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Growing up in Indiana, Phil Crone loved having a bedroom in the basement.

“It was dark. It was cold. I didn’t know the difference noon and 6 a.m.,” he says. “It was wonderful.”

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Folks right in the path of the Christmas weekend tornadoes couldn’t do much to save their houses. For those who avoid a direct hit, building codes are supposed to protect homes from serious damage.

The Medical Center of Plano

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a unique delivery in Plano; Tonya Couch is back in Texas; what hunters think of Texas gun laws; and more.

When President Obama announced new gun control measures on Tuesday, the White House said they were needed because Congress failed to address the problem of gun violence.

Gun control advocates also are frustrated with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. That's why they've been focused on changing state laws in recent years. And they're succeeding.

Oregon is one state where gun control advocates won last year with the passage of Senate Bill 941, which requires background checks for private party gun sales.

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The Forest Park Medical Center campuses were supposed to be more like spas than hospitals.  And they were —  from the hand cut stone and sculptures to the lavish trees and fancy menu.

At the end of It's A Wonderful Life, George Bailey realizes he wants to live. And everyone from the mythical town of Bedford Falls comes barreling into his living room to tell him how much they love him and sing "Auld Lang Syne." But television ratings for It's A Wonderful Life have been declining for 20 years. Still, you must know "Auld Lang Syne" from other movies — or at least from New Year's Eve?

Even if you don't know the words, you know it. Or... do you? Is the iconic holiday staple slipping away?

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The city of Garland has released some of the first 911 calls from Saturday night’s tornadoes. They’re dramatic. 

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: what did Texas search for on Google in 2015?; outrage over Ethan Couch; a police chief delivers a baby; and more.

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For years, Los Angeles Times columnist Meghan Daum wanted to write about her choice to not have children. No editors would take her pitches, she says, even as attitudes toward sexuality and marriage became more progressive in the mainstream.

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First the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra cancelled its 2016 tour to Spain for financial reasons. Now, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has postponed its 2016 European tour over security concerns.  It’s the only touring American orchestra to do so.

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The Allen High School marching band will be in Pasadena, California, next week for the Tournament of Roses Parade. Getting the 700-plus members of the Eagle Escadrille across the country won’t be easy. 

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Choosing-poorly designed toys or toys that aren’t age-appropriate for your child can lead to more harm than fun.  

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Law is one of the least diverse professions in the nation. 88 percent of lawyers are white. Two-thirds are men. Only 1 of every 6 law firm partners is a woman.

North Texans Line Up For 'The Force Awakens'

Dec 17, 2015
Gus Contreras / KERA News

Tickets for the seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise went on sale in October. It's generated more than $100 million in pre-sales. For almost 40 years, fans have been obsessing over their favorite characters.

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As we near primaries to narrow down choices for president, the Pew Research Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures has released a study of who has been elected to statehouses. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The constantly growing Catholic Diocese of Dallas will have a new assistant bishop, courtesy of the Pope. Word came Wednesday from Rome that Monsignor John Gregory Kelly was named bishop.

courtesy Denita Malvern

KERA/KXT is seeking new members for its Community Advisory Board, a group that gives voice to diverse communities in North Texas by making recommendations for station programming and initiatives.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Toys can do more than entertain. Priscila Caçola, assistant professor of kinesiology in the UT Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation, has published research showing how specific toys and items in the home can help children develop motor skills.

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KERA looks at real-life health issues in our series, Vital Signs. In this edition: all that rich or sweet food we tend eat more of at holiday time.

Texas Taxpayers Foot $2.7 Million Bill For WrestleMania In Arlington

Dec 11, 2015
Simon Quinton / Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has agreed to spend up to $2.7 million in taxpayer funds to bring the barrage of blood, sweat and spandex that is WrestleMania to Texas next year.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

As thousands of long-distance runners prepare for Sunday’s Dallas Marathon, the National Black Marathoner’s Association will be holding its annual summit and banquet.

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A federal judge on Wednesday denied the state’s latest request to keep Syrian refugees out of Texas.

Fake Mass Shooting Demonstration Moved Off UT-Austin Campus

Dec 9, 2015
Jennifer Whitney / Texas Tribune

A Texas gun rights group plans to hold a fake mass shooting demonstration Saturday near the University of Texas at Austin to protest gun-free zones.

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For most of us, the word “auction” conjures up images of antiques or fine art or even foreclosed houses. Ritchie Bros. in Lake Worth offers a very different kind of auction – one on the scale of massive earth-moving equipment.

Twelve Syrian refugees were expected to arrive in Texas on Monday, including a family of six in Dallas.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dozens of students are so upset by the crumbling state of South Oak Cliff High School that they walked out Monday afternoon. The Dallas school district says the school is getting fixed, thanks to bond programs.

Lauren Aguirre / KERA News

Some gamers are taking puzzles to a new level -- by allowing themselves to be locked in a room until they figure out how to escape. 

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The legal battle over the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Texas took another turn Friday. Texas withdrew its request to block Syrian refugees from coming here. The state isn’t dropping the suit though – it’s asked the judge for an injunction hear by Wednesday.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Three Texas mayors came together in Addison Friday to discuss diversity, refugees, the economy and education at a luncheon hosted by the National Center for Policy Analysis.  

Karen Almond / The Dallas Opera

The Dallas Opera has never before commissioned three new operas for a single season. It’s also never before commissioned a kid-friendly holiday opera. Mark Adamo’s “Becoming Santa Claus” makes its world premiere tonight at the Winspear Opera House.

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