Dallas | KERA News

Dallas

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Dallas City Council members have a 10 Billion dollar “to-do” list. And will talk today about what to include in a 2012 bond election. KERA’s BJ Austin reports.

In briefing material, city managers say the bond package should be around 500 million dollars. That’s basically what the city can afford considering projected slow growth in the tax base, and the existing debt.

The top three items on the City Manager’s bond package list are streets, flood protection and economic development.

Meredith Farmer (cc) flickr

Fort Worth water and sewer bills will be higher in the New Year. Mary Gugliuzza. with the Fort Worth Water Department says the increase kicked-in January first. Most customers will see it on their February bills. The average bill will go up $1.58.

Gugliuzza: On the water side, the big driver is the raw water cost. The cost we buy the water from Tarrant Regional is going up dramatically.

Gugliuzza says the increase is not drought related. It’s part of the longtime project with the city of Dallas to build a huge pipeline from Lake Palestine.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says he has three priorities for 2012: no tax increase; pay raises for county employees; and more money for veterans programs. KERA’s BJ Austin reports.

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The SPCA of Texas opens its “new” doors today on I-30 just west of Hampton in Dallas. KERA’s BJ Austin says it’s a new seven acre campus that’s been in the works for more than 8 years.

 

The U.S. Justice Department has given “pre-clearance” to the new Dallas redistricting map. KERA’s BJ Austin says that could signal the start of a court battle.  

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Texas environmentalists are cheering new federal environmental standards that will force coal- and oil-fired power plants to reduce mercury emissions and toxic pollutants or shut down. Industry leaders, however, say they could lead to layoffs and undo strain on the state's power grid.

Bill Zeeble

When Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings campaigned for office, he said public education would be a top priority. What's happened since then? KERA's Bill Zeeble takes a look.

AT&T Drops Bid To Purchase T-Mobile USA

Dec 19, 2011

After the federal regulators raised questions about AT&T's bid to buy T-Mobile USA, the telecommunications company said it was scrapping its $39 billion bid. The merger would have made AT&T the largest wireless carrier in the United States.

The Texas Association of Business wants the state to withhold some money for community colleges until graduate rates rise. The group has even put up billboards to encourage support. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports the Dallas County Community College District says the business group doesn't know the whole story.

A new billboard on Central Expressway reads "8 PERCENT OF DALLAS COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS GRADUATE IN 3 YEARS. IS THAT FAIR TO THE STUDENTS? It's signed by the Texas Association of Business.

For more than 100 years, a "marriage" between the city of Dallas and the State Fair of Texas has kept Fair Park going. But, it's not a marriage of equals. In this instance, one has money, one doesn't. KERA's BJ Austin says another couple is now at the center of the Fair Park/State Fair union -- and working to manage the "family finances."

KERA News

Dallas water customers are under "Stage 1" drought restrictions effective today. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Dallas Water Utilities' drought response coordinator Yvonne Dupre says the recent rains have not "cured" the drought.

Dupre: The climatologists, the meteorologists say we're going to begin another La Nina which means that we are probably going to be in for another summer like we had last year. And we're trying to get a handle on it now because if it gets worse, the restrictions are going to become worse also.

Some DISD parents and activists are demanding changes to what they call unfair school discipline policies that create a pipeline to prison. KERA's Bill Zeeble was at a demonstration outside Dallas County's Juvenile Justice Center.

Members of a group called the Texas Organizing Project cite a recent Texas study from the Council of State Governments that found more than half of Texas students were expelled or suspended over a 6 year period, and most of them were Black or Hispanic.

Elected officials and political hopefuls have another week to decide if they'll run in the March primaries.

Longtime Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price is facing opposition in the March Democratic primary. His former assistant, Betty Culbreath has filed to run against him.

SMU political scientist Dr. Cal Jillson says Price has a loyal constituency, even under the cloud of an FBI corruption investigation.

Dallas, TX – Cities around North Texas are following tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast with tree lightings and parades. On Friday, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will be the grand marshal of the city's annual Parade of Lights.

