Five stories that have North Texas talking: Pat Summerall's golden voice leaves lasting legacy, American Airlines amend goes viral, Texas river in danger of dry-up and more.
Jerry Jones called him “royalty in the broadcast booth,” high praise from someone who has built his own NFL kingdom. Broadcast legend Pat Summerall died yesterday in Dallas at the age of 82 from cardiac arrest. He had retired to Southlake after narrating the goings-on of the National Football League for four decades.
Called the "Master of Restraint," Summerall’s measured, understated style was the perfect yin to John Madden’s boisterous yang. Summerall had a 10 year playing career but was most well-known for his days at the microphone. He called 26 Super Bowls; 16 for television and 10 for radio. And Summerall’s life wasn’t without challenges; after an intervention, he checked into the Betty Ford Clinic in 1992 and had been sober ever since.
- Online Apologies: American Airlines CEO Tom Horton took to video late yesterday to apologize to travelers for the carrier’s nationwide grounding. In his message, he placed the blame squarely on a software issue that impacted both the primary and backup computer systems. The airline has said that there is no evidence to link this glitch to Monday’s deadly bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon. Yesterday’s ground stop lasted several hours, stranded hundreds of passengers and caused widespread delays and cancellations. Listen to Horton’s message to customers below. [CNN]
- Fighting For Their Right To Protest: Six people who want to protest the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center have filed a lawsuit against the City of Dallas. A Dallas city ordinance forbids people from carrying signs within 75 feet of certain highways in Dallas. Members of this group say they were cited back in January for carrying signs near Mockingbird and Central Expressway that read “I love the Bill of Rights” and “I love the First Amendment.” The lawsuit claims the city ordinance violates First Amendment rights and is unconstitutional. Yesterday, the Dallas city attorney filed to move the case from state to federal court. [Dallas Morning News]
- A Dry Horizon? American Rivers has released its troubling list of endangered waterways and Texas has a dubious top three finish. The San Saba River which boundaries the Edwards Plateau in west central Texas is in trouble. It’s the third most endangered waterway in the nation and American Rivers claims excessive pumping for agricultural irrigation diverts the river’s flow into a canal where about a third of the water is lost due to evaporation and leaks. You can view the entire list here. Click on the San Saba icon for more information and a call to action.
- Unintentionally Fireproof: A scientist with the University of Texas School of Public Health at Dallas says flame retardant chemicals are showing up in an unlikely place…. people. PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are used in toys, clothing and gadgets to keep materials from burning easily. But Dr. Arnold Schecter says a study of nursing mothers breast milk found higher levels of the chemical than had ever been reported before. Schecter says this is cause for concern because PBDEs can shorten pregnancies, affect thyroid hormones and cause endocrine disruption among other problems. [KUHF]