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FRONTERAS: Kidnapped Journalist Believed To Be Alive, Mexican Mutualistas, and more

White House Says Kidnapped Houston Photojournalist Alive A Houston family whose son, a photojournalist was kidnapped in Syria nearly four and half years ago, gets word from the White House that it’s confident their son is alive. Debra and Marc Tice were briefed recently by James O’Brien, the Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, fueling optimism that their son, Austin Tice, will eventually be released. They told Houston Public Media’s Ed Mayberry that they’ve never had any doubt that Austin is alive and will eventually return safely. And in this conversation, they say they’re heartened that the U.S. government also seems to have the same assessment. The Story

 Houston Police Chief Targets Celebratory Gunfire

You may have heard gunshots this past New Year’s in what’s become a dangerous tradition to celebrate the holiday. Houston’s police chief says he’s going after the practice. State Representative Armando Martinez was hit in the head by one of those stray bullets on New Year’s Eve in Weslaco near the Rio Grande Valley.  Houston Public Media’s Al Ortiz reports Martinez survived but celebratory gunfire can also be deadly.

The Story



Dallas County Gets First African American Female District Attorney

Dallas County crossed into new territory this week when it swore in its new district attorney. Faith Johnson, a former prosecutor and felony court judge, is Dallas County’s first African American female D.A.  KERA’s Bill Zeeble was at the ceremony where Johnson said she was excited and grateful to both God and Republicans for helping her break through this barrier.

The Story


New Mexico Police Promise To Attack Sexual Assault Cases

New Mexico has a huge backlog of thousands of sexual assault evidence kits waiting to be tested. And, a recent state audit of the kits showed most of them have never even made it to a lab.  KUNM’s Marisa Demarco reports the kits have been sitting around law enforcement departments all over the state for decades. ​

The Story



The History of Texas Mutualistas

If you’re a life-long Texan, you many have heard of a Mutualista. These mutual aid societies were part of a long tradition in Mexico, and found their way into Texas in the late 1800s. The organizations worked to provide low-income families with resources they otherwise might not have access to. While most disappeared in the 30s and 40s, throughout Texas today…there are still a small number in operation. Carlos Morales of KWBU introduces us to one thriving community mutualista in Waco…that’s been around for more than 90 years.

The Story


Artist Aims To Make Border Fence A Work Of Art

The fence along the U.S. – Mexico border south of San Diego is getting a facelift.  Tijuana muralist Enrique Chiu is leading a binational effort to create a mural that will stretch for more than a mile on the south side of the border fence.  Jean Guerrero of KPBS reports that would make it one of Mexico's longest murals. 

The Story