Five stories that have North Texas talking: How resources are being used at one border immigration checkpoint, Mormon street ball, vacation horror stories, and more.
Sierra Blanca is a tiny, quiet town southeast of El Paso. What made it famous: the U.S border inspection station along Interstate 10 known for stalling Willie Nelson, Fiona Apple, Snoop Dogg and others. Small-time drug busts there are crushing the county’s budget as the number of agents assigned to the sector has tripled. And it’s mostly Americans they’re catching at the immigration checkpoint. [Center For Investigative Reporting via NPR]
- Owning Street Ball In Shirt And Tie: A video of Mormons dunking during a pickup basketball game popular on the internet yesterday turns out to feature a Dallas missionary. The YouTube user, Jared Allen, says his cousin Cole “has been dying to play some street ball and got the chance.” Half-court basketball is on the shortlist of sports that Mormons are allowed to play without over competitive displays, according to the religion's rules. (Be warned: There are a couple of expletives as the guys get live in the video here.) [NPR’s The Two-Way]
- Point For The Aggies, Off The Field: Grads of Texas A&M University and Rice have garnered some bragging rights – and, if the research is right, better jobs. Degrees from the two schools have been deemed the most valuable in Texas, according to research by Affordable Colleges Online. UT comes in third, based on alumni salaries, pay scale and federal data on education, and Carnegie Foundation ranking for each school. [CultureMap]
- Travelers! Ask Questions About The Very Important Meanings Of Foreign Signs: Dorie Pickle of Austin once paid off train officials so she wouldn’t be stranded somewhere between Prague and Budapest, in the middle of the night, miles from another station. She’d seen a picture of a cigarette with no line striking through it, so she thought smoking was okay on the train. It wasn’t. She shared the close call with Robert Siegel for NPR’s cautionary “Vacation Horror Stories” series. [NPR]
- Trader Joe’s Is Super Kid-Friendly, So Dress Accordingly: The first Trader Joe’s in Dallas proper opens on Friday, on Lower Greenville Avenue. Pro tip: Wear shoes with backs on them. Possibly boots, even. Why? The chain traditionally offers tiny shopping carts for “customers in training” (as labeled at the Plano store). Flags on the mini-carts at that location help parents track down their kids as they zig-zag through the aisles. But that won’t save your heels/ankles from getting nicked when kiddos race toward the finish line, er, checkout counter. Mayor Mike Rawlings will attend the opening festivities, which include a lei cutting and face painting. [Dallas News]