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Fort Worth Star-Telegram photo

A major effort to overhaul the bail system in Texas was rolled out Thursday, and the reforms have some powerful backers. The target is a system that releases people held in jail before trial based in part on their ability to pay their bail or a fee to bond out. It’s a system that leaves many of the state's poorest residents to wait in jail until their court date arrives, which advocates say wastes taxpayer dollars and unnecessarily upends lives.   

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It's 2017, but medical records are still mostly stuck in the dark ages. Most hospitals use electronic health records, but if you want your primary care doctor to share information with your allergist or surgeon, it’s a pain.

Committee Sends Texas 'Bathroom Bill' To Full Senate

Mar 8, 2017
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

After 13-plus hours of emotional testimony, largely in opposition, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted early Wednesday morning to advance the so-called Texas “bathroom bill" to the full chamber.

From Texas Standard:

"Journalism in the age of Trump" is more than just a very popular title right now for academic symposia. The media industry has been doing a lot of self-examination under a new presidential administration that's changing the rules of engagement.

Cara Mía Theatre & DTC’s co-produced “Deferred Action.”
Courtesy of Karen Almond

In movies, acting is all about the face and the close-up. But on stage, Dallas actor and teaching artist Ivan Jasso uses his body to transform into characters.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A cotton nightgown for your child seems like a pretty simple thing to track down. But it wasn't for John Rodakis, a dad living in Dallas. He’d heard about dangerous chemicals once common in kids pajamas, and out of precaution, he wanted a nightgown that was made from all natural materials. He’s not the only one. There’s a whole underground market for them. 

Flickr Creative Commons / Pan American Health Organization

Effective screening and prevention have limited deaths from cervical cancer to about 4,000 each year. But a recent study of a dozen states over 10 years found experts may have underestimated the risk of dying from the disease.

Vanessa Lua / Flickr

Bill Paxton, who as a boy in Fort Worth witnessed John F. Kennedy's final day and who grew up to be a Hollywood stalwart in such films as "Apollo 13" and "Titanic," has died from complications after surgery. He was 61.

Because of racial bias, actor Selmore Haines III left the theater for 30 years. Now, he's back in Jubilee Theatre's one-man show
Jubilee Theatre

Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre is tackling the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall. And actor Selmore Haines III is starring in the one-man show. As Marshall was fighting discrimination, Haines was experiencing it – and it almost kept him from becoming an actor.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Texas Death Row Inmate

Feb 22, 2017
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmate Wednesday morning, agreeing that Duane Buck’s case was prejudiced by an expert trial witness who claimed Buck was more likely to be a future danger because he is black.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

While people regularly give coats and outgrown shoes to those in need, homeless shelters—and the women who live there—are often without essentials like bras and feminine hygiene products.

A grassroots effort called Support The Girls is trying to change that.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Jury selection starts Tuesday in the trial of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price. He faces charges of accepting nearly $1 million in bribes in exchange for providing insider information and voting in favor of certain projects. What’s at stake for one of the most visible African-American political voices in North Texas?

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We all need protein — it's an essential nutrient for the body. But consuming too much protein, in regular food or supplements, may have consequences.

Patients in Alexandria, La., were the friendliest people Dr. Muhammad Tauseef ever worked with. They'd drive long distances to see him, and often bring gifts.

"It's a small town, so they will sometimes bring you chickens, bring you eggs, bring you homemade cakes," he says.

One woman even brought him a puppy.

"That was really nice," he says.

Tauseef was born and raised in Pakistan. After going to medical school there, he applied to come to the U.S. to train as a pediatrician.

The Senate voted 100-0 on Monday to confirm President Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David Shulkin.

The unanimous vote makes Shulkin the first-ever nonveteran to lead the VA, but that didn't stop him from winning endorsements from most of the major veterans service organizations. He also won bipartisan, unanimous support from the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs — a political double rainbow in Washington's current polarized atmosphere.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

A United Way fellowship program is giving social entrepreneurs a leg up.

One of them is an urban farm in southern Dallas, a community with limited access to fresh food. The founder has dreams of a café and market serving up meals by the end of summer.

