Five stories that have North Texas talking: Could you stomach the potential Texas State Fair food this year?; campus carry takes effect today