Five stories that have North Texas talking: There’s a new giraffe baby at the Dallas Zoo; Southwest testing faster exit strategy; meet America’s oldest veteran, an 111-year-old Austinite; and more.
Nearly two years after her calf died unexpectedly, the Dallas Zoo’s 9-year-old giraffe Katie has welcomed her first baby boy. The new calf, who doesn’t have a name yet, was born Tuesday afternoon. As of his Thursday checkup, he was almost 6 feet tall and 150 pounds.
Katie had the birth of her previous calf, Kipenzi, streamed live in April 2015. The zoo teamed up with Animal Planet for the event, and it gained a lot of attention. Sadly, so did Kipenzi’s untimely death that July. The calf ran into the edge of her habitat, breaking three vertebrae in her neck. The zoo says it has “modified the entry gate system and enhanced the fencing within the exhibit for additional protection for the whole giraffe herd.”
This time around, the zoo gave the mother and baby some privacy. Katie’s labor lasted less than an hour. The pair will spend several weeks bonding before the baby makes its debut. The new addition is Katie and dad Tebogo’s third calf, joining older sister, Jamie, born in July 2011. [The Dallas Zoo, KERA News]
- Debate over who should preside over state Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud case continues. Last Tuesday, the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals ruled judge George Gallagher had lost jurisdiction by changing the venue of Paxton’s trial. In April, Gallagher moved the trial from Collin County where Paxton lives to Harris. Paxton’s lawyers had been trying to oust the judge since. Now, prosecutors are asking the state's highest criminal court to overturn the ruling, suggesting the appeals court lacked jurisdiction to make the decision. [The Texas Tribune]
- Southwest Airlines is testing a new way for passengers to exit planes more efficiently. The Dallas company is seeing if two exits on the left side of the plane, instead of just the one at the front, is faster than the current system. “Under this system, passengers getting off the plane will either get off at the gate or take stairs down onto the tarmac directly, depending on the door they use,” Texas Monthly reports. Southwest started a two-week testing period for the Dual Door Deplaning project Friday at airports in Sacramento and San Jose, California. [Texas Monthly]
- Richard Overton spends most of his day on the front porch of his Austin home smoking cigars. At age 111, is there a better way? Overton is America’s oldest living war veteran. After his service in World War II, he worked in furniture stores and later at the Texas Department of Treasury. “But now, I just sit out here and rest,” he tells The Dallas Morning News. Overton’s taking in each day from the home he built on the street that now bears his name with the help of his nurses and in the company of his friends. [The Dallas Morning News]
- Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings joined national cohort of mayors committed to the goals of the Paris climate accord. Rawlings is one of four mayors in Texas who’ve joined more than 180 others in the commitment. He made the announcement Friday, following President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord. The international non-binding agreement was reached by 195 countries in 2015 with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the rise in average global temperatures. [KERA News, NPR]
— Mayor Mike Rawlings (@Mike_Rawlings) June 2, 2017