Farmers Branch | KERA News

Farmers Branch

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.

Christina Ulsh / KERA Special Contributor

KERA’s series One Crisis Away, Inside a Neighborhood, wrapped up with the story of Tricia Oliver, a hard-working single mom who couldn’t afford to buy a birthday bike for her 5-year-old, Jayden.

This station’s listeners weren’t OK with that. More than a dozen called or wrote in, offering to buy Jayden that bike. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Some of the nation’s most powerful Republican politicians are in Dallas this week for the annual convention of the American Legislative Exchange Council – known as ALEC. There was action inside and protests outside.

City of Farmers Branch / Facebook

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday morning denied an appeal to review the Farmers Branch immigration rental ordinance that would have forced renters to prove they were in the country legally in order to live in the city.

The decision likely marks the end of an eight-year legal battle in which the city has spent millions of dollars in legal fees.

In 2006, the city started discussing the ordinance. In 2007, voters approved the ordinance in a nonbinding referendum.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

 The charter school chain based in Farmers Branch says it will appeal the state’s decision to close its seven schools. Parents with kids in the charter’s Farmers Branch middle school hope the appeal succeeds.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A Farmers Branch ordinance that would have forced renters to prove their U.S. citizenship before renting has again been rejected by the courts. But the Farmers Branch mayor wants city leaders to talk one more time about reviving the ordinance.

Lauren Silverman

For the first time in the history of Farmers Branch, a Hispanic council member has been sworn in. Ana Reyes, 39, will represent District One – which has a majority of Hispanic residents.

Lauren Silverman

Ana Reyes will make history in the city of Farmers Branch when she is sworn in as the first Hispanic member on an all-white city council. Reyes defeated William Capener 63 to 37 to win the district one seat.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Hispanics make up nearly half of the population in Farmers Branch - and for the first time the city may have a shot at electing a Hispanic city council member. This comes after a lawsuit filed against the city’s at-large election system resulted in newly drawn single member districts, one of which has a majority of Hispanic citizens. 

Farmers Branch is waiting to find out when planes will spray for mosquitoes. The suburb was not on last night’s schedule. Neither were border cities Addison, Carrollton, Coppell and northwest Dallas.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Arizona may shut down any more attempted restrictions on Farmers Branch apartment renters.

timlewisnm / (cc) flickr

Students across Texas are beginning STAAR standardized tests this week. Exams start Monday for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness in English I and III writing.

On Tuesday, students take 4th grade writing exams; math exams for grades 5 and 8; and hold the first day of writing tests for seventh graders. Subsequent tests will follow throughout the week with Friday as a makeup day.

STAAR is replacing the much-maligned Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that stopped a ban on renting to illegal immigrants in Farmers Branch. KERA’s BJ Austin says the city must now decide if it will continue the expensive legal battle.

Dallas, TX – Some Carrollton-Farmers Branch elementary students are in the "greeting card" business this year. KERA's BJ Austin says it's a money-making idea from the district's Educational Foundation - which is working to help fill the gap left by state budget cuts.