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UT-Austin Task Force Recommends Allowing Concealed Handguns In Class


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Serial is back; undocumented children arrive in North Texas today; Greg Abbott’s dog turns 1; and more.

Concealed handguns would be mostly barred from University of Texas dormitories but not from classrooms under recommendations presented to the school president. UT President Greg Fenves will review the recommendations, offered Thursday, before a final vote of approval by university regents. Texas state lawmakers are requiring public universities to allow concealed handgun license holders to bring weapons on campus starting Aug. 1, 2016. Universities were told to draw campus gun-zone maps, with the provision they not try to ban weapons from most of campus. Texas students and faculty have vigorously protested allowing guns in classrooms. The panel that developed the recommendations says its members don't want guns in classrooms, but a ban would violate Texas law. [Associated Press]

  • Serial is back. NPR reports: “The second season of Serial, a podcast produced by This American Life and WBEZ in Chicago, is here. This season focuses on the controversial story of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. We've covered that case quite a bit on this blog, butSerial is giving it the long-form investigative treatment and also has obtained 25 hours of recorded conversations between Bergdahl and Hollywood screenwriter Mark Boal. If you don't remember, Bergdahl's story is complicated: The Army has charged him with desertion, but questions still abound about why he walked away from his military outpost in southeastern Afghanistan in 2009 and what happened after he was captured by the Taliban.” [NPR]

  • Hundreds of undocumented children are heading to North Texas today. They’re heading to the Lakeview Camp and Retreat Center near Waxahachie. KERA’s Stella Chavez reports: “Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown said he didn’t get much time to prepare but says his department is ready. ‘I want to make sure the citizens of Ellis County know that this is under control and we have everything secure and they have no fears at this point. We do have a plan in place for any kind of emergencies,’ Brown said. ‘This will become a miniature city for the next 21 days. They have fire control, EMS, everything under control.’ … Rick DuBose, an official with the Lakeview camp, says the kids have been through a difficult time. ‘We didn’t feel like there was any way we could turn them away and not care for them and feed them when we have the beds that are empty and food that can be served and a process here,’ DuBose said. ‘It’s our slowest time of year.  So we were very available. We’ve jumped on it. We’re honored to give these kids a place to live for the next three weeks.’”

  • A stalled motorcycle has kept a thief from escaping with a shopping cart full of loot from a Wichita Falls hardware store. Wichita Falls police Sgt. Harold McClure said the suspect remained at large Wednesday. Police say a man on Monday rolled a cart out of the store without paying. Police say the biker used a cord and hooked the shopping cart to his cycle, then tried to speed away. The shopping cart tipped, the thief stopped to upright the cart and then his motorcycle fell over and stalled. Police say the man tried pushing the motorcycle while pulling the shopping cart. He finally restarted his bike and drove away, leaving the cart and most of the items behind. McClure says the suspect escaped with two power drills. [Associated Press]

  • Gov. Greg Abbott has a very cute dog who just turned 1:

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.