Friday Conversation | KERA News

Friday Conversation

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick talks with KERA's Rick Holter (left) and Christopher Connelly (right)
Credit Bud Kennedy / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Friday Conversation is a weekly in-depth discussion 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.

Ways to Connect

DART

DART made a big decision this week on two major transportation projects. Brandon Formby has been following that story, along with legislative races in Dallas County. The longtime Dallas Morning News reporter moved to the Texas Tribune this month. He’s working out of the KERA newsroom, as a part of the station’s partnership with the statewide online news source.

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In the past week, Donald Trump has suggested the United States election system is rigged as he continues sliding in the polls. The accusation, along with news of a potential voter fraud investigation in Tarrant County, has raised questions about the security of our elections process. 

Rick Holter/KERA News

Union Station in downtown Dallas opened in 1916 as a railroad hub for the city. At its peak, 80 trains passed through daily.  After a brief closure in the 1970s, Union Station still services buses and rail, but it remains underused. However, things are looking up as the station approaches its 100th birthday.

Krystina Martinez/KERA News

It’s been a week since Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas would withdraw from the federal Refugee Resettlement Program. The state took in 7,000 refugees in the last year and about 900 of those refugees have come from Syria.

Penguin Random House

Merritt Tierce’s debut novel Love Me Back is the story of a single mother working as a waitress in Dallas. The book earned rave reviews when it was released two years ago, but that didn’t translate into sales.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Marcelo Cavazos, the man who leads Arlington’s schools system, was named Texas Superintendent of the Year this afternoon. The honor came at the annual Texas Association of School Boards conference in Houston – and it includes a $5,000 prize. The five finalists also included another North Texan, DeSoto superintendent David Harris.

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Beginning this semester, prospective pastors at the Dallas Theological Seminary will get training on sexual abuse prevention. The evangelical seminary says it’s the only one in the country that makes this sort of training mandatory.

Bryan Snyder/Aaron P Bernstein / Reuters

The Dallas Morning News made its name reporting the news, but this week, the paper made news. The editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton – the first time it’s endorsed a Democrat for president in the general election since World War II.

Catholic Diocese of Dallas

North Texas will say goodbye to a key figure soon. Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas has been promoted to a new job within the Vatican – as head of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

KERA’s been listening to conversations about race across the education spectrum – from students to school security officers. Fort Worth district superintendent Kent Scribner leads a diverse student population. Almost 23 percent of students are black and 63 percent are Latino. He talked about what he calls ‘the equity conversation’ and the transgender guidelines that thrust him into the spotlight.

SuperLatina TV

Every week, Gaby Natale hosts a Spanish-language talk show called SuperLatina. The North Texas-based show has featured the likes of Deepak Chopra and Carlos Santana, and it won two daytime Emmy Awards this spring. SuperLatina is syndicated in 43 U.S. markets, but when the show first began, it was filmed out of a carpet warehouse in Odessa.

UNT Dallas College of Law

The University of North Texas at Dallas has been trying to build a different kind of law school -- one that’s more affordable and targets diverse and non-traditional students. 

University of North Texas/Twitter

Texas’ campus carry law went into effect this week, which allows people with concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons onto public universities. University of North Texas President Neal Smatresk is one of many school administrators wrestling with how to enforce the law. 

Briscoe Center for American History

On Monday, the University of Texas marks 50 years since sniper Charles Whitman gunned down 16 people before police killed him. Thirty-two others were hurt.

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey/Facebook

A federal appeals court invalidated the Texas voter ID law this week. The controversial law is one of the strictest in the country, requiring voters to show one of seven forms of identification before casting their ballot. Despite the victory in court, the man who filed the lawsuit -- "Veasey v. Abbott" -- is cautious. 

Gus Contreras / KERA News

When President Obama stepped off Air Force One this week, a familiar face was there to greet him on the tarmac at Love Field. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was once again meeting the commander in chief while guiding his county through a crisis. Two years ago it was Ebola. This week, it was the deaths of five officers at the hands of a gunman.

Rick Holter/KERA News

A week ago, British voters shocked the world when they voted to pull Britain out of the European Union. One of the clearest voices against what's known as "Brexit" visited North Texas this week.

Matt H. Wade/Wikimedia Commons

The two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions affecting Texas had a few legal twists and turns. In this Friday Conversation, Lauren Silverman unpacked the two cases with SMU law professor Lackland Bloom on Think.

Jon Viscott / Facebook

Neil Cazares-Thomas leads the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, which calls itself the largest LGBT congregation in the country. Just a few weeks into the job, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Last month, there was the debate over transgender bathrooms, and last weekend – the deadly attack in Orlando.

 

Betsy Price/Twitter

The mayors of Fort Worth and Dallas spent this week in Mexico, pitching North Texas to the country’s government and business leaders. Meanwhile, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump criticized a federal judge on CNN for his Mexican heritage.

KERA News

To the surprise of many, Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez this week announced he’ll retire after three years on the job. 

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The Texas Medical Association has picked a North Texas doctor to be its next president. What stands out about him is what he’s been through. Almost a decade ago, Dr. Don Read nearly died from the West Nile Virus.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

This month, Mark Wingfield of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas wrote a blog post for a semi-obscure website called Baptist News Global. It was titled “Seven Things I’m Learning About Transgender Persons.”

Chris Connelly / KERA News

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made national headlines this week when he came to Fort Worth and said school superintendent Kent Scribner should resign. Scribner refused, and defended his decision to rework the district's rules for transgender students. Patrick, in Dallas for the state Republican convention, refuses to back down. On Thursday, he called Scribner "a dictator."

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

When Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential race this week, and essentially locked Donald Trump as his party’s nominee, State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) responded. His searing column in the Texas Tribune carried the headline “Donald Trump is the death of the Republican Party.”

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The U.S. Treasury recently decided to replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman. NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep wrote a book about Jackson. He says he sees parallels between the former president and the leading candidates for the job in 2016.

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.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

The immigration debate is stuffed with loaded phrases like “sanctuary cities” and “anchor babies,” but it's not new. University of California at Irvine Professor Leo Chavez has studied the subject for decades.

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." 

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The most recent state numbers show almost 28 percent of victims of family violence are men. Despite that number, few come forward to seek help. When they do, they often find programs geared towards women and children.

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