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Top Stories: Texas Takes On College Affordability, Jobs; Death By Selfie


The top local stories this morning from KERA News: Governor Greg Abbott today will announce a new state task force to study college affordability and job creation.

The Dallas Morning Newsreports the initiative will involve leaders from the Texas Education Agency, the state Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce Commission.

Abbott’s announcement comes as lawmakers debate who should regulate tuition in Texas.

The state legislature gave this control to boards of regents at colleges and universities in 2003, but Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has asked lawmakers to revisit the issue as college tuition continues to rise.

University of Texas system regents last week voted to increase tuition at UT-Dallas, UT-Arlington and most of its other institutions. No increase for students at the Health Science Center in Tyler.

The task force will also identify needs in the workforce and gaps in service for veterans.

Other stories this morning:

  • There’s distracted driving, and then there’s distracted selfie-taking. In this edition of Vital Signs, Sam Baker explores a rare, but growing phenomenon: death by selfie.
  • Rain’s in the forecast this afternoon and tomorrow, which could eliminate any remaining drought in Texas. Thanks to a soggy 2015, only parts of Central, West, and South Texas are considered ‘abnormally dry,’ according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.