Rick Holter | KERA News

Rick Holter

Vice President of News

Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has won 36 awards so far this year, including the station's first-ever national Edward R. Murrow Award for a video in its series One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.

Rick returned to Dallas in 2012 after six years at NPR, where he edited the shows Weekend All Things Considered and Day to Day, and supervised the Digital News operation. Before that, Rick spent 15 years at The Dallas Morning News, after editing stints at what was then the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) in Florida and the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

In addition to the Peabody, he’s collected honors including USC-Getty Arts Journalism Fellowships in 2005 and 2011, a National Headliners Award (2010), a NLGJA Award (2009) and numerous newspaper design awards. He also edited and designed a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature series (1992). A graduate of the University of Maryland, he grew up on a dairy farm in Middletown, Md.

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A federal appeals court invalidated the Texas voter ID law this week. The controversial law is one of the strictest in the country, requiring voters to show one of seven forms of identification before casting their ballot. Despite the victory in court, the man who filed the lawsuit -- "Veasey v. Abbott" -- is cautious. 

Gus Contreras / KERA News

When President Obama stepped off Air Force One this week, a familiar face was there to greet him on the tarmac at Love Field. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was once again meeting the commander in chief while guiding his county through a crisis. Two years ago it was Ebola. This week, it was the deaths of five officers at the hands of a gunman.

Elizabeth Myong / KERA News

The top local story from the KERA today: President Obama's visit to Dallas to join his predecessor, an array of state and local luminaries, and a symphony hall full of law enforcement officers mourning five of their own.

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A week ago, British voters shocked the world when they voted to pull Britain out of the European Union. One of the clearest voices against what's known as "Brexit" visited North Texas this week.

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Britain will vote on Thursday whether to stay or leave the European Union. The fallout from that vote could have major implications elsewhere. UT Dallas professor Harold Clarke studies British politics and economics, and he explains what a ‘Brexit’ vote would mean for Texas.

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Neil Cazares-Thomas leads the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, which calls itself the largest LGBT congregation in the country. Just a few weeks into the job, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Last month, there was the debate over transgender bathrooms, and last weekend – the deadly attack in Orlando.

 

Krystina Martinez/KERA News

The fallout from last weekend’s Orlando shootings has special resonance for Araf Hossain. He co-founded Alpha Lambda Mu, the country’s first all-Muslim fraternity, at UT-Dallas in 2012. Hossain’s now trying to launch a new project called Muslims Against ISIS.

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The mayors of Fort Worth and Dallas spent this week in Mexico, pitching North Texas to the country’s government and business leaders. Meanwhile, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump criticized a federal judge on CNN for his Mexican heritage.

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To the surprise of many, Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez this week announced he’ll retire after three years on the job. 

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Oil prices hit $50 a barrel last week for the first time in seven months. Prices have dropped again, and a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas wonders if falling oil prices will lead to bust in house prices.

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The Texas Medical Association has picked a North Texas doctor to be its next president. What stands out about him is what he’s been through. Almost a decade ago, Dr. Don Read nearly died from the West Nile Virus.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

This month, Mark Wingfield of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas wrote a blog post for a semi-obscure website called Baptist News Global. It was titled “Seven Things I’m Learning About Transgender Persons.”

Chris Connelly / KERA News

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made national headlines this week when he came to Fort Worth and said school superintendent Kent Scribner should resign. Scribner refused, and defended his decision to rework the district's rules for transgender students. Patrick, in Dallas for the state Republican convention, refuses to back down. On Thursday, he called Scribner "a dictator."

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When Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential race this week, and essentially locked Donald Trump as his party’s nominee, State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) responded. His searing column in the Texas Tribune carried the headline “Donald Trump is the death of the Republican Party.”

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The U.S. Treasury recently decided to replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman. NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep wrote a book about Jackson. He says he sees parallels between the former president and the leading candidates for the job in 2016.

Krystina Martinez/KERA News

Mohamed Keshavjee knows a thing or two about conflict. The internationally-acclaimed mediator grew up as an Indian Muslim in South Africa during apartheid, and his family was close with Mahatma Gandhi.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

The immigration debate is stuffed with loaded phrases like “sanctuary cities” and “anchor babies,” but it's not new. University of California at Irvine Professor Leo Chavez has studied the subject for decades.

Stephanie Kuo/KERA News

With homelessness surging in North Texas, and Dallas debating a plan to shut down a makeshift Tent City, CEO Larry James of the nonprofit CitySquare says he remains "quietly optimistic." 

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The most recent state numbers show almost 28 percent of victims of family violence are men. Despite that number, few come forward to seek help. When they do, they often find programs geared towards women and children.

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The English language can be pretty confusing to even native speakers. Vowel sounds change depending on the word. There are letters that are silent in some words, but not in others. However, one of the biggest linguistic debates centers around the lack of a second-person plural pronoun.

SMU

The SMU men’s basketball team peaked at No. 8 this season, but the Mustangs have to sit out March Madness after the NCAA banned them from the post-seasonNew York Times reporter Michael Powell dug into the case and discovered a dark side to college –and high school - hoops in Dallas.

Reagan Presidential Library

Former First Lady Nancy will be buried today at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. One of the guests will be Dale Petroskey, president of Dallas Regional Chamber. Thirty years ago, he was assistant press secretary for the Reagan Administration. 

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One of the most intriguing plot lines in this year’s presidential election is the evangelical vote. Texas Senator Ted Cruz banked on it in the Southern states, but Donald Trump had the edge on Super Tuesday.

Dwaine Caraway campaign/Twitter

The tension in North Texas is building toward Super Tuesday, and it's not only in the presidential primary. Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News sat down to talk about another race with major implications.

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For the first time in two decades, Texas Democrat Wendy Davis isn’t on an election ballot. She started off on the Fort Worth City Council, served on the state Senate, and then had an unsuccessful bid for governor.

She’s been on the campaign trail, recently – pitching for Hillary Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada -- which has its Democratic primary on Saturday.

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The Iowa caucuses were a mixed bag for Texas candidates. Ted Cruz topped the Republican field, but three hopefuls who grew up Texan cratered – Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul. Paul suspended his campaign later in the week. The day before that happened, his father, former Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, was in town to speak at UT-Arlington.

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened a regional branch in Dallas to a lot of fanfare within the entrepreneurial community. Its arrival is at a time where there’s a major backlog of patents waiting to be issued. 

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

The gun debate became front and center last week when President Obama announced his executive actions on gun violence. At the same time, Texas began allowing the open carry of handguns.

C.J. Grisham for Senate website

In the wake of President Obama's efforts to take on gun violence, the head of the group Open Carry Texas told KERA News that the president "wants to make sure that more kids die by refusing to allow us to carry on the schools to protect our own kids."

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Law is one of the least diverse professions in the nation. 88 percent of lawyers are white. Two-thirds are men. Only 1 of every 6 law firm partners is a woman.

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