Five stories that have North Texas talking: the Dallas Zoo has a baby ocelot; storms hit North Texas; Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings wins re-election; and more.
The Dallas Zoo has a baby ocelot. Zookeepers will check out the baby in the next few days – and will soon give the kitten a name. The baby was born March 20. The zoo set up a den box for the mother, Milagre, to give birth. “Native to Texas, ocelots face severe threats across the Lone Star State as they are pushed out when their homes are paved over,” the zoo reports. “With fewer than 50 wild ocelots estimated to be living in Texas, this kitten’s birth is helping ensure the survival of this remarkable cat predator species. … Milagre will remain the sole caretaker of her kitten, since ocelots are solitary by nature. The two are expected to venture out to the ocelot habitat any day now. That’s also when the kitten will meet its neighbors – dad Joaquin and Rufus, a bobcat – for the first time.”
- Severe storms hit North Texas hard Sunday. An emergency management official in a northeastern Texas county says about two dozen people are injured and homes have been completely destroyed after a severe storm struck the small town of Van. The storm hit the east side of Van Zandt County and the city of Van around 8:45 p.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service says the storm likely produced a tornado. Chuck Allen, the Van Zandt County fire marshal and emergency management coordinator, said in an email early Monday morning that approximately 26 patients were transported to hospitals after a triage area was established at a church. He says damages range from completely destroyed homes to damaged homes to downed trees. Meanwhile, Corsicana saw lots of rain late Sunday. Read more here. We have an update on the Van storms here. [Associated Press]
- Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings easily won re-election Saturday evening. He won with about 73 percent of the vote. His opponent, lawyer Marcos Ronquillo, had just 27 percent. Rawlings told The Dallas Morning News that voters were voting for “a vision for Dallas.” The News reports: “The mayor said the election results affirmed that Dallas voters support his vision for a road and a park along the Trinity. The new City Council must find a middle ground on the project, he said. ‘If we can grow a set of ears instead of yelling at each other, we can accomplish a lot,’ he said. He said the results also showed the voters have confidence that he can ‘attack the tough, gnarly issues’ like crime and poverty. [The Dallas Morning News]
- Arlington voters decided to get rid of red light cameras. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “While lawmakers are still debating whether to shut off the cameras statewide, Arlington residents headed to the polls in higher-than-expected numbers Saturday to weigh in on the issue. With all 28 precincts reporting, 59 percent of voters supported banning the cameras. ‘Arlington has spoken,’ said Kelly Canon, an Arlington Tea Party member and one of those who gathered more than 11,000 signatures on a petition to force city leaders to put the issue on the ballot. ‘This should be a loud enough and clear enough message.’” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- An eroding cliff has finally fallen into Lake Whitney. WFAA-TV reports: “A cliff that had been dangerously eroding above Lake Whitney finally fell into the water Sunday afternoon. Significant rainfall in the area likely played a large role in the cliff's plunge. In March, a neighbor predicted that rain may be the final push for the cliff to finally separate. ‘If we ever get a 5- or 6-inch rain, it could be the crowning blow,’ Steve Mellgren told News 8 in March. The luxury home that once stood on the cliff's edge was intentionally set on fire last June because the house was crumbling into the lake. Neighbors had seen the crack in the cliff growing larger since then.” [WFAA-TV]