Five stories that have North Texas talking: fossil found in South Texas could be some 90 million years old; “Metroplex’s playground” needs funding to open; state winegrowers fear new herbicides; and more.
In a rare occurrence, fraternal twin boys were born on two different days and two different years this past weekend at Medical City Arlington. According to a press release from the hospital: “Jordan Jeremy Sanchez was delivered by natural birth at 11:46 p.m. on Dec. 31, weighing 6 pounds and 3 ounces. His 5-pound, 4-ounce twin brother, J’aiden Michael Sanchez was born by cesarean section at 12:12 a.m. on New Year's Day, making him the first baby born at Medical City Arlington in 2017.” The boys, originally due Jan. 20, were mother Cassandra Martinez’s third and fourth babies. "I definitely was not expecting to spend the holiday in hospital, but I’m glad they're here and healthy," Martinez says. “Way better than the ball drop!” The Sanchez twins are the third set of twins of this generation in their father's family, according to the hospital. Medical City Arlington delivered more than 4,100 babies in 2016.
- Paleontologists say a fossil found in limestone along a South Texas riverbed could be that of a reptile that swam in ancient oceans some 90 million years ago. The discovery was made two years ago by James Harcourt, a petroleum geologist for the Texas Railroad Commission, The Houston Chronicle reports. It went largely unnoticed until a photo of the fossil appeared on the cover of the commission's 2016 annual report. The find appears to be a “nearly complete fossil of an ichthyosaur, which grew to about 6 feet long and had the sleek body of a dolphin and long, toothy jaws of a dinosaur,” The Associated Press reports. The fossil was found on private land near the border town of Del Rio. [The Houston Chronicle]
- Just about everything’s in place for Palo Pinto Mountains State Park in Strawn, Texas, except the funding. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “With funding expected to be tight in the upcoming Legislature, there remains uncertainty if the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be able to get the funding for the roads, cabins and campsites to build-out the park that sits 80 miles west of Fort Worth.” The park, known as the “Metroplex’s playground” features 1,200-foot ridge lines and tree-covered land surrounding Palo Pinto Creek. The seed money for the park came from the sale of land that is now the Tarrant Regional Water District’s Eagle Mountain Park. If funding sources fall into place, the park could open as early as 2020. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- Texas winegrowers fear federal approval of a new herbicide for genetically modified cotton seeds will wipe out the wine industry in the state’s High Plains. Winegrowers believe the use of dicamba and 2,4-D are killing their crops, The Texas Tribune reports. Use of these chemicals may soon expand to include 3.7 million acres of cotton fields in the High Plains. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently approved Monsanto's new formulation, called XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, which contains dicamba. The agency has also proposed to register Enlist Duo, a Dow AgroSciences formulation that contains 2,4-D. The EPA is expected to issue a final decision on Enlist Duo's proposal by early this year. [The Texas Tribune]
- Did you miss the first statewide broadcast of “Think” with host Krys Boyd? James Fallows of The Atlantic joined Krys Monday to talk about visiting Middle America, where he spoke with voters about why they are optimistic about their communities yet concerned for the nation. To listen to Fallows’ conversation and see what’s coming up, visit the new “Think” website. In North Texas, you’ll still hear interviews from noon-2 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday. But now you’ll get an extra hour on Fridays from 1-2 p.m. and again from 9-10 p.m, and San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Waco will be listening, too. [Think]