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It's A Boy! Fort Worth Zoo Welcomes A Baby Gorilla

Fort Worth Zoo
Fort Worth Zoo officials on Wednesday announced the birth of the male gorilla to first-time parents Gracie and Elmo.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: hundreds of undocumented children coming to North Texas; Fort Worth Zoo welcomes a gorilla; a fake mass shooting demonstration won’t happen at UT-Austin; and more.

The Fort Worth Zoo has welcomed a newborn western lowland gorilla. Zoo officials on Wednesday announced the birth of the male gorilla to first-time parents Gracie and Elmo. It's also the first birth of a western lowland gorilla at the Fort Worth Zoo. The gorilla was born last Saturday and has yet to be named. Zoo officials say the young gorilla will stay close to his mother while getting acclimated at the World of Primates exhibit. The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers western lowland gorillas to be critically endangered due to poaching, habitat loss and disease in its native Republic of Congo. [Associated Press]

  • Hundreds of undocumented children are expected to arrive in North Texas today. WFAA-TV reports: “The U.S. Health and Human Services Department will bring more than 800 children — all undocumented immigrants — to facilities in Ellis and Rockwall counties starting Thursday. … The children were captured in the Rio Grande Valley trying to enter the U.S. illegally. Now the federal government needs a place for them to stay while the youngsters are processed and relatives are being identified. So the Office of Refugee Resettlement is expanding its temporary capacity to provide shelter for unaccompanied children.” KERA is following the story – learn more here. [WFAA-TV]

  • A fake mass shooting demonstration has been moved off the UT-Austin campus. The Texas Tribune reports: “The group had planned to hold the event on campus, but decided to move it just off campus after the university warned that demonstrators could face criminal trespassing charges.The event planned by Come And Take It Texas will feature members of the organization acting out a mass shooting with cardboard guns, fake blood, and fake sounds of gun shots, according to a spokesman for the group, which is also known as” [Texas Tribune]

  • NPR explores anti-Islamic sentiment in North Texas. “An anti-Muslim climate seems especially potent in the Dallas area. … ‘2015 was a banner year for hatred in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, but it was centered in Irving,’ says Alia Salem, director of the DFW chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a Muslim advocacy group. Just last week, the Texas Rebel Knights, a white supremacist group associated with the Ku Klux Klan, announced they too want to protest at the Irving mosque, though the date keeps changing. The Islamic Center of Irving is a domed arabesque building in the middle of an Irving residential suburb; its religious leader, Imam Zia Sheik, says his mosque finds itself in a tough place these days.” Read more here.

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  • Arts & Letters Live is marking its 25th anniversary – and the Dallas Museum of Art has released details about the upcoming season. “From January to June 2016, DMA Arts & Letters Live will feature 34 scheduled events with award-winning and bestselling authors, actors, and musicians,” the museum says. “This season features the series’ popular Texas Bound program (Texas actors reading short fiction by Texas writers), BooksmART programs for children and young adults, and events with special guests including Mary-Louise Parker, Pulitzer Prize–winner Tracy K. Smith, Rainn Wilson, Erik Larson, Padma Lakshmi, Elizabeth Gilbert, and a three-night event with David Sedaris.” Learn more here.
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.