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.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

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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. 

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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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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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The Fort Worth Police Chief defended his decision to suspend a white police officer who was seen in a viral video wrestling a black mother and her teenage daughter to the ground. Chief Joel Fitzgerald says the officer was disrespectful and used excessive force during the December incident.

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Dallas city officials say they've identified $1 million in federal funds from a program called Home Investment Partnerships. The Dallas Morning News reports the Dallas City Council will discuss a proposal next week to use the funds. 

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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced this afternoon that the city will join the legal fight to stop the state's so-called sanctuary cities bill. San Antonio and Austin announced last week they are also suing the state. Senate Bill 4 allows officers to question the immigration status of people. It also punishes officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration agents. 

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Governor Greg Abbott is calling state lawmakers back to the capitol for a special session. First, lawmakers must resolve so-called sunset legislation that’s required to keep open certain state agencies, like the Texas Medical Board. 

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The 85th Texas Legislature is over, and while the threat of a special session looms, most of us are still trying to figure out what actually made it across the finish line. There were tons of law enforcement and criminal justice reform bills proposed in the legislature this year and many did not pass. 

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Mike Rawlings of Dallas joined 173 mayors from across the country who vowed today to follow the Paris Climate Accords. The news came a day after President Trump announced the United States would pull out of the Paris agreement.

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The mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth are heading to Canada. Mike Rawlings and Betsy Price announced today they’re leading a trade mission June 11 in Toronto and Montreal. The goal is to promote economic development, business opportunities and tourism between Canada and North Texas.

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The House Minority Leader was in Dallas on Wednesday. At a rally with Texas Democrats, Nancy Pelosi weighed in on the state’s new ban on so-called sanctuary cities. Under the law local officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities could be charged with a crime or removed from office. 

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The 85th Texas Legislature was supposed to wrap up yesterday. While the House and Senate were able to come up with a two-year budget plan, two obstacles remain. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick urged Governor Greg Abbott to call the Legislature back if lawmakers didn't pass measures regarding property taxes and a so-called "bathroom bill."

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In Austin, both the Senate and the House have adjourned, bringing the 85th legislative session to a close. That was expected – the state constitution gives the Legislature exactly 140 days to run a regular session. What wasn’t totally expected was the drama that ramped up as the session was winding down.

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With only a few days left of the Texas legislative session there are still a couple big issues that lawmakers are trying to resolve.The House and Senate are working toward a compromise on property taxes and a so-called bathroom bill that would regulate which restrooms transgender people can use.

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North Texas suburbs keep on growing, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. Frisco and McKinney were two of the country’s fastest-growing cities with a population larger than 50,000.

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West Dallas residents worried about the future of their small, weathered rent homes took their concerns to the Dallas City Council Wednesday. Everything changed Monday, when landlord HMK Limited offered to sell some of the homes to tenants. A judge also pushed the move-out deadline to October.

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To help address the youth unemployment rate in North Texas, Starbucks and several other companies recently gathered at the first-ever Dallas Opportunity Fair. As KERA’s Stephanie Kuo reports, it’s part of a national effort to help younger people, 16-to-24-year-olds, find jobs.

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