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

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. 

Shutterstock

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.

Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com

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. 

Shutterstock

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.

Sarah Tilotta / NPR

A new but familiar voice will take over as the host of NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered tomorrow. Michel Martin’s familiar to listeners as the longtime host of Tell Me More, but the Emmy winner says her new show will take on a different tone.

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

Less than 24 hours after Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan was confirmed to have the Ebola virus, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was thrust into a leadership role few people had trained for.

Random House Books

The film “Everest” recounts a 1996 attempt to scale the world’s tallest peak. Eight mountain climbers died. Beck Weathers survived, but the doctor from Dallas lost one hand, the fingers in another, and he endured at least ten surgeries.

Auto Field Guide / autofieldguide.com

Toyota’s new U.S. headquarters in Plano won’t be ready until 2017, but its North American CEO has already set up shop in North Texas. Jim Lentz is a 33-year veteran of the company, and he’s putting down roots in Westlake.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

As Donald Trump and his Republican opponents for president ramp up their rhetoric about immigrants, there’s another conservative effort making inroads among Latinos in Southern states.

Brad/Flickr

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Texas cities like Houston and Dallas became a place of refuge for thousands of evacuees.

Many were fleeing deplorable conditions at the Louisiana Superdome, which was set up as a temporary shelter. Former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller says it was a scramble to organize relief efforts.  

NorthPark Center

NorthPark Center turned 50 this week. In 1965, Raymond and Patsy Nasher transformed a Dallas cotton field into a shopping center that is now one of the top-performing malls in the country.

It generates more than a billion dollars in sales a year, and remains a family business. Daughter and NorthPark co-owner Nancy Nasher sat down with Eric Aasen to talk about how she got into the business.

AARP

Eighty years ago, the Social Security Act was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt. The program was designed to provide older adults a financial safety net after they retire.

Today, though, that safety net is taxed. 

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