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At UT Forum, Many Professors And Students Say They Don’t Want Guns On Campus


Five stories that have North Texas talking: UT talks about campus carry; a controversial email circulates in the Park Cities; the first Nasher Prize is awarded; and more.

Forced by state lawmakers to allow concealed handguns into classrooms, dorms and other buildings, the University of Texas is starting to figure out where the weapons might still be banned. The campus hosted the first of two public forums Wednesday night to get input from advocates for gun rights and gun control as school officials study how to comply with a state law that takes effect next August. The Houston Chronicle reports: “Faculty and students who spoke Wednesday evening at the ... public forum on campus carry overwhelmingly advocated keeping guns out of classrooms and other buildings, urging school officials to designate wide swaths of the school as gun-free zones. … UT officials, most notably Chancellor Bill McRaven and former UT Austin President Bill Powers, were outspokenly critical of the campus carry bill. The new law does not apply to private universities or areas of public universities where guns are already banned, like certain health facilities, and community colleges won't have to comply until August 2017. It also allows the campus president, in consultation with working groups of students, faculty, staff and the public, to designate gun-free zones.” [Houston Chronicle/Associated Press]

  • Emails are circulating in the Park Cities about how building new schools could attract low-income housing. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Fears of poor children coming to the Park Cities are being used to rally opposition to a Highland Park ISD bond package that’ll go to voters on November 3. Emails sent by anonymous opponents with mysterious email addresses say construction of new schools could bring low-income housing to the affluent, high-performing district. They warn large apartments could rise in a part of Dallas that’s in the school district and bring high-density development, crime and Middle Eastern refugees. School district officials and bond campaign supporters say the false claims are scare tactics.” [The Dallas Morning News]

  • A Colombian sculptor has won the first Nasher Prize. KERA’s Anne Bothwell reports: “Doris Salcedo, the Bogota-based artist known for her work investigating trauma and social injustice, has won the inaugural Nasher Prize. The $100,000 award was announced Wednesday. ‘Doris Salcedo has created a body of work that is both aesthetically striking and politically resonant,’ said Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick. ‘With this subtle and deeply evocative work, she has bravely challenged us to consider more fully the deep connections between place, history and objects that carry the weight of collective memory, suggesting avenues of thinking that tie together object-making and potent social action.’”

  • Cowboys star Jason Witten has his own cereal. The Dallas Business Journal reports: “The All-Pro football player teamed up with PLB Sports, which sells athlete-endorsed food products, to create the product. A mix of oat pieces and marshmallows, Witten’s Lucky Stars are sold in 11.5-ounce boxes for $2.99 each. Customers can find the cereal, which was rolled out to grocers late last week, in all 106 Albertsons and subsidiary Tom Thumb stores around North Texas. It can also be bought on PLB’s website for $10 for a package of two boxes. … An undisclosed portion of the cereal’s sales will benefit the Jason Witten SCORE Foundation, which supports and staffs battered women’s shelters across Texas and Tennessee. It also hosts the training program Coaching Boys Into Men in Arlington high schools.” [Dallas Business Journal]

  • Fort Worth will host “Lonesome Dove” anniversary events and a big gala. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “Beginning in January, Fort Worth will play host to a six-month silver anniversary celebration as well as a gala in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards that will reunite most of the star-studded cast and crew of the 1989 miniseries. Robert Duvall, who played Capt. Augustus “Gus” McCrae, and Tommy Lee Jones, who played Captain Woodrow F. Call, are among 17 actors and actresses confirmed to attend the reunion gala March 31 at River Ranch in the Stockyards. It is being billed as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience.’” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

Photo: f11photo/

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.