Five stories that have North Texas talking: Trump’s voter fraud claim has Texas ties; the state reported its first locally transmitted Zika case; kolaches are taking off across the U.S.; and more.
Dallas boasts more apartment rentals approved for “green” living than some of the country’s most environmentally conscious cities, including Denver, Austin and San Francisco, according to a study this month from RENTCafé.
The study analyzed over 14 million apartment units located in rental buildings of 50 units or more, in 123 U.S. metros from Yardi Matrix’s national inventory. From that sample, Dallas had 6,800 LEED-approved apartment rentals. That number put Dallas at No. 5 in a ranking of the top 10 cities with the most apartments classified as "green." LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. Chicago topped the list with 13,800 rentals.
But living green also costs a lot more green — an average of $560 month higher than a regular new apartment, according to RENTCafé. Explore the full study. [RENTCafé]
- Donald Trump’s baseless voter fraud claim appears to have Texas roots. The President-elect tweeted Sunday that “millions” of people voted illegally in the presidential election. Gregg Phillips, a former Health and Human Services Commission executive appears to be behind the claim, the Texas Tribune reports. “In the days following the election, the self-styled voter integrity activist said on Twitter that he has discovered that more than 3 million people who voted were not citizens — a claim which was later highlighted by InfoWars, a conspiracy theory website run by fellow Texan and Trump ally Alex Jones.” Read more about Phillips. [The Texas Tribune]
- State health officials announced the first locally transmitted case of Zika virus Monday. A woman from Cameron County was diagnosed with the virus last week. She isn’t pregnant, and she hasn’t traveled across the border or to another country with ongoing Zika transmission. Cameron County, the state health department and the CDC are investigating the case further. Dr. John Hellerstedt, Department of State Health Services commissioner, says officials don’t believe the virus will become widespread, but “people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially in parts of the state that stay relatively warm in the fall and winter.” [KERA News]
- Last year, on the day after Christmas, 12 tornadoes ripped through North Texas, killing 13 people and damaging or destroying hundreds of homes. KERA has been following four families pushed to the financial edge by the storms. With the holidays approaching, we return to Rowlett and Garland to see how these families are rebuilding their lives a year after disaster. Explore archives and resources on how to prepare for and cope with a storm in our digital project, Rebuilding A Life: A Year Later. [KERA News]
- Kolaches aren’t just a favorite among Texans anymore. The traditional Czech pastry is taking off across the U.S. As the centuries-old sweet gets more and more popular, new flavors and ingredients are being incorporated — an act of blasphemy among purists. Kolaches are yeast dough pastries typically filled with fruit or cheese, but “a Texan twist evolved when they were made with sausage, cheese and jalapenos,” NPR reports. Mimi Montgomery Irwin owner of The Village Bakery in West, Texas, says that’s not a true kolache, but rather, what her father called a "klobasniki." [NPR]