Five stories that have North Texas talking: Reliant Stadium packed with mourners in Houston, IBM pays $2 million for Dallas-based cloud service, the Stars go green (again), and more.
In what may be the largest memorial service Houston’s ever seen, tens of thousands of mourners honored four firefighters who died last week. They packed Reliant Stadium to remember Capt. Matthew Renaud, engineer operator Robert Bebee, firefighter Robert Garner, 29 and Anne Sullivan, 24, a probationary firefighter who graduated in April from the Houston Fire Department Academy. The four were killed last Friday in a massive motel fire.
A number of North Texas firefighters were at the service, and others staffed Houston fire stations while their comrades attend the memorial. Two hours have been set aside for a procession of firefighters into to the stadium grounds; the service started shortly after 10 a.m. You can watch live on NBCDFW.com. [Houston Chronicle]
- Grading Home Prices and Green Space: Dallas housing prices are surging in a major way. In fact, Dallas prices jumped 10.2 percent in April compared to the same time last year. That puts Big D among the top five U.S. cities for price gains; a pretty impressive feat considering DFW didn’t experience the a housing bust nearly as deep as the other towns at the top of the list. The Dallas Morning News published a map that shows price jumps across the country. In other ranking news, the 50 largest U.S. cities were also given their annual “park score” by the Trust for Public Lands, and Dallas and Austin came in tops in Texas. The two cities tied for 26th nationally; Arlington came in No. 30, and Fort Worth ranked 33rd. The park score measures things like acreage and accessibility. Minneapolis got the highest score this year.
- A Cloud Worth Billions: IBM is shelling out $2 billion to get its hands on Dallas-based SoftLayer. The hope is the cloud service will help IBM compete with Amazon. According to Bloomberg, IBM plans to add SoftLayer to its SmartCloud unit to create a new Cloud Services division. Experts estimate this market may more than double to $105 billion in the next few years. SoftLayer specializes in public clouds which manage computing and software for businesses remotely.
- Dallas Stars certainly hope so. The team revealed a new logo and jerseys yesterday; the heavy emphasis on green harkening back to the pre-Texas days of the Minnesota North Stars. The redesign is timed to the Stars’ 20th anniversary. ESPN’s uniform blogger -- yes, ESPN has a uniform blogger -- gave the new design a ranking of “good enough” and itemized what he thinks the Stars did wrong and right. Pro: They’re green! Con: They got rid of the gold. Read the full opinion of Uni Watch blogger Paul Lucas here. The Stars are calling this new, vibrant hue “Victory Green,” and owners hope it will be a portent of things to come. According to ESPN, the jersey of retired franchise legend Mike Modano will be retired when the Minnesota Wild come to Dallas on March 8.
- A Million Dollar Question… Literally: Mathematicians have been scratching their heads over the Beal Conjecture number theory problem since the 1980s. And a Dallas banker hopes to provide a little more incentive for the solution. D. Andrew Beal first offered a $5,000 prize for the answer back in 1997. Over the years, the amount has grown, and this week, he upped the ante, offering a cool million to whoever proves (or disproves) the theorem. So if anyone knows a bashful “Good Will Hunting,” point him or her here. [AP via NPR]