Five stories that have North Texas talking: a jumbo TV screen, a huge hitmaker and the biggest free clinic in Dallas.
Watch out for traffic through downtown and south vicinity tonight. The facade of the Omni hotel becomes a 20-story makeshift LED video screen to launch the 25th annual VideoFest. Jerome Weeks’ piece for Art and Seek explains the quest organizers undertook to find the perfect place to show Expanded Cinema, a 50-minute parade of shorts by 14 artists.
This use of a skyline-definer causes us to see Dallas’ architecture and vantage points anew as we debate which roofs or empty fields will provide the best view of the presentation. (According to Jerome, the Fuel City parking lot and surrounding area is the choice.)
Other cities have tried to use landmark buildings in a similar fashion: WNYC has a great piece with video on Brooklyn’s “Bring to Light” festival, which turns Greenpoint’s industrial streetscape into a feast of display.
Tonight's show begins at 8 p.m. Our sister KXT 91.7 broadcasts the soundtrack live.
-- Lyndsay Knecht
Andy Williams Dies At 84
Christmas -- and crooning -- will never be the same. Andy Williams, the silky-voiced singer who helped America mark the holidays for decades, has died at his home in Branson, Mo., after a battle with bladder cancer. He was 84.
There was no grit in his ultrasmooth delivery – just take a look at his signature tune, “Moon River.”
Longtime Dallas TV critic Ed Bark, a.k.a. Uncle Barky, has a tribute here.
And Andy sat down with Krys Boyd on KERA’s “Think” back in 2009. It’s worth a listen.
-- Rick Holter
Free Dallas Clinic: Rx For Uninsured
This Saturday, the Dallas Convention Center will turn into the largest doctor’s office in the U.S. on that day. And the visits are free for those without insurance. It’s no surprise that appointments are filling up quickly: Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the nation.
Nicole Lamoureux, with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, says they hope to see as many as 1800 people.
You can make an appointment by calling 800-340-1301. She says those with appointments will be seen first, before those who choose to line up Saturday morning. Find all the details you’ll need at the Dallas C.A.R.E. Clinic Site.
-- BJ Austin
Dallas Expert Says Time Will Tell of More Dead Trees
One Dallas arborist thinks A&M researchers are lowballing the number of trees that died in 2001’s drought. Steve Houser, chair of Dallas' Urban Forest Advisory Committee, tells Unfair Park he believes the number is higher than the 301 million trees counted by A&M.
And he thinks hindsight will yield a higher in number in Texas like it did in a huge die-off of aspen in Colorado. That phenomenon is chronicled in this Smithsonian Magazine piece.
RadioShack CEO Clicks Off
AP reports the CEO of Fort Worth-based RadioShack is stepping down. James Gooch took the top job at the company last May. He’d been the Chief Financial Officer before that.
The Fort Worth-based company hasn’t done well for a while. The LA Times has more on how bad it’s been. Companies like RadioShack and Best Buy continue to struggle as Amazon.com pretty much owns at selection, efficiency and convenience, things those IRL retailers just aren't nailing.
-- Lyndsay Knecht
And another late-coming update:
Eighth West Nile Death Reported In Tarrant County
Tarrant County is reporting its eighth death from West Nile virus. Health officials say the Fort Worth resident in his 50’s had underlying medical conditions.
They also say everyone should continue to take precautions for the next month. Wear insect repellant and drain standing water where mosquitoes could breed. Tarrant County reports 261 human cases of West Nile virus: 375 in Dallas County.
-- BJ Austin
Follow us on Twitter @KERANews for updates.