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Like schools in the state's large cities, many rural districts in Texas are worried the Legislature will embrace vouchers – which would allow families to get state money to move kids from public schools to private and religious alternatives.

They have pretty significant differences with their big-city brethren, though, when it comes to teacher retention and special services for students.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Audition judges for the next Van Cliburn International Piano Competition heard young pianists play for a career-making break in the Russian capital of Moscow last month. Cliburn himself won his big competition in Moscow 59 years ago, and Russians remember.  

Santiago Bilinkis/Flickr

When a superstar athlete has a catastrophic injury, the first call often goes out to Dr. James Andrews. The surgeon worked on the shoulder of former Cowboy Troy Aikman, the knee of Tiger Woods and the elbow Yu Darvish, among many others. 

Dwell With Dignity Founder Lisa Robison (left) and Vice President Kim Turner (right) admire drapes with volunteer.
Hady Mawajdeh / Art&Seek

In an apartment inside a public housing complex, the sounds of drilling and women talking fill the space. Those women are working to get drapes hung and furniture built, because it’s their final day to whip this empty south Dallas apartment into a beautiful home for a single mother and her four children.

This story is part of a Texas Station Collaborative series examining Texas foster care. It looks at who's involved and affected by what has been deemed a "broken" system. 

 

Early into his tenure as governor, Greg Abbott said he was committed to overhauling the state’s struggling Department of Family and Protective Services, which oversees the foster care system. He was particularly focused on reducing child deaths as a result of abuse and neglect. From 2010 to 2014, 144 children died despite the fact that CPS was investigating claims of abuse in those cases. Back in 2015, Abbott’s office committed an extra $40 million to child welfare services.

David Ham

Spending time in space changes people: not just their outlook on life, but also their eyesight in general. For years, a North Texas doctor has been trying to find out what is causing this vision change among astronauts. His latest research provides some clues — and connects astronauts on the International Space Station, cancer patients on a roller coaster plane flight and high-tech sleeping sacks.

This is a promotional photo for DGDG's "War Flower."
Danielle Georgiou Dance Group

Choreographer Danielle Georgiou is known in North Texas for bold and often provocative work about feminism, sexuality and culture. Her most recent project — "War Flower" — tackles rituals and media consumption.  

Robert Anderson

A Fort Worth plastic surgeon just returned from a 7,000-mile house call to Lebanon. Dr. Robert Anderson spent more than a week there with Dallas-based LEAP Global Missions, treating displaced Syrians living in refugee camps. What he saw, he says, was devastating.

Lauren Silverman / KERA

Traditionally, ambulance crews arrive with sirens blaring — ready to rush someone to the hospital. In Fort Worth, some paramedics are doing the opposite and scheduling visits to treat patients in their homes. It's known as "mobile integrated health care," and a ride along shows it's gaining traction.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

In 1994, Congress designated the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. as a national day of service. Ever since, service-minded people have embraced the challenge to make the third Monday in January a day on, not a day off.

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Retired Dallas police and firefighters may be able to pull money out of their pension accounts again under a new policy unveiled Thursday. A judge still needs to approve the deal. Those retirees have formed an association to get their voices heard.

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This week, President-elect Trump called for a quick repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The majority of Texans get healthcare through their employers, but over the past few years the number of people in Texas who’ve signed up through the Affordable Care Act has grown. Changes in the White House and Congress will affect both groups of Texans.

Bill Zeeeble / KERA News

On an Oak Cliff boulevard near the iconic Texas Theatre stands a colorful tree-trunk-like structure with a hand on top. The 17-and-a-half-foot sculpture’s only been there a few weeks and was officially dedicated in December. 

Poor Texans Left In Dark As State Electricity Aid Programs Ends

Jan 5, 2017
Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

North Texas was freezing during a three-day stretch last month, but Mary Garcia refused to turn on the heat in her cramped apartment. She feared that doing so would too quickly drain her pay-as-you-go account with Penstar Power, a Dallas-based electricity provider.

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