Five stories that have North Texas talking: A brown bear injures a Plano moose hunter; Fort Worth names a new police chief; no selfie sticks at the State Fair of Texas; and more.
A Plano man mauled by a brown bear while moose hunting in Alaska has suffered serious injuries. A bear with cubs attacked 47-year-old Gregory Joseph Matthews of Plano as he hunted Tuesday with his brother in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, authorities say. He is expected to survive. Refuge manager Andy Loranger says fishermen in the area alerted authorities, and Matthews was flown to a nearby hospital. He was listed in good condition Wednesday and refused requests for an interview. Loranger says salmon are passing through nearby waterways, attracting bears to the area. Wildlife officials are looking for the bear in the area near Doroshin Bay at the upper end of Skilak Lake, but it remains open. [Associated Press]
- Fort Worth has a new police chief. Joel Fitzgerald led the force in Allentown, Pennsylvania. KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports: “He'll be Fort Worth's first African-American chief. That's a description he's used to. ‘It’s been huge in every police chief responsibility and job that I’ve had – I was the first African-American police chief in Missouri City, Texas; I was the first African-American police chief in Allentown,’ he told KERA by phone from Pennsylvania. Fitzgerald turned down Wichita, Kansas, for the Fort Worth job.” Read more here.
- A high school principal in San Antonio says the school's assistant football coach has acknowledged directing two players to a hit a referee during a game earlier this month. In an internal school district statement first reported by ESPN, John Jay High School Principal Robert Harris says assistant coach Mack Breed told him he asked the students to hit the referee because the ref had used racial slurs and missed calls. The referee, Robert Watts, has denied using any slurs. The two suspended students, Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas, appeared at a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday. A decision is pending from the Northside school district on the students' possible punishment. Breed remains suspended from the district. [Associated Press]
- Selfie sticks won’t be allowed at the State Fair of Texas. WFAA-TV reports the ban follows “a precedent set by amusement parks and museums around the world. ‘It's unfortunate, but for many years, people came out here and took pictures in front of Big Tex and pictures at the fair without their selfie stick, and I hope we can bring that back and it will work out just great,’ said Karissa Condoianis, director of public relations for the State Fair of Texas.” The fair starts Friday. [WFAA-TV]
- The Texas poet laureate has launched a unique project. Texas Public Radio in San Antonio reports: “Part of the Texas poet laureate’s job is to introduce the power of poetry to every corner of the state. And that’s a charge that current Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla takes very seriously. Tafolla is launching a project called Planting Poet Trees – sowing seeds of inspiration in Texas public schools. She’s looking for schools that are dealing with shrinking budgets and underfunded libraries that she can engage with to participate in writing projects and poetry workshops.” [Texas Public Radio]
The Associated Press contributed to this report.