Five stories that have North Texas talking: a permit to hunt a black rhino has sold; “Dallas Buyers Club” does well at the Golden Globes; the Dallas Stars mark their 20th anniversary in North Texas, and more.
A controversial permit to hunt an endangered African black rhino sold Saturday night for $350,000 at a Dallas auction held to raise money for conservation efforts but criticized by wildlife advocates. The Dallas Safari Club declined to name the buyer. Bob Barker, the legendary game show host, chimed in on the club’s auction, asking the group to call off the event. The club had hoped to raise as much as $1 million to protect the rare black rhino by auctioning off the right to hunt one. Club members have been receiving death threats, and the FBI investigated. The group says that 100 percent of the money raised is going toward conservation efforts. [The Associated Press]
- “Dallas Buyers Club” was a big winner Sunday night at the Golden Globes. Matthew McConaughey won his first Golden Globe as lead actor in the film, as did Jared Leto for supporting actor in the film. Matthew McConaughey plays an HIV positive man named Ron Woodroof, who decides to fight the death sentence the disease promised to those who contracted it in the 1980s, finding creative ways to get medication to those who needed it. McConaughey dropped 45 pounds for the role. KERA explored the movie in a recent “The Big Screen” segment. NPR featured Woodroof in this story. “Dallas Buyers Club” is getting lots of Oscar buzz, so Sunday night’s haul might be a preview of what’s to come.
- The Dallas Stars are marking their 20th anniversary in North Texas. In that time, the team’s won a Stanley Cup and helped develop a generation of kids who play hockey in Cowboys country. Dallas Stars President and CEO Jim Lites spoke with KERA’s Stephen Becker about the team’s impact on North Texas. Lites is a big fan of Mike Modano, but not a fan of NHL players participating in the Winter Olympics.
- Forty years ago today, DFW International Airport opened. It had three runways, three terminals and 66 gates and it marked a new era of cooperation between Dallas and Fort Worth. Today, DFW is the world's eighth-busiest airport and has fueled North Texas’ growth. The Dallas Morning News explored the airport’s beginnings in a special section in Sunday’s newspaper: “In the years since the shotgun wedding, the airport has turned into an ‘aerotropolis,’ a catalyst for dynamic economic growth for North Texas. For sure, Fort Worth and Dallas had different dreams about the airport of the future. Love Field was the choice of Dallas, while Fort Worth favored Greater Southwest International (a.k.a. Amon Carter Field). The rivalry was fierce. Fort Worth, seeking compromise, changed the name of its airport to Dallas-Fort Worth Field. Dallas Mayor Earle Cabell, who preceded Jonsson, replied: ‘It’s unethical to use the name of Dallas on any shanty in Fort Worth.’”
- And did you hear about the guy who drove on the arches of a bridge? A man decided to take his bike on the arches of the new West Seventh Street bridge in Fort Worth Saturday afternoon. He identified himself to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as Mat Olson and said he’s a professional BMX stunt rider. “It seemed like I was on top of a mountain,” Olson told the newspaper. “It was all windy and crazy when I was up there. It was pretty exhilarating, that’s for sure.” A small crowd cheered him on. Police officers questioned him and told him that they could have written him several citations – instead, they let him go with a warning, the Star-Telegram reports. How did he do it? “Immediately before his ride, his helpers placed support planks Olson had made from plywood and 2-by-4s over the meeting points of the bridge’s six north-side arches. The south-side arches couldn’t be used because modifications had already been completed to prevent such access, perhaps because skateboarders and pedestrians tried to scale or ride down portions of the bridge, Olson said.” A professional film crew taped him from five angles. KXAS-TV (Channel 5) reported: “Olson’s had plenty of warnings about how dangerous his career choice is. He’s suffered 13 concussions, had three knee surgeries, a ruptured spleen and had his front teeth (and replacement front teeth) knocked out seven times.”
Here's video of Olson in action: