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Road To Sandra Bland’s Alma Mater Named For Her

The Prairie View City Council voted to rename University Boulevard to Sandra Bland Boulevard.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: the Dallas County district attorney is taking a leave of absence; Dr. James “Red” Duke has died; a Texas teen is battling a brain-eating amoeba; and more.

A small Texas university town where a black Chicago-area woman was arrested during a traffic stop that led to her death in a jail cell has renamed for her the road to her alma mater. The Prairie View City Council voted to rename University Boulevard to Sandra Bland Boulevard. The road leads to the Prairie View A&M University campus. The vote came after an afternoon of demonstrations backing the move. Bland was found hanged in her Waller County jail cell in Hempstead July 13th in a death ruled suicide. Bland's death prompted numerous protests of law enforcement handling of her case. Here’s more from Houston Public Media. [Associated Press]

  • Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk is taking a four-week unpaid leave of absence due to a “serious episode of depression.” The news, announced late Tuesday afternoon, comes after a three-week absence from the job. Her previously unexplained absence had generated many questions about her job performance and the management of her office.  In a statement, Hawk said she had planned on getting back to work this week, but that it’s in her best interest to stay away from the office. Hawk said she plans on returning to work after the leave of absence. Learn more here from KERA News. The Dallas Morning News has more details.

  • Dr. James "Red" Duke, a trauma surgeon who attended to Texas Gov. John Connally on the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination, has died in Houston. He was 86. After the Kennedy assassination in Dallas, Duke went on to become a prominent Houston trauma surgeon and familiar television doctor. In a statement, Dr. Richard Andrassy, surgery department chairman at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, said Duke died Tuesday at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston of natural causes. During the 1980s, Duke became familiar for his thick Texas drawl and bushy red moustache featured in his nationally syndicated medical segment. Learn more here.

  • A Texas teenager is in the hospital battling a brain-eating amoeba. KHOU-TV reports: Michael Riley Jr. “is currently in a medically-induced coma and his family said Monday night he had more swelling around his brain. Doctors believe the amoeba entered through his nose and swam into his brain when he jumped into a lake at the Sam Houston National Forest on Aug. 13. A week later, Riley was disoriented, had a fever, a severe headache and neck pain similar to symptoms of meningitis. Doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital recognized the symptoms from another case in the area. That child didn’t survive.” [KHOU-TV]

  • Baylor University may face legal fallout from a rape case. The Texas Tribune reports: “After a Baylor University football player was convicted last week of raping a fellow student, public outrage honed in on what the school might have done to prevent the attack. But in coming months, the   private Baptist school may be more vulnerable to questions from lawyers and federal regulators about how it acted after the assault. Experts say Baylor could face legal challenges concerning how it investigated the case, and how it treated the football player and his victim afterward. The federal government has shown a growing interest in holding schools accountable for how they respond to cases of sexual violence, with the U.S. Department of Education threatening colleges’ federal funding and ordering them to compensate victims.” [Texas Tribune]

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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.