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 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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The landlord who owns hundreds of aging rental houses in West Dallas said Monday morning that the company will sell upwards of 75 of those homes — to the tenants themselves, and a judge gave the residents four more months to figure out their futures.

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Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price will not be retried on any charges related to his case, federal prosecutors announced Friday.  The jury in the federal corruption trial of John Wiley Price has found the longtime Dallas County Commissioner not guilty on seven of 11 counts, including bribery and mail fraud. 

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A bill that aims to fix the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension fund took a big step forward today at the Texas Capitol. The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to advance the bill to the Senate floor. First, the State House also will have to vote to approve the Senate version of the bill. 

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The Byron Nelson golf tournament starts Thursday and Irving is hosting it one last time. After 35 years, the event is moving from the Four Seasons resort in Las Colinas to south Dallas – at the new Trinity Forest golf club.

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The AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament is being held in Irving one last time. After 35 years, the event is moving from the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas to south Dallas’ new Trinity Forest Golf Club.

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After days of negotiations with state senators, officials reached a deal last week to fix the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings had called an earlier state House version a taxpayer bailout. 

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Civil Asset Forfeiture lets law enforcement agents seize property and cash they suspect is related to criminal activity – without proving the crime itself. Law enforcement calls it a vital tool in the war on drugs. Critics on the left and the right say it’s a practice prone to abuse.

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Senator John Cornyn is on the Trump administration’s short list of possible replacements for FBI director James Comey. The Republican has previously served as Texas attorney general, a Texas Supreme Court justice and a local judge.

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The family of Jordan Edwards joined community advocates Thursday to demand accountability from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office as it investigates Jordan’s death. This followed a private meeting the family had with District Attorney Faith Johnson.

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Work continues on a plan to improve the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension fund. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying he’s optimistic that a resolution is near.

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Jordan Edwards, the black 15-year-old, who was fatally shot late last month by a white Balch Springs police officer. The Next Generation Action Network is organizing Tuesday’s rally on the steps of the Frank Crowley Courthouse in Dallas.

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The Dallas County District Attorney's office has launched a criminal investigation into voter fraud allegations from Saturday’s local elections. Officials say at least two Dallas City Council races may have been affected. 

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A former Balch Springs police officer has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a black 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. A judge issued an arrest warrant Friday afternoon for Roy Oliver the day before Edwards' funeral. As KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports, there are lots of questions – and sorrow – over what happened.

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Saturday is Election Day for cities and school districts across North Texas. One of the hottest races is in West Dallas – the focus of our current One Crisis Away series on affordable housing, called “No Place To Go.” 

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Two people died today in an apparent murder-suicide at North Lake College in Irving. Around 11:45 Wednesday morning, the college issued an active-shooter alert. It instructed students and employees to barricade themselves into rooms. 

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The days are numbered for 305 weathered rental homes – most of them in West Dallas. The city says they aren’t up to code—so the landlord had to choose: fix them, or close up shop. He picked the latter.

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Early voting wraps up Monday for municipal elections across North Texas, with Election Day coming this Saturday. There are several heated races for seats on the Dallas City Council. Tristan Hallman is a reporter with The Dallas Morning News, and he talked with KERA’s Eric Aasen about some of the races.

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After an eight-week trial and eight days of deliberations a jury Friday found longtime Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price not guilty of bribery and mail fraud charges. KERA’s Bill Zeeble was at the downtown courthouse when the verdict came down.

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Minority rights groups today told federal judges that Texas needs new election maps for 2018. A three-judge federal panel met in San Antonio. The judges didn’t decide next steps, but it appears a trial is likely this summer over the state’s voting maps for Congressional and state House districts.

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High school football in North Texas produces talent that has made it to the NFL, and on Thursday night an Arlington native made history.

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Across North Texas, early voting is underway for the May 6 municipal elections. Members of city councils and school boards will be elected. But as KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports, if the past is any indication, most people who can vote... won't.

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The jury in John Wiley Price’s federal corruption trial is deadlocked on at least one of the counts against him. The jury has spent five days deliberating the guilt or innocence of the longtime Dallas County Commissioner, and the judge told the jury to come back and try again Wednesday morning.

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Dallas Animal Services says it’s making progress toward improving animal care. The agency has hired more employees, added overnight shifts, added pet care education programs and increased citations and enforcement.

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The jury in the federal corruption trial of John Wiley Price stopped deliberating for the day without reaching a verdict. It marked the third day of deliberations, and the jury is back in session Monday morning. 

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