Gus Contreras | KERA News

Gus Contreras

Digital Producer, Reporter

Gus Contreras is a digital producer and reporter at KERA News. Gus produces the local All Things Considered segment and reports on a variety of topics from, sports to immigration. He was an intern and production assistant for All Things Considered in Washington D.C.

He is a first-generation American from El Paso, and attended UT-Arlington. He was the sports and managing editor of The Shorthorn, UTA’s student newspaper.

A sports nut, he enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. When he’s not trying to cook Mexican food at home, Gus enjoys finding new taco places in North Texas.

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The Texas Board of Education has approved creating statewide academic standards for a Mexican-American studies high school course, but Republicans insisted on calling it “ethnic studies” over the tearful objections of a Democratic member.

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Governor Greg Abbott visited the Texas-Mexico border this afternoon and met with Texas National Guard troops. Abbott's committed at least 1,000 troops to the border in response to President Donald Trump's call for an increase in troops to help with immigration enforcement.

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The State Board of Education gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to creating statewide academic standards for a Mexican-American studies high school course. But only after changing the name to "ethnic studies," which conservatives argued is less divisive.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

When a study found the maternal mortality rate in Texas had apparently doubled in a two-year period, it generated national headlines. But the Texas Department of State Health Services now says the number of maternal deaths is drastically lower than previously reported.

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Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas will commit at least 1,000 National Guard troops to the Mexico border in response to President Donald Trump's call. The Republican told San Antonio radio station KTSA on Monday that the state will add around 300 guard members a week.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas has resigned abruptly from Congress, saying it is time for him to "move along and look for new ways to serve." Farenthold announced in December he would not seek re-election to a fifth term, apologizing for angry outbursts but denying allegations of sexual harassment.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

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U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stopped by Dallas schools on Thursday. She visited Dade Middle School and Birdville’s Center for Technology and Advanced Learning.

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Gov. Greg Abbott is commending President Trump’s decision to send National Guard members to the border with Mexico. The guard members would help with surveillance, and alert federal agents if they see anything suspicious.

Inter-American Dialogue / Flickr

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Beto O'Rourke says he raised more than $6.7 million in the first three months this year in his Senate campaign. The Democratic Congressman from El Paso says he received donations from more than 141,000 contributors during the first quarter.

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The former head of the Dallas County Schools bus system, Rick Sorrells, will plead guilty to a wire fraud charge for his role in taking more than $3 million in bribes and kickbacks. As KERA's Bill Zeeble reports, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the agreement on Monday afternoon.

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

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A small group of Dallas faith leaders gathered beneath the Confederate war memorial in Pioneer Park today, demanding the city proceed with its original recommendation to remove the public monument.

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The U.S. Census Bureau has released the questions for the upcoming 2020 count, and the list includes a question about citizenship requested by the Justice Department. Some say immigrants in Texas and elsewhere will dodge the Census because of the question.

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There are a lot of questions surrounding the Texas Rangers this season. Las Vegas betting experts think the team’s a long shot – only giving the Rangers 200-1 odds to win the World Series this year.

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The Texas Rangers start the year on Opening Day against their main rival and World Series champs the Houston Astros. After a rough season last year, the Rangers are looking to bounce back. As KERA’s Gus Contreras reports, the expectations aren’t too high.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News: The Ennis school district says starting in the fall, all of its students must bring clear, PVC backpacks to school.

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A report Monday today finds that despite a new Texas law, young children are still at risk of being suspended in school districts across the state. That law prohibits out-of-school suspensions for students in pre-k through second grade, except under certain circumstances, such as bringing a gun to school.

AUSTIN SOUNDWAVES

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Two people were killed and four others were injured during this month's series of Austin bombings

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Dallas-Fort Worth has had the largest population growth of any metro area in the country from 2016 to 2017, according to new population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Investigators have identified the suspected Austin bomber as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt. They believe he made the bombs used in the four Austin attacks this month, which killed two people and injured four others.

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Austin is a city on edge following a string of bombings. Two people have been killed and four others hurt. Local, state, and federal agencies are chasing leads, trying to figure out who’s behind the bombings.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Austin police have reopened some streets after putting a neighborhood where the latest explosion occurred on total lockdown overnight. Still, much of the area known as Travis Country remains closed to all but some residents, and the vicinity around the blast remained cordoned off.

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A third worker is still missing and presumed dead after Thursday's explosion at Tri-Chem Industries in Cresson. Two workers were taken to the hospital, one was released on Friday, while the other is in serious condition at Parkland in Dallas. 

Courtesy TCU Basketball

March Madness has a lot of Lone Star flavor this year. A record seven Texas schools made the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this year, and the Final Four is in San Antonio. One of the best story lines is TCU, which plays its first tournament game in 20 years tonight in Detroit. 

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

As Austin Police and federal investigators piece together the personal connections between victims of the three package bombs this month, the NAACP’s regional president says the third attack was meant for someone else.

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All across the country Wednesday, thousands of students walked out of class protest gun laws in the wake of the Parkland high school shootings in Florida. In North Texas and most parts statewide, kids are on Spring Break, so there's no class to walk out of. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

A federal appeals court has upheld the bulk of a law targeting so-called "sanctuary cities" that is backed by the Trump administration as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration.

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

A distant helicopter crash in New York last night hit close to home. Two young men from Dallas were among the five people who died when the chopper sank into New York’s East River. KERA’s Bill Zeeble looks back at the lives of Trevor Cadigan and Brian McDaniel.

TCU Basketball / Twitter

The last time TCU’s basketball team made it to the NCAA men's tournament was when “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” was the country's No. 1 song and “Titanic” was breaking box office records.

Heck, most of its current players were barely born in 1998.

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The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The Texas unemployment rate rose slightly in January to start the year at 4 percent. The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday reported that compares to the December statewide jobless rate of 3.9 percent. Nationwide unemployment held steady in February at 4.1 percent. Texas jobless figures for February will be released on March 23.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Last year, Tarrant County signed an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help the federal agency detain undocumented immigrants.  On Thursday, that partnership was at the center of a forum hosted by the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and as KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports, it was also a cause for protest.

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