Five stories that have North Texas talking: a death row inmate's execution has been halted; Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will run for re-election; the fight between Dallas chefs and a restaurant critic gets national publicity; and more.
Updated post: A death row inmate with a history of psychiatric hospitalizations for schizophrenia, and who donned a cowboy outfit to defend himself at trial, was scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for the 1992 shooting deaths of his in-laws. But a federal appeals court has halted the execution. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a reprieve late Wednesday morning, less than eight hours before condemned killer Scott Panetti was set to receive a lethal injection. The Texas Tribune reports: “Scott Louis Panetti, 56, [was] convicted of killing Joe and Amanda Alvarado of Kerr County. ... Several lawyers, religious leaders and former lawmakers have asked Gov. Rick Perry to use his authority and stay the execution for 30 days. ... On Monday, Panetti's lawyers asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the execution, saying their client is not competent. Executing him, they argued, would violate his Eighth Amendment protection to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.” [Texas Tribune/Associated Press]
- Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will run for re-election next year. He announced Tuesday he’ll seek a second term. “You say, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’” Rawlings told The Dallas Morning News. “I really believe more than ever that it’s the right thing to do.” Rawlings, the former Pizza Hut executive, was elected in 2011. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reported on the mayor’s announcement. Read more here.
- Another day, another earthquake. North Texas recorded its latest quake around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. A 2.8-magnitude quake hit near Northwest Highway and Interstate 35 in northwest Dallas, near Irving. The earthquake is the 10 th recorded in North Texas since late October, KXAS-TV (NBC 5) reports. There is a gas well near the old Texas Stadium site, The Dallas Morning News reports.
- The brouhaha continues between restaurants and The Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner – and The Washington Post is all over the story. Some local chefs aren’t happy with Brenner and they’ve banded together to make it difficult for her to write her reviews. The Post reports: “The tactic is just one of several adopted by these chefs and restaurateurs … who are trying to crash the system: the Morning News restaurant star-rating system, which these insiders say is flawed as administered by Brenner. The participants also plan to stop granting interviews to the newspaper and stop allowing photographers inside their bars, gastropubs and other eateries in advance of reviews.” Brenner told The Post: “I don’t really see any point in doing a job like this and not being bold.” Last month, Brenner appeared on KERA’s “Think” to talk about why she decided to stop being anonymous.
- The Dallas Architecture Forum presents architect James Richärd Wednesday night. He’ll speak at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia movie theater in Dallas. Tickets, which can be bought at the door, are $20 for general admission and $5 for students with ID. A reception starts at 6:15 p.m. Richärd has over 25 years of experience in planning, design and construction. He has expertise in research labs, classroom buildings, higher-education facilities and libraries. Learn more here.