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

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.

D.Fajio/Flickr

The English language can be pretty confusing to even native speakers. Vowel sounds change depending on the word. There are letters that are silent in some words, but not in others. However, one of the biggest linguistic debates centers around the lack of a second-person plural pronoun.

SMU

The SMU men’s basketball team peaked at No. 8 this season, but the Mustangs have to sit out March Madness after the NCAA banned them from the post-seasonNew York Times reporter Michael Powell dug into the case and discovered a dark side to college –and high school - hoops in Dallas.

Reagan Presidential Library

Former First Lady Nancy will be buried today at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. One of the guests will be Dale Petroskey, president of Dallas Regional Chamber. Thirty years ago, he was assistant press secretary for the Reagan Administration. 

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One of the most intriguing plot lines in this year’s presidential election is the evangelical vote. Texas Senator Ted Cruz banked on it in the Southern states, but Donald Trump had the edge on Super Tuesday.

Dwaine Caraway campaign/Twitter

The tension in North Texas is building toward Super Tuesday, and it's not only in the presidential primary. Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News sat down to talk about another race with major implications.

Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com

For the first time in two decades, Texas Democrat Wendy Davis isn’t on an election ballot. She started off on the Fort Worth City Council, served on the state Senate, and then had an unsuccessful bid for governor.

She’s been on the campaign trail, recently – pitching for Hillary Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada -- which has its Democratic primary on Saturday.

Rich Koele/Shutterstock

The Iowa caucuses were a mixed bag for Texas candidates. Ted Cruz topped the Republican field, but three hopefuls who grew up Texan cratered – Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul. Paul suspended his campaign later in the week. The day before that happened, his father, former Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, was in town to speak at UT-Arlington.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

For the families resettling in North Texas from Syria, it can be a difficult and long process. Ghada Mukdad came with her husband and three boys in 2012. 

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened a regional branch in Dallas to a lot of fanfare within the entrepreneurial community. Its arrival is at a time where there’s a major backlog of patents waiting to be issued. 

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

The gun debate became front and center last week when President Obama announced his executive actions on gun violence. At the same time, Texas began allowing the open carry of handguns.

C.J. Grisham for Senate website

In the wake of President Obama's efforts to take on gun violence, the head of the group Open Carry Texas told KERA News that the president "wants to make sure that more kids die by refusing to allow us to carry on the schools to protect our own kids."

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Each Friday, we bring in newsmakers and other interesting people talk with them about hot topics from gay marriage to race to politics.

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Law is one of the least diverse professions in the nation. 88 percent of lawyers are white. Two-thirds are men. Only 1 of every 6 law firm partners is a woman.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

As thousands of long-distance runners prepare for Sunday’s Dallas Marathon, the National Black Marathoner’s Association will be holding its annual summit and banquet.

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Robert Kaplan is the new leader of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He’s filling the formidable shoes of Richard Fisher, who was an outspoken voice against many of the Fed’s moves since the financial crisis.

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Just about anyone who’s into sports are familiar with crazy contests, like a fan taking a half-court shot to win a car or file a March Madness bracket for a shot at a million dollars. The odds of winning those contests are pretty small, but when someone does win, another person has to pay. 

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In the first six months of this year, more than 1,600 people died on roads in Texas – more than in any other state. In fact, TxDOT says at least one person has died every day from a car accident since November of 2000.

Episcopal Diocese of Dallas

The Episcopal Diocese of Dallas has a new leader. George Sumner, the bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, will be consecrated tomorrow.

He’s served from Navajo country to Canada to East Africa. However, he returns to the U.S. at an interesting time for the church.

KlydeWarrenPark.org

Dallas consistently ranks in the middle in the Trust For Public Land’s ParkScore index, which rates park space. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. City officials, however, hope to change that. The Belo Foundation last week gave Dallas $30 million to build four parks downtown.

Sony Pictures Classic

In 2004, the CBS News program 60 Minutes aired a documentary accusing then-President George W. Bush of receiving preferential treatment in the Texas Air National Guard. After the story aired, allegations flew about the authenticity of documents used in the reporting of the story.

New Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald Says He Can Handle A Big City

Oct 22, 2015
Christopher Connelly / KERA News

In Fort Worth, Joel Fitzgerald is wrapping up his debut week as police chief. He’s the first African-American to hold the job, and says he's ready for what's ahead. 

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Dallas’ new chief resilience officer, Theresa O'Donnell, met with community members this week for a brainstorming session. The task: figure out how to make the city more resilient. 

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk is finishing her first full week back at work after spending more than two months in a residential treatment center in Houston.

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