Friday Conversation | KERA News

Friday Conversation

The Friday Conversation is a weekly in-depth discussion between KERA's Vice President of News Rick Holter with people making news in North Texas. Subjects have ranged from former President Jimmy Carter to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price to sportscaster Dale Hansen to a historian exploring a notorious lynching a century ago in downtown Dallas.

Explore the latest interviews below:

Ways to Connect

Courtesy photo / The Tyler Loop

After President Trump's decision to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program this week, we've heard voices from big cities like Dallas and Houston.

Former NPR journalist Tasneem Raja has been collecting stories of people in Tyler who were brought into the country illegally as children for her news startup, The Tyler Loop

Cathy Frisinger/UT Southwestern Medical Center

About 700 people spent the night Thursday at the shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Caring for evacuees after a natural disaster presents a huge medical challenge, which Dr. Ray Fowler of UT Southwestern Medical Center knows well.   

Krystina Martinez

When folks talk about tech accelerators and entrepreneurship, the images that usually spring to mind are of sparkling Silicon Valley campuses or hip downtown live/work lofts.

Michelle Williams is dedicated to bringing that spirit to southern Dallas. She's leading a branch of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center opening soon as part of the re-imagined Red Bird Mall.

Rick Holter/KERA News

A statue of Robert E. Lee was at the center of the white supremacist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. Cities across the U.S., including Dallas, are now renewing debate on what to do with existing Confederate memorials.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

For eight years, Leslie Brenner's been Dallas' leading restaurant critic. This week, she announced that she’s leaving The Dallas Morning News to work for a real estate startup that specializes in restaurants. 

Paul Chabot campaign/Flickr

Paul Chabot has a sales pitch for conservatives across the country: Move to Texas. After losing his second bid for Congress in California, he uprooted his family and settled in McKinney. He started a company called Conservative Move to get like-minded folks to do the same.

Ana Perez/KERA News

It's been a tough week for the transgender community. The Texas Senate passed a so-called bathroom bill regulating public restroom use for transgender Texans. The next day, President Trump tweeted that he'd like to ban transgender people from serving in the military.  

Facebook / Detroit Police Department

Dallas made a landmark hire this week – Renee Hall will be the first woman to run the city’s police department. Now serving as deputy chief in Detroit, Hall is determined to make her mark in Dallas not just as a woman, but as a standout leader.

dcwcreations / Shutterstock

According to the latest numbers, North Texas housing prices are up 8 percent over last year. That sounds like great news for home builders. Yet, Phil Crone of the Dallas Builders Association went to the nation’s capital last month to make a desperate plea for immigration reform.

Year of Unity

St. Paul United Methodist Church is just a few blocks from where a gunman disrupted a peaceful rally in downtown Dallas last year. Richie Butler, pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church, said some church members were part of that once-peaceful rally.

Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

A year ago, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarippa were still riding the rails and patrolling the streets of Dallas. Then came July 7. Mayor Mike Rawlings recalls how the city came through that night and the days that followed.

David Kent/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram got its first new editor in nearly two decades this week. Lauren Gustus comes from Fort Collins, Colorado, where she also fought to pass legislation improving that state's open records laws. 

Christopher Connelly / KERA

Opal Lee has lived 90 pretty remarkable years -- from the night, when she was a kid, that a mob of white protesters drove her family from their Fort Worth home, to her symbolic walk to Washington, D.C., last fall to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

Courtesy of J. Parker

The 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature ended dramatically last week, and the drama's not over: Lawmakers will return to Austin next month for a special session. Two members of the state House, Democrat Rafael Anchia and Republican Jason Villalba, stopped by KERA to talk about a session they say was unlike any other.

Miguel Perez for KERA News

A group of architecture buffs got a sneak peek at the Statler Hilton in downtown Dallas. The 1950s icon was the place where Tina Turner famously dumped her abusive husband Ike. Abandoned since 2001, it’s now being transformed into a hotel and apartment building.

Krystina Martinez / KERA

The Texas Legislature is keeping the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) busy this session.

Sylvia Komatsu / KERA News

At 95, journalism pioneer Vivian Castleberry has seen it all. She was born in the roaring '20s, came of age during the Great Depression and interviewed seven First Ladies.

Samantha Guzman / KERA News

For a generation of radio listeners, Robert Siegel has been one of the few constants. He’s hosted NPR's All Things Considered since 1987 - through inaugurations and impeachment to natural disasters and wardrobe malfunctions. 

Allison V. Smith / KERA News special contributor

A lot has changed since State Rep. Eric Johnson grew up in West Dallas. His old neighborhood is in the midst of a transformation. 

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

As President Trump nears his 100th day in office, we take a step back to look at how presidential power evolved in the modern era with Rita Kirk, who directs the Maguire Center of Ethics & Public Responsibility at SMU. She says historians estimate it takes about 20 years before one can get a sense of what happened in the past.

Catholic Diocese of Dallas

Edward Burns led his first Easter mass as the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas last weekend. He moved from Juneau, Alaska, a few months back, and he’s already making a mark. He started a task force on immigration and is leading a national effort to prevent  sexual abuse in the church.

Dan Flynn

A Texas House pensions committee advanced a bill to the full House this week aimed at fixing the Dallas Police and Fire Pension fund. The key figure in Austin for the troubled pension funds in Dallas and Houston is a small town-Republican.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

For the last three-plus years, Alia Salem has been the public point person for just about every controversy involving Muslims in North Texas. Salem stepped down as executive director of the local Council on American-Islamic Relations this week, and she's determined to stay optimistic.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

The NCAA Women’s Final Four tips off tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center. Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman played a role in bringing the tournament to Dallas. In our Friday Conversation, she said Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle tapped her at the last minute to pitch the city as a tournament site to the NCAA.

Women make up half of the U.S. population, but hold less than 20 percent of the seats in Congress. Cindy Simon Rosenthal spent much of her career studying this issue, and then got involved herself. She was the first female elected mayor of Norman, Oklahoma - and now runs the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at The University of Oklahoma. 

Texas State Archives

Texas was a very different place two centuries ago. It was home to roaming tribes and just a few permanent settlements. Researcher Sam Haynes of UT Arlington says it was the most diverse place in North America.

U.S. House of Representatives

Congressional Republicans this week rolled out their alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Though some on the right have criticized it as “Obamacare 2.0,” U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling says he’s on board with the proposed legislation – with a few tweaks.  

Louis DeLuca / The Dallas Morning News

Death is inevitable, but few are willing to confront it publicly. Jeffrey Weiss has been a reporter for 35 years, and he’s in the middle of writing the story of his life – a series about his own brain tumor.

Libre Initiative

New federal memos this week on immigration enforcement have stoked fears that millions of people could be deported. A UT-Dallas student who’s part of the DACA program spent the night in a Richardson jail. He’d been pulled over on a traffic warrant, but was detained when his immigration status was discovered.

Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of President Trump's executive orders on travel and refugees, a wave of immigration roundups occurred last weekend. The attention’s now on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency in charge of allowing people into this country and deporting others.

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