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On Our Minds is the name of KERA's mental health news initiative. The station began focusing on the issue in 2013, after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Coverage is funded in part by the Donna Wilhelm Family Fund and Cigna.

Top Stories: Crowdfunding Rape Kits Gets Preliminary Approval; Ethics Of Jailing Mentally Ill People


The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The Texas House today gave preliminary approval to a bill that would address the backlog of untested rape kits in the state. The bill aims to essentially crowdfund money for testing DNA evidence from sexual assault cases – thousands of kits have not been tested in Texas due to a lack of funding. Texans who apply or renew their driver’s license would have an option to donate a dollar or more toward kit testing. 

Other stories this evening:

  • The Texas Senate voted Tuesday to freeze tuition at public universities for two years. It’s not clear whether the measure has enough support in the House. The proposed freeze comes at a time when universities are facing other potential funding cuts.

  • Women in the U.S. now earn more college degrees than men. Still, men dominate the top positions in almost every industry. Today on Think, Krys Boyd talked with Stephen Marche, a contributing editor at Esquire magazine, about why these paradoxes are creating what he calls a hollow patriarchy.

  • Our Breakthroughs initiative, where we explore the leading edge of health, science and technology.  Today: helping people with mental illness avoid jail time. Dallas County’s Smart Justice Initiative is designed to do just that. As KERA’s Stephanie Kuo reports, county officials say the initiative will also give those with mental illness the help they need. 

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

Gus Contreras is a digital producer and reporter at KERA News. Gus produces the local All Things Considered segment and reports on a variety of topics from, sports to immigration. He was an intern and production assistant for All Things Considered in Washington D.C.