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:

More than 1,000 American Airlines employees picketed the world’s largest carrier today at DFW International Airport. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports transport and ground workers are worried about job security.  

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The city of Dallas is shutting down another homeless camp. City officials started closing the Third Avenue encampment near Fair Park this morning. Up to 80 people were living there at one point, the city says several residents have already moved to area homeless shelters. The city says all residents at the Third Avenue camp should be moved out by tomorrow.

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Hundreds of people lined up today in Austin to oppose a so-called "bathroom bill."

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When Senate Republicans abandoned plans to overhaul the Affordable Care Act this week, President Donald Trump blamed Democrats and some Republican senators for the bill’s failure. 

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Dallas has a new top cop, and for the first time in the history of the city, a woman will lead the Police Department. Renee Hall will assume chief duties in Dallas in September after finishing up as deputy chief in Detroit. 

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State lawmakers are back in Austin today for the start of the special legislative session. Gov. Greg Abbott has listed 20 priorities he wants lawmakers to tackle. Lawmakers have to first approve sunset legislation that would keep certain state agencies open – once they do that, they can move on to other items.

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A Dallas County grand jury has indicted former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver in the shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Oliver was also indicted on four charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public official related to the four other teens who were in the car.

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Governor Greg Abbott has formally launched his bid for reelection. He made the announcement in San Antonio, not far from where he launched his first bid for the state’s highest office four years ago. Abbott said he's running to "keep Texas the very best state in the United States."

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Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick wants to give many teachers a bonus, and he'd use state lottery revenue to pay for it. That would require amending the state Constitution, and Patrick said today he's going to push for that during the Texas Legislature's special session that starts Tuesday.

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Governor Greg Abbott is expected to announce he's running for re-election after promising a major campaign announcement Friday in San Antonio. All signs have pointed to Abbott seeking re-election next year, especially considering the size of his campaign war chest: more than $34 million.

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It's July 11, otherwise known as 7-Eleven. That means the Irving-based convenience store by the same name is giving away free small Slurpees. It's not only a tradition but also the company's 90th birthday this year.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

A panel of federal judges in Texas began hearing arguments this week in a case that could affect some major changes during the 2018 election. Judges heard from plaintiffs about how the maps were designed to intentionally discriminate against minority voters. 

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Commemorations were held throughout the weekend to honor the five officers killed last July in a deadly police shooting in downtown Dallas.

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Today, North Texans honored and remembered the five officers who were killed last July 7 when a gunman opened fire on a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas. Late this afternoon, Dallas police updated reporters on the investigation into what happened a year ago. 

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Tomorrow marks a year since the deadly police shooting in downtown Dallas. Today brought the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to the officers who died. Christopher Connelly reports from the Trinity Strand Trail in the Design District.

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Vials of a banned execution drug Texas has been fighting to use have expired. Texas – along with two other states – tried to buy sodium thiopental from a drug supplier in India, named Chris Harris, back in 2015. Though, the Food and Drug Administration seized the shipments because this powerful anesthetic is outlawed in the United States. 

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The Texas Supreme Court sent same-sex couples an ominous message Friday. It threw out a lower-court ruling that supported the city of Houston's efforts to extend benefits to married gay spouses. Plaintiffs argued that Houston broke state law by using tax dollars to pay same-sex spousal benefits. The case now goes back to the trial court. 

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Thanks to a Dallas City Council vote on Wednesday, citizens are step closer to voting on a $1 billion bond package this fall. The council voted 13-2 for a resolution in support of a November vote. The details will be nailed down in the next few weeks, and a final decision will come in August.

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Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was one of the holdouts who led Republicans to back down on a health care vote today. After that decision, Cruz told reporters he still has faith. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to get the measure through by the end of this week, and before Congress leaves on its Independence Day recess. 

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The battle over this state's new immigration enforcement law moved to a federal courtroom in San Antonio today. Opponents have filed a lawsuit to stop the law, which was passed last month. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia was interested in learning how Senate Bill 4 -- the so-called "sanctuary city" law -- would be enforced.

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The fired Balch Springs officer who shot and killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards turned himself into authorities on Friday. Roy Oliver is facing two new aggravated assault charges for an off-duty unrelated road rage incident.

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Cattleack BBQ in North Dallas was recently named the No. 3 best barbecue joint in the state by Texas Monthly.

It beat out local staples like Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum and Lockhart Smokehouse in Bishop Arts. It's the first time the North Dallas joint, whose name plays off Cadillac, has been recognized on the list.

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The latest U.S. Census Bureau data, released today, reports that Texas saw a larger numeric growth in its Hispanic population than any other state in the country between July of 2015 and July of 2016. Peter Borsella is a demographer with the Census Bureau, and says Hispanic population growth across the nation might not be due to immigration. 

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Dallas is a step closer to getting a new police chief. The city today released a list of eight candidates, including three insiders and a police chief from North Texas. Candidates will be interviewed in Dallas starting July 10. Dallas has been without a permanent chief since David Brown retired from the force last fall.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

North Texas is filled with taquerias and Tex-Mex restaurants, but there aren’t many places that specialize in Mexican fine dining. In Dallas, Revolver Taco Lounge in Deep Ellum is changing that with its new dinner concept. It’s bucking the trend that good Mexican food has to be cheap.

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A newly inaugurated Dallas City Council holds its first meeting on Wednesday. Newcomers and familiar faces from south and west Dallas have replaced four ousted incumbents seen as regular supporters of Mayor Mike Rawlings: Monica Alonzo, Erik Wilson, Carolyn King Arnold and Tiffinni Young. 

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In Dallas, the campaigning is over and the governing begins for a new City Council -- members were sworn in Monday morning at City Hall. At the inauguration, Mayor Mike Rawlings said there’s lots to do – from approving a city budget, to finalizing a bond package scheduled to go to the voters in November. 

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

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Today in Arlington, officials broke ground on a project that General Motors says will make it operate more efficiently. A new supplier park is being built for the companies that make parts for the SUVs built at the GM Assembly Plant.

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Texas Republican voters remain strongly supportive of President Donald Trump, according to a new poll by the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas. Eighty percent of Texas Republicans polled approve of the job Trump is doing in office, while 90 percent of Democrats disapprove. 

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Joe Barton, the Ennis Republican who represents parts of North Texas in Congress, was with his two sons on a baseball diamond Wednesday when a shooter began firing. Barton, who manages the Republican baseball team, recounted the scene for reporters a few hours later. 

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