Five stories that have North Texas talking: Possible betrayal on the campaign trail, bartering over the economy's future, Texas hoards helium and more.
Months after his failed campaign for U.S. Senate, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is wondering where his money went. The Dallas Morning News reports one of his aides may have stolen $600,000 -- or even more -- from his political accounts. Kenneth "Buddy" Barfield, a well- established GOP consultant who's managed more than one campaign for Dewhurst, hasn't returned calls to the paper. Sources close to Dewhurst say Barfield was so trusted that he was above oversight.
- The fiscal cliff deadline is Tuesday. Expected spending cuts could have implications for North Texas' economy, as KERA's BJ Austin reported yesterday. When lawmakers take this long to negotiate tax increases and spending cuts, we have to wonder what is going on in Washington minute-to-minute. David Kestenbaum of NPR's Planet Money says the tactics being used to reach a deal apply to kidnap bargaining and car sales. Reassured yet? [NPR]
- Helium is running out, and Texas has been hoarding it. The only Federal Helium Reserve in the U.S. is close to Amarillo, and some leaders in Congress are trying to keep it from closing. And this isn't an abstract threat or an issue full of hot air -- prices are on the rise for consumers. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- The world almost saw four basketball games played simultaneously at Cowboys Stadium. Almost. Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis has given up on his fight for a microcosmic March Madness showoff in Texas this upcoming NCAA season. [Detroit Free Press, HT Unfair Park]
- A man in East Texas built treehouses to keep the Keystone XL Pipeline away from his property. Ex-circus worker David Daniel made the fortresses eight stories tall, but he still lost out to TransCanada's efforts. [NPR]