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Krystina Martinez/KERA News

Mohamed Keshavjee knows a thing or two about conflict. The internationally-acclaimed mediator grew up as an Indian Muslim in South Africa during apartheid, and his family was close with Mahatma Gandhi.

Marcin Wichary / Flickr

For many Texas families, tax-free shopping is a back-to-school tradition. This weekend, swap those folders for flashlights and binders for batteries. Emergency supplies are tax exempt starting Saturday morning.

It’s a first for Texas-- to help folks stock up for severe weather season. Families intent on cleaning out the hardware store should check the state’s “tax free” list before they buy.

Nine Photography

Fort Worth Opera’s JFK gets its world premiere Saturday. It recounts President Kennedy’s last night on earth, which many may not know was in Fort Worth. The opera blends other forgotten facts with fantasy in a story that some are calling the most anticipated new opera of the American season.

Mobeen Azhar/BBC

Editor's note: The music superstar Prince has died, his publicist has confirmed. Here is an appreciation from 2015, from the producer of a BBC documentary on his life.

Mobeen Azhar is best known as a hard-hitting investigative reporter for the BBC, working on issues such as religious violence in Lahore and heroin addiction in Karachi.

As College Costs Rise, Texas Schools Open Food Pantries For Students

Apr 20, 2016
Jerod Foster / Texas Tribune

The stereotype is so old that it’s enmeshed in popular culture: College students arrive on campus to find a surplus of food — enough for food fights in dining halls or to pack on the infamous “freshman 15.” 

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The American Lung Association released the results of its 17th annual State of the Air report on Wednesday. It’s a report card on the nation’s air quality, ranking metro areas based on ozone and particle pollution. 

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Millions of people use various types of fitness trackers (wrist bands, clip-ons and smart watches) to help keep in shape. However, some online product reviews question their reliability.

Texas Rangers Investigating Sid Miller's State-Paid Trips

Apr 14, 2016
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

The Texas Rangers have launched a criminal investigation into Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's use of taxpayer funds to bankroll two out-of-state trips, the Department of Public Safety confirmed Wednesday.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Several buildings in downtown Dallas have been turned into makeshift conference centers, classrooms and deal sites for entrepreneurs and investors. It’s part of Dallas Startup Week. We caught up with one of key players in the local startup scene to find out what’s new.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Last fall, KERA reported on a new scholarship program at the University of Texas at Dallas. Students could win up to $5,000 solving challenges in a computer game similar to Minecraft. Meet some of the winners.

The UT Austin student whose body was found on campus along Waller Creek Tuesday morning has been identified as freshman theater and dance major Haruka Weiser. Her death has been ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office.

Update Friday 10:40 a.m. Austin Police announced this morning that they'd taken into custody a suspect for the homicide of Haruka Weiser. Law enforcement arrested Meechaiel Criner, a 17-year-old black male, and charged him with first-degree murder. Criner was booked at Travis County jail. APD Chief Art Acevedo said at the conference that they are "very certain" that Criner is the suspect responsible for Weiser's death.

Stephanie Kuo/KERA News

With homelessness surging in North Texas, and Dallas debating a plan to shut down a makeshift Tent City, CEO Larry James of the nonprofit CitySquare says he remains "quietly optimistic." 

Federal Judge Approves $20.8 Billion BP Spill Settlement

Apr 5, 2016
Marc Morrison

A federal judge on Monday approved a $20.8 billion settlement negotiated between BP and a group of plaintiffs including the federal government, Texas and four other Gulf Coast states and hundreds of local governments stemming from the energy giant's 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

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In our series, "Vital Signs,"  living with artificial devices like stents, valves and grafts intended to improve blood flow to the heart. Doctors in the U.S. insert the devices in about a million procedures each year. But after that, the work falls to the patient.

BNSF Railway

The chairman of Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway says about 4,600 railroad employees are furloughed nationwide due to declining oil prices and a reduced demand for coal.

Update: Court Stops Execution Of Former Dallas Accountant Who Killed His Daughters

Mar 30, 2016
Dallas County court files/Texas Tribune

Update, 11:23 a.m. from Associated Press: A federal appeals court has stopped the scheduled lethal injection of a former Dallas accountant set to die for gunning down his two young daughters in 2001 while his ex-wife - their mother - was listening helplessly on the phone.

Commentary: When Cuba Became Personal

Mar 30, 2016
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Barack Obama recently became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years. The island was also on commentator Stephen Whitley’s wish list of places to visit. But Cuba always seemed out of reach until the recent easing of restrictions on travel. He learned some lessons during a Spring Break trip there.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

President Obama’s time in the White House, at this point, is measured in months, but according to presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, Obama is using every tool in the executive toolbox to being seen as a lame duck.

Indictment Aside, Crystal City Mayor Is Running Again

Mar 28, 2016
Robin Jerstad / Texas Tribune

CRYSTAL CITY — Leaning forward on a two-seat swing beneath a shady tree, Ricardo Lopez ticked off his lofty political ambitions: First, win his re-election bid for mayor in this South Texas town. Next, swiftly resign to prepare for an all-out sprint for Texas lieutenant governor. After that, maybe focus on something more grandiose. 

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Sold over-the-counter, activated charcoal can be beneficial when used by a medical professional. But some people use it on their own for such things as high cholesterol, hangovers or stomach pain at serious risk to their health.

D.Fajio/Flickr

The English language can be pretty confusing to even native speakers. Vowel sounds change depending on the word. There are letters that are silent in some words, but not in others. However, one of the biggest linguistic debates centers around the lack of a second-person plural pronoun.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Campaigns for the Texas Board of Education seldom make news, especially in the 31 rural and small-town counties east of Dallas that make up District 9. Republican candidate Mary Lou Bruner has changed that.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

KERA's series One Crisis Away: Rebuilding a life, looks at tornado recovery for folks on the financial edge. It's estimated only 40 percent of people who lease apartments or houses have renters insurance. They need that money to buy food and pay the bills.

Rethinking How Prison Works

Mar 22, 2016
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The United States is the world’s biggest jailer, with 2.3 million people locked up here.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Dade Middle School in Dallas has had a history of problems. Some community leaders want the Dallas school district to boost neighborhood involvement and turn Dade into what’s called a community school. Some folks believe more community and parental involvement would make a difference there.

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Lactose Intolerance is a common problem - about 65 percent of the human population has it. And while it can’t be cured, it’s rarely dangerous and you can manage lactose intolerance.

Carolyn Cruz / The Cliburn

Police say the two daughters of an award-winning concert pianist have been found slain in their North Texas home and the musician's estranged wife is being treated for stab wounds.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Funeral services were held Thursday for Jose Raul Cruz, the North Texas teen killed Sunday by an off-duty Farmers Branch police officer.  At Cruz's funeral, one man shared his story about the teen.

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March Madness will dominate televisions. But not everyone's a fan of the organization that puts on the event.

TxDOT-Beaumont / Twitter

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Serious flooding in Southeast Texas continues; Gov. Abbott’s claim of “rampant” voter fraud in Texas has some holes; Dallas ISD kids talk through issues rather than head to the principal’s office; a Dallas real estate developer is the new “bachelorette”; and more.

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