Five stories that have North Texas talking: Ahmed Mohamed heads to the White House; presidential candidates debate in Plano; the State Fair of Texas wraps up; and more.
Ahmed Mohamed will be at the White House today. He’s the 14-year-old from Irving who attracted international attention for getting arrested after officials thought the homemade clock he brought to high school was a bomb. He’s taking part in White House Astronomy Night, which brings together students, teachers, scientists and astronauts. Ahmed became a social media sensation after his arrest. Soon after he attracted news coverage, lots of famous people started tweeting about him – including President Obama, who invited him to the White House. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg praised him. On Twitter, soon after his arrest, the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed was trending, with people around the world posting supportive messages -- and pictures of clocks. Ahmed has visited Google headquarters, New York City and the Middle East. Ahmed’s family says he has withdrawn from Irving ISD, where he attended MacArthur High School. [Associated Press/KERA]
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
- It was a record-breaking State Fair of Texas. The fair, which ended Sunday, announced it sold $52 million in food and ride coupons this year, smashing the $42 million sold last year. Great weather gets much of the credit – sunny skies keep people going through the fair gates. And certainly some pricey food items helped fuel some of the increase.
- Speaking of the fair: On this day three years ago, Big Tex, the fair's beloved talking cowboy, went up in flames in front of horrified fairgoers at the State Fair of Texas. Relive that day in 2012 in this story from The Dallas Morning News. And revisit the day with coverage from KERA and NPR. A year later, KERA revisited his fiery demise.
- Several Republican presidential candidates showed up in Plano Sunday. Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush were there. KERA's Christopher Connelly reports: "The forum was co-sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Each candidate gave a 10-minute speech, then answered questions from Graham that ranged from personal faith to foreign policy. 'Some people think evangelicals and conservative Christians just have a few issues that we’re interested in. Not true,' said Pastor Jack Graham. 'We are interested in all of the issues that affect our way of life as Americans.'" Learn more about the forum.
- A Texas A&M University research team is embarking on a project to tag several species of sharks in the Gulf of Mexico. The team wants to learn more about their movement patterns and feeding habits. Dr. David Wells, assistant professor of marine biology at the school's Galveston campus, and his graduate students are spending about 20 days attaching tags to record the movements of the scalloped hammerhead, tiger and shortfin mako sharks. The team expects to tag at least 20 to 30 sharks on the trip, which will last until Oct. 30. The group will travel to several areas, including near Corpus Christi and Brownsville, the upper Texas coast and the New Orleans area. Wells says it could take up to two years to complete the project and analyze the data. [Associated Press]