On the Line
On the Line
Starbear Studio
A biweekly podcast from the Texarkana Gazette. Host Karl Richter talks with some of the most interesting people in Texarkana USA. Recorded in the Texarkana Gazette's Starbear Studio.
April Matthis: From Texarkana to Broadway
April Matthis has earned a place on the list of most acclaimed artists from Texarkana. Born and raised on the Texas side, she has honed her craft as an actor for more than two decades. It paid off with two Obie Awards for her off-Broadway work, and now she is making her Broadway debut. Matthis plays Grace in “The Piano Lesson,” August Wilson’s 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. She is part of an A-list cast that includes Danielle Brooks, John David Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. She and Karl talked about her memories of Texarkana, her path to success, her part in the play and more. Related story: Texarkana native April Matthis debuts on Broadway
Nov 22
30 min
Special Report: Taylor Parker death penalty
Gazette reporter Lori Dunn shares details and her impressions of the sentencing of convicted murderer Taylor Parker. On Wednesday, Nov. 9, a Bowie County jury took only an hour and fifteen minutes to impose the death penalty. Parker killed Reagan Simmons Hancock on Oct. 9, 2020, and cut her unborn daughter, Braxlynn, from her womb.
Nov 10
16 min
ALEXANDER COLD CASE: Carla Lewis, childhood friend of victims
In today's episode, we continue our look at the 1981 murders of 14-year-old Karen Alexander and her brother, 13-year-old Gordon Alexander, in Texarkana, Arkansas. Gazette reporter Mallory Wyatt joined Karl to talk with Carla Lewis, who as a child knew the Alexanders. Carla shared her memories of her friends and learning they had been killed. She talked about how the crime continues to affect her and most importantly, made a plea for anyone with information to come forward. If you know anything that could help crack the case, we urge you to call the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department's criminal investigation division at 903-798-3130.
Nov 7
25 min
Special Report: Taylor Parker punishment phase, week 1
Karl and Gazette reporter Lori Dunn recap testimony in the first five days of the punishment phase of Taylor Parker's trial. Parker, 29, was found guilty of capital murder Oct. 3, 2022, for killing Reagan Michelle Hancock, 21, and cutting her infant daughter, Braxlynn Sage Hancock, from the womb Oct. 9, 2020 in New Boston, Texas. The prosecution is asking for the death penalty, while the defense is arguing for life in prison.
Oct 21
13 min
"Rocky Horror" superfan Larry Viezel
Larry Viezel has been passionate about “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for three decades and is president of the Official Fan Club. He and Karl talked about the show's history, cast, music and what's made it so special to generations of fans. Texarkana's Perot Theatre will present “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. LINKS Tickets: "Rocky Horror" at the Perot "The Rocky Horror Treasury: A Tribute to the Ultimate Cult Classic"
Oct 19
19 min
Kristina Rivas-Jones, 100 Families Alliance
Kristina Rivas-Jones is director of 100 Families Alliance, a new project of the Literacy Council of Miller and Bowie Counties. 100 Families seeks to coordinate services available to families in crisis — and as you'll hear, there are already some local success stories. Gazette reporter Mallory Wyatt joined Karl in talking to Kristina about how 100 Families works, why she felt called to take on the job, how her personal background prepared her for it, and more. LINKS 100 Families on Literacy Council website 100 Families on Facebook
Oct 10
35 min
Special Report: Taylor Parker guilty verdict
Just hours after a Bowie County, Texas, jury found Taylor Parker guilty of capital murder, Gazette reporter Lori Dunn commented on the trial so far. The sentencing phase will begin Oct. 12.
Oct 3
17 min
Carl Finch, founder of Brave Combo
Texarkana native Carl Finch founded Brave Combo more than 40 years ago. Yeah, it's a polka band. But as you'll hear, Brave Combo is more than that. The group stands for independent thinking and creativity free from peer pressure. You could say the Brave Combo philosophy is that there's no such thing as a guilty pleasure. And it all started in a Woolworth store in downtown Texarkana. Brave Combo will be the musical headliner for Main Street Texarkana's Oktoberfest on the Line on Saturday, Oct. 15, downtown. LINK: Brave Combo official website
Sep 26
33 min
Special Report: Taylor Parker trial week two
Texarkana Gazette crime and courts reporter Lori Dunn summarizes the second week of testimony in the capital murder trial of Taylor Parker. Parker could face the death penalty in the Oct. 9, 2020, killing of expectant mother Reagan Simmons Hancock of New Boston, Texas, and the taking of her unborn child, who also died. Parker has pleaded not guilty. FULL COVERAGE Capital murder defendant called ‘actress of highest order’ Second day of testimony in Taylor Parker trial focuses on online searches TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 3 | Witnesses describe ‘dome of craziness’ with murder defendant TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 4 | Ex-husband labels defendant a ‘con artist’; investigator alleges web of fake phone calls RECAP | Taylor Parker trial PODCAST | On the Line Special Report: Taylor Parker trial week one TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 5 | Witnesses testify about odd finances, pregnancy doubts TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 6 | Mother of Parker’s boyfriend testifies about estrangement from son TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 7 | Jurors hear frantic 911 call, testimony from victim’s husband TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 8 | Relatives describe horrors of crime scene; medical workers put pieces together RECAP | Taylor Parker trial, week two
Sep 25
28 min
Special Report: Taylor Parker trial week one
Texarkana Gazette crime and courts reporter Lori Dunn summarizes the first week of testimony in the capital murder trial of Taylor Parker. Parker could face the death penalty in the Oct. 9, 2020, killing of expectant mother Reagan Simmons Hancock of New Boston, Texas, and the taking of her unborn child, who also died. Parker has pleaded not guilty. FULL COVERAGE Capital murder defendant called ‘actress of highest order’ Second day of testimony in Taylor Parker trial focuses on online searches TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 3 | Witnesses describe ‘dome of craziness’ with murder defendant TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 4 | Ex-husband labels defendant a ‘con artist’; investigator alleges web of fake phone calls
Sep 17
16 min
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