Five stories that have North Texas talking: advice for moms from a church-affiliated group called Involved For Life, teacher salaries edge up in Texas, the dinosaur black market and more.
As the numbers of abortion clinics drop across the country, church-affiliated "pregnancy centers" are booming, especially in places like Texas. Terry Gross of Fresh Air talked with the woman running a pair of centers in Dallas yesterday: Carolyn Cline, executive director and CEO of a group called Involved for Life that partners with First Baptist Dallas. It's an eye-opening conversation. In addition to the pregnancy centers, IFL operates a mobile sonogram unit that parks near abortion clinics and provides counseling for women after an abortion.
When it comes to birth control, abstinence is the method Cline's staff recommends.
"We don't counsel in detail about any forms of birth control. We -- obviously -- talk about that if they have sexual integrity, if they choose to not have sex until they're ready to be pregnant, or -- then that is the best protection."
The other guest to balance Gross' Roe vs. Wade anniversary-centered show yesterday was Carolyn Jones, a writer who had an abortion two weeks after a Texas law took effect that requires women who terminate their pregnancy to see a sonogram of the fetus at least 24 hours beforehand.
- Texas public school teachers got a raise last year. But the salary bump was one of the slightest this decade -- just 1.6 percent. Fewer districts are plagued by pay freezes, though -- last year, about half had to freeze pay; this year, it's only one in five. The current average teacher salary in Texas: $49,139. [KUT in Austin]
- Education is being called the civil rights issue of our time. So here at KERA, we're diving deep into the topic. Today on All Things Considered, beginning at 4 p.m., listen for the first installment of our series "Class of '17." Bill Zeeble will be following a group of 8th graders all the way through to graduation, and today he zooms in on a high-achieving basketball player who's trying to overcome a learning disability. It's all part of an national anti-dropout initiative called American Graduate.
- A million-dollar cousin of T-Rex has kicked up quite a ruckus in the paleontology community. A full-sized Turbosaurus bataar skeleton was sold at auction for nearly $1 million by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions last year. The New Yorker paints quite a scene at the New York auction with an attorney trying to stop the sale and guards escorting him out, all while the 8-foot-tall, 24-foot-long skeleton stood behind a rope. Turns out, the close kin to Tyrannosaurus had been plucked illegally from Mongolia. The "commericial paleontologist" involved pleaded guilty to customs-related charges last month. Mike Triebold, a seasoned Colorado hunter who’d seen the T. bataar in a catalog, told the New Yorker’s Paige Williams he was stunned that a whole assembled dinosaur was up for auction.
“It’s been up to and including skulls. There’s never been a big, whole T. rex-y skeleton. This is a big, sexy dinosaur. It’s so over the top that somebody finally said, ‘All right, wait a minute. You guys gotta stop this.’ ” [New Yorker, HT Unfair Park]
- A quick head's up on the presale today of tickets for the Summer Cut music festival from our sister station, KXT-FM 91.7. Headliners are the Avett Brothers and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (a lineup that, by the way, had the Mavs' Dirk Nowitski on pins and needles). KXT devotees are sure to clean 'em out. So get yours now.