Five stories that have North Texas talking: Does Dallas have the best skyline in the world?; the Fort Worth-trained doctor who recovered from Ebola says he's thrilled to be alive; Sarah Jaffe is performing in Dallas this weekend; and more.
Dallas’ skyline is striking, but is it the best in the whole wide world? Dallas is one of 20 nominees for the title of “Best International Skyline.” USA Today and 10Best are running the contest. Other nominees include Chicago, Seattle, Paris, Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro. Here’s what USA Today says about Dallas: "Dallas became initially identifiable by the opening credits of an infamous '80s TV show," says expert Preston Kissman. "The contemporary Dallas skyline tells a story of big banking, big oil, big money, and the occasional big bust." James Adams adds that Dallas has “continued to stay flashy” by adding colorful interactive lighting on several buildings. You have until Sept. 8 to vote.
- Dr. Kent Brantly, the Fort Worth-trained doctor who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia, says he's thrilled to be alive. “Today is a miraculous day,” Brantly said Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time about his month-long ordeal. “I am thrilled to be alive. To be well and to be reunited with my family.” Speaking at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Brantly expressed appreciation to the medical staff that treated him. He thanked those who had prayed for him – and encouraged people to continue praying for those in Africa who have Ebola. Brantly has been released from Emory. The other aid worker who contracted Ebola, Nancy Writebol, has already been released from the hospital. Hospital officials say that Brantly and Writebol both pose no public health risk. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao has more.
- The Dallas Black Dance Theatre has named a new artistic director. April Berry, a former principal dancer with Alvin Ailey, will be taking over the reins. DBDT’s founder Ann Williams, 78, stepped down in May after 37 years leading the company. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports: “Berry is especially trained in the choreography and techniques of American dance pioneer Katherine Dunham, who’s been called the matriarch of black dance. In the ’30s through ’50s, Dunham revolutionized American dance by exploring the roots of African-American dance. She ran the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, the only self-supporting black dance company in the country at the time. Berry studied with Dunham, has performed some of her signature works in an evening of Dunham’s choreography presented by the Ailey company and Berry is one of only a handful of Dunham ‘masters,’ certified to teach the ‘Dunham technique.’” Read more on KERA’s Art&Seek.
- Denton's Sarah Jaffe performs a show Saturday at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas. The show celebrates her third full-length album, Don’t Disconnect. A press release notes it will be her biggest headlining show in Dallas since her recording career began six years ago. Why the Majestic? “The Majestic is a gorgeous and historical theater in Dallas,” Jaffe said in the release. “I have never played that room before. I think that's really the main reason why the Majestic was it for us. I've never done it before. So...why not?” She performed in the KXT studios Thursday – KXT will feature her on 91.7 FM at 9 a.m. Friday. Jaffe also spoke with KERA’s Anne Bothwell – that interview will air at 6:20 p.m. Friday on KERA 90.1 FM. Jaffe spoke with The Dallas Observer and said that last year she headed to Marfa for two weeks to “be by herself and write.”
- A proposed bullet train from Houston to Dallas is the most ambitious high-speed rail project in development in the U.S. We’ve reported on the plans, but The Texas Tribune offers an update and compares the Texas train to proposed lines in California and Florida. The Texas train has “set a 2021 target date for beginning operations, while the California line isn’t expected to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco until 2029,” the Tribune reports. Meanwhile, a project that would connect Miami to West Palm Beach could happen as early as 2016, but would likely be the slowest of the three. “As the Texas proposal has drawn more attention, supporters are framing it as a key opportunity for the state to burnish a reputation as a trendsetter on the national stage,” the Tribune reports. Read more here.