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Texas News

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

One of the nation's most prominent Latino organizations has a new leader, and he's a familiar face to North Texans.

Courtesy of UT Dallas

A bio-engineering professor at the University of Texas at Dallas has received a half-a-million-dollar grant to further his research into material that could help with human healing. 

City of Plano; Facebook

A recall election to decide whether to remove a Plano City Council member who made an anti-Islam social media post will be called off.

State Fair of Texas

Good news first: The folks at the State Fair of Texas have chosen 10 intriguing new foods to compete in the final round of the 14th annual Big Tex Choice Awards. 

OK, bad news: Deep Fried Ranch did not make this year's cut.

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.

From Texas Standard:

In south Texas, cotton farmers are beginning to reap what they've sown. The harvest season starts in the Rio Grande Valley, and slowly creeps north throughout the fall. Whether it's drought, hail, flood, or pests, there's plenty that can go wrong while growing cotton. But farmers aren't clear of the hazards once they get the crop out of the ground. They still have to avoid cotton contamination. That's something that Jimmy Roppolo knows quite a bit about. He's the general manager of United Ag Cooperative in El Campo, where they're starting to gin this season's cotton.

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Dallas police officers have applied "cite and release" in just 65 out of more than 1,500 marijuana-related cases, according to data presented Monday at a City Council public safety meeting. 

Courtesy of Stacy Bailey

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

A North Texas teacher, suspended last fall for talking about her wife to students, will be back in the classroom next week, just not the one she was teaching in a year ago.

With another major election around the corner and continued threats of Russian hacking, state and local election officials in Texas are focused on making voter registration databases in the state more secure.

“Where there could potentially be vulnerabilities is in the voter registration database – which is connected to the internet,” said Sam Taylor, a spokesperson for the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

The annual Texas sales tax holiday starts on Friday as children prepare to return to school. The Texas comptroller's office says the tax-free weekend, for a number of school-related items, will run until Sunday.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

One of the iconic figures in North Texas news made some news himself this week.

WFAA-TV anchor John McCaa announced he'll retire next spring after 34 years at Channel 8. McCaa shares his experience and what he’s looking forward to in retirement in this week's Friday Conversation.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The second highest-ranking elected official in Dallas has pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges.

From Texas Standard:

Raising cattle anywhere is hard, but it’s especially hard in the Rio Grande Valley. And that’s thanks to fever ticks. They can spread a fatal disease that decimated cattle herds through the 1900s and is still feared today. And it’s not just the ticks themselves that can cause headaches, but the regulations designed to control them.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges Thursday morning. He's also resigned from City Council.

Caraway pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of tax evasion, according to the U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Texas.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Texas school districts will soon receive letter grades for the first time as the state prepares to roll out its new accountability system. School district scores on an A-F grading system will be released August 15.

Julian Aguilar / Texas Tribune

The state of Texas will continue to incur irreparable financial harm if an Obama-era immigration program isn't halted immediately, attorneys for the state argued in Houston on Wednesday.

Matt York / AP

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The number of people apprehended for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is down, according to an announcement from The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday.

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.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

The city of Fort Worth is staring down the barrel of a $1.6 billion pension problem. The retirement fund for city workers, police officers and firefighters is likely to run out of money in two to three decades if nothing is done.

Eric Gay / AP

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Governor Greg Abbott says the bail system in Texas needs to change, after a man out on bond allegedly shot and killed state trooper Damon Allen last year near Fairfield, 60 miles east of Waco.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

WACO — Gov. Greg Abbott wants the Texas Legislature to pass a bail reform law next year.

On Tuesday, the Republican governor announced his proposed Damon Allen Act, named in honor of a 41-year-old highway patrol trooper who was gunned down last Thanksgiving during a traffic stop near Fairfield, about 60 miles east of Waco. The suspect, 33-year-old Dabrett Black, was out of jail on a $15,500 bond at the time after allegedly assaulting a Smith County deputy.

Governor Greg Abbott has his sights set on bail reform during the upcoming legislative session.

Abbott held a news conference Tuesday at the Texas Department of Public Safety in Waco to propose the Damon Allen Act, named for a state trooper who was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in 2017.

Winston Churchill once said, “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”

Winston Churchill did not, in fact, once say, “The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.”

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The dog days of summer are about to get slightly cooler in North Texas.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth predicts highs in the low 90s starting Thursday through the weekend. Those are arguably comfortable temperatures compared to the sweltering triple-digit days we’ve endured this summer.  

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

The Trump Justice Department says it proved that Dallas-based AT&T's mega-merger with Time Warner will hurt competition, and the judge who allowed the takeover was clearly wrong to conclude consumers wouldn't be harmed.

WFAA news anchor John McCaa
Courtesy of WFAA

WFAA-TV anchor John McCaa says he will retire in March after more than 42 years in the television news business. 

Pavel Golovkin / AP

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

A Dallas state senator met today with Russian officials in Moscow. A spokesman for Republican Don Huffines tells The Texas Tribune that he's in Russia for "frank discussions" and to demand that Russia stop meddling in U.S. elections.

Andy Wong / AP

“Terrible.”

That’s all Mayor Mike Rawlings had to say on Twitter Sunday about a photo of hundreds of bright yellow bicycles piled high at a Dallas recycling plant.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Firefighters to the west of North Texas are battling two wildfires. The Texas A&M Forest Service reports fire crews have a 140-acre wildfire 75 percent contained in Jack County, about 60 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

David J. Phillip / AP

Texas schools have been adding metal detectors and armed personnel in an effort to improve campus security in response to the deadly May attack at a Houston-area high school that left eight students and two teachers dead.

Among the steps that Texas apparently won't be taking anytime soon is tightening restrictions on gun access for people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

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