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7-Year-Old Donates Money In His Piggy Bank To Vandalized Central Texas Mosque


Five stories that have North Texas talking: an act of kindness in Pflugerville is going viral; Tony Romo is ready to return Sunday; remembering KERA’s Glenn Mitchell; and more.

An act of kindness in Pflugerville is going viral. You might have heard about the vandalism at the Islamic Center of Pflugerville earlier this week when a vandal tore pages from the Koran and covered them with feces and left them outside the mosque. Jack Swanson is 7 years old -- he heard about this and he dumped out his piggy bank and counted his pennies. He gave the money -- $20 -- to the mosque. A member of the mosque said that “Jack's $20 are worth $20 million to us because it's the thought that counts,” ABC News reported. He also said “if we have more kind-hearted kids like them in the world, I have hope for our future." KVUE-TV in Austin has more details. [ABC News]

  • Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is gearing up for his comeback. He’s back Sunday afternoon for the first time since his injury. He was out seven games for a broken left collarbone. Romo is optimistic, even though the Cowboys are in trouble. They’ve lost seven consecutive games since Romo was hurt. It’s the Cowboys’ longest losing streak since 1989. Romo says the season isn’t over and that it’s all about winning one game at a time. The Cowboys are 2-7. They battle the Miami Dolphins in Florida Sunday. ESPN has more details.

  • Friday marks the 10th anniversary of Glenn Mitchell's death. He was the longtime KERA radio midday host. Today at noon, call in to “Anything You Ever Wanted To Know” and share your memories of Glenn. KERA’s Jeff Whittington reports: “Even with him gone for a decade, it's hard to imagine public radio in North Texas (and beyond) without Glenn's influence. Glenn started working at KERA in the mid 1970s. He hosted the award-winning ‘Glenn Mitchell Show’ from 1995 until 2005. He died Nov. 20, 2005. He was 55. Glenn's interests were wide. He interviewed everyone from Salman Rushdie and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to performance artist Laurie Anderson and Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall.” Learn more here.

  • A massive alligator hanging out on a golf course near Houston has been caught by two wranglers. River Pointe Golf Club management contacted licensed Alligator Nuisance Control Hunters Christy Kroboth and Chris Stephens for help Wednesday. The pair, called the "Gator Squad," has made a name for themselves after helping capture another gator at a Sugar Land shopping center and one underneath a student's vehicle at a Richmond high school. They nabbed the most recent gator on the course's 17th hole. Golfers stopped their cart and took photos as the partners tried to reel it out of a pond. Kroboth says the 12-foot alligator weighs somewhere between 600 and 800 pounds. The pair thinks the alligator came from the Brazos River. The gator wranglers will likely relocate the alligator to Janik Alligators in El Campo. [Associated Press]

  • A man was arrested in Midland after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend -- for not smelling his armpit. KOSA-TV reports the man, Robinson Pinilla-Bolivar, asked his girlfriend to smell his armpit while she was washing dishes. She said no. Then they got into an argument. The girlfriend says he hit her on the head and held a knife to her. She fled and called police. He was charged with aggravated assault. The TV station reports that he did not threat her – and he threw the knife into the sink because he was angry. [KOSA-TV]

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.