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.

Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

The recent removal of the Robert E. Lee statue at a park in Dallas has intensified a debate over whether Confederate statues and memorials should be taken down, moved to a museum or left alone. Protesters recently gathered at Oak Lawn Park, formerly known as Lee Park, in Oak Lawn to express their dissatisfaction over the statue's removal.

Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News

The recent removal of the Robert E. Lee statue at a park in Dallas has intensified a debate over whether Confederate statues and memorials should be taken down, moved to a museum or left alone.

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

The Dallas Zoo is working to make their gorillas more heart healthy. To do that, they’re trying to get an accurate blood pressure reading for the animals. But that’s been quite a challenge. KERA's Stephanie Kuo visited the zoo and found out it takes months of training and trust.

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington is working to identify and fight “fake news” with a focus on Twitter bots. Professors Chengkai Li and Mark Tremayne are on the team that's funded by a UT-Austin grant, and they spoke with KERA's Justin Martin.

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus wants a controversial Confederate plaque removed from the state Capitol in Austin. The plaque, called "Children of the Confederacy Creed,” rejects slavery as an underlying cause of the Civil War. It was installed in 1959.

CAROL M. HIGHSMITH / LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

The protest by the group called 'This Is Texas Freedom Force' is set to be held at Lee Park on Saturday, where the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed Thursday night. The Freedom Force group calls the effort to remove monuments an attack on Texas history. 

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

After a few delays, a Confederate statue in Dallas is set to come down today. A crane arrived at Lee Park in Oak Lawn on Thursday afternoon. City officials say it could take a couple more hours to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

A new campaign aims to point out the economic impacts of the ban on so-called "sanctuary cities" in Texas, as well as the phase-out of the federal immigration program known as DACA. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus is behind the multi-state campaign called “Not in My State.” 

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Texas still has more residents without health insurance than anywhere in the country, and the state has the highest uninsured rate, according to Census Bureau data. Last year, 16.6 percent of Texans were not insured, almost double the national rate of 8.6 percent. In recent years, the Texas uninsured rate has gone down, and the number of people without health insurance continues to decline. 

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

About 2,000 Harvey evacuees remain in North Texas shelters. The American Red Cross says most are staying at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, about 100 people are in Fort Worth and a few dozen are in Irving. 

Becky Fogel / Texas Standard

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

The Texas child-welfare and foster-care system is getting a makeover this month. Among the changes? Moving to a “community-based foster care” model, like the one pioneered in the Fort Worth area. 

CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY / KERA NEWS

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is coming down after all. On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council voted to remove the statue in Oak Lawn. That brought a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order. The statue’s fate was decided this afternoon in a federal courtroom. 

CAROL M. HIGHSMITH / LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

A Confederate monument is staying put for now at a park in Oak Lawn, following a last-minute ruling. U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater granted a temporary restraining order this afternoon, a hearing is scheduled for Thursday. 

Stella Chavez / KERA News

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

DACA's days are numbered and that's generating strong reactions across Texas. Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has given legal protections to more than 120,000 Texans.

Stella Chavez / KERA News

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

Reports that President Trump will wind down the program that protects so-called "DREAMers" rocketed through Houston's immigrant community Monday. Houston bills itself the most diverse big city in America. A quarter of its residents were born outside the U.S. and a third of those residents are undocumented.

RACHEL OSIER LINDLEY / KERA News

The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

More Harvey evacuees are heading to North Texas. Nearly 2,000 people were staying in Dallas shelters as of Friday afternoon.

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

Cars are lined up at some gas stations across North Texas, and fuel prices in the state and across the country have jumped by at least 10 cents since Harvey pounded Houston and the Gulf coast. Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton wants nervous motorists to know despite the oil refineries currently offline, there's not a fuel shortage.

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

Dallas has welcomed hundreds of Harvey evacuees so far, and the city is preparing for many more. The City Council today approved using $8 million in emergency funds to cover Harvey relief efforts, and Texas will reimburse the city. 

Stella Chavez / KERA News

The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

North Texas is preparing to take in more Harvey evacuees Tuesday morning. Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving are all opening up shelter space. The city of Dallas will open the convention center as a mega-shelter that can handle as many as 5,000 evacuees.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

The city of Dallas is expected to take in about 5,000 evacuees from Harvey. Mayor Mike Rawlings today will announce the city's plans to turn the convention center into a rescue shelter for coastline evacuees starting Tuesday. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Hurricane Harvey has grown into a Category 3 storm and is expected to slam into the Texas Gulf Coast late Friday or early Saturday, dumping torrential rains and unleashing triple-digit winds. Governor Greg Abbott warns Harvey will be a major disaster, and he's asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration. 

Krystina Martinez

When folks talk about tech accelerators and entrepreneurship, the images that usually spring to mind are of sparkling Silicon Valley campuses or hip downtown live/work lofts.

Michelle Williams is dedicated to bringing that spirit to southern Dallas. She's leading a branch of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center opening soon as part of the re-imagined Red Bird Mall.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Hurricane Harvey is intensifying over the Gulf of Mexico before it hits the Texas coast late Friday. It could become a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall between Port O'Connor and Matagorda Bay.

GUS CONTRERAS / KERA NEWS

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

A federal judge has once again thrown out Texas' voter ID law. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos today rejected a weakened version of the law signed by Governor Greg Abbott earlier this year. Texas had made the changes after the same judge compared the original version to a "poll tax" on minorities.

David Kent / The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Thousands of people have signed an online petition asking the city of Fort Worth to rename Jefferson Davis Park.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

North Texans had a severe case of eclipse fever today. The eclipse fell on the first day of school for many North Texas students. The National Weather Service reports temperatures across Dallas-Fort Worth dropped a few degrees as the eclipse was peaking locally. 

NASA

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

As you might've heard by now there's a total solar eclipse next Monday. It's the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to cross coast-to-coast, and it's the first in 38 years to pass through any part of the lower 48 states.

UNT

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The University of North Texas has picked NASA’s number two to lead the growing public university system. This morning, the board of regents named Lesa Roe as the sole finalist to be chancellor of the system. She’s expected to be confirmed next month. 

CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY / KERA NEWS

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Disgruntled by the results from the special legislative session, which wrapped up Wednesday, the Governor and Lt. Governor blame House Speaker Joe Straus for the failure of certain bills. House Republicans held a special behind-closed-doors caucus meeting this morning to discuss how they, as a party, could change how the Speaker is nominated. 

Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

When the Dallas Cowboys take the field next month, they'll be without one their best players. The NFL suspended 22-year-old running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games after a yearlong domestic violence investigation.

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