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.

Ways to Connect

Residue has been found at the base outside El Paso after an unidentified retired airman reported that nuclear material was buried there in the 1950s. “This was all news to us,” said Major Joseph Buccino, a spokesman for Fort Bliss. “We did not know what this storage site was used for.”

A stunning new exhibit of war photography that was born at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston spurred this heartfelt essay by Kainaz Amaria on NPR's blog The Picture Show. "For me it's about the impact of war as it relates on a very basic human everyday life," says New York-based photographer Nina Berman, who took the photo below, of a Marine sergeant wounded in Iraq and his bride.

We've heard plenty about thieves plundering abandoned buildings for copper in blighted urban areas. (Remember HBO's "The Wire"?) These days, though, the focus is on rural areas. And Texas is No. 2 in the country in the number of metal theft claims reported to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Harvest Public Media looks into the farm-country phenomenon.

The Texas Senate spent another late night debating some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation. But this time, things turned out as expected.

Senators voted 19-11 to send the bill to Gov. Rick Perry for a signature. The Texas Tribune reports that thousands of protesters outside the Capitol erupted after the decision. But inside the chamber there was none of the raucous yelling and chanting that ran the clock out on the bill two and a half weeks ago.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update, Saturday 11 a.m.: Pro-abortion-rights protesters say they don't believe the DPS statement about feces and urine, and the Texas Tribune couldn't find a single DPS officer who reported confiscating bodily fluids.

shutterstock.com

A daylong symposium this November will delve into how the assassination of John F. Kennedy changed the course of a city.

The Nov. 2 event, "Understanding Tragedy: The Impact of the JFK Assassination on Dallas," will feature a series of panel discussions headlined by U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, law professor Stephen Carter, journalists Jim Lehrer and Lee Cullum, and others.

The Plano native will join 10,000 in noncompetitive Midwestern ride. “I’m well aware my presence is not an easy topic, and so I encourage people if they want to give a high five, great,” he says. “If you want to shoot me the bird, that’s okay, too.”

The Texas House of Representatives takes up a bill today that would give the state some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country. The gallery is packed, and the House is in session. Watch here (courtesy of our friends at the Texas Tribune.)

Matt Stiles / NPR

NPR and KERA spent Independence Week drilling deep into the Lone Star state, and the demographic revolution that's reshaping it, with the series Texas 2020.

But a story this big can't be contained to just one week, as data editor Matt Stiles proves today with an insightful blog post, Texas' Looming Hispanic Shift Explained, In Two Charts.

After an all-afternoon (and almost all-night) hearing, a Texas House committee approved the abortion restrictions that protesters and filibustering state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) stalled last week.

The governor plans an announcement for San Antonio. Here's how the Texas Tribune breaks it down: "It's looking increasingly unlikely that Perry will seek a fourth term ... his gubernatorial campaign team has largely been disassembled and his fundraising pales in comparison to that of his likely successor, Attorney General Greg Abbott."

As part of NPR's weeklong series "Texas 2020," data editor Matt Stiles (himself a former Texan) dives into the number and comes up with a fascinating map-by-map look at the political divide between the state's cities and country.

LeAnn Wallace / YNN

Less than a week after protesters and Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, ran the clock out on a tough new abortion bill, they were back Monday -- this time clad in orange.

But their opponents, too, returned for the start of the second legislative special session. And with an iron grip on the Capitol, Republicans vowed not to allow the bill to fail this time around.

State Sen. Wendy Davis (and her sneakers) got the headlines, but it took thousands more voices to shout down the Texas Senate's abortion restrictions this week. The Texas Tribune has an in-depth look at how the protests came together. And don't miss this nugget deep in the story: “I turned my hearing aids all the way down and I still got deaf from the noise,” said David Plylar of San Antonio, who attended the protests with his wife. “But it was a happy noise.”

The online non-profit news service, a partner of KERA, emerged as the primary source for hundreds of thousands watching the live stream of Tuesday night's filibuster soap opera in Austin.

The hashtag #StandWithWendy took off into the social-media stratosphere: Even a certain White House tweeter joined the party. Buzzfeed takes a look at how Wendy-mania took hold.

Nicole Small, who spent the last 12 years building the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, will leave by year's end, the Dallas Morning News reports. She'll become president of the Lyda Hill Foundation. Hill is an important donor to the museum; her foundation has also given a major grant to KERA for its news expansion.

The State Integrity Investigation – a 50-state project that KERA was part of last year – has won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

It's the latest honor in a record year for the station's news team, which won three regional Murrow awards, six from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association and four Anson Jones, MD, Awards from the Texas Medical Association.

The federal agency says in a letter that the impact of the fertilizer plant explosion “is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration.” FEMA has provided emergency funds to individual residents of the town.

"That was a mistake," Ken Emanuelson says of his statement at a May 20 event organized by the Dallas County Republican Party. His full quote then: “I’m going to be real honest with you. The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they are going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

As many as 10,000 people have crowded into the Ferrell Center at Baylor University in Waco for a memorial service honoring the first responders and residents of West, Texas, who died last week when the town's fertilizer plant exploded.

Dane Walters / KERA News

The live stream of the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication has ended. We'll post archival video as soon as it is available.

The U.S. Postal Service paid $40 million to sponsor Armstrong's Tour de France team. Now the Feds are joining a whistleblower lawsuit brought by former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis. In January, Armstrong admitted using performance-enhancing drugs after years of denials,

The city of Boston and surrounding suburbs are locked down as hundreds of law enforcement officers bear down on the one living suspect. PBS NewsHour is covering the story live.

The FAQ On Fertilizer

Apr 18, 2013

The Washington Post's WonkBlog has a standout look at the fertilizer business. One choice tidbit: The U.S. imports far more fertilizer ($13 billion worth) than it exports ($4.5 billion). And the biggest suppliers? Canada, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Update, 12:15 a.m.: "An unbelievable tragedy" -- that's how D.L. Wilson of the Department of Public Safety described Wednesday night's fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Speaking to the media just after midnight, he added that he'd toured the blast zone, and it looked "just like Iraq, just like the Murrah building in Oklahoma City," which was bombed 18 years ago this week.

Wilson said more than 100 were injured, and he confirmed that people have died, though he gave no number.

The NPR host was running the Boston Marathon with William Greer, a blind marathoner from Austin. Peter writes: "He ran the bravest and toughest mile of his life, not even able to see clearly what he was doing, just because he wanted to be able to say he did it, and by doing so, he crossed the line alive."

AJ Gazmen / flickr.com

Update, 6:25 p.m.: The man accused of stabbing 15 people on campus outside Houston is a 20-year-old student named Dylan Quick, the Houston Chronicle reports. The paper put together a profile of Quick based on a Lone Star College-CyFair blog that spotlighted him on April 1.

Google says Austin will be the next city to receive the search giant's ultra-fast Internet service starting next year. 'Google Fiber' is estimated to be about 100 times faster than basic cable service.

The Kaufman County Sheriff's Department issued a statement saying Chris Heisler did not speak for the family of slain District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia. Heisler said some relatives were "furious" about the way the investigation has been handled.

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