Five stories that have North Texas talking: a coloring book features Texas' very own Ted Cruz, a skating rink debuts at Klyde Warren Park today, Randy Travis stars in a Lifetime movie, and more:
He's known for coloring outside the lines in the staid Senate. Now children of all ages can color in U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Just in time for the holidays, a St. Louis publisher is offering a coloring book featuring the Texas tea party darling. It’s called “Ted Cruz to the Future.” Really Big Coloring Books Inc. said Thursday that the book's in its third printing in six days. The first run of around 10,000 sold out in barely 24 hours, and the second went nearly as fast. Cruz didn't cooperate in the publishing of the book.It shows the ardent supporter of the Second Amendment hunting, and features his 21-hour speech on the Senate floor opposing the White House-backed health care law. [Associated Press]
Here’s how the publisher describes the book:
The Cruz to the Future book is a non-partisan, fact-driven view of how Texas Sen. Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz became a U.S. senator and details, through his quotes and public information, his ideas for what he believes will help America grow. Cruz openly identifies with the tea party and garners support from the Republican Liberty Caucus and many independents, including Democrats. … Cruz’s beliefs and actions stir much emotion in those following the political realm; he is a modern "superhero" to many and looked upon in adoration and abomination by some. ...
Not only do pages describe Cruz’s early years, education and tea party stance in an easy way for parents and educators to explain to their children and students, but crossword puzzles and words searches along with other games and activities provide thought-provoking information and steps for more research. This book displays topics such as small business and the Pledge of Allegiance and Cruz’s views on them.
- Alfredo Corchado, a reporter with The Dallas Morning News who wrote a memoir about his dangerous journey through Mexico, has a movie contract. Variety reports that Canana, one of Latin America’s top independent production-distribution companies, will make the film. Corchado’s memoir, “Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness,” has all the elements of a fantastic thriller, Canana founder and partner Pablo Cruz told Variety. “It is highly poignant and turns on a great central character, a journalist who thinks he’s going to get killed, has to find out if it’s true and if it is, when his execution is going to happen,” Cruz said. Corchado spoke about his book on KERA’s “Think” last May -- it was his first interview about the book, we've been told.
- Blame the ice storm in part on a downfall in donations for the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign. The Dallas Morning News reports that the annual drive is down a total of $584,000 – about $184,000 of that is due to the ice storm and the rest is being attributed to the this year’s late Thanksgiving, which marks the start of the campaign. These challenges “have resulted in the loss of so many days that the organization’s red kettle drive is now in serious trouble,” Pat Patey, spokesman for the Salvation Army’s local chapter, told The News.
- Today, Klyde Warren Park opens a skating rink. Skate rentals will be free today and complimentary skate lessons will be offered Saturday and Sunday. (Sign up here for a time slot.) Normally, rentals will be $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. You can bring your own ice skates to avoid the rental fee. (But how many of us have skates hanging around the house?) The rink measures 32 feet by 100 feet and will be located in front of the children’s park. “The surface is eco-friendly and is made with a scientifically engineered molecular structure that lets skaters glide just as smoothly as on real ice.” Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The rink will be open through Jan. 31.
- Country music star Randy Travis was hospitalized in North Texas over the summer for congestive heart failure and a stroke. But that hasn’t stopped him from appearing in a Lifetime movie that debuts Saturday. Travis portrays local store owner Mr. Greenhall in “Christmas on the Bayou.” Lifetime describes it as a charming love story. “When successful New York marketing executive Katherine (Hilarie Burton) discovers her workaholic ways are taking a toll on her eight-year-old son, Zac, she decides to spend Christmas with him and her mother, Lilly (Markie Post) in her home town on the bayou. When Caleb (Tyler Hilton) tries to rekindle a childhood romance and convince her to move back home, Katherine is torn between the bright lights of the big city and the quiet, gentler rhythms of her Southern roots. Only a Christmas miracle orchestrated by Papa Noel (Ed Asner) can steer her heart to her true home.” You might recall that in August 2012, a Department of Public Safety trooper found Travis naked in the middle of the road after he crashed his truck near his Grayson County hometown of Tioga. Travis received two years probation in January after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated. Here's a preview of the movie: