Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Central Texas TV meteorologist is shot; Eric Williams is sentenced to death in a Kaufman County killing; Dallas’ St. Vincent is a fan favorite; and more.
Lake Highlands native St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, continues to be a fan favorite. NPR listeners picked her as their favorite album for the year. From NPR Music’s All Songs Considered: “For 2014, our listeners decided St. Vincent's stunning, self-titled release, which came out way back in February, was the best album of the year. No other record came close in our annual poll. St. Vincent had twice as many votes as the next closest contender, Alt-J's This Is All Yours. Beck's gorgeous, meditative Morning Phase came in third, while FKA Twgis' strangely transfixing LP1 and Jack White's bone rattling Lazaretto round out the top five.” Here’s just one of her songs:
- Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies on Wednesday were combing the area around a remote Central Texas television studio where a morning meteorologist was shot in a parking lot after an argument. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the shooting occurred around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday outside KCEN-TV's rural studio on Interstate 35 near Bruceville-Eddy, near Waco. The station website reports the victim, on-air meteorologist Patrick Crawford, backed his car away from the shooter and drove up to a highway construction crew that called 911. Jim Hice, the station's news director, says Crawford was wounded in the shoulder and the abdomen. Crawford, a Plano native, underwent surgery at a Temple hospital. A hospital spokesman says he's in fair condition. The shooter fled. No motive has been released. [Associated Press]
- A former North Texas justice of the peace was sentenced to death Wednesday for capital murder in what prosecutors described as a revenge plot that left three people dead. Eric Williams was convicted Dec. 4 in the March 2013 murder of Cynthia McLelland, who was slain along with her husband, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, in their home near Dallas. Williams has been charged, but not tried, in the deaths of Mike McLelland and prosecutor Mark Hasse. The 47-year-old Williams lost his job as justice of the peace, along with his law license, after McLelland and Hasse prosecuted him for theft and burglary. Prosecutors say Williams shot Hasse outside a courthouse in January 2013 then killed the McLellands in their home two months later. [Associated Press]
- When Ebola arrived in Dallas, there were lots of exaggerations – so many that they’ve been honored as the 2014 Lie of the Year by PolitiFact. The fact-checking news service says they “distorted the debate about a serious public health issue.” PolitiFact says: “[Thomas Eric] Duncan’s case is just one of two Ebola-related fatalities in the United States, and since Duncan traveled to Dallas, more Americans -- at least nine, and likely many more -- have died from the flu. Yet fear of the disease stretched to every corner of America this fall, stoked by exaggerated claims from politicians and pundits. They said Ebola was easy to catch, that illegal immigrants may be carrying the virus across the southern border, that it was all part of a government or corporate conspiracy.” Catch up on KERA’s Ebola in Dallas coverage here.
- Artists have taken over Valley View Center in North Dallas. The mall will be torn down and replaced with an urban village. Until then, about 30 percent of the storefronts have been leased out to artists, WFAA-TV reports. Midtown ARTwalk has “cheap rent and a funky vibe,” the station says. “Anybody who's a painter or artist who wants to rent space for 50 bucks a month, they can come in here. And it's just kind of an artist collective community," developer Scott Beck says. The station reports: “At the heart of this experiment is the Gallery at Midtown. While most galleries take a 50 percent cut of an artist's sale, here the artist gets 90 percent. In exchange, artists are required to volunteer in the gallery one day a month.”