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 the new head of an education nonprofit to a historian exploring a notorious lynching a century ago.

Explore the latest interviews below:

Ways to Connect

Dorti / Shutterstock

Sports Illustrated published an investigative report this week alleging former Dallas Mavericks president Terdema Ussery engaged in inappropriate conduct and created a workplace that was hostile for women.

Rodger Mallison/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley is angry.

The county's top elected official ignited a political firestorm a week ago when he said the state is refusing to pay what it should for public education, and he accused legislators of blaming local officials for raising property taxes.

Molly Evans / KERA News

Friday’s the deadline the city of Dallas gave bike-share companies to clean up their acts. The Denton City Council is also considering putting some regulations in place. Six months ago, tens of thousands of rental-share bikes began filling North Texas streets and sidewalks. One of the first companies was Garland-based VBikes.  

Katherine Welles / Shutterstock

In this week's State of the Union speech, President Trump delivered a glowing report about the tax bill he just signed, saying roughly three million people received "thousands and thousands of dollars in tax bonuses." However, that's only partially true in North Texas.  

Shutterstock

In just three and a half weeks, Texans will begin voting in the nation's first political primary of the year.

And the stakes will depend on what happens next. Just this week, we came out of a federal government shutdown. Now, there's a lawsuit in Dallas County to remove more than 120 Democratic candidates from the state's primary ballot.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

In 2017, the original Women's March drew millions of women who opposed the inauguration of President Donald Trump. And this year's event has a renewed sense of urgency, thanks to the #MeToo movement. 

Rick Holter / KERA News

One of the most influential education nonprofits in North Texas has a new leader. Byron Sanders, who's 34 and grew up in southern Dallas, got the CEO job this week at Big Thought, a nonprofit focused on merging education and the arts to create a creative path for kids.

Samantha Guzman / KERA News

Today is Robert Siegel's last day as host of NPR's All Things Considered. He sat down with KERA in May of 2017, shortly after he announced his impending retirement.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax is now in his second year on the job. In his first 12 months, the city passed a billion-dollar bond package, killed the controversial Trinity Parkway project, hired a new police chief, and replaced some of the city's top brass. 

Illustration by Krystina Martinez / KERA News

2017 was a rollercoaster year for news, especially if you were a person of color, a transgender person, an immigrant, or a woman.

Sundance Square

Fort Worth appears to be headed for a reboot. According to a new economic development study,  the city that embraces the nickname "Cowtown" is in danger of becoming "the biggest suburb of Dallas."

Rick Holter / KERA News

No part of society is immune to sexual misconduct cases, including religion.

Alia Salem has spent years speaking for the Muslim community in North Texas when she worked with the Center for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

She's now formed Face Abuse In Community Environments (FACE) to spotlight stories of misconduct involving Muslim clergy.

Shutterstock

Sen. Al Franken's decision to resign and the Dallas Theater Center's firing of Lee Trull are the latest moves in a seemingly nonstop stream of public figures embroiled in sexual harassment controversies. 

"The only thing that's new happening here is that people are getting fired for being harassers," SMU law professor Joanna Grossman says. "The harassment's not new."

Rick Holter/KERA News

The new CEO of Dallas County Schools is used to cleaning up financial messes. Six years ago, Alan King calmed things down at Dallas ISD as the interim superintendent. When questionable business deals and mounting debt came to light last year at DCS he stepped in briefly as chief financial officer. Now, he’s been brought on to close the bus agency.

Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

President Trump took another predawn Twitter swipe at a protesting NFL player this morning.  That came after a UT-Dallas researcher released a new study showing a deep racial divide among college students about "taking a knee" protests.

Rick Holter / KERA News

Mary Horn is a ground breaker. She was Denton County's first female tax assessor and the first woman to serve as county judge. And she's lasted longer in the county's top job than anyone else.

This week, the Republican said she's retiring. And whether it's refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, fighting to keep a Confederate memorial or opposing the so-called "bathroom bill," she makes no apologies.

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT News

Law officers from across the country came to the Hill Country this week to learn how to respond to active shooters like the one that killed 26 people at a Texas church last weekend.

The leader of the Texas State University program, Pete Blair, says each active shooter situation is different. 

Hyperloop One

Hyperloop technology promises to shuttle people in capsules from Dallas to Austin in 19 minutes. How? Through passenger pods traveling at up to 700 miles per hour through a low-pressure tube.

Texas emerged as one of 10 winners in the recent Hyperloop One Global Challenge. Steven Duong, a Dallas-based urban designer who helped write that plan, says the Hyperloop is not as far-fetched as it sounds.

Rick Holter / KERA News

The recent debates in Dallas, Denton and Fort Worth over Confederate monuments and places named for Confederate figures puts Cindy Harriman in a unique position. She’s the executive director of the Texas Civil War Museum – and a lifelong member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

It’s up to the Dallas City Council to decide the fate of the city’s Confederate symbols.

The council is expected to vote early next year; the city's Cultural Affairs Commission endorsed a series of recommendations this week made by a task force appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings. Here's what those actions would do.

NOAA

Kevin Simmons is an economist with an unusual specialty: disasters.

The professor at Austin College in Sherman says cities, states and nations can prepare for disasters like hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey.

Danny Bollinger / Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea watched in horror as Hurricane Maria tore through his home island of Puerto Rico. He had to do something.

Brian Williams

The nation came to know Dr. Brian Williams in the days after July 7, 2016. He was working at Parkland Hospital that night when wounded police officers were brought into his operating room.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

Flood experts, state officials and meteorologists are starting to get the full scope of Hurricane Harvey's behavior and the cost of damage it inflicted on the Texas Coast.

Courtesy photo / The Tyler Loop

After President Trump's decision to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program this week, we've heard voices from big cities like Dallas and Houston.

Former NPR journalist Tasneem Raja has been collecting stories of people in Tyler who were brought into the country illegally as children for her news startup, The Tyler Loop

Cathy Frisinger/UT Southwestern Medical Center

About 700 people spent the night Thursday at the shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Caring for evacuees after a natural disaster presents a huge medical challenge, which Dr. Ray Fowler of UT Southwestern Medical Center knows well.   

Krystina Martinez

When folks talk about tech accelerators and entrepreneurship, the images that usually spring to mind are of sparkling Silicon Valley campuses or hip downtown live/work lofts.

Michelle Williams is dedicated to bringing that spirit to southern Dallas. She's leading a branch of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center opening soon as part of the re-imagined Red Bird Mall.

Rick Holter/KERA News

A statue of Robert E. Lee was at the center of the white supremacist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. Cities across the U.S., including Dallas, are now renewing debate on what to do with existing Confederate memorials.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

For eight years, Leslie Brenner's been Dallas' leading restaurant critic. This week, she announced that she’s leaving The Dallas Morning News to work for a real estate startup that specializes in restaurants. 

Paul Chabot campaign/Flickr

Paul Chabot has a sales pitch for conservatives across the country: Move to Texas. After losing his second bid for Congress in California, he uprooted his family and settled in McKinney. He started a company called Conservative Move to get like-minded folks to do the same.

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