Five stories that have North Texas talking: In Texas, the drought is over; a Denton Confederate soldier monument is vandalized; the WNBA could be coming to Dallas-Fort Worth; and more.
The drought is over in Texas. The U.S. Drought Monitor says that’s the first time that’s happened in the state since April 2010. Only about 3 percent of the state is considered “abnormally dry,” including areas in the Panhandle and Central Texas.
Reservoirs are still low, though, in West, far West and South Texas, the Texas Water Development Board says.
Just three months ago, 35 percent of the state was classified as having moderate to exceptional drought. A year ago, it was 63 percent.
Meanwhile, state officials will decide Thursday whether to approve $1 billion in loans and financial help to fund future water projects across Texas. Many of the 21 applicants are in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas, where the population is expected to grow. [KERA/Associated Press]
- Tulsa Shock majority owner Bill Cameron announced plans Monday to move the WNBA franchise to Dallas-Fort Worth. Cameron said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press that he hoped the WNBA Board of Governors would vote as soon as possible on the relocation. He said he was proud of the effort from community since the franchise moved from Detroit for the 2010 season, and that it was a difficult decision because of the effort from Tulsa's investors. The Shock are having their best season since moving. [Associated Press]
- A Confederate soldier monument in Denton was vandalized Monday. Pictures on social media show someone scrawled “This is racist” in red spray paint on the Confederate Soldiers Memorial near the Denton County courthouse square. Denton County Commissioner Hugh Colemen told the Denton Record-Chronicle that there has been increased security around the monument. Earlier this month, a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was vandalized in Dallas' Oak Lawn neighborhood. There’s been growing concern in Texas in recent weeks over Confederate monuments. Read more here.
- Did you know Texas has an official play – and it marks its 50th anniversary this year? Texas Standard, the statewide radio newsmagazine, reports: “Though millions around the world have seen the musical, many Texans have yet to experience it. It happens six nights a week for three months every summer. Crowds gather at an outdoor amphitheater at Palo Duro Canyon State Park outside of Amarillo, as they have for the past 50 years. They come to see a musical they won’t see anywhere else. It’s called ‘Texas.’ It’s kind of like the more-famous ‘Oklahoma,’ except it’s about, well, Texas.” [Texas Standard]
- Go inside a sea turtle rescue. National Geographic has some neat photos of efforts to rescue Kemp’s ridley turtles, which are endangered. National Geographic reports: “Summer is hatching season for Kemp's ridleys, and so workers have their hands full right now ensuring the newborns get out to the ocean safely. ‘We're working day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,’ says Donna Shaver, chief of the sea turtle science and recovery program at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas.” Explore the slideshow here. [National Geographic]