Five stories that have North Texas talking: Rent is going up in D-FW; Greg Abbott takes Australia; work out like (or with) a Dallas Cowboy; and more.
As far as weather goes, December has put North Texans through the ringer. Wednesday was another record-breaking day with a high of 83, which is 27 degrees above normal, according to WFAA. The unusually warm day beat the 81-degree-high reached on Dec. 28, 1928. This wasn’t a fluke either. Just three days earlier, Dallas-Fort Worth was anything but a white Christmas with a record high of 80 degrees and a low of 69, according to the National Weather Service.
But North Texas hasn’t just had to sweat out a few days this month. When the first arctic front rolled into the metroplex, the high was 28 degrees and the low, 24. Those were the coldest temperatures D-FW had felt since March 2015. Then, a second arctic front blew threw the next week when temperatures dropped approximately 50 degrees in a single Saturday. The rest of the month — and year — will graciously bring mild temperatures in the ‘50s and ‘60s. [National Weather Service, WFAA]
— Pete Delkus (@wfaaweather) December 29, 2016
- Apartment rent in D-FW grew at almost twice the national average in the fourth quarter. According to a new report by Axiometrics Inc., area rents were up 4.3 percent from the same time period in 2015. Fort Worth rents increased by 5.7 percent, according to the report. National apartment rents increased 2.4 percent in the last three months of the year. The Dallas Morning News reports: “With over 55,000 apartments under construction in North Texas, Axiometrics and other apartment market watchers are predicting a slowdown in rent growth.” Axiometrics predicts rents will rise 2.7 percent in Dallas and 2.9 percent in Fort Worth this coming year. [Axiometrics, DMN]
- Gov. Greg Abbott paused a family vacation to Sydney this week to meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The Texas Tribune reports: “The two spoke for more than an hour about issues including the economic ties between Australia and the U.S., energy policy, transportation policy and trade, according to Abbott aides. They said the governor and Turnbull also ‘talked at length about regulatory policy — both under the incoming Trump administration and in Texas.’” The two leaders also exchanged cultural caps: Turnbull gave Abbott an Akubra hat, and Abbott gave Turnbull a Stetson hat. [The Texas Tribune]
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 28, 2016
- As head of the North Texas Food Bank, Jan Pruitt has been fighting against hunger for 20 years. Now, she’s facing a personal battle — with cancer. Earlier this month, she stepped down as the food bank’s President and CEO, KERA's Courtney Collins reports. She’ll no longer receive treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. The food bank serves 13 counties. The first year Pruitt was in charge, the food bank gave out 11 million meals. The latest count is 70 million. The task of replacing her is hard to imagine, but Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO Simon Powell and team are determined to charge ahead. [KERA News]
- At a new gym inside The Star in Frisco, you could work out like a Cowboy and perhaps next to one, too. Cowboys Fit, opening February, will have the same exercise amenities as America’s Team, spread across 60,000 square feet and three floors at the Frisco headquarters, according to D Magazine. In order to work out there, you’ll have to shell out couple hundred dollars up front and more than $100 a month — and that’s just the family package. The gym advertises that current Cowboys get free memberships and former Cowboys get discounted rates, but it’s not a sure thing you’ll be spotting either at the bench. [D Magazine]