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North Texan Survives Nepal Quake, Mount Everest Avalanche

A North Texas woman who survived a Mount Everest avalanche triggered by a 7.8 -magnitude earthquake in Nepal is trying to get home.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a North Texas woman survives an avalanche; North Texas gets hit by heavy rain, hail and tornadoes; KERA's Think is in D.C.; and more.

A North Texas woman who survived an avalanche triggered by a 7.8 -magnitude earthquake in Nepal is trying to get home. Danielle Banks, an Allen High School graduate, texted her mother Friday saying that she experienced an earthquake while on the way up Mount Everest. Sharon Banks didn't hear from her daughter again until two days later. The 22-year-old sent another text message Sunday letting her mother know she's safe. Sharon Banks says her daughter began her 11-hour journey to the bottom of the mountain Sunday evening, but does not yet have a way of making it back to the U.S. The mother says she may need to pay for a helicopter to get her daughter out of Nepal. Danielle Banks in December graduated from Texas A&M University. [Associated Press]

  • A storm system that hit parts of North Texas dumped several inches of rain and damaged some buildings but nobody was hurt. The National Weather Service on Monday had no confirmation of any tornadoes, but was checking reports of as many as a dozen twisters. Forecaster Lamont Bain says storms that began Sunday afternoon and lasted into the night didn't injure anyone or cause significant damage. Bain says severe weather reached Comanche, Erath, Somervell, Bosque, Hill and Johnson counties. He says Glen Rose received more than 4 inches of rain. Some residences had structure damage. Part of the Waxahachie Police Department headquarters flooded as water several inches deep rushed into the building. Police Chief Wade Goolsby says law enforcement operations are not affected during the cleanup. See some storm pictures here. [Associated Press]

  • It’s a big week for KERA’s Think. The program is broadcasting live from NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. this week. Krys Boyd will interview politicians, historians, Smithsonian experts and NPR journalists. Today at noon, she’ll talk with Chris Turpin, NPR’s senior vice president for news. Then, at 1 p.m., she’ll talk with Todd Gillman of The Dallas Morning News and Abby Livingston of The Texas Tribune. Think airs live from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday on KERA 90.1 FM. Or join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @krysboydthink using #ThinkinDC. And get a behind-the-scenes look at the D.C. adventure -- check out Think's Tumblr.

  • Prescription drug deaths in Texas have been widely undercounted even as officials try to crack down on overprescribing and prescription drug-dealing. Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services only counts overdose deaths involving certain painkillers, not all prescription drugs, a joint investigation by the Houston Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman has found. The newspapers reported that the data does not include information from medical examiners whose drug screenings identify many more overdoses. The state's method of tracking cases undercounts deaths in every major county across Texas, and often does not include deaths that involve multiple medications or prescription drugs mixed with alcohol or other illegal substances, the newspapers reported. [Associated Press]

  • North Texas keeps growing. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “The population in North Texas is nearing 7 million and shows no signs of slowing down, according to annual estimates. The 16-county region grew by nearly 97,000 people from January 2014 to January 2015, continuing a trend that began in 2010. The North Central Texas Council of Governments, whose tasks include transportation planning and improving air quality for the region, released its annual population estimates [last week]. The region’s population stands at 6,939,250, including 1,244,270 in Dallas and 792,720 in Fort Worth. Fifteen years ago the region had 5.3 million residents.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

Photo: Arsgera/

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.