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When Texas Legalized Hemp, It Forced Some Counties To Change How They Prosecute Pot

Earlier this summer, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson did something unusual for an elected prosecutor. She dropped the charges in 234 cases all at once.

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Think

History, science, politics, books and more with Krys Boyd. Monday-Thursday, noon-2 pm; Friday, 1-2 pm on KERA 90.1.

Texas death row inmate Larry Swearingen was executed Wednesday evening for the 1998 murder of Melissa Trotter. She was a 19-year-old student at Lone Star College on the Montgomery County campus.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In a boxing gym at the corner of Audelia Road and Forest Lane – once one of Dallas’ most crime-ridden areas – Project Safe Neighborhoods has taken hold. Observers credit the national partnership for helping to reduce crime. 

Large and small cities in Texas are becoming increasingly vulnerable to measles outbreaks as more parents exempt their children from required vaccinations, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Convicted killer Larry Swearingen is scheduled to be executed Wednesday. It was almost 20 years ago that Swearingen was found guilty of the abduction, rape and strangulation of Montgomery County college student Melissa Trotter.

Part II in a four-part series on why sexual assault cases are so hard to prosecute in Austin.

Warning: This story contains descriptions of sexual assault.

Sexual assault is a crime that can happen to anyone, but women are twice as likely to be victimized in Texas. In a 2015 study, UT Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault found 1 in 5 men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. But for women, it's 2 in 5.

Associated Press

The Trump administration is moving to end a long-standing federal court agreement that limits how long immigrant children can be kept in detention, a decision that will almost certainly lead to a new court fight over the government's ability to hold migrant families until their cases are decided.

A number of the targets of Friday's ransomware attacks are back to normal operations, the Texas Department of Information Resources said.

The department said more than a quarter of the targets have "transitioned to remediation and recovery." It also said the number of local government entities affected is down from 23 to 22.

Pu Ying Huang

Many Texas educators and advocates are frustrated in the week after the state released letter grades rating their school districts and campuses, as they work to decipher the potential impacts for their schools.

Oregon Sheriffs Offer A Lesson To Their Peers Elsewhere

20 hours ago

Early this past June, Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni was in his Coquille, Oregon, office fielding an email from a sovereign citizen. The sender was claiming that the Oregon state government doesn’t have grounds to operate because it can’t provide him with a copy of the 1859 State Constitution.

Sovereign citizens reject the legitimacy of the state and federal government. All of it: taxation, currency, the courts and, of course, gun laws.

From Texas Standard:

Earlier this summer, law enforcement leaders in Dallas said homicide rates were the highest the city has seen in a decade. They’re expecting 228 by the end of the year. In one of case, police charged a man with killing 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett who was shot in the head while sitting in her home on Aug. 14, reports The Dallas Morning News.

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From NPR

This summer's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, accelerated calls for more red flag or extreme risk laws in the states as well as helped jumpstart bills in Congress. The laws allow courts to order the seizure of firearms from those believed to pose an imminent danger to themselves or others. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have passed them.

But, while the political focus may be on mass shootings, states are using the laws far more often to prevent cases of individual gun violence, including suicide.

Australia has agreed to join a U.S.–led naval contingent protecting commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman amid alleged attacks by Iran against vessels operating in the strategic waterways.

Australia will join Britain and Bahrain as part of a maritime security mission to escort commercial shipping in the region, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Wednesday. He said his government would lend a frigate, patrol plane and specialist defense force personnel.

Canberra's contribution was meant to be "modest, meaningful and time limited," Morrison said.

First it was human embryos. Now scientists are trying to develop another way to modify human DNA that can be passed on to future generations, NPR has learned.

Reproductive biologists at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City are attempting to use the powerful gene-editing technique called CRISPR to alter genes in human sperm. NPR got exclusive access to watch the controversial experiments underway.

After An Immigration Raid

KERA checks in with residents in Northeast Texas following a raid at a factory.

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Here Are 39 Things You Should Do In Texas Before You Die

Texas Independence Day is March 2. (On that day, back in 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted at Washington-on-the-Brazos.) So, to celebrate, the KERA News staff figured we’d come up with a list of quintessential Texas experiences – a list of things you should do in the Lone Star State before you kick the bucket.

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JFK In Dallas

KERA stories from that fateful day in November 1963.

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