BJ Austin | KERA News

BJ Austin


BJ Austin has more than 25 years of broadcast journalism experience, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.

At KERA, BJ was runner-up for Texas Health Journalist of the Year in the 2013 Anson Jones, M.D., Awards from the Texas Medical Association. She earned a 2009 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters honorable mention for best specialty/beat reporting and a 2010 honorable mention for best general-assignment story for "Zoo Poo." She has also shared several awards, including a a 2010 TAPB first-place trophy for KERA’s radio series "Living with the Trinity: Thirsty"; a 2009 TAPB second-place honor for best continuing coverage for "Family Values: What Voters Want"; and a 2010 regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for "The Economy Project."

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A controversial solid waste transfer station in Aledo got the green light Wednesday from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Opponents argued the big trash operation is too close to schools. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Elected officials and political hopefuls have another week to decide if they'll run in the March primaries.

Longtime Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price is facing opposition in the March Democratic primary. His former assistant, Betty Culbreath has filed to run against him.

SMU political scientist Dr. Cal Jillson says Price has a loyal constituency, even under the cloud of an FBI corruption investigation.

Jonathan Moreau (cc) flickr

Dallas, TX – DFW Airport Board members will wait at least another week to get additional details of American Airlines' bankruptcy, and how that might affect the airport's finances. KERA's BJ Austin says the discussion at Thursday's Airport Board meeting was sketchy.

Dallas, TX – Parkland Hospital gets a new CEO this week. Dr. Thomas Royer will take over Thursday. Longtime CEO Dr. Ron Anderson steps aside to become a "Senior Adviser" to the new CEO. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Dallas, TX – Starting Friday, Arlington police will begin enforcing a ban on texting and driving. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

The Arlington City Council passed the ban on texting while driving in September. It prohibits the use of cell phones by a driver except for making a phone call. No texting, no Facebook posting, no Googling.

Dallas, TX – Three million Texans will be traveling for Thanksgiving this week. KERA's BJ Austin says North Texans with plane tickets will have to navigate construction inside and outside of the two major airports.

Dallas, TX – A "makeover" for the Dallas City Hall "ethics" policy is in the works. KERA's BJ Austin says City Council members got a few ideas at an SMU ethics forum Wednesday.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has made changing the "culture" of ethics at City Hall a priority.

Rawlings: You know one of the most important things that we can do for the city of Dallas is send a signal that we care about ethics. It's the foundation of everything we do: how we treat each other, how we treat suppliers, how we treat citizens.

The Rangers bring the World Series home to Arlington Saturday for Game Three with the St. Louis Cardinals. Rangers fans are eager for a "home" win. But, as KERA's BJ Austin reports it'll take more than cheering in the stands. It'll take "physics" on the field.

Dallas, TX – Ten years ago, Anita Foster with the Dallas Red Cross was assigned to Ground Zero. She says the faces of families looking for missing loved ones remain with her a decade later, and make her better at her job. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

"Engine Six. The World Trade Center Tower Number One is on fire; the whole left side of the building. There was a huge explosion."

New York City firefighters respond to the unthinkable September 11, 2001.

Dallas, TX – Priority one for state lawmakers meeting in Austin next week is to plug a $25 billion budget shortfall. Just how big is that? Well, if you shut down all the prisons, laid off every state trooper, eliminated every service except public education, higher education and health care, you still wouldn't cut $25 billion.

Governor Rick Perry and others have suggested Texas drop out of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low income children, elderly and the disabled. It's Texas's fastest growing expense.