Top Stories: Texas Prisons Want More Money For Health Care; The Life of Thurgood Marshall | KERA News

Top Stories: Texas Prisons Want More Money For Health Care; The Life of Thurgood Marshall

Feb 23, 2017

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The federal corruption trial of John Wiley Price got underway today – and though the courtroom at the federal building in downtown Dallas was packed, the trial got off to a slow start.

First, there was a delay because a juror had been hospitalized for an undisclosed medical issue. The juror has been excused from the jury, and an alternate took her place.

Then a prosecutor read the 107-page indictment to jurors – a process that took hours. Opening statements have been delayed until next week.

John Wiley Price is the longtime Dallas County commissioner accused of accepting nearly a million dollars in bribes. He’s been charged with 11 counts, including bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion. Price has pleaded not guilty.

The trial will involve scores of witnesses – and could take four months.

Other stories this evening:

  • The department that runs Texas prisons is asking lawmakers in Austin for an additional $80 million to close a shortfall in their budget this year. Texas Department of Criminal Justice Chief Bryan Collier said high health care costs are to blame. Collier addressed the Texas House Committee on Corrections Thursday afternoon. He said thousands of prisoners have chronic and expensive-to-treat illnesses, like Hepatitis C and HIV. Overall, health care makes up about 16 percent of the department’s $3.4 billion budget.
  • Slovenia and Estonia are among a handful of Eastern European countries that allow same-sex marriage. Still, the region has seen an increase of anti-gay sentiments in recent years. Today on Think, Krys Boyd talked with Masha Gesson about how this ideology has spread through Russia and its neighbors. Gesson’s article, “Family Values: Mapping the Spread of an Anti-Gay Ideology” appears in the March issue of Harper’s.
  • Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre is tackling the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall, and actor Selmore Haines III stars in the one-man show. Each week in the Artist Spotlight, we follow the personal journey of a North Texas creative. Today, Art&Seek’s Hady Mawajdeh learns that as Marshall was fighting discrimination, Haines was experiencing it – and it almost kept him from becoming an actor.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.