the city must meet like building infrastructure, and keeping job growth on track with population growth. 

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Early voting started Monday for next month's elections and there are several local items on the ballot. Dallas voters will decide on a $1-billion bond package, and voters in the Fort Worth school district will vote on a $750-million bond proposal. 

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The Texas unemployment rate fell for the fifth straight month, dropping to 4 percent in September. About 7,300 jobs were lost statewide -- most were washed away by Hurricane Harvey -- but new jobs made up for the losses. 

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Amazon set off a big, public scramble last month when it announced it was looking for sites for a second North American headquarters. The prize includes up to 50,000 high-paying jobs and billions of dollars in investment. Today was the deadline to submit proposals, and KERA's Chris Connelly reports, North Texas has high hopes to land the e-commerce giant.

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An Arlington high school English teacher won a national education honor Wednesday afternoon. The Milken Educator Award comes with a $25,000 prize. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports the honor brought cheers from students and tears to the teacher. 

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Starting in December people caught with small amounts of marijuana in Dallas won't be arrested, instead they'll get a court summons. Dallas County commissioners today passed a "cite and release" program for people found with less than four ounces of pot. 

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The driver of a semi-trailer packed with at least 39 immigrants, 10 of whom died, pleaded guilty Monday to making the deadly smuggling run.

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The Dallas Cultural Affairs Commission unanimously adopted recommendations from a task force appointed by the mayor on what to do with the city's Confederate monuments and symbols. 

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The first trial of a biker involved in the deadly Waco Twin Peaks shootout is underway; opening statements started this afternoon in Waco. Jacob Carrizal is president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos motorcycle group. The Bandidos and their rivals — the Cossacks — fought in the restaurant's parking lot in May 2015. The deadliest biker shootout in U.S. history left nine bikers dead and 20 wounded. 

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Dallas' Public Art Committee met to hear recommendations Tuesday afternoon on what to do with the city's Confederate monuments from a task force appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings. 

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The Trump administration sent an immigration policy wishlist to Congress Sunday that could derail efforts to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

About 100 protesters demonstrated outside the office of Texas Senator John Cornyn in Houston on Thursday. Organizers from United We Dream Houston want an extension to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Trump administration's deadline for DACA renewal applications was yesterday.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Today marks the deadline for beneficiaries of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, to submit renewal applications. Around 124,000 people in Texas now benefit from the deportation relief program. The deadline applies only to DACA recipients whose benefits expire before March 5, the date President Trump announced the program will end if Congress fails to work out a solution. 

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is thinking about running for president. The Dallas billionaire spoke about the possibility in a podcast with former South Carolina state legislator Bakari Sellers. Cuban said the key issues he sees facing the country include income inequality, health care and technological competitiveness. 

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