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Top Stories: High Turnover Rate For Texas Prison Guards; Spotlight On Nutcracker Ballet Dancer


The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The Texas prison system is having a hard time holding onto officers. There was a 28 percent turnover rate during the 2017 fiscal year, up from 2016 when the rate was about 22 percent. The Houston Chronicle reports more than 3,200 jobs were unfilled over the past fiscal year.

Experts say many of the officers are leaving for better-paying jobs in other fields, such as the oil and gas industry. Officers warn that the presence of so many new prison staffers could raise safety concerns.

Other stories this evening:  

  • The Permian Basin in West Texas leads the nation in oil and gas production, but development is expanding outward from Midland and Odessa. Houston-based Apache is at the center of new development in southern Reeves County. The company discovered an oil field -- called Alpine High -- with potentially billions of barrels of oil. Sally Beauvais is a reporter based in West Texas and talked about it on the Texas Standard

  • As anchor of the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather spoke to millions of Americans each night for more than two decades. Now he's speaking to millions again, this time on Facebook, where he shares essays exploring our current social and political climate. Today on Think, he talked with Krys Boyd about why many Americans have lost faith in the press.

  • The Nutcracker ballet is the story of a young girl's dream, but building that dream onstage takes talent, art and muscle. Texas Ballet Theater's Nutcracker features more than 50 performers. One of its leading dancers is Andre Silva. As Jerome Weeks reports in the latest Art & Seek Artist Spotlight, Silva has dreams of his own. 

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.