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On Fronteras: A Year of Texas Storms, Former Inmates Reunite With Families

Joyce Marshall
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Texas Tornadoes Kill 11, Damage Adds Up To $1.2 Billion

One of the big stories in Texas in 2015 was the weather.  Record spring rain caused devastating, deadly flooding in the hill country and the year closed out with twelve tornadoes roaring through several Dallas suburbs. The tornadoes killed 11 people and ravaged more than 2,000 homes and buildings. Damage is estimated at over $1 billion.  One of the buildings destroyed is Shields Elementary school in the Red Oak School District south of Dallas in Ellis County.  Hundreds of volunteers are racing to clean up an old junior high school.  As KERA’s Stella Chavez reports, that’s where kids will go to class starting Tuesday.

Here's the story. 

Flood Survivors Tell Their Stories In Book

The Memorial Day flood in Wimberley, Texas, was one of the most talked about disasters of the year, and it remains a day that the community doesn't want to forget.  Members of the Wimberley City Library are putting the finishing touches on a book that is an oral history of those who lived through the flood and how they picked up the pieces of their lives.  Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe shares some of those stories.

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Low Crude Prices Cause Massive Oil Industry Layoffs

Loss has also devastated the oil economy this past year.  Lower crude prices have forced industry wide layoffs and those prices are expected to remain lower for a longer period of time in 2016.  As Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider reports, many Texas oil workers are expected to leave the oil business entirely or retire, before prices recover.

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Program Reunites Fathers With Families After Prison

The number of people who are behind bars in America is much larger than it was 40 years ago. In fact, it’s five times higher. That means a lot more parents are doing time, and having a record can limit former inmates in their ability to get a job, find a place to live, and provide for their kids.  ​As KUNM’s ​Marisa Demarco reports for Fronteras, a program​ in Albuquerque​ is trying to help dads get around the obstacles and back on track with their families.

Here's the story. 

It Wouldn’t Be New Year’s Without Black Eyed Peas

There are many border traditions for the holidays, from La Posadas celebrations to tamales on the Christmas table. In West Texas, a New Year’s Day tradition draws on the culture of the South.  Marfa Public Radio’s Tom Michael explains.

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Virginia joined Texas Public Radio in September, 2015. Prior to hosting and producing Fronteras for TPR, she worked at WBOI in Indiana to report on often overlooked stories in the community. Virginia began her reporting career at the Statehouse in Salem, OR, and has reported for the Northwest News Network and Oregon Public Broadcasting.