Five stories that have North Texas talking: it’s cold; you will no longer be able to see Dallas from a DC-9 at night; meet a 91-year-old who will soon shut down his Oak Cliff home bookstore; and more.
It’s cold out there – North Texas is under a wind chill advisory north of Interstate 20 until 9 a.m. Monday. Wind chill readings fell to near 0 degrees overnight – the bitter cold is expected through the morning, the National Weather Service said. As of 7 a.m., it was 15 degrees across much of North Texas. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is encouraging people to conserve power due to high electric use during the cold snap. Rolling outages are not expected, ERCOT says. We’ll climb into the mid-30s today, and it won’t be as windy today, but it’ll dip below freezing again tonight -- into the teens once again. Tuesday will be sunny and 44 degrees. No precipitation is in the forecast during this cold snap. A 30 percent chance of rain is possible Wednesday, but highs are expected to reach into the mid-50s. It’s cold across much of the country – and parts are experiencing the coldest temperatures in 20 years. Much of the midwest well below zero degrees today. Check out The Weather Channel. NPR has weather details, too.
- Texas is among four states that have confirmed water pollution from gas and oil drilling. The Associated Press requested data on drilling-related complaints in Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The AP reports: “A Texas spreadsheet contains more than 2,000 complaints, and 62 of those allege possible well-water contamination from oil and gas activity, said Ramona Nye, a spokeswoman for the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees drilling. Texas regulators haven't confirmed a single case of drilling-related water-well contamination in the past 10 years, she said.” The AP reports: “Extracting fuel from shale formations requires pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into the ground to break apart rock and free the gas. Some of that water, along with large quantities of existing underground water, returns to the surface, and it can contain high levels of salt, drilling chemicals, heavy metals and naturally occurring low-level radiation. But some conventional oil and gas wells are still drilled, so the complaints about water contamination can come from them, too. Experts say the most common type of pollution involves methane, not chemicals from the drilling process.”
- Today’s the last time a DC-9 will be flown by a major commercial airliner in the United States. So, we will no longer “see Dallas from a DC-9 at night,” as Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s song goes. Check out Art&Seek for the song and lyrics. The last DC-9 flight is scheduled to depart Minneapolis-St. Paul and arrive in Atlanta.
- Did you catch the Season 4 premiere of “Downton Abbey” Sunday night? How realistic is the “Downton Abbey” manor? How realistic is the show’s depiction of how these stately British manor homes function? Find out 1 p.m. Monday on "Think" on KERA 90.1 FM as host Krys Boyd talks with Lucy Lethbridge. Her new book is "Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times." Read more about “Downton Abbey” at Tellyspotting, where KERA’s Bill Young keeps track of British TV.
- And meet a 91-year-old man who has run a home bookstore in Oak Cliff for decades. Soon he’ll shut it down. Imported Books is a bookstore that Robert Jones has been running out of the front rooms of his house since the 1970s. KERA’s Lauren Silverman visited the bookstore and explores his life story. “He’s been a sort of interpreter in Oak Cliff,” she reported. “In the 1970s, not many places were selling foreign-language books in Dallas. So Jones filled a need. He's sold foreign language books to Dallas public schools, neighborhood kids, and people learning English.” Business boomed at Imported Books until the mid-1990s. “It just declined, declined, declined and I got so old I couldn’t travel anymore," he said. "So here I am, and I don’t even have any teeth!”