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

This season marks the 20th anniversary of the Dallas Stars coming to town. In that time, the team’s won a Stanley Cup and helped develop a generation of kids who play hockey in Cowboys country. In our Friday Conversation, Dallas Stars President and CEO Jim Lites talks about the team’s impact on North Texas.

Frank Vassen / Flickr

This weekend’s Dallas Safari Club convention will feature a flock of exhibitors, a herd of stuffed animals -- and an auction that’s kicked up international controversy.

In our Friday Conversation, executive director Ben Carter talks about how the club hopes to raise as much as $1 million to protect the rare black rhino by auctioning off the right to hunt one. But club members have been receiving death threats, and the FBI is investigating.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

How did Obamacare affect North Texans in 2013? It depends on whom you ask.

SoupMobile.org

David Timothy’s known as the SoupMan. Every day the charity he started a decade ago out of an old van serves hundreds of meals to the homeless. He’s normally set up just south of Fair Park. But this Christmas Eve – as he’s done for the last nine years. – he’s putting on a Christmas Gala at the downtown Dallas Omni.

He stopped by our studio for a Friday Conversation.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened its doors in downtown Dallas a year ago. Since that day, 1.3 million people have wandered among the dinosaurs, wobbled on the earthquake simulator and put their hands through a tornado. And at the end of this month, the museum’s CEO, Nicole Small is moving on to a new job, as president of the Lyda Hill Foundation. She stopped by our studio for a Friday conversation, which aired Dec. 6.

AXS

On Nov. 22, 1963, Dan Rather was far down the journalism totem pole, but he was in Dallas for President Kennedy’s visit. He was near Dealey Plaza when the president’s motorcade arrived. KERA recently talked with the legendary Texas newsman to get his impressions of what happened 50 years ago. He’s taking a look back at the assassination in a special on the AXS cable channel on Friday night.

Ben Wheeler Fall Feral Hog Festival

(Update, Jan. 27: Brooks Gremmels died over the weekend.)

A few years ago, Brooks Gremmels escaped Dallas and retired to a tiny East Texas town called Ben Wheeler.

The place was falling down. Buildings were vacant. Roofs were gone. Doors were missing. Weeds grew in the sidewalks.

People didn’t have much hope for the Van Zandt County town. But Gremmels did.

“Maybe I could spend a little money and clean up the town," he thought.

So, parcel by parcel, the multimillionaire cleaned up Ben Wheeler.

Steve Fisch / Stanford

This week’s Nobel Prizes had a distinct twang. Three North Texas universities had small roles in the project that won the physics medal – and the winner of the Nobel for Medicine spent 25 years at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Dr. Thomas Südhof took a break in his whirlwind week for our Friday Conversation.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

A little more than a year ago, at the Democratic National Convention, a new voice arrived on the national stage. That voice belonged to Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, who got the coveted prime-time convention slot that once served as a launching pad for Barack Obama and before that, Bill Clinton. Castro was re-elected in May, but his national profile has stayed high, thanks to campaign-style trips across the country. And he’s the first guest in the new KERA series “The Friday Conversation.” During a visit to the Federal Reserve in Dallas this week, he sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter.

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