Tarrant County | KERA News

Tarrant County

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A man who spent almost 19 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit was declared innocent in a Tarrant County courtroom on Wednesday.

John Nolley, now 44, was wrongfully convicted in 1998 of murdering a Bedford woman based largely on the testimony of a lying jailhouse informant. Two decades later, his good name has been restored, and his case helped spur changes in Texas law.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The Tarrant County Health Department is keeping an eye on a recent, small outbreak of mumps at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

Mumps is a virus often spread by close person-to-person contact. It has flu-like symptoms, but swollen salivary glands are the most recognizable.

Shutterstock Photo Illustration

(Editor's note: This story includes graphic details of a sexual assault that some may find disturbing.) 

In the summer of 2006, 16-year-old Amber Wyatt said she was was raped by two of her classmates at Martin High School in Arlington. She reported the crime almost immediately. No one was ever prosecuted.

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Do you remember the 21st night of September?

Torrential rain that fell Friday night kicked off a record-breaking weekend in North Texas.

Brandon Wade / AP

A white Dallas police officer has moved out of the apartment complex where she shot and killed her black neighbor inside his own home.

Miguel Perez / KERA News

Fort Worth has set an ambitious goal: to have every third grader reading on grade level by 2025. That's the key milestone for a public-private effort called Read Fort Worth, which just hired a new executive director, Anel Mercado.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

In Texas, organizations that work with victims of sexual violence are seeing more women and men coming forward to report assaults this year.

One Tarrant County group has seen a 9 percent increase in calls from victims since January. It’s not entirely clear what is behind the trend, but the increased demand for services for sexual assault survivors comes as sexual harassment and violence have made national headlines.

HHS / AP

Texas is trying to stop the Affordable Care Act — and argued as much in federal court in Fort Worth Wednesday. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenging the Affordable Care Act at a hearing in federal court in Fort Worth today.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

A North Texas nonprofit wants to bring services like food stamps and job assistance right to people's front doors.

In March, the United Way of Tarrant County launched its mobile community center. Originally venturing out once a week, deployments were doubled in August.  

Courtesy of Drive.ai

Arlington has approved a contract with Drive.ai for a one-year pilot program to operate autonomous vehicles within the city's entertainment district.

The pilot begins Oct. 19 with three self-driving vans that will provide residents and visitors on-demand transportation around AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park and nearby venues.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Staff and students at the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard Elementary celebrated not only the first day back but also the fact that the Fort Worth campus is no longer on the state’s list of failing schools.

Lara Solt / KERA News

The Dallas Independent School District launched a program a few years ago to turn around struggling schools called Accelerating Campus Excellence, or ACE. Now, other North Texas school districts are launching similar efforts, while Dallas ramps down the program.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

If Texas' major cities were ranked by the availability of public pools, Fort Worth would be dead last.

Lara Solt for KERA News

The Texas Education Agency rolled out a new A through F accountability system Wednesday that measures the academic performance of school districts.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Schnthia Herod has always had big, bright eyes and even bigger plans for herself. When we first met her in 2013, the 11-year-old was proud to have mastered many household tasks and basic budgeting.

"If I didn't learn all the cleaning and all the chores and the discipline now, when I grow up and my mom's not there to walk me through every step, I'd be lost," she said.

Now, at 16, Schnthia is the mom looking out for a little one. Five month-old Eulijah is all she thinks about.

Courtesy of Arlington ISD

It’s a very big day. Applause, cheers and deep thumping beats belie the athletic atmosphere. 

This is no stadium, but a large, festive room on Lockheed Martin’s sprawling campus in Fort Worth. Dozens of students with hundreds of relatives and Lockheed employees are celebrating signing day.

Eric Gay / AP

Plans to upload blueprints to the internet for 3D-printed guns are on hold as lawsuits crop up around the country seeking to control their distribution — and as with any new technology, the law is playing catch-up.

U.S. Air Force / Flickr

Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth factory has already added 1,800 workers in the past year. And on Monday, the aerospace giant held a hiring fair to add 400 more workers to its Fort Worth workforce.

The Maryland-based defense company needs the labor as it ramps up production of the F-35, its next-generation stealth fighter jet.

UNT Health Science Center Fort Worth

Losing an arm or leg is devastating, and replacing that missing limb with a prosthetic can be expensive. 3D printing is making it easier to create useable prosthetics quickly and much more cheaply.  

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Texas regularly leads the nation in drowning deaths, and this year is shaping up to be no different. At least 122 people have died from drowning in Texas this year, according to statistics kept by Swimming USA, and most of those deaths have happened since May 1.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

High school musicians may spend the summer practicing their instrument or making music with friends. More than a dozen of them just spent a week exploring another part of the music world at an unusual summer camp — an audio production camp at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Some transportation relief is coming for parts of Fort Worth. The last segment of the $1.6 billion North Tarrant Express project opens on Thursday, two months ahead of schedule.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A new medical school opening next year in Fort Worth will feature a four-year curriculum in communication, a program believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

What’s more, it’ll be run by the nation’s first medical school dean dedicated solely to that subject. The focus on communication is designed to improve not just the health of patients but of doctors, too.

Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The estranged wife of a Van Cliburn piano competition winner was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Monday in the 2016 deaths of their children.

Bill Hanna / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

An effort in Arlington aims to establish term limits for public officials, but Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams says he doesn't think it would be good for business.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Fort Worth's Texas Motor Speedway is known for big NASCAR events, but every Friday for six weeks in the summertime, its track is open to amateurs.

The speedway's Friday night drag races draws racing enthusiasts from all over North Texas — and some from hundreds of miles away — to try their luck.

Courtsey of Virgin Hyperloop One

Local transportation officials are interested in hyperloop technology to shuttle travelers across North Texas.

The Regional Transportation Council, made up of dozens of elected and appointed officials, announced Wednesday that it will consider hyperloop as a potential option to connect Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth.

The mode of transportation is designed to allow passenger pods to travel through a low-pressure tube at speeds up to 700 miles per hour. 

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

The sun is just creeping over the horizon on a hot July day. It’s only about 80 degrees, but everyone is already drenched in sweat because they’ve been packing and hauling dozens of 40-pound plastic tubs full of food onto a fleet of white vans.

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Sunday was a good day for Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Chin — one of the best ever, actually.

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