Five stories that have North Texas talking: a gun scare on the Katy Trail; a UT Dallas alum wins a Nobel Prize; women are waiting longer for abortions in Dallas and Fort Worth; and more.
The Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays face off today in Game 1 of the American League division series – and a Toronto columnist is trashing Arlington in a column that’s made a splash online. “Arlington isn’t Texas, because Arlington isn’t really any place. It’s the strip-mall wormhole you pass through on the way to Fort Worth,” Cathal Kelly wrote. He’s a sports columnist for The Globe and Mail. But wait: There’s more. “You can’t walk in Arlington. If you must walk, you walk from one parking lot to the next. It always seems to be 4 million degrees outside. If you get lost, your best plan is to lie down and wait to be rescued by friendly Texas vultures.” Jacquielynn Floyd, a columnist with The Dallas Morning News, is defending Arlington: “Cathal Kelly, old buddy, old pal, what you need is a burger at Al’s. Or a ride on a roller coaster at Six Flags. You need some excellent Middle Eastern or Indian chow at one of the joints over by UTA. Or a quiet trail walk through the woods at River Legacy Park.” Game 1 of the American League division series is at 2:37 p.m. in Toronto. The series heads to Arlington Sunday evening.
- Two men carried guns and wore bulletproof vests on the Katy Trail – and that created a scare. The Dallas Morning News reports police got 911 calls from callers Tuesday evening and more than a dozen officers looked for them. The weapons weren’t real and the men didn’t break the law. “But with what’s going on in society, in Oregon and all these other mass shootings, when people see men who are armed — heavily armed — that can incite fear,” Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a Dallas police spokesperson, told the News. “That’s not a good practice, especially in an area of recreation, where children could be. We want to make sure people feel safe and secure while they’re doing their activities and spending family time. Gunmen out for a stroll — it’s not illegal, but for society, in this day and time, it’s not a good practice.” [The Dallas Morning News]
- A UT Dallas alum has won a Nobel Prize. Dr. Aziz Sancar, who got his Ph.D. in 1977, was among three scientists awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Wednesday for “having mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information.” The Nobel Prize says: “Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments.” UT Dallas looks back on his days on campus. Here’s more from NPR.
Sancar talked with a Nobel Prize official about winning:
- A longtime Texas law against desecrating the U.S. or state flag has been ruled unconstitutional by the state's highest criminal court. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday rebuked the 26-year-old ban that state lawmakers had approved shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed a nearly identical law in 1989. There are few reported cases of the law having ever been enforced. But it was challenged after police in the small Texas town of Lovelady arrested then-20-year-old Terence Johnson in 2012 after he threw a store's U.S. flag onto the street. Johnson, who is black, told authorities he was upset over alleged racial comments made by a clerk. Writing for the Republican-dominated appeals court in a 6-3 decision, Judge Sharon Keller said the law is "invalid on its face." [Associated Press]
- Women are waiting longer for abortions in Dallas and Fort Worth. The Texas Tribune reports: “Wait times to get an abortion in Texas have grown in some metropolitan areas, a trend that could be felt statewide if the U.S. Supreme Court allows the strictest provision of the state’s 2013 abortion law to take effect. That's according to a new report by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas at Austin. About half of Texas abortion clinics have closed their doors following the passage of House Bill 2, elements of which have been tangled up in court since lawmakers approved it. As a result, in the last year, some women in Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin have waited up to 20 days to obtain the procedure.” [Texas Tribune]