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:

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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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

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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Federal lawmakers say they're working on a plan to continue the Children's Health Insurance Program. It provides coverage for nearly 400,000 children and pregnant women in Texas. The Texas Tribune reports they could vote on the issue by Wednesday. 

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The man who police say killed nearly 60 people at a Las Vegas concert last night once lived in North Texas. Mesquite police say 64-year-old Stephen Paddock lived in the Dallas suburb from 2004 to 2012.

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The Richardson school district has suspended two high school students after they posted racially charged messages on social media. As KERA’s Stella Chavez reports, parents brought the issue to the district’s attention.

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Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea watched in horror as Hurricane Maria tore through his home island of Puerto Rico. He had to do something.

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Two Texans are among President Trump's nominees for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Don Willett is a Texas Supreme Court Justice and James Ho is a Dallas attorney, and both their nominations require U.S. Senate confirmation. The New Orleans appeals court has been an influential stop in recent years for high-profile Texas laws over abortion access, voting rights and immigration crackdowns.

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

Hurricane Harvey hit Texas just as schools were starting a new year and all but three school districts have reopened, according to Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.

Dozens of school districts had to delay the start of school for days, even weeks, after Harvey made landfall. At a luncheon in Dallas, Morath spoke about the difficulties. 

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

Dallas is working to reduce child poverty, but it still has one of the biggest populations of poor kids among major U.S. cities. The child poverty rate in Dallas has dropped from about 38 percent a few years ago to 31 percent last year. The Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty today released updated numbers based Census Bureau estimates. 

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The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News:

A federal appeals court is giving Texas more latitude to enforce a ban on so-called sanctuary cities, according to a ruling Monday. The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes nearly a month after a judge blocked most of the law.

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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.

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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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