The day of festivities include a "Holiday Fun Zone" for kids, the arrival of Santa and a downtown parade which begins at 6 pm. There are more than 100 illuminated entries in the parade. It ends with the lighting of the city's Christmas tree in Sundance Square.

Dallas, TX – Today marks the 48th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination in downtown Dallas. As always on this date, Dealey Plaza draws more tourists than usual. KERA's Bill Zeeble talked to some of them, and also has more on plans for the 50th anniversary.

Dallas, TX – The City of Dallas and animal advocates are joining forces to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets. KERA's Shelley Kofler has more on the effort to make Dallas a no-kill community.

At the Dallas Animal Shelter most of the cleanly scrubbed kennels are filled with lost and abandoned pets.

Catherine Baxter, shelter employee: I think we usually do an intake of about of at least 100 animals a day.

Dallas, TX – The Omni Convention Center Hotel opens in downtown Dallas Friday. There are high hopes for the 500 million dollar, city-owned hotel because if it falters, taxpayers pick up the tab. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Omni Convention Center Hotel General Manager Nils Stolzlechner oversees every detail of the 23-story, state-of-the-art hotel: from the lobby ---

Stolzlechner: We've got Egyptian marble that you're looking at.

To the sports bar.

Dallas, TX – Unless fortunes change the Dallas Symphony will run out of money in late January. KERA's Jerome Weeks has the story.

Tuesday night Dallas Symphony Board Chairman Blaine Nelson told a group of top donors that based on current revenue and expenses, the symphony will be insolvent within 90 days.

In an interview with KERA Nelson explained.

An early success of playwright Sam Shepard’s was his dark 1980 comedy,True West. Now the Undermain Theatre is presenting the Southwest premiere of Shepard’s latest, Ages of the Moon. In his review, KERA’s Jerome Weeks says it’s as if True West’s characters grew old – but never grew up.

Dallas, TX – A newly-launched pilot education program could help more North Texans attend college. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports TexCan - the Texas College Access Network - will target first generation and low-income students.

Dallas, TX – The controversy over where to dump the trash in Dallas flares up again this weekend. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Students from Paul Quinn College oppose the city's new plan to route all commercial trash collected within the city limits to the McCommas Bluff Landfill - about a mile from campus. Tomorrow they'll march from Oak Cliff Founders Park to Ferris Plaza in downtown Dallas.

Students can now hear more than one opera company in the Dallas Arts District. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports the Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet High School is the only campus outside of New York with access to live performances by the Metropolitan Opera.

[excited chatter, crowd noises continue under]

It’s late on a Saturday morning. Students and teachers from all over Dallas have filled the cafeteria of the Arts Magnet High School to see Mozart’s Don Giovanni. It’s the first of four Met performances to be projected at Booker T this school year.

Dallas, TX – The midnight deadline has passed for excess Dallas teachers to take a resignation deal. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports the school district doesn't yet know how many took the offer, prompted by the state's education budget cuts.

Dallas, TX – A "makeover" for the Dallas City Hall "ethics" policy is in the works. KERA's BJ Austin says City Council members got a few ideas at an SMU ethics forum Wednesday.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has made changing the "culture" of ethics at City Hall a priority.

Rawlings: You know one of the most important things that we can do for the city of Dallas is send a signal that we care about ethics. It's the foundation of everything we do: how we treat each other, how we treat suppliers, how we treat citizens.

Dallas, TX – A Dallas non-profit is trying to raise awareness about students with time on their hands after school and no safe place to spend it. KERA's Courtney Collins explains.

A special event at the Dallas After School Network kicked off with a demonstration by Marsh Middle School's Junior ROTC. Eighth grader Sandra Diaz is very involved with that program and spends hours after school practicing marching and drills.

Dallas, TX – A group of Dallas Hispanics want the City Council to re-draw the redistricting map approved two weeks ago. KERA's BJ Austin says about 100 people took that demand to City Hall today.

The new election district boundaries provide six traditionally white majority districts, four African-American, and four Hispanic. But, activist Hector Flores said that doesn't compute when Latinos are 42% of the population.

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