Five stories that have North Texas talking: the Dallas Cowboys are the NFL’s most valuable team; Dallas’ poor population has skyrocketed; about 40 percent of Texas kids took the ACT this year; and more.
The Dallas Cowboys might not be on a winning streak, but they’re worth a lot of money. America’s Team is worth $3.2 billion, according to Forbes Magazine. KERA’s BJ Austin reports: “Who says you have to actually win to cash in when it comes to football? Turns out, finishing 8-and-8 the last three years made the Dallas Cowboys the NFL’s first $3 billion franchise. … That’s more than twice the average franchise value – and more than three times the value of the bottom-dwelling St. Louis Rams. Jerry Jones still has another rung to climb, though: His Cowboys are only the second-ranked franchise in sports – soccer’s Real Madrid ranks No. 1, with a $3.4 billion valuation.”
- Dallas’ poor population grew 41 percent over a 12-year period. That’s among one of the startling facts revealed at a City Council briefing yesterday. Mayor Mike Rawlings’ poverty task force discussed the problem and explored possible solutions. Larry James, CEO of CitySquare, the social service agency, said: “It’s not acceptable for a city as full of wealth and opportunity as Dallas to be ranked third or fourth poorest urban center in the United States behind Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia.” Among the task force’s recommendations: establish a minimum wage of $10.25 an hour for city and city contractors’ employees. Improve early childhood education with Dallas ISD. Task Force co-chair Regina Montoya told the mayor and council members: “It is an epidemic. It’s something we need to think about right now.”
- About 40 percent of Texas’ graduating class took the ACT college entrance exam. ACT says that 116,547 graduating students in the state took the test this year compared to 109,841 last year, a 6 percent increase. The number has increased by 26 percent since 2010. Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams says "the growing number of Texas students with aspirations of earning a postsecondary degree bodes well for the future of our state. The composite score for Texas students was 20.9. The national average was 21. ACT said 86 percent of Texas students taking the test hoped to get a postsecondary education. ACT said 39 percent met three or four college readiness benchmarks, indicating likely college success. [Associated Press]
- A series explores how Texas is deadly for undocumented immigrants. The Texas Observer and The Guardian have teamed up to explore the implications. “In 2012, 271 migrants died while crossing through Texas, surpassing Arizona as the nation's most dangerous entry point,” the Observer says. “The majority of those deaths didn't occur at the Texas-Mexico border but in rural Brooks County, 70 miles north of the Rio Grande, where the US Border Patrol has a checkpoint.” Migrants avoid the checkpoint by walking through ranchland and hundreds die from heat stroke.
- Kettle Art in Deep Ellum is having an opening reception tonight for “Artpocalypse.” The show features works by Richard Ross, Clay Stinnett, Mattson Plummer and Johnny Hawkins. Kettle Art says: “From Ross’s whimsical, mythology-based social commentary, to Plummer’s graffiti-inspired street art characters, to Stinnett’s humorous pop imagery with a Texas twist, to Hawkins’ depictions of man vs. animal, all four artists are linked through the use of impassioned, thought-provoking symbolism, and are delighted to cross-pollinate their diverse and devoted fan-bases in this dynamic exhibit.” The reception is at 7 p.m. The exhibition is on display through Sept. 6.