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This North Texas 9-Year-Old Is Wowing Judges On 'MasterChef Junior' (Video)

Riley from Carrollton presents a steak dish on "MasterChef Junior."

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A Carrollton wunderchef on MasterChef; a Dallas housing discrimination case takes center stage at the Supreme Court; Dallas’ “Stagger Lee” has a preview tonight; and more.

He may only be 9, but he sure knows how to cook. "MasterChef Junior" Season 3 features Riley, a 9-year-old from Carrollton. He’s among the younger competitors this season. And he’s impressing the judges. Another young chef on the show declared: “Even though Riley is small and the youngest competitor, I know that he is a strong chef. Now I think people will definitely see that he is definitely someone to watch out for.” Riley made seared steak with smoky beef ramen. A judge declared it “amazing.” Host Gordon Ramsay said it’s delicious and perfect. “I mean mmm!” Ramsay said. “That dish confirms you’re from Texas.” Riley – we don’t have a last name yet -- says he started cooking when he was 7. His great-grandmother inspires him to be the best chef and he wants to make her proud. Riley says schnitzel is his favorite dish because “it tastes beautiful.” His favorite dish to eat? “Homemade pasta sprinkled with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. I love Parmesan!” "MasterChef Junior" airs on Fox Tuesday nights. Learn more about Riley here.

Here’s a clip featuring Riley presenting his “amazing” steak dish:

  • The Supreme Court appears bitterly divided in a debate over a decades-old strategy for fighting housing discrimination, a case with North Texas roots. Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues expressed serious doubts Wednesday that the Fair Housing Act can be used to ban housing or lending practices without any proof of intent to discriminate. The court's four liberal justices defended the use of so-called "disparate impact" lawsuits that allege even race-neutral policies can have a harmful effect on minority groups. Civil rights groups have predicted the court took up the case to knock out such lawsuits. A Dallas-based fair housing group, Inclusive Communities Project Inc., sued the Texas Department of Housing and Community Development in 2008. The group alleged that agency policies were keeping Dallas neighborhoods segregated and denying blacks a chance to move into safer neighborhoods with better schools. [Associated Press]

  • A painting of the original Texas A&M University mascot Reveille I missing since the 1990s has been recovered. A&M officals in College Station on Wednesday unveiled the artwork of the much-beloved dog. School authorities announced university police located the painting done in 1943 by College Station artist Marie Haines. Donations helped pay for the artwork commissioned by students and faculty, then presented to the school. The Reveille I painting disappeared while in storage during renovation of the Military Science Building. Corps of Cadets Center curator Lisa Kalmus says she received a tip about someone years ago seeing the painting at a home. University police retrieved the painting last month. [Associated Press]

  • State of the Arts is back. Join KERA's Jeff Whittington for the first State of the Arts in 2015. It’s tonight at 7 at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. On the agenda: a discussion of performance, theater and dance. Guests include playwright Jonathan Norton and Nycole Ray, director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre II. Order tickets here. And learn more about the event here and here.

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.