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Controversial Texas Voter ID Law Trial Starts Today

Stephen Velasco

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas' voter ID law trial starts today; grief counselors will be on hand in Dallas ISD after students are killed in a car crash; the State Fair of Texas names this year's top new fair foods; and more.

The Texas voter ID law heads to court today. The Texas Tribune reports the trial featuring the three-year-old law is in Corpus Christi:  “A judge will determine whether the state's measure requiring voters to present photo identification at polling places is unfair to minority voters. Conservatives backed the 2011 law, claiming it was the best way to combat voter fraud. Proponents of the law say that even if a voter doesn't have an ID, it is not something that hard to get. … Opponents have said there's little evidence that voter fraud is a problem and claim the law is a way to keep voters aligned with the Democratic Party from showing to vote.” The New York Times has more on the issue.

  • Grief counselors will be on hand at a few Dallas ISD schools Tuesday following a weekend car accident that killed three high school students. A speeding car slammed into a tree after losing control along a road in southeast Oak Cliff. The victims were two teenage boys, two men and two women ranging in age from 15 to 23.  Speed was a major contributing factor in the crash, but not alcohol, police said. Dallas ISD says it will provide grief counselors at Justin F. Kimball High School. Counselors will also be available at T.W. Browne Middle School and Daniel Webster Elementary, where some of the victims’ siblings attend. The Dalllas Morning News reports: “Two were freshmen, Trey Woodberry and Kentron Haskin. ... The other student was sophomore Desedric Johnson, who was a defensive tackle on the Knights’ junior varsity team. Carlton Nelson, Kimball’s football coach, said Johnson was a prankster whose humor made him popular with teammates, even among the older players on the varsity team.” [KERA/Associated Press]

  • Shrimp and beer make for a winning combination at the State Fair of Texas. Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil and Funnel Cake Ale won top honors Monday at the State Fair of Texas’ 10th annual Big Tex Choice Awards. Fried Shrimp Gulf Boil won best taste and Funnel Cake Ale won most creative. They were among eight finalists for the Big Tex awards, which honor the top new foods at the fair. The winning vendors take home a golden Big Tex statuette – and guaranteed lines at their food booths come fair time. Learn more about the winners here.

  • The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has announced its first-ever simulcast, which will be held later this month at Klyde Warren Park. The concert starts at 8:45 p.m. on Sept. 13. Music Director Jaap van Zweden will conduct and violinist Itzhak Perlman will be featured as a soloist. The concert will feature Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2 by Ravel, Capriccio italien by Tchaikovsky, and Perlman joining the DSO in the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Bruch. Learn more here.

  • Two local art curators had a vision: they wanted to create a place where artists could both live and work in Dallas. So they found a house – and possibly some unexpected houseguests. KERA’s Pablo Pena reports on a place called Two Bronze Doors. “Art curators Jonathan Foisset and Natalie Jean Vaughan named it Two Bronze Doors after the work of artist Brunelleschi at the start of the Italian Renaissance. And the couple hopes to have a Renaissance of their own here in Dallas. The space has quickly become a core part of the local Do It Yourself or DIY art, music and poetry community where dozens of artists get exposure.”
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.