Five stories that have North Texas talking: Weddings of the century, a cancer research agency under the microscope, memories of Ravi Shankar and more.
Today’s date is one that’s easy to remember: 12/12/12.
And it’s apparently popular as a wedding anniversary date.
In Collin County, one Justice of the Peace has cleared his docket for marriage ceremonies today. Paul Raleeh’s court normally sees four or five wedding requests a week. There are 30 scheduled for today, 12/12/12 – the last repeating number date of this century.
Wilco, Billy Joel and others will mark the day with a concert at Madison Square Garden for Sandy victims. At least one sixth-grader waited until today to get her ears pierced.
-- BJ Austin
- The Cancer Research and Prevention Institute of Texas is under investigation after giving $11 million to Dallas biotechnology firm Pelotin Therapeutics without business or scientific vetting required for the award. Both the Travis County District Attorney and the Texas Attorney General’s office are looking into the case. CPRIT executive director Bill Gimson is stepping down amid the probe. [KUT]
- Legendary musician Ravi Shankar, whose masterful sitar playing heavily influenced the Beatles and brought Indian ragas into Western culture after he taught an entranced George Harrison to play, died yesterday at age 92. His daughter is singer Norah Jones, a Booker T. Washington alum raised in Dallas and sometime UNT student. Shankar gave Susan Stamberg a peek into the heart of his passion for the music in New Delhi in 2004 [NPR]:
"[This music] is a combination of shanta and karuna, which means tranquility and sadness," he said of the piece he was playing. "This sadness is ... like wanting to reach out [for something] and not finding it, whether for a lover or for God."
- The Boy Scouts of America lost another corporate sponsor after affirming its ban on gays in the organization. The Merck Foundation cited a conflict between its giving guidelines and the Scouts’ policy, which the company finds discriminatory. Eagle Scout father and Texas Monthly executive editor Brian Sweany told KERA’s Krys Boyd he’d never support the organization -- though it’s otherwise beloved to him -- on ‘Think’ Dec. 5, and fielded comments from callers who supported the Boy Scouts’ decision. [Unfair Park]
- We just received official word from the State Fair that Big Tex is recovering in an undisclosed spa. An anonymous journalist, “Dallas Small,” will be tracking his journey back to the fairgrounds, says spokesperson Sue Gooding. It’s going to cost $500,000 to get Tex back in his boots for next year’s event. BJ Austin has more soon.