Bill Zeeble | KERA News

Bill Zeeble

Reporter

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues. He’s won numerous awards over the years, with top honors from the Dallas Press Club, Texas Medical Association, the Dallas and Texas Bar Associations, the American Diabetes Association and a national health reporting grant from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Zeeble was born in Philadelphia, Pa. and grew up in the nearby suburb of Cherry Hill, NJ, where he became an accomplished timpanist and drummer. Heading to college near Chicago on a scholarship, he fell in love with public radio, working at the college classical/NPR station, and he has pursued public radio ever since.

His first real radio gig was with a classical station in Corpus Christi, where the new Texan was dubbed “Billy Ted”; he was also a manager at WWNO-FM in New Orleans. Several stories he covered on television for KERA 13 helped homeowners avoid losing their homes. Zeeble remains dedicated to radio, however, and spends time working with NPR to teach students how to do radio journalism. His radio pieces have aired on nearly every national news show carried on KERA, from NPR and American Public Media to the BBC. He and his wife have 2 dogs and 2 cats, adopted and rescued. His home desk is messy with vintage fountain pens and parts to aid his passion to make them work again.

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When Rosley Espinoza's daughter was very young, in preschool, she started acting differently. She seemed distracted and would get in trouble at school.

"Lack of interest, teachers' notes coming home with behavior notes," Espinoza says, speaking in Spanish.

She says she asked school officials to evaluate her daughter, Citlali, for special education, but they didn't.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A new report out today says Texas needs to do a better job of educating young kids. And parents also need help finding affordable, quality childcare.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Texas has the lowest special education enrollment numbers in the nation. Parents of some special needs students say they’ve spent years fighting with Texas schools to get services for their kids — services schools are required to provide under federal law. 

Office of Texas Attorney General

The CEO of Backpage.com, which has offices in Dallas, has been arrested in Houston on felony sex charges. The company began in the back pages of alternative newspapers like the Dallas Observer.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

High schools have been teaching business courses for years. But a curriculum new to North Texas is bringing a hands-on approach to eight schools this year.  In our continuing American Graduate Initiative, we visit a class in Fort Worth’s Trimble Tech High School.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas school district launched a program last year designed to turn around its most troubled schools. It’s called ACE – accelerated campus excellence. Last year, six of the seven ACE schools got off the state’s improvement required list. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

On Tuesday morning, the Bush Institute hosted some Texas mayors and superintendents to talk about education -- and a new online tool that looks at education data from more than 100 cities. For North Texas officials, the data is a call to action.

Gay and Lesbian Alliance

Transgender issues have dominated headlines recently. In particular, students. That leaves educators scrambling for information on the best ways to help. In Collin County, educators showed up for a session on what it means to be transgender. And many of them were school counselors. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

We met Denzel Bailey, a UT-Arlington student, a year ago. He's a homeless student in college. He spent the summer with his grandparents in south Fort Worth. Bailey is entering his senior year – and trying to balance work and school, while hoping to find a place he can call home.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Beginning Monday, Dallas’ free streetcar from downtown to Methodist Dallas Medical Center is expanding. It stretches even farther into Oak Cliff. The ground-breaking line now reaches the Bishop Arts District.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In this series, The First Week, KERA's reporters are listening in on the conversations about race happening in and around North Texas schools. Today, what students are saying about the violence this summer: police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, and a gunman's July ambush that killed five law officers in downtown Dallas.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas school board Thursday night voted against putting a tax ratification election before voters this fall. 

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Hate tests? The Dallas school district has some good news for you. This summer, the district announced it’s going to nix one-third of its assessments. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Several hundred kids filled the Winspear Opera House Thursday not to catch a performance, but to talk to police.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

For the 20th year in a row, Dallas held its Mayor’s Back to School Fair today. The event at Fair Park is for low-income families who can get free school supplies and health screenings. It can really make a difference.  

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Beginning Monday, concealed handgun license holders are allowed to carry their weapons at state colleges and universities in Texas. Not everyone’s happy about it.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Hundreds of Texas teachers recently spent a couple days in summer school to learn the best ways to teach International Baccalaureate classes. The IB curriculum has been growing statewide because of its high global standards. Today we take a closer look at what sets it apart.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

It’s been a bumpy week for Dallas based southwest Airlines. This week, a computer outage took down its website, forcing 1,300 flight cancellations, and stranding passengers and crews. Then, despite a record second quarter profit, its stock price fell. Today, hundreds of union members picketed at Love Field over stalled contract talks.  

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Without fail, everyone who talked about Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens mentioned how big he was. Six-foot-five, 300 pounds big. And strong.

Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News

Sunday was a day of reflection in churches across North Texas -- the first Sunday following the deadly shooting in downtown Dallas. From pastors to congregants, their words focused on race, the police and a need to unite.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Three weeks before Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire on Dallas police, he offered to work security for protesters outside a Donald Trump appearance in Dallas. Organizers said “no way” – because Johnson wanted to bring a gun.

Javier Giribet-Vargas / KERA News

Emotions were already high as hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Dallas Thursday night, rallying against police shootings in Minnesota and across the country. Then gunshots erupted. Police officers were hit. Many died. A mayor choked back tears.

Chris Parypa / Shutterstock

American and Southwest Airlines both got tentative federal government approval today to start commercial flights to Cuba. But there will be no non-stops out of north Texas airports.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas’ Perot Museum of Nature and Science just launched its second TECH Truck. Designed to take science to the streets, the truck recently visited southern Dallas on the campus of UNT Dallas.  

Richard Wayne / Flickr.com

Members of the Fort Worth Symphony have been without a contract for more than a year. Negotiations with management have been contentious. The two sides have now agreed to federal mediation.

bill zeeble / KERA News

The Orlando shootings have brought another layer of pain to transgender kids and their families. We hear from several of them about how they’re coping - and how the rise of the Texas bathroom issue has complicated their lives.

bill zeeble / KERA News

McKinney Boyd High Valedictorian Larissa Martinez went viral this month when she revealed her undocumented status in her graduation speech. The 19-year-old says her decision to talk wasn’t hers alone. 

ESPN

We’ll turn now to a follow-up of our American Graduate series “What’s Next for The Class Of ’17?” Earlier, we caught up with Ricky Rijos Jr., an 11th grader at Flower Mound High School. He’s a basketball fanatic – but he’s only 5’6”, and after sitting on the bench he says he’s giving up the sport.

Fran Fraschilla can relate. He’s a former college coach, a current announcer for ESPN and the father of two boys who never reached 6 feet tall. Fraschilla, by the way, is all of   5’7”.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

Like a lot of high school juniors, Ricky Rijos Jr. of Flower Mound High is facing uncertainty.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Enterprise City, population 100, is a tiny North Texas town where the government and every business are run by students.

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