Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas police chief tells his officers to “remain vigilant”; Lady Antebellum will perform at Greg Abbott’s inauguration party; the Christmas Anthem airs tonight on KXT; and more.
After two New York City police officers were gunned down over the weekend as they sat in their patrol car, departments in North Texas are on edge. KERA’s BJ Austin reports: Dallas Fraternal Order of Police President Richard Todd says that sort of violence against police is not the norm and officers know that. But he says the recent protests and escalation of language against police is troubling for the cop on the beat. Todd says he's calling on Chief David Brown to put two officers in every patrol car answering 911 calls. The Dallas Police Association, the biggest organization representing city officers, is telling its members to be extra careful as they stop at intersections. On Monday, Brown sent a note to police officers, reminding them to be vigilant. “Cover each other on traffic stops and mark outs and … wait for cover on calls. Equally important is that we remain vigilant and remember that the great majority of our citizens are supportive.” [BJ Austin/KERA]
- Texas has enough of the execution drug pentobarbital to carry out the first five lethal injections scheduled for 2015. Texas Department of Criminal Justice records obtained by The Associated Press under an open records request show 12 doses of the powerful sedative in the prison system's inventory since the end of October, after the state carried out its 10th and final execution this year. Two doses are required for each execution, plus another two in reserve. At least 13 inmates have execution dates in 2015, including four in January. Records also show the state paid more than $12,000 for its most recent supply of the drug, which has become increasingly difficult to obtain amid protests from capital punishment opponents. [Associated Press]
- Country stars Lady Antebellum and Pat Green are booked to perform at the inauguration ball for Republican Gov.-elect Greg Abbott. Organizers on Monday announced that the two hitmakers will play at the "Future of Texas" ball on Jan. 20. The bash will follow Abbott being sworn in as the 48th governor of Texas. Republican Dan Patrick will also take the oath of office as the next Texas lieutenant governor. That ceremony will take place on the south side of the Texas Capitol. [Associated Press]
- There’s an innovative school in the Fort Worth school district with about 500 students. Not one of them has been in the U.S. more than a year or two. It’s called the International Newcomer Academy. It’s the focus of the latest installment in Generation One, a KERA American Graduate series. Most of the kids just spend a year at the Newcomer Academy before going to their local middle or high school. Explore the interactive series here.
- Blast your stereo tonight -- it’s time for the Christmas Anthem 2014. It’s airing 6-8 p.m. Tuesday on our sister station, KXT 91.7 FM. KXT host Gini Mascorro says it’s her Christmas present to listeners – “a two-hour mishmash of holiday whimsy with something for everyone, even tunes for those of you who might not be feeling it this year.” She calls it “the perfect soundtrack for anything.” Tune in to KXT 91.7 or listen online.