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Top Stories: Dallas Rejects Ban On Official Trips to North Carolina; More Harvey Aid Expected

Texans protest the so-called "bathroom bill" at the state Capitol.

The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

The Dallas City Council has rejected a ban on taxpayer-funded trips to North Carolina and official dealings with businesses in the state.

The Dallas Morning News reports council members Philip Kingston, Adam Medrano, Mark Clayton and Omar Narvaez placed the resolution on the agenda to punish the state for “discriminating against the transgender community.”

But the resolution ultimately failed 8-to-7. It would have prevented official trips to Charlotte for the National League of Cities in November, and several were concerned about threatening the city's relationship with its Charlotte-based banker, Bank of America. Others felt it wasn't fair to punish the city of Charlotte because of actions by the North Carolina state legislature.

North Carolina has partially repealed a law requiring transgender people to use a bathroom that corresponded to their gender at birth – but the law still prohibits cities from enacting LGBT protections until 2020.

A similar so-called “bathroom bill” failed in the Texas Legislature this year.

Other stories this morning:

  • The first bit of federal disaster aid is just now reaching Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey – and Congress is already working on a second Harvey relief package, which could be ready as early as next month. Senator John Cornyn said the disaster relief so far is the most focused response he's seen from the federal government, but it is still only a down payment. The first bill included more than $15 billion for disaster relief, which went toward helping not only victims of Harvey, but also those hurt by Hurricane Irma in the Southeast and by wildfires in Southern California. Early estimates put the bill for Harvey’s damage alone at roughly 200 billion dollars.
  • Dallasites Cynthia and Allen Mondell have been married for nearly 48 years. And for most of that time, they’ve made films together. A retrospective of their documentaries airs tonight on KERA-TV, and they sat down to talk about their partnership on this week’s edition of The Big Screen.

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 Stephanie Kuo is an award-winning radio journalist who worked as a reporter and administrative producer at KERA, overseeing and coordinating editorial content reports and logistics for the Texas Station Collaborative – a statewide news consortium including KERA, KUT in Austin, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio.