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Dallas, TX – Early voting began October 24th next month's state constitutional amendment election. There are 10 amendments on the ballot.

Proposition 3 would increase the amount of bonds the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board can sell to provide low-interest student loans.

Dominic Chavez, with the Board says increasing debt is a red flag for some voters. But he says this "borrowing" will not burden taxpayers.

Dallas, TX –

Drought conditions have Texas ranchers dealing with a critical shortage of affordable hay for their horses and livestock. One group wants Governor Rick Perry to provide relief. Texas Public Radio's Richard Noriega has the story.

The Texas drought is one of the worst on record and while the 100-degree days have ceased there is still the critical lack of water and hay across the state.

Dallas, TX – In today's KERA Checkup we want to remind you of a statewide service that will help you find low-cost health providers. KERA's Shelley Kofler says the first step is picking up your phone.

Dial 2-1-1 anywhere in Texas and you'll be connected with a trained specialist who knows about the low-cost medical services in your community.

Dallas, TX – Texas added more than 15,000 jobs in September but unemployment is still higher than a year ago. KERA's Shelley Kofler has more on why.

In the past year more than 188,000 additional workers have joined the Texas labor force. So while there's been a gain in new jobs, there's also been an increase in the number looking but unable to land a position. That's resulted in the unemployment rate rising from 8 percent to 8.5 percent.

Dallas, TX – A Dallas non-profit is trying to raise awareness about students with time on their hands after school and no safe place to spend it. KERA's Courtney Collins explains.

A special event at the Dallas After School Network kicked off with a demonstration by Marsh Middle School's Junior ROTC. Eighth grader Sandra Diaz is very involved with that program and spends hours after school practicing marching and drills.

Dallas, TX – This week, KERA 90.1 is airing a series of reports: 'Engineering Hope: Groundbreaking Research That Could Change Our Lives'. In today's report KERA's BJ Austin visits a lab where researchers from North Texas universities are developing the next generation of prosthetic limbs for injured soldiers. It's cutting-edge research that could allow amputees to move more naturally and sense feeling with their artificial limbs.

Dallas, TX –

What was expected to be a routine vote on a state proposition to extend a low-interest student loan program may have run into a political buzz-saw called the Texas Tea Party. Texas Public Radio's David Martin Davies has more.

Dallas, TX – Priority one for state lawmakers meeting in Austin next week is to plug a $25 billion budget shortfall. Just how big is that? Well, if you shut down all the prisons, laid off every state trooper, eliminated every service except public education, higher education and health care, you still wouldn't cut $25 billion.

Governor Rick Perry and others have suggested Texas drop out of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low income children, elderly and the disabled. It's Texas's fastest growing expense.

Curt Cleaver

Age: 45
Birthplace: Gary, IN

Professional/Political Experience: National Sales Manager for national hotel chain; President & CEO, Five Star Hotel Management Corporation, Fort Worth,1996-Present.

Texas Connection: Member, Gateway Church, Southlake; Lives in Fort Worth; Texan for 26 years.

Democrat Addie Dainell Allen

Residence:  Beaumont, TX

Professional/Political Experience:  Lamar University: Saftey and Health Specialists, U.S.Dept. of Occupational Health and Safety; Department of Homeland Security Employee.

Texas Connection: Born in Orange, TX; Member of Cathedral of Faith in Beaumont; lMeals on Wheels board member

Age: 70

Birthplace: New York

Professional/Political Experience: Professor, Baylor College of Medicine and Dow University, Pakistan; Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, has traveled to 25 countries.

Texas Connection: Has lived in Texas for 35 years; Founder, Agris-Zindler Children's Fund that provides medical and surgical care for Texas children with no insurance or money to pay for healthcare.

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