Five stories that have North Texas talking: Nearly all of Arlington High’s top students this year are female; ExxonMobil shareholders want answers; see an upbeat play in Dallas about the great equalizer: death; and more.
There are about 700 students in this year’s graduating class at Arlington High School — practically split evenly between boys and girls, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Of the top 20 students ranked academically, 17 are female. In fact, the top 2 percent of graduating seniors at Arlington High are girls.
Principal Shahveer Dhalla made the announcement Tuesday at a luncheon celebrating students at each of Arlington ISD’s six high schools. The Star-Telegram reports the “all-female contingent joked about their situation, with several calling it ‘cool.’” Grant Owens, the top male student, says he’s honored to be ranked with his female peers, calling them “super competitive” and “super smart.” They graduate Saturday. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- Gov. Greg Abbott has signed the bill aimed at rescuing the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension System from insolvency. Without the bill, the city’s pension fund would have gone broke within the next decade. According to The Dallas Morning News: “The law calls for a new board of trustees, benefit cuts and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars more than the amount the city had previously paid into the fund.” A ban on large lump-sum withdrawals from retirees’ accounts is effective immediately; the rest takes effect Sept. 1. [The Dallas Morning News]
- ExxonMobil shareholders are pushing for more climate change reporting from the Irving-based oil giant. Houston Public Media reports: “Investors supporting the idea want to know how ExxonMobil will deal with the kind of low-carbon future envisioned by the Paris climate agreement.” Annual reports would include details on how the company would survive in the event that carbon-reducing policies lead to lower oil demand. ExxonMobil opposed the shareholder effort, saying the company is tackling climate change in other ways. [Houston Public Media]
- A new mural in Deep Ellum pays tribute to a Texas Rangers player’s infamous punch. No, not the sock in the jaw Rougned Odor gave Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays last year. Local artist Izk Davies is painting a mural of the 1993 altercation between Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan and Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox on the east side of the bar, Wits End, GuideLive reports. Ventura, 20 years younger than Ryan, charged toward the pitcher’s mound, and Ryan grabbed him in a headlock and punched him six times. The mural is expected to be completed early this month. [GuideLive]
- “When you get old, all your friends will die! And you will be a burden to the world!” Those are sobering lyrics to the catchy tunes in “We’re Gonna Die,” “a life-affirming show that’s part rock concert and part confessional,” according to Art&Seek. The show from New York playwright Young Jean Lee is centered around one character’s (called the “Singer”) life experiences. Local actor and musician Sammy Rios portrays the lead role in all performances during the show’s North Texas premiere. The third of four performances is happening at The Wild Detectives Friday. [Art&Seek]