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Some Texas Lawmakers Want To Make It Easier To Get Raw Milk


Five stories that have North Texas talking: a study points to natural gas wells as the cause of the Azle earthquakes; a poll shows half of the respondents don’t like the new Dallas bag fee; a longtime broadcaster who reported on the JFK assassination has died; and more. 

A state lawmaker wants to make it easier for Texans to get raw milk. The Texas Tribune reports: “A lawmaker's push to increase Texans' access to raw milk stirred controversy on Tuesday, as dairy farmers, doctors, and consumer advocates gathered at the Capitol to debate the merits of unpasteurized milk. House Bill 91 by state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, would allow licensed farmers to sell raw milk at farmers' markers and through direct delivery to consumers. The proposed legislation would not allow the sale of raw milk in supermarkets. While raw milk is currently legal in Texas, it can only be sold at farms.” Read more here. [Texas Tribune] 

  • What’s causing the Azle earthquakes? SMU researchers say that wastewater injection and saltwater extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause. A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications says researchers from Southern Methodist University and the U.S. Geological Survey monitored the shaking from nearly 30 small quakes west of Fort Worth from November 2013 to January 2014. The area hadn't had any recorded quakes in 150 years. The scientists say the shaking decreased when the volume of injections did. They have concluded that removing saltwater from the wells and injecting that wastewater back underground is "the most likely cause" for the swarm of quakes. Other studies have made a connection between wastewater injections and a spike in earthquakes in Oklahoma and southern Kansas. Read more here. [Associated Press]

  • An autopsy shows that a Mexican national was drunk when police shot him. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “The unarmed Mexican national shot to deathon the side of the highway by a Grapevine officer in February was legally intoxicated at the time of his death, according to his autopsy report. Rubén García Villalpando, 31, of North Richland Hills had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 — almost twice the legal limit — after a brief chase on Texas 121 Feb. 20 that ended in his shooting, according to his autopsy by Tarrant County medical examiner’s office. The autopsy report was obtained through a Star-Telegram open records request.” The Star-Telegram has more details. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

  • Many people don’t like the controversial bag fee in Dallas, but they’re starting to bring their own reusable bags. That’s according to a citywide poll conducted by The Dallas Morning News. “Half of those questioned in The Dallas Morning News’ citywide poll don’t like the fee, which seeks to promote bring-your-own-bag behavior to help cut the spread of trash. Confirmed support for the fee trailed, at 41 percent,” the newspaper reports. “A strong majority, 57 percent, said they were likely to take their own reusable bags to stores rather than pay the fee, which was the preferred option for 23 percent.” Read more here. [The Dallas Morning News]

  • Bert Shipp, a longtime North Texas broadcaster who covered President Kennedy's assassination, has died. He was 85. In 1963, Shipp helped deliver the news on WFAA-TV that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. He was at the Trade Mart, ready to cover the speech that Kennedy was scheduled to give there. Shipp was filming outside when the presidential motorcade raced instead to Parkland Hospital. He went there, where doctors treated the president. Shipp then raced back to WFAA to report what had happened. He reflected on that moment in a 2003 KERA documentary called JFK: Breaking The News. Read more 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.