Eric Aasen | KERA News

Eric Aasen

Managing Editor

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 keranews.org, 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.

In 2015, Eric was part of a KERA team that won a national Online Journalism Award. In 2017, KERA earned a station-record eight regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence. Also in 2017, KERA was nominated for a national Online Journalism Award for the station's coverage of the deadly Dallas police shooting.

Eric joined KERA in 2013 after 11 years as a reporter at The Dallas Morning News. His subjects ranged from the fiery demise of Big Tex (the iconic State Fair of Texas cowboy), to a friendly goose who helped children cross a busy street to school. He’s won numerous awards, including honors from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors for his feature writing and breaking news reporting.

A Minnesota native, Eric has wanted to be a journalist since he was in the third grade. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University in Indiana, where he earned a political science degree and served as editor-in-chief of The DePauw student newspaper.

Eric and his wife, who’s also a journalist, have a daughter and son.

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Marianna Taschinger, who lives in Groves, Tex., near Beaumont, is suing her ex-boyfriend for posting nude images of her on a website that features so-called "revenge porn." Police say there is little they can do. Lawmakers in California passed the first law aimed at revenge porn sites, The New York Times reports.

Update, 12:50 p.m. Tuesday: Authorities say a North Texas woman was responsible for a murder-suicide in which she fatally shot her husband and three sons before killing herself.
 
The Navarro County Sheriff's Office said this morning that 33-year-old Guadalupe Ronquillo-Ovalle shot her husband Israel Alvarez, as well as their three sons, ages 4, 8 and 10, The Associated Press is reporting. Then Ronquillo-Ovalle shot herself in the head.

Blame sequestration in part for Monday's layoffs, Bell's president said in a statement. Bell Helicopter makes the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, which takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Marco Becerra/mabecerra / Flickr

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Big-screen video boards get even bigger, Texas packs a deadly punch, watch homemade planes crash into the water, and more.

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Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we take a look at Big Tex, the fashion icon.

informedmindstravel / Flickr

Prada Marfa might be doomed. No, there's no fancy store in Marfa. Instead, it's a roadside advertisement -- and Texas officials say it's illegal.

State transportation officials are pondering what to do about the iconic structure in West Texas, The Associated Press is reporting. Blame it on the Playboy bunny.

Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project said that among the six states with the largest numbers of immigrants here illegally, only Texas had a consistent increase in illegal immigration from 2007 to 2011. That's due in part to the state's stronger economy. Its number was unchanged from 2011 to 2012.

Dallas Zoo

For years, the Dallas Zoo has tried to play matchmaker with Patrick the gorilla.

But Patrick won’t be anyone’s close friend.

So the Western lowland gorilla is moving on to a new home in South Carolina.

Patrick has spent the past 18 years at the Dallas Zoo, but he doesn’t socialize. He prefers being by himself, zoo officials say.

While checking on her friends and family in Kenya on Facebook, Esther Kanyua, a Southern Methodist University graduate student, learned that her friend from high school was one of the victims in the shooting, KTVT reports.

West Texas is awash in oil money, but not everyone benefits, according to StateImpact, an NPR project with KUT Radio in Austin.

Besides Wendy Davis, who else might be on the Democratic ticket in Texas next year? The Texas Tribune reports that party leaders have talked to candidates who might fill out the ballot behind her, including Leticia Van de Putte.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas is a hotbed for UFO sightings,  the Dallas mayor apologizes for a 40-year-old killing, VideoFest is just a couple weeks away, and more.

Christian Bradford/greychr / Flickr

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we take a look at his final hours -- and some video tributes.

State Fair of Texas

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we explore Big Tex's roots in a small town.

Before Big Tex was Big Tex, he was a Santa Claus in Kerens, about an hour south of Dallas in Navarro County.

Eric Aasen / KERA News

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re going to offer a daily online look at All Things Big Tex each day until next Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we offer you an up-close-and-personal look at his new home.

Dallas school trustees are scheduled to meet again on Thursday behind closed doors to discuss Superintendent Mike Miles.

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BlackBerry says it will lay off 4,500 employees, or 40 percent of its global workforce, as it reports a nearly $1 billion second-quarter loss in a surprise early release of earnings results.

The stock dropped 19 percent to $8.50 after reopening for trading. Shares had been halted pending the news, The Associated Press is reporting.
 
BlackBerry's U.S. headquarters is in Las Colinas.

New rules could be put in place by next summer that would help prevent the spread of zebra mussels. If approved, all boats in a 17-county area across North Texas would have to be completely drained after use.

Take a look at these pictures of plastified animals -- a cool new exhibit at the Perot Museum. Jeff Rudolph, CEO of the California Science Center in Los Angeles, says that the process of plastination turns animals and organs into pieces of art and draws visitors in. “It lets us see ourselves and other living things in a way we really don’t otherwise get to see them and understand how they work,” he says.

Brandi Korte/ladybugbkt / Flickr

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park Sept. 27 -- next Friday.

(If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re going to offer a daily online look at All Things Big Tex each day until next Friday.

Programming note: Eric Aasen, KERA's digital news editor who's a Big Tex expert, will talk about Big Tex around 12:20 p.m. today on KERA's "Anything You Ever Wanted To Know" with host Jeff Whittington. That's on KERA Radio, 90.1 FM. 

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: The rain keeps falling, the pope keeps talking, Skinny the cat isn't so fat, and more.

Gravitywave / flickr.com

A second Dallas resident has been diagnosed with West Nile virus.

The resident lives in the 75224 zip code, which is in the Oak Cliff area, Dallas County’s health and human services department announced today. It's the same zip code where this year's only West Nile death was reported last week.  The latest case is the sixth reported in the county so far this year.

North Texas Giving Day

UPDATE at 1:40 p.m. Thursday: By early this afternoon, North Texas Giving Day clocked in with $10 million and 35,000 donations.

More than 1,000 certified nonprofits are eligible to receive money today -- they’re listed on donorbridgetx.org.

Organizers report that a formerly homeless client at Arlington Life Shelter donated to the shelter as part of North Texas Giving Day. Both Ronald McDonald House and Second Saturday surpassed their 2012 Giving Day totals before reaching the halfway point today.

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Arrrrrr, me mateys! Did you know that today is the official International Talk Like A Pirate Day? Avast! And gather a grog or two and brush up on pirate life from our friends at talklikeapirate.com.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!

We have some basic and advanced pirate lingo below.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

A Texas appeals court has overturned the money laundering conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling on Thursday that DeLay had been acquitted, The Associated Press is reporting. DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison, but his sentence was on hold while his case made its way through the appellate process.

KERA News

Dallas’ Alliance-AFT teachers association is holding a press conference this morning to demand that embattled DISD superintendent Mike Miles be fired.

Dallas Zoo

Five stories that have North Texans talking: Adorable animals at the Dallas Zoo, give to your favorite nonprofit today, have you ever tried the McEverything, and more.

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The state’s death penalty system has made progress in recent years but continues to fall short, according to a report issued today by the American Bar Association.

The 500-page report offers several recommendations:

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Five stories that have North Texans talking: Your gut can make beer, the suspected Navy shooter hoped to become a monk in White Settlement, have you seen the amazing Chipotle ad, and more.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Update at 4:22 p.m.: Just six weeks ago, Aaron Alexis called police in Newport, R.I., from his hotel room, saying that he was “hearing voices” and that three men had been sent to harass him. NPR has obtained a police report about the call made on Aug. 7. Alexis told police that the three men were going to keep him awake by talking to him and “sending vibrations into his body,” the report said. Alexis told police that he had moved from one hotel to a Navy base and then to a third hotel because the voices were following him.

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