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How The National Spelling Bee Showcases The Determination Of Generation Z

The country's top young spellers battle next week in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Last year’s champion, Karthik Nemmani, is from McKinney.

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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.

With the economy booming, Ernesto Martinez can barely keep up with all the construction work coming into the small drywall company he owns. He's part of a historic wave of Latino prosperity in America.

It wasn't always like this. Martinez remembers when he was 17. He had $120 to his name, and it was all in his pocket. It's how much he got paid for his first job in the U.S., as a mover. He says he stood there, mesmerized, in front of a shop window at the mall.

Martinez was looking at a pair of Air Jordans. They cost around $100.

Along one rugged stretch of the Rio Grande, U.S. citizens routinely cross the border into the United States illegally. A shortage of basic services in rural Texas, such as health care, means U.S. citizens rely on Mexican services and rarely pass through an official port of entry on return.

Informal, unregulated crossings have been a fixture of life for generations in rural communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Today, however, with the unrelenting focus on border security, this kind of unfettered back-and-forth by U.S. citizens is rare.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it's releasing digital ads criticizing Austin-area Congressman Chip Roy after the Republican single-handedly delayed a disaster aid package Friday.

The DCCC announced the ads "will reach thousands of voters in Texas’ 21st Congressional District on Facebook and Instagram."

When students who aren’t enrolled in a free school meal program lack the money to pay for their food, what results is an accumulating lunch debt. It’s a problem facing many schools across the country. About 75% of districts reported having unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2016-17 school year, according to the School Nutrition Association.

From Texas Standard:

Americans pay some of the highest prices in the developed world for prescription medication: On average, each individual spends $1,200 per year. But now, some states are trying to change that. On Wednesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a bill that would implement a price cap on insulin, the first law of its kind in the nation.

A fire that started in Mexico and jumped the Rio Grande soon after has ignited fires on the U.S. side of the river in Big Bend National Park, causing damage to historic buildings and forcing site closures throughout the southern pocket of the sprawling West Texas park.

Courtesy photos

The two survivors in the race to be the next Dallas mayor faced off Thursday night in a debate a little more than two weeks before the June 8 runoff.

The Texas Republican Convention at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio. Bob Parks salutes the flag from the front row on June 14, 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Today’s Texplainer question was inspired by reader Al Schlieske: If the Texas Republican Party platform supports marijuana decriminalization, how can Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick say it’s dead in the Senate? Are party platforms not binding for elected officials?

Why We've Formed Stereotypes About Aging — And How To Re-Think Them

May 24, 2019
Central Texas certified life and relationship coaches Junice and Rock Rockman say stereotypes and even jokes about aging are one way we wrestle with our own fears about aging and the unknown of what lies ahead.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Plenty of data show that the population of older Texans, especially older Central Texans, is growing. The numbers certainly tell one story about seniors — but it does not show how our society regards and treats them.

Older Americans Month is a time to take a closer look at stereotypes, misconceptions and even jokes commonly aimed at seniors.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are very much on each other's minds.

At his campaign rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, the former vice president went off script — twice — to deride a protester with a whistle.

"That must be Bernie or somebody," Biden apparently said, raising eyebrows and drawing laughs.

(The line is at 8:21 into this video. You can decide for yourself what he said.)

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From NPR

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Kevin Lowry, former Chief U.S. Probation Officer, about a program he's involved with to deradicalize convicted terrorists.

At 6:30 am, four of five Gordon family members are roaming around their suburban Sacramento house — if you only count the humans. There's also four dogs, a bunny, a tortoise, chickens, ducks, goats, and a not-so-miniature miniature pig named Squiggy.

Hilary Gordon is discussing the day's schedule with her husband in the middle of wrapping a breakfast sandwich for their 14-year-old, checking on cereal for their 17-year-old, and staring down their 11-year-old who just realized he forgot to finish today's math homework.

Ohio's growing female prison population can be tied to drugs and addiction. Officials want to stop the cycle. One program helps women get at the root of their problems to help them change.

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.

Weekdays 10 a.m. on KERA FM