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 morning from KERA News:

Fort Worth is one of the last major cities in Texas that still allows smoking in bars, but that's soon about to change. The City Council voted 8-1 on Tuesday to ban smoking and electronic cigarettes in bars and bingo centers in 90 days, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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Hurricane Harvey, and the devastating rainfall that came with it, changed hundreds of thousands of people's lives. Some lost loved ones, while others watched the floodwaters invade their homes. Thousands of families were displaced, and some landed in North Texas. 

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A new study commissioned by Dallas officials shows the city has a ways to go in providing more frequent and more equitable public transportation to people across the city, and especially low-income people. 

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It’s been over three months since Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast. For people from areas hit the hardest, a return to normal life seems far away. That’s especially true for those still staying in hotels, often miles and miles from the community they left behind, and with no home to go back to.

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The son of a former Texas governor has launched his bid to unseat the current governor. Andrew White held a rally Thursday in Houston, where the investor promised to campaign as a conservative Democrat. The party hasn't captured the Texas governorship since Ann Richards won in 1990.

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The long-time Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the daughter of South Texas migrant workers, said Wednesday she will resign to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott. Observers say Valdez is the strongest Democratic challenger in the race, but winning office will be an uphill battle.

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Just over three months ago, Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast and settled over southeast Texas for three days dumping feet, not inches, of rain. Thousands evacuated before the storm made landfall, others had to be rescued when floods raged through their homes.

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Baylor University Medical Center officials in Dallas say the birth of a baby from a uterus transplant could open doors for women struggling with uterine infertility. It's the first birth as a result of a womb transplant in the United States. Baylor officials say that eight transplants have been performed and that one of those women currently is pregnant.

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A woman who had been born without a uterus gave birth to a baby at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Hospital spokesman Craig Civale confirmed Friday that the birth had taken place. The hospital has had a study underway for several years to enroll up to 10 women for uterus transplants.

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North Texas Congressman Joe Barton announced Thursday he won’t seek another term next year. It marks an end to the Ennis Republican’s three-decade career in Washington. He faced a growing chorus of calls for his resignation after a nude picture and a sexually charged exchange were made public.

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Update, 8:30 p.m. Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez says that she's still considering a run for governor, but reports that she has resigned from her current post are false, according to The Texas Tribune.

If she does run, Valdez would be the first high-profile Democrat to challenge Republican incumbent Greg Abbott.

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The Plano school district superintendent and a school board member have resigned. Brian Binggeli has been superintendent since 2015, and the school board says he’s leaving because of a difference over leadership philosophies. Meanwhile, school board member Greg Myer has submitted his resignation, citing personal reasons. 

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Gov. Greg Abbott is not wasting any time nominating a replacement to fill Justice Don Willett’s position on the Texas Supreme Court. Abbott announced Monday afternoon that he will appoint Jimmy Blacklock, who works as the governor's general counsel. 

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President Trump took another predawn Twitter swipe at a protesting NFL player this morning.  That came after a UT-Dallas researcher released a new study showing a deep racial divide among college students about "taking a knee" protests.

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North Texans plan to spend more on gifts and entertainment than the average American — way more, according to the consulting company Deloitte. Plus, for the first time ever, North Texans plan to do shopping online than in brick-and-mortar stores.

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Travel experts are expecting a lot more people trying to get around this Thanksgiving.

A U.S. airlines trade group predicts that around 28.5 million Americans will fly over the holiday, an increase of 3 percent over last year. Officials at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport say they are expecting to serve more than 7.5 million customers throughout their peak winter travel season.

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The Dallas County Republican Party has a new leader: the first woman to head the local party. Missy Shorey was elected unanimously Monday night.

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Hundreds of protesters gathered outside AT&T Stadium Sunday night to "show solidarity with NFL players who are taking a knee for justice."

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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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