Five stories that have North Texas talking: Whataburger is looking for poets this month; Pearland high schooler joins school board; here's how bills go to their graves; and more.
When it comes to Whataburger, Texans have been known to make grand, artistic gestures. And often, the San Antonio-based burger chain will reward flattery with free food.
Just a few months ago, a McKinney pastor was so moved by his Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, he sang an original ballad from inside his car. And it’s hard to forget Houston poet Amir Safi’s 2015 homage to Whataburger that he performed at the Texas Grand Slam Poetry Festival.
Actually, Safi’s collaborating with Whataburger this month to inspire more poets to write about — as Safi put it in his viral ode — that “Texas-born titan, A-frame shelter, pilgrimage for the south. Church of meat, grease and longer waits. Perfectly-salted pulpit for the hungry.”
To celebrate National Burger Month until May 24, aspiring poets can tag Whataburger on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with poems up to 70 words for the chance to win free Whataburger for a year and a $500 Ticketmaster gift card.
Every week, judges will pick three and social media audiences will vote for the winner. Besides length, the main parameters are mentioning Whataburger, avoiding profanity and keeping other companies out of it. [KERA News]
- Speaking of, when Denton poet Matt Morton first learned he had won a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, he didn’t know what to think. “The award meant that there were people out there who thought that what I might write in the future was worth supporting and investing in,” Morton tells Art&Seek. The NEA appears to have sidestepped defunding, so the Rockwall native can pursue his work. Morton is a Robert B. Toulouse Doctoral Fellow in English at the University of North Texas, and an associate editor for "32 Poems" magazine. [Art&Seek]
- A Pearland high school student will join his school district's board as one of the youngest elected officials in the country. Michael Floyd, 18, won a seat Saturday, beating incumbent Rusty DeBorde by almost 500 votes, The Associated Press reports. “Floyd told the Houston Chronicle in March that he ran in part because the district superintendent, John Kelly, questioned whether transgender children should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice. He also says the board needs to be more transparent and responsive to students and teachers.” [The Associated Press]
- The City of Dallas and HMK Ltd. have by Friday to decide to let more than 100 West Dallas families stay in their homes past June or not. As it stands now, residents living in rental homes owned by HMK Ltd. must be out June 3. The homes are no longer up to code and the City of Dallas agreed not to fine the landlord for violations through the end of the school year. HMK Ltd. has asked that a temporary injunction be extended for a year to develop affordable housing nearby. The housing crisis is the subject of KERA’s series, “No Place To Go.” [KERA News]
- With just three weeks left of the legislative session, thousands of bills will go to their graves. According to The Texas Tribune, “The first major die-off of the session will happen Monday — the last day that House bills can make it out of that chamber’s committees. Then the scramble among lawmakers and lobbyists to pass — and kill— bills will reach its height.” Roughly 6,600 bills were filed this session. By the end, about four out of five will fail. Explore the Tribune’s guide on how to kill a bill in 140 days or less. [The Texas Tribune]