Five stories that have North Texas talking: Cyclospora is back, Planned Parenthood plans to drop big money to support Texas Democrats, an alternative to sticking wet smartphones in rice, and more.
Sixty-one cases of cyclospora have been reported to Texas State Health Services this month, NBC 5 reports. Eight of those cases have been reported locally to the Tarrant County Health Department. Cyclospora is an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite. In past outbreaks, the illness has been associated with the consumption of imported fresh produce, including pre-packaged salad greens. At this time last year, North Texas led the state in the number of cyclospora cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Texas also had the most cases in 2013.
- Planned Parenthood plans to spend $3 million to support Texas Democrats in the 2014 general election. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Votes, tells the Associated Press that the effort is aimed at drawing differences between Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott, who are both running for Texas Governor. Planned Parenthood has done similar pushes in other states, spending $2.5 million in the 2013 governor’s race in Virginia, and they plan to do the same this year in North Carolina.
- No more sticking your soaked smartphone in rice. DryBox is a self-serve kiosk that claims to dry and recover wet smartphones, the Dallas Morning News reports. Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville is one of the first North Texas locations to house the kiosk. Just pay $20, place your phone in the kiosk, and return 30 minutes later to a (hopefully) recovered phone.
- Local musical As We Lie Still is getting the New York treatment. It's currently showing at the New York City Musical Theatre Festival. As We Lie Still was written by husband-wife team Patrick and Olivia Emile. Composer/lyricist Patrick is only a recent musical theater convert – he was introduced to it by his wife, Olivia, who’s most known for her role as Christmas Eve in Theater Three’s local run of Avenue Q. Patrick tells Theater Jones that his background was in R&B and jazz, but thanks to a little Sondheim, he started writing for the theater.
- Nona Norsworthy Barrett, one of the top art collectors in Texas, died last week. Nona, along with her husband, Richard, collectively gifted more than 60 works of art to the Dallas Museum of Art. In 2004, SMU Meadows Museum exhibited more than 100 works from the Barrett’s personal collection of art. There has not been a formal obituary released yet.