Five stories that have North Texas talking: a drone will be used to help find a missing Fort Worth woman; Dallas’ skyline is deemed the best in the world; Barnett Shale oil and gas drilling adds $12 billion to the economy; and more.
Federal authorities have authorized the use of a drone to search for a North Texas woman who disappeared more than a week ago. An emergency waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration authorizes the nonprofit Texas EquuSearch group to send a drone to look for 23-year-old Christina Marie Morris of Fort Worth. Plano police say Morris was last seen Aug. 30 at a local shopping center.
The FAA has tangled with Texas EquuSearch in the past. A federal appeals court this year ruled that an FAA order to EquuSearch prohibiting it from using drones had no legal consequences. Morris had been visiting friends in the 5700 block of Scruggs Way. She was last seen walking with a friend into a parking garage in the 5700 block of Legacy Drive, Plano police say. Officers found her vehicle. Call CrimeStoppers at 877-373-8477 if you have information. Read more about the situation on the Plano police Facebook page. [Associated Press/KERA]
- An earthquake rattled Irving early this morning. The 2.9-magnitude quake hit north of State Highway 183 shortly before 3:30 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. On Sunday morning, a 2.4-magnitude quake hit Arlington. Since late last year, a few dozen earthquakes have rocked the Azle-Reno area northwest of Fort Worth. Although the quakes are considered relatively small, they’ve been large enough to cause damage and raise alarm. Both the mayors of Reno and Azle believe there’s a link to the disposal wells from oil and gas drilling in the area. In June, KERA and StateImpact Texas held a forum in Azle to discuss the earthquakes. Listen to that forum here.
- Dallas’ skyline is striking – and it’s been deemed the best in the whole world. Dallas has been named “Best International Skyline” in a contest by USA Today and 10Best. Big D was among 20 nominees for the honor. Competitors included Chicago, Seattle, Paris, Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro. A panel of architects selected the 20 cities – and readers were given four weeks to vote. Chicago placed second. Rio de Janeiro placed third. Toronto and New York rounded out the top five. Read more from KERA News.
- A study shows that production from the natural gas-rich Barnett Shale has risen even as drilling activity and natural gas prices have fallen. Economist Ray Perryman writes in the study commissioned by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and released Wednesday, that oil and gas drilling in the Barnett Shale contributes $11.8 billion annually to the North Texas economy. That's up from an annual rate of $11.1 billion in 2011. Drilling adds $480.6 million in taxes to local cities, counties and school districts. Though activity has declined, Perryman says output has partly increased with infrastructure investment and advances in drilling. The study comes as some residents question whether the drilling poses risks to human health and the environment, and ahead of a November referendum in Denton on a fracking ban. [Associated Press]
- Join KERA's Jeff Whittington tonight for a conversation about the arts. Tonight’s talk, part of our ongoing State of the Arts series, focuses on contemporary artists. It’s at 7 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow Auditorium. Panelists include Devon Nowlin, artist and founding member of Homecoming Committee; Darryl Ratcliff, artist and community engagement associate for the National Center for Arts Research & Initiative on Arts+Urbanism; and Arthur Pena, artist and founder and director of Ware:Wolf:Haus and Vice Palace. Click here for more details.