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Judge Awards $229,500 To Irving Woman Who Got 153 Annoying Robocalls


Five stories that have North Texas talking: an Irving woman is awarded $230,000 for getting scores of robocalls; Whataburger tells customers that open carry guns aren’t on the menu; a Texas-shaped pool seeks to become a historical landmark; and more.

A federal judge has awarded a North Texas woman nearly $230,000, saying a cable company harassed her with 153 robocalls even after she complained about them. Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan federal court ordered Time Warner Cable Inc. on Tuesday to make the $229,500 payment to Araceli King of Irving. She sued last year, saying she had repeatedly asked the company to stop making the calls. A spokeswoman for Time Warner says the company is reviewing its options and determining how to proceed. Hellerstein says he tripled the $1,500 penalty for each call because Time Warner's actions were "particularly egregious." King's lawyer, Sergei Lemberg, says his client is delighted. He says the decision sends a message to consumers to "stop taking it on the chin" when robocalls don't stop. [Associated Press]

  • Texas-based Whataburger is asking customers not to openly carry guns in its restaurants. In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that lets Texans with licenses wear handguns in plain sight – in a hip or shoulder holster. The law is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2016. Business owners and private property owners, however, are able to tell people to leave their guns at home. Whataburger released a statement last week saying that while it supports customers’ Second Amendment rights, it’s considering how open carry affects its customers and 34,000 employees. “We’ve had many customers and employees tell us they’re uncomfortable being around someone with a visible firearm who is not a member of law enforcement, and as a business, we have to listen and value that feedback in the same way we value yours,” the company’s CEO said in a statement. Read more here from KERA News.

  • A Texas-shaped pool in Plano wants to become a state historical landmark. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Built in 1960 and opened the following year, the 168,000-gallon saltwater pool shaped like Texas has for decades served as a community hub in the Plano suburbs from May to September. Even though they have not yet confirmed whether theirs is the first Texas-shaped pool, the Texas Pool’s proponents remain convinced it is unique and worthy of historic designation. They say the pool is a remnant of the historic 1950s growth of suburbs that had fueled population growth around the outskirts of Dallas decades ago. … The Texas Pool wouldn’t be the first pool to be deemed an official historic site. In Austin, the Deep Eddy Pool is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest pool in Texas, along with the Barton Springs Pool.”

  • An East Texas man has been accused in a baseball bat attack that left his 77-year-old grandmother with a broken neck and his aunt hurt. Nacogdoches County jail records show James Leo Lacy was being held Tuesday on charges of injury to an elderly person, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, interference with an emergency call and resisting arrest. Online records don't list an attorney to speak for Lacy. The 36-year-old Nacogdoches man was arrested Friday with bond at $860,000, but no bond on a parole violation charge. Police didn't say what started the dispute. An affidavit says the grandmother was beaten with a bat and her neck broken. Lacy's 55-year-old aunt tried calling for help but was struck in the head. [Associated Press]

  • KERA’s Big Screen team talks about film each week – catch them live tonight as they talk about all things movies. KERA’s Stephen Becker and Chris Vognar with The Dallas Morning News present “Why We Love The Movies!” It starts at 7 p.m. at Highland Park United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall. Learn more here. And catch up on Big Screen segments at Art&Seek.

Photo: Maxx-studio/

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.