Shelley Kofler

Managing Editor/Senior Reporter

Shelley Kofler is managing editor/senior reporter for KERA News. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who has served as KERA news director and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV. Her expertise on legislative policy issues includes school finance, foster care and transportation; and her stories on the overmedication of foster children captured the attention of state officials who strengthened laws for the use of psychotropic drugs.

Shelley also covered government issues for North Texas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV and worked with KERA on numerous public affairs projects including nationally broadcast programs. She has reported on statewide elections and presidential primaries since the late 1980s. She also founded and operated her own communications firm, Kofler Communications, in Dallas and Austin. She served as a communications strategist and media trainer for various companies, agencies and public officials.

Shelley and the KERA news team have received numerous journalism awards for their public radio and television work. In addition to all-staff honors she has been individually singled out with a first place Edward R. Murrow award for a series of reports on the Trinity toll road decision; first place honors for political reporting from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Houston Press Club’s Lone Star competition; a first place award for covering water issues and the battle over building the Marvin Nichols dam; and a first place Lone Star award for hosting a call-in show about employment entitled, “Getting Back to Work.”

As news director, Shelley organized and participated in KERA’s coverage of the 2010 Texas gubernatorial race. She moderated the statewide-televised primary debate among Republicans: Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and candidate Debra Medina. The debate aired in every TV and radio market in Texas.

Shelley joined the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas board in 2011. She’s a native “Hoosier” from Indiana but has lived in Texas for more than two decades. She’s happiest when she can slip on her hiking boots and explore a new trail.

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Politics
8:06 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Debate Over Photo ID Resurfaces With Wendy Davis' Vote

Sen. Wendy Davis talked to voters after casting her early ballot Monday.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democratic candidate for governor, had to sign an affidavit before she was allowed to vote early in Fort Worth on Monday. 

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Politics
6:00 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

New Voter ID Law Forces Governor Candidate Wendy Davis To Sign Affidavit To Vote

Wendy Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat who's running for governor, greeted a voter on Monday morning in Fort Worth.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Add gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis to the growing list of women who are having problems voting because of Texas' new photo ID law.

Davis, a Democratic state senator, was voting early in Fort Worth on Monday when poll workers made her sign an affidavit to verify her identity.

Why?

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Government
12:05 am
Mon October 28, 2013

$2 Billion Water Fund: Solution To A Crisis Or A Slush Fund?

Top elected officials across the state are campaigning hard for Proposition 6, which would create a $2 billion fund to finance water projects.  But opponents claim the constitutional amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot is just a slush fund. 

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Texas News
1:09 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Dallas To Houston In Just 90 Minutes: A Bullet Train Could Make This A Reality

Japanese bullet trains travel at more than 200 mph. Bullet trains could come to Texas in the next few years.
Central Japan Railway Company

Imagine waking up in Dallas, going to Houston for lunch, and being back in Big D for a 3 p.m. meeting.

Sound like a fantasy? It could be reality in just a few years, thanks to a fast-moving Texas company that plans to deploy fast-moving trains.

Texas Central Railway wants to build a Dallas-to-Houston corridor for a 200-mph electric train, like the ones that operate in Japan. It would be faster than any train operating in the United States. The bullet train could get from Dallas to Houston in about 90 minutes. Passengers could start boarding in seven years.

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Health/Science
3:24 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Report Says Texans Ranked First For Unhealthy Exposure To Wildfire Smoke

The NRDC report says the area affected by wildfire smoke is 50 times greater than the area burned.

A study produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council ranks Texas first among states for the number of citizens exposed to  week or more of dangerous wildfire smoke in 2011.  

Dr. Patrick Kinney, from the Mailman School of Public Health, at Columbia University, says the smoke can affect health far beyond the fires.

"There’s a large body of health research that indicates on days with high smoke levels there is a greater risk of lung problems such as those experienced by asthmatics or people with chronic lung diseases," said Kinney.

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Politics
12:26 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Joel Burns, Democrats' Pick To Succeed Wendy Davis, Won't Run For Her State Senate Seat

Texas Tribune

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns emailed supporters Wednesday with news that he will not run for the Texas Senate seat Wendy Davis now holds.

Burns said the "job he wants most" is the one he already has on the council.  

Burns was the Democrats' top pick to compete succeed Davis in Senate District 10 which leans Republican. 

Education
1:08 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

iPad Security An Issue In Lewisville School Board Race

Shutterstock

Security breaches with iPads provided to Lewisville ISD students is an issue being debated by three candidates vying for an open school board seat. 

The Dallas Morning News looks at how the candidates would address the district's aggressive plan to put technology in the hands of students. All of the candidates are "critical of the security breaches and system crashes that have accompanied the initiative," The News reports.

Politics
12:48 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

PolitiFact Texas: Right To Life's Claim About Wendy Davis' Abortion Stance Is False

PolitiFact.com

On the day that state Sen. Wendy Davis announced her candidacy for governor, Texas Right To Life released an ad claiming that Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, "opposes any limits on abortion." 

PolitiFact Texas researched the claim and rated it "false."   Here's the analysis.  

Government
9:52 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Criticized In Washington, Ted Cruz Is Feelin' Some Love At Home In Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz listened to small business owners during a meeting in Fort Worth.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

So, where do you go when you need some TLC and appreciation?  Home, right?

That’s exactly what Sen. Ted Cruz has been doing this week.

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Politics
4:55 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

In Fort Worth, Ted Cruz Continues His Fight Against Obamacare

Sen. Ted Cruz, pictured on the Senate floor, didn't want to talk about his role in the partial government shutdown.
Senate TV

Sen. Ted Cruz found a receptive audience in Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon, meeting with about 20 small business owners for nearly an hour in a closed-door meeting.

But they didn’t discuss the Texas Republican's involvement in the partial government shutdown. Instead, Obamacare was on the agenda. Over half of the participants wanted to talk about the Affordable Care Act and how it was raising their healthcare costs, said Bill Thornton, president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Extra security was in place for the event after threats against Cruz were posted on Twitter. The Hill reported that a person posted on Twitter Friday: “Take down Ted Cruz, at his home” and listed Cruz’s home address in Houston. “What goes around comes around CRUZ!!” the person wrote.

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