Joy Diaz | KERA News

Joy Diaz

Joy Diaz has been a reporter with KUT on and off since 2005. Since joining KUT, Joy has covered education, healthcare and immigration. She is now a Senior Reporter covering the city beat.

Originally from Mexico, Joy moved to the U.S. in 1998 when her husband Luis was transferred from his job in Mexico City to train workers in a telecommunications plant in Virginia. While there, Joy worked for Roanoke's NPR station WVTF.

Joy speaks English and Spanish, which is a plus in a state like Texas. She graduated from Universidad de Cuautitlán Izcalli in Mexico City with a degree in journalism. In 2008 she took a break to devote herself to her two young children, before returning to the KUT studios. She loves reading, painting and spending time engaging with the community.  

From Texas Standard:

As a child, Kristopher Sharp never knew what love was.

"I can tell you about the first time I felt I was loved," Sharp says. "This is after I aged out of the foster care system."

Sharp was 18 when he aged out. He was living in Houston. With no job and no skills, he soon became homeless.

 


From Texas Standard:

If you were to ask me how much I pay for car insurance, I wouldn't be able to answer that. It's one of those things where once I set it, I forget it. 

But that's not so for Cristobal Garcia of Mission, Texas. He says to me in Spanish that his insurance costs $170 per month. Multiply that by 12 months and it comes out to $2,042 per year.

 


From Texas Standard:

The company that prints new voter registration cards is probably busy this time of year. There are tons of new eligible voters in 2016. Data from the 2010 Census tells us 7 million Texans were under 18 six years ago. Many of those people are now eligible to vote this time around.

From Texas Standard:

Every January for the past three decades, state and local officials have gathered in Austin to hear economist Angelos Angelou give his annual economic forecast. Some say he's conservative in his forecasts, yet lawmakers follow his words carefully because he's been proven to be on the money in the past.

From Texas Standard:

What's the most indulgent thing you've ever done for your birthday? Checked something off your bucket list? Or bought yourself something really expensive? This week, Austinite Taylor Thompson turns 17 and he’s decided to go all out on a spending spree. Normally, birthdays at the Thompsons' are low-key celebrations. The family doesn't even blow up balloons.

This year, however, Taylor Thompson will be spending $170,000 dollars to celebrate his birthday. He announced his plans over the weekend in Austin.


From Texas Standard:

The last time a Walmart opened in Austin was six years ago. It opened, but not without a massive fight that lasted years.

Hope Morrison was one of hundreds who testified against Walmart and Lincoln properties – the developer in the deal. She spoke before the Austin City Council in 2006.

 


From Texas Standard:

The average American family will spend $900 this holiday season. If you are among the lucky 22 percent of Americans who will get a bonus this season – that's probably what you'll use. The majority of us in situations like these that require extra cash look for alternatives.

Perhaps you've seen commercials like this oneA camera zooms in and out shooting some pretty nice trucks and cars. Vehicle owners point to bumper stickers that reflect their personalities. The images in the commercial may vary but the message is the same: if you own your car, borrow money from us. Just let us keep your car title as security.

 


From Texas Standard:

Satsuki Ina is furious that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services would even consider the possibility of licensing immigrant family detention facilities as childcare centers.

"It's like putting lipstick on a pig," she says.

 

    

From Texas Standard:

Just a month ago, service providers in Texas were gearing up to receive some of the estimated 10,000 Syrian refugees scheduled to arrive in the United States in 2016. Last month's terrorist attacks in Paris raised caution flags for many state governors, including Gov. Greg Abbott.


From Texas Standard:

The Texas Constitution says there's no religious test for office holders – provided that "he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme being."

So much for prohibitions on religious tests – not to mention female candidates.

The "supreme being" clause went unchallenged for years, until three decades ago. It was then Texas' Attorney General agreed there's no way to enforce any real or imagined constitutional ban on atheist office-holders.

 


From Texas Standard:

The morning routine of Kai Alterman includes a stop at a café and a cab ride. When it comes time for her to pay,  the server slides her credit card, then hands her a screen similar to an iPad to sign – complete with choices of how much to tip. Alterman hits the middle option, leaving a 20 percent tip.

"I think this makes people tip more often, because you feel more guilty not to tip with those," Alterman says.

 


From Texas Standard:

Most adoptions are about children finding their "forever homes," or their permanent families. Other adoption proceedings are for parents who want to make sure their kid remains a part of their family, as is the case for many same-sex parents.


From Texas Standard:

There have been a lot of non-Texans talking about the southern border lately. Presidential hopefuls, public officials and others seem to all have opinions on what's wrong with border security and how to fix it.

Take, for instance, talk-show host Sean Hannity. "[We need] virtual fences, virtual surveillance – impenetrable border," he says.

 


From Texas Standard:

Call it a commingling of the sacred and a spectacle.

Halloween "Texas style" starts Friday and goes through Monday with Día de los Muertos and All Souls Day in between.


From Texas Standard:

Yesterday, a new undercover video was released by the anti-abortion group targeting Planned Parenthood. Shot in Austin, the video shows a doctor describing methods used to perform later-term abortions.

From Texas Standard:

The term "alien" is used to describe many things.

It's the monster that claws its way out of bodies in the Sigourney Weaver franchise. It's the odd-looking form with almond shaped eyes which trolls trailer parks, probing unsuspecting earthlings. One of them allegedly piloted a craft that crash-landed in Roswell, N.M. Maybe an alien will soon may ring your doorbell, shouting "trick-or-treat."

The word "alien" has many uses, but Rep. Joaquín Castro says the word has no business in the official language of the United States. He's calling for the word to be banned because he says it is dehumanizing.

 


From Texas Standard:

Laredo is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Between 2007 and 2012 the city grew by more than 13 percent. Downtown merchants, like Maria Velazquez, have been noticing the change.

From Texas StandardDuring her first couple of years in San Miguel de Allende, a colonial city in Central Mexico, Dallas native Carrie Cameron spent most of her time creating art. But then, she thought there had to be more to retirement than just making beautiful things. 


From Texas Standard:

It seems that every year, we hear how college is becoming more and more expensive.


In Texas, there's been a job opening for what you might call a monarch over Monarchs. The formal title is "Monarch Outreach Specialist."

The challenge? To get the Monarch butterfly to return to Texas, where their numbers seem to have been dropping.

 


It’s been almost a year since Rashad Owens drove his car into SXSW festivalgoers after a late-night show. Four people died, and another 23 were injured during the police chase of Owens on March 13 last year.

For this year's festival, the city of Austin and the Austin Police Department say they are not taking any chances.

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