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 39 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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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

As thousands of long-distance runners prepare for Sunday’s Dallas Marathon, the National Black Marathoner’s Association will be holding its annual summit and banquet.

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Robert Kaplan is the new leader of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He’s filling the formidable shoes of Richard Fisher, who was an outspoken voice against many of the Fed’s moves since the financial crisis.

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Just about anyone who’s into sports are familiar with crazy contests, like a fan taking a half-court shot to win a car or file a March Madness bracket for a shot at a million dollars. The odds of winning those contests are pretty small, but when someone does win, another person has to pay. 

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In the first six months of this year, more than 1,600 people died on roads in Texas – more than in any other state. In fact, TxDOT says at least one person has died every day from a car accident since November of 2000.

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The Episcopal Diocese of Dallas has a new leader. George Sumner, the bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, will be consecrated tomorrow.

He’s served from Navajo country to Canada to East Africa. However, he returns to the U.S. at an interesting time for the church.

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In 2004, the CBS News program 60 Minutes aired a documentary accusing then-President George W. Bush of receiving preferential treatment in the Texas Air National Guard. After the story aired, allegations flew about the authenticity of documents used in the reporting of the story.

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Dallas’ new chief resilience officer, Theresa O'Donnell, met with community members this week for a brainstorming session. The task: figure out how to make the city more resilient. 

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Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk is finishing her first full week back at work after spending more than two months in a residential treatment center in Houston.

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

Less than 24 hours after Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan was confirmed to have the Ebola virus, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was thrust into a leadership role few people had trained for.

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The film “Everest” recounts a 1996 attempt to scale the world’s tallest peak. Eight mountain climbers died. Beck Weathers survived, but the doctor from Dallas lost one hand, the fingers in another, and he endured at least ten surgeries.

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Toyota’s new U.S. headquarters in Plano won’t be ready until 2017, but its North American CEO has already set up shop in North Texas. Jim Lentz is a 33-year veteran of the company, and he’s putting down roots in Westlake.

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As Donald Trump and his Republican opponents for president ramp up their rhetoric about immigrants, there’s another conservative effort making inroads among Latinos in Southern states.

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Texas cities like Houston and Dallas became a place of refuge for thousands of evacuees.

Many were fleeing deplorable conditions at the Louisiana Superdome, which was set up as a temporary shelter. Former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller says it was a scramble to organize relief efforts.  

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Eighty years ago, the Social Security Act was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt. The program was designed to provide older adults a financial safety net after they retire.

Today, though, that safety net is taxed. 

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A proposal to redevelop the gateway to Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District has sparked a debate about to how to balance development with a neighborhood’s personality.

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Serial reshaped the audio world last fall, spurring 80 million downloads and a months-long conversation about the decade-old murder of a Baltimore teenager and the young man convicted of killing her.

Serial host and co-creator Sarah Koenig is touring Texas this weekend -- Austin on Saturday, Fort Worth on Sunday and Dallas on Monday. She sat down to talk about making the 12-part podcast that became a binge-listening sensation.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Brad Sham is about to start his 37th pro football training camp. The voice of the Cowboys still has a passion for covering the game's biggest moments. And in this week's Friday Conversation, he  shares a few of the countless stories he's collected over those years -- from his favorite calls to his early, failed bid to become a science reporter at KERA-TV. Here are five things you might not know about this very familiar voice:

Allen Otto / The Texas Tribune

The shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month spurred a nationwide debate over the Confederate flag. That state removed the flag that flew over its capitol, and retailers like Amazon and Walmart have stopped carrying the rebel flag.

The debate has extended to southern states, which are now grappling with what to do with Confederate memorials. And, in Texas, there are concerns about how new textbooks will teach the Civil War.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

T.D. Jakes has built an empire in North Texas. He runs The Potter’s House, a megachurch with 30,000 members. He headlines a super-charged annual revival MegaFest. And he's produced Hollywood films like "Heaven Is for Real."

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The Dallas and Fort Worth school districts are searching for new superintendents. They’re not the only school systems with help-wanted ads. Chicago, Newark and Los Angeles also have openings.

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The Highland Park school district earlier hired Tom Trigg as its new leader earlier this week. He’s spent a decade running the Blue Valley schools in suburban Kansas City.

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Six years ago, Aaron Franklin was in a rock band in Austin when he cooked his first brisket. Now he runs a restaurant that’s become a Lone Star landmark. And he was named best chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation last month, a first for any barbecue pitmaster.

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