Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas Zoo welcomes a new baby; there’s word of a new competitor for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat; meet likely the best Selena impersonator in the U.S.; and more.
The Dallas Zoo Wednesday announced its newest bundle of joy, Bahati Moja — the first lion cub to be born at the zoo since November 1973. The little girl was born to parents Lina and Kamau on St. Patrick’s Day; her name in Swahili means "lucky one."
According to the zoo, Lina had previously delivered two stillborn cubs. In March of last year, Lina went into labor but had to have a C-section; the cubs didn't make it, zoo spokeswoman Lydia Jennings tells The Dallas Morning News.
Bahati, who weighed 2.8 pounds at birth, “is bonding beautifully with Lina, nursing, putting on weight and turning into a feisty little cub,” the zoo says. The new baby will stay behind the scenes for a few months to bond before going out into the lion habitat. [The Dallas Zoo, The Dallas Morning News]
Correction: The stillborn cubs came from one pregnancy, not more than one pregnancy, as was previously reported.
- U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke promises a “big announcement” Friday, prompting speculation of a Senate bid in 2018. The El Paso Democrat would be challenging incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, whose spokesperson declined The Texas Tribune’s offer to comment on the potential run. If O’Rourke does enter the race, he could also face competition from U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro. According to the Tribune: “A Castro bid is no sure thing; he has a rising profile in Congress, he's on the leadership track in the House of Representatives and he's deeply involved in the investigations into whether Russia interfered with the 2016 elections.” But for O'Rourke, a logical next step would be a race for Senate. [The Texas Tribune]
Cornyn, on O'Rourke would-be candidacy: Well I like Beto O'Rourke...but if he thinks he can beat Ted Cruz, I think he's sadly mistaken.
— Abby Livingston (@TexasTribAbby) March 29, 2017
- Fort Worth is investing $2.5 million to revitalize its struggling Stop Six neighborhood, officials announced this week. The historic African-American neighborhood in East Fort Worth has long struggled with high crime, high unemployment and low incomes. KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports the money at first will be used for cosmetic changes to the neighborhood. “[Mayor Betsy Price] said the city is ramping up code enforcement, fixing street lights and trimming back trees. Workers are filling potholes, and police have set up a neighborhood substation. Price urged residents to get involved and engage with their city leaders, and said the Stop Six community is driving the priorities.” [KERA News]
- In the years since her death, Tejano singer Selena has been embraced by the LGBTQ community in general and by one woman in particular. Honey Andrews, 31, has been called the best Selena impersonator in the country. At Fiesta de la Flor in Corpus Christi this month, Andrews performed iconic Selena moves and lip-synced seamlessly, Reynaldo Leanos Jr. reports. “As a little boy, Andrews spent hours dancing to Selena songs, pretending to be the singer. Selena became one of Honey Andrews’ biggest idols. In fact, Selena was in part, the woman Andrews wanted to be.” This month marks 22 years since Selena’s death and 20 since her biopic came out. [Texas Standard]
- The North Texas theater community has lost a beloved colleague — and one of the pioneers of wheelchair performance. Rene Moreno died this week from complications from surgery. He was 57. Moreno graduated from Booker T. Washington High School, studied theater at Southern Methodist University and moved to New York to act on and off Broadway and regionally. In 1991, he was paralyzed from the waist down after a fall from a hotel window in Washington, D.C. But his new life in a wheelchair didn’t keep him from the stage or the title role in Kitchen Dog Theater’s production of "Richard III" in 2008. Read more about Moreno’s life and work. [Art&Seek]
The High Five is KERA's daily roundup of news stories from Dallas-Fort Worth and across the state. Explore our archives here. And sign up for our weekly email for the North Texas news you need to know.