If you haven’t seen the documentary Blackfish, I highly encourage you to do so. It’s a look specifically at a bull orca, Tilikum, who has killed three people in 30 years of captivity, but more broadly it’s an investigation into the ethos of SeaWorld. It shows, in interviews with experts and former SeaWorld employees, how the company has ignored safety and animal-rights concerns for decades even as it has promoted itself as a place where families can learn more about these creatures in a (supposedly) safe and nurturing environment.Full Story
New Tolls on LBJ Freeway Open. More than 240,000 vehicles use LBJ daily. Now they’ll be contending with a new toll structure on the 3.2-mile stretch between Preston Road and Greenville Avenue. And they’ll pay for it. Depending on the time of day and traffic level, the price to use certain lanes will rise or fall. For now, it won’t cost more than $.95 to drive that section, but down the line, there won’t be a ceiling in place. In Virginia’s Fairfax County, an area with a similar system, drivers have paid nearly $10 to drive 14 miles.
Two Men Scoop Up Land Next to I-35E, Sell It to the City For a Pretty Penny. Business partners Kevin Bollman and Wade Blackburn are in the real estate business. More specifically, they’ve been buying land in areas where Texas is looking to widen I-35E. Then when the state comes calling, they sell. For, what we can assume, is a nice profit. They’ve been open about their method, too: use public information about the expansion project and buy along the highway corridor. Over five months in 2011, Denton County doled out more than $22.million to the duo. Over four months in 2012, the state paid for another four acres along Riverfront Boulevard in Dallas County, but records don’t communicate the price. As perhaps could be expected, folks are calling foul, asking how this could be legal.
Another Woman Pulled Over By a Fake Cop. A woman driving in Denton at 2:30 a.m. Friday saw flashing lights in her rearview mirror and pulled over. While she was getting her license and registration, the fake police officer tried to assault her. So what are you supposed to do when someone pulls you over at 2:30 in the morning? One of the tips listed in the article is making sure the vehicle is properly marked as a police car. But how can you do that? End of story: This is one of my worst nightmares. If people have tips beyond the obvious stay off the road always, I’d love to hear them.
Dog Debate Brewing in Plano. Whether pups can accompany their owners on patios in Plano is up for discussion, with a vote coming as soon as Tuesday. Allowing dogs to dine (or sit while their owners dine) al fresco is common practice in Dallas and other cities across the country. But when the Katy Trail Ice House Outpost opened this summer, that part of their patio mission got rejected. Plano Mayor Harry LaRosilliere called the opinionated “very passionate” on both sides of the argument.
Behind the American Airlines and US Airways Merger. The controversial merger has been cleared for takeoff (couldn’t help it), but Mark Curriden of The Texas Lawbook delves in deep, detailing the two-year, behind-the-scenes ping-pong match, which included a confidential two-page letter written seven weeks ago that may have been the most crucial item in settlement talks. […]Full Story
Remember the mysterious blood spattering I told you about on Wednesday? The male half of the mystified couple posted this on Facebook: “Turns out the end of her tail, which has appallingly little fur, is pretty chapped, probably from being wagged approximately 642,000 times a day, with complete obliviousness to anything it might be striking […]Full Story
New Abortion Restrictions Begin Today. A federal appeals court said Thursday that most of Texas’ strict new limits on abortion can go into effect, lifting a portion of the injunction issued on Monday by a a U.S. district judge who had ruled portions of the law unconstitutional. A third of the state’s clinics that perform the […]Full Story
I’d never heard of Fort Worth-based WDS Logistics until yesterday afternoon, when I saw one of its trucks rolling through Carrollton. The truck caught my eye because of the company’s distinctive mascot, a monkey with a jetpack. (The truck also triggered a debate with my 5-year-old son, who was equally intrigued but insisted that we […]Full Story
Death Threats and Support in Texas. Lots of good Ted Cruz reading/watching here. Death threats. Texas support. Texas tour. And CNN’s interesting interview with the Republican Senator that aired Sunday. It discusses his “rock star” status in Texas, his reputation in Washington, his fascination with social media, and just who he believes is at fault […]Full Story
We’re now accepting nominations for Survival of the Cutest, our annual competition to discover the most darlings dogs in Dallas-Fort Worth. Think Ranger (or maybe she’s named one of these) has what it takes to make it to the top? Enter him/her here. Nominations close on November 15 at midnight. May the most adorable pup win.Full Story
Indulge in our day-by-day guide to the fun, animal-related and otherwise, at the State Fair of Texas.Full Story
The Dallas Zoo has released this video of its two male cheetah cubs, which were born on July 8. Their names are Winspear and Kamau. So how much did Margot and Bill Winspear have to donate to get a cheetah named after themselves?Full Story
Dawson State Jail Shutters Saturday. Prisoners were cleared out of the privately-run jail in downtown Dallas this week, following the state’s decision earlier this year to close it. The contract with the for-profit company that operated Dawson, Corrections Corporation of America, runs out on Saturday. The closure of the often-troubled institution (criticized because of multiple deaths there […]Full Story
Fight #1: Pro- vs. Anti-Drilling The Dallas City Plan Commission held the first of three public hearings on a new gas drilling ordinance yesterday. The commissioners seem to favor a 1,500-foot setback between gas wells and homes. Anti-drilling advocates cheered the stance while drilling proponents claimed the measure would be so restrictive as to be […]Full Story
Two local high school teachers found something special while on vacation in Venice, Florida recently. Wes and Kerry Kirpach found two halves of a giant shark tooth, experts believe once belonged to a megalodon, a prehistoric shark that may have been up to 60 feet long. Scientists believe the megalodon shark went extinct somewhere between 4 […]Full Story
How Much Will Obamacare Cost You? Texas declined to set up a health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, so the federal government had to step in. Those without insurance will be able to start signing up for coverage on Oct. 1, but it’s unclear yet what it’ll cost. Expectations are that premiums will be […]Full Story
I watched that SyFy channel Sharknado movie that was all the rage on Twitter a few weeks back. I remember thinking how strange it was that none of the characters stopped to step back a minute to appreciate the true oddity of sharks falling from the sky. In many ways, they weren’t freaking out nearly enough. With […]Full Story