Top Stories: Head Of Dallas' Homeless Relief Resigns; Modernizing Freight Rail In Fort Worth | KERA News

Top Stories: Head Of Dallas' Homeless Relief Resigns; Modernizing Freight Rail In Fort Worth

Apr 16, 2018

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The president and CEO of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance has resigned – effective at the end of this month. Cindy Crain joined the nonprofit in 2015, and her departure comes amid months of growing tension between the homeless alliance and Dallas City Hall.

Several homeless service providers say in just three years Crain has radically changed how homelessness is tracked and managed across Dallas and Collin counties. Under her leadership, MDHA spearheaded the 2016 closure of Tent City, which was the 300-person homeless camp in Dallas under Interstates 30 and 45. The group also ushered in new technology to streamline homeless case management – like an app to count homeless individuals in real time as well as a new and more comprehensive system to track how they’re being served.

In December, a homeless audit conducted by a city auditor slammed Crain and the homeless alliance for a lack of oversight, which potentially jeopardized federal funding opportunities and worsened the city’s homeless problem. The report prompted some Dallas City Council members to call for her to step down.

Crain would not talk about her resignation, but in a statement, she said MDHA has accomplished nearly all the goals she set. The homeless alliance says the search for a replacement is underway.

Other stories this evening:

  • Next month, voters across Texas head back to the polls for primary runoff elections. Election Day is May 22nd. Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Houston businessman Andrew White will face off in the Democratic runoff for governor. But it’s still uncertain whether they’ll face off in a debate. Ben Philpott with KUT in Austin, talked with David Brown, host of Texas Standard.
  • After some bad years, things are looking up right now for the freight rail industry – and that’s being felt in far north Fort Worth. That’s where GE’s locomotive factory is in the process of nearly doubling its staff. Those workers aren’t just building brand-new locomotives. KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports these days, the factory is focused on modernizing old machines. 
  • The Pulitzer Prizes were announced this afternoon, and while Texas-based newsrooms were not among the winners, several Texas journalists were named finalists for the prestigious journalism award. The finalists include Sharon Grigsby of The Dallas Morning News for her editorial writing about sexual assault at Baylor University. The staff of the Houston Chronicle is a finalist in the "breaking news reporting" category for its coverage of Hurricane Harvey, and Lisa Krantz of the San Antonio Express-News is a finalist in feature photography.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:23 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.