Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas Zoo had a good year; short-lived Corpus Christi mayor aims for Ted Cruz’s seat; investor polishes gem in Dallas music history; and more.
The Dallas Zoo broke its all-time attendance record for the eighth year in a row with 1.2 million visitors counted by Sept. 30, the end of its fiscal year.
This is the third time the zoo has welcomed more than one million people in one year in its 129-year-history.
Several exciting happenings drew new and returning guests.
The zoo hadn’t had hippos for 16 years until the spring when it opened its $14 million facility. At the same time, the zoo was one of three across the country to display photographs from National Geographic's Joel Sartore. And the zoo’s Safari Nights in the summer brought in record-breaking crowds, too.
Two Somali wild ass foals, a tamandua, endangered tortoises, Caribbean flamingos and Southern ground hornbills were also born in the year. Learn more on the zoo’s blog.
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- Access denied: Texas imposed a cap on special education that saved the money but students with special needs paid dearly. It went unnoticed for years until The Houston Chronicle’s 2016 eye-opening investigation. [Reveal]
- A lot to unpack here: To fund his bid against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Dan McQueen — the former mayor of Corpus Christi for 37 days — is selling a commercial building to whoever wins the “McQueen MotorCycle Café Essay & Rib Contest.” [The Texas Tribune]
- Back in business: Dallas’ Longhorn Ballroom hosted one of just seven gigs the Sex Pistols ever played in the U.S.. It was the site of early shows from Willie Nelson, James Brown and B.B. King, too. The venue had nearly bitten the dust when Jay LaFrance called an Uber. [Texas Monthly]
- Artist spotlight: Fort Worth actor-playwright Sherry Ward wrote a one-woman show about the debilitating disease that put her in a wheelchair. “Stiff” runs this month. [Art&Seek]