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.
Issues with the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System came to a head this week. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings sued the pension board – as a private citizen – to try to stop pension members from withdrawing money from the fund early.
Stunned. That's how Bob Schieffer, the retired CBS newsman with deep Texas roots, reacted on Election Night. He, like much of America, didn't think Donald Trump had much of a chance against Hillary Clinton. He, like much of America, was wrong.
A Baptist church in Dallas that's been in the national spotlight the last few years voted this week to grant full membership to folks in the LGBT community. And that effectively severs ties between Wilshire Baptist Church and the the Baptist General Convention of Texas, one of the governing bodies for Southern Baptists in the state.
It’s the latest in an ongoing debate among churches about LGBT inclusiveness.
The top local stories this afternoon from KERA News: For the second night in a row, protestors go together in Dallas to speak against the election of Donald Trump. About 300 people gathered last night at Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
In an election dominated by Republicans, there were only a few scattered bright spots for Democrats this week. One of them happened in Dallas County, political rookie Victoria Neave, upended a Republican incumbent, Kenneth Sheets, in Texas’ most expensive state House race.
The United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County asked the U.S. Justice Department this week to investigate complaints of voter suppression among elderly Latino voters. The group alleges state investigators looking into mail-in voter fraud in the county are actually “creating an atmosphere of fear.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."