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

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. 

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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.

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. 

Adam Simmons/Flickr

A proposal to redevelop the gateway to Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District has sparked a debate about to how to balance development with a neighborhood’s personality.

Meredith Heuer

Serial reshaped the audio world last fall, spurring 80 million downloads and a months-long conversation about the decade-old murder of a Baltimore teenager and the young man convicted of killing her.

Serial host and co-creator Sarah Koenig is touring Texas this weekend -- Austin on Saturday, Fort Worth on Sunday and Dallas on Monday. She sat down to talk about making the 12-part podcast that became a binge-listening sensation.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Brad Sham is about to start his 37th pro football training camp. The voice of the Cowboys still has a passion for covering the game's biggest moments. And in this week's Friday Conversation, he  shares a few of the countless stories he's collected over those years -- from his favorite calls to his early, failed bid to become a science reporter at KERA-TV. Here are five things you might not know about this very familiar voice:

Allen Otto / The Texas Tribune

The shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month spurred a nationwide debate over the Confederate flag. That state removed the flag that flew over its capitol, and retailers like Amazon and Walmart have stopped carrying the rebel flag.

The debate has extended to southern states, which are now grappling with what to do with Confederate memorials. And, in Texas, there are concerns about how new textbooks will teach the Civil War.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

T.D. Jakes has built an empire in North Texas. He runs The Potter’s House, a megachurch with 30,000 members. He headlines a super-charged annual revival MegaFest. And he's produced Hollywood films like "Heaven Is for Real."

Seth Sawyers / (cc) flickr

The Dallas and Fort Worth school districts are searching for new superintendents. They’re not the only school systems with help-wanted ads. Chicago, Newark and Los Angeles also have openings.

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The Highland Park school district earlier hired Tom Trigg as its new leader earlier this week. He’s spent a decade running the Blue Valley schools in suburban Kansas City.

PBS/Wyatt McSpadden

Six years ago, Aaron Franklin was in a rock band in Austin when he cooked his first brisket. Now he runs a restaurant that’s become a Lone Star landmark. And he was named best chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation last month, a first for any barbecue pitmaster.

Jon Viscott/Facebook

A North Texas megachurch that bills itself as the largest LGBT-Q church in the country gets a new leader, just as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on same-sex marriage. Neil Cazares-Thomas comes to Cathedral of Hope from L.A. where he worked to lift the ban in that state.

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