KERA Newsroom | KERA News

KERA Newsroom

Every weekday morning and evening, KERA airs an extended local news report. Hosted by Sam Baker at 8:20 a.m. and Justin Martin at 6:20 p.m., the segment focuses on the latest in education, health, science, technology, arts and politics in North Texas. Special features include Breakthroughs reports on advances in health, science and technology; Vital Signsa weekly conversation about personal health; American Graduate stories about the journey to graduation; the weekly movie chat The Big Screen; and in-depth interviews of The Friday Conversation

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Police officers across Texas will flash their red and blue patrol lights this morning in memory of the Dallas officers who died in an ambush last year.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

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Tomorrow marks a year since the deadly police shooting in downtown Dallas. Today brought the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to the officers who died. Christopher Connelly reports from the Trinity Strand Trail in the Design District.

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More lawsuits have been filed against the former McKinney police officer accused of using excessive force while breaking up a chaotic pool party in 2015.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News: New numbers show hailstorms caused more than $5 billion in damage to Texas homes last year. That's the highest annual loss ever – more than doubling the previous record set the year before, of almost $2 billion.

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will be in McKinney tonight for a town hall hosted by the Concerned Veterans of America as part of a statewide tour.

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Vials of a banned execution drug Texas has been fighting to use have expired. Texas – along with two other states – tried to buy sodium thiopental from a drug supplier in India, named Chris Harris, back in 2015. Though, the Food and Drug Administration seized the shipments because this powerful anesthetic is outlawed in the United States. 

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Congress is on recess this week - without a vote on the Senate's bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Republican Senate leaders wanted to pass the bill before the break, but they couldn't get enough votes to support it.

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The Texas Supreme Court sent same-sex couples an ominous message Friday. It threw out a lower-court ruling that supported the city of Houston's efforts to extend benefits to married gay spouses. Plaintiffs argued that Houston broke state law by using tax dollars to pay same-sex spousal benefits. The case now goes back to the trial court. 

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is urging the Justice Department to stop accepting new applications and renewals for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.

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President Donald Trump has tapped another Texan for a high-ranking job. The White House announced on Thursday former Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will become the next U.S. NATO Ambassador. Her appointment comes at a time when the president demanded that NATO member nations spend more on defense. 

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today will go before a new judge assigned to his criminal securities fraud case.

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Thanks to a Dallas City Council vote on Wednesday, citizens are step closer to voting on a $1 billion bond package this fall. The council voted 13-2 for a resolution in support of a November vote. The details will be nailed down in the next few weeks, and a final decision will come in August.

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The Dallas City Council today will vote to fill seats on the board of Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

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Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was one of the holdouts who led Republicans to back down on a health care vote today. After that decision, Cruz told reporters he still has faith. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to get the measure through by the end of this week, and before Congress leaves on its Independence Day recess. 

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No timetable has been set so far for a federal judge in San Antonio to rule on when Texas can implement a new anti-sanctuary cities law.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

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The battle over this state's new immigration enforcement law moved to a federal courtroom in San Antonio today. Opponents have filed a lawsuit to stop the law, which was passed last month. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia was interested in learning how Senate Bill 4 -- the so-called "sanctuary city" law -- would be enforced.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

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A federal judge in San Antonio this morning will hear arguments for putting the state’s new sanctuary cities ban on hold while the court considers whether the law violates the U.S. Constitution.

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The fired Balch Springs officer who shot and killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards turned himself into authorities on Friday. Roy Oliver is facing two new aggravated assault charges for an off-duty unrelated road rage incident.

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Texas’ two U.S. senators are split over their chamber's version of a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

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The latest U.S. Census Bureau data, released today, reports that Texas saw a larger numeric growth in its Hispanic population than any other state in the country between July of 2015 and July of 2016. Peter Borsella is a demographer with the Census Bureau, and says Hispanic population growth across the nation might not be due to immigration. 

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U.S. Senators today expect to receive their copies of the healthcare bill today. Senators have complained about the secrecy of the bill, which has been drafted behind closed doors. However, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said the secrecy's necessary because healthcare has become such a partisan issue.

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Dallas is a step closer to getting a new police chief. The city today released a list of eight candidates, including three insiders and a police chief from North Texas. Candidates will be interviewed in Dallas starting July 10. Dallas has been without a permanent chief since David Brown retired from the force last fall.

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A new Dallas City Council convenes for its first meeting today. One of the pressing issues facing the council this morning involves who'll represent the city on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board.

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A newly inaugurated Dallas City Council holds its first meeting on Wednesday. Newcomers and familiar faces from south and west Dallas have replaced four ousted incumbents seen as regular supporters of Mayor Mike Rawlings: Monica Alonzo, Erik Wilson, Carolyn King Arnold and Tiffinni Young. 

PARKER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE VIA AP

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A Dallas County grand jury today is expected to hear an aggravated assault case against Roy Oliver, the former Balch Springs police officer who was fired after he shot and killed a teenager in April.

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In Dallas, the campaigning is over and the governing begins for a new City Council -- members were sworn in Monday morning at City Hall. At the inauguration, Mayor Mike Rawlings said there’s lots to do – from approving a city budget, to finalizing a bond package scheduled to go to the voters in November. 

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The new Dallas City Council will be sworn in later this morning. The group of 15 includes new faces and the return of some familiar names.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

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Today in Arlington, officials broke ground on a project that General Motors says will make it operate more efficiently. A new supplier park is being built for the companies that make parts for the SUVs built at the GM Assembly Plant.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

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Gov. Greg Abbott signed a number of high-profile bills yesterday - and broke out his veto pen as well.

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Texas Republican voters remain strongly supportive of President Donald Trump, according to a new poll by the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas. Eighty percent of Texas Republicans polled approve of the job Trump is doing in office, while 90 percent of Democrats disapprove. 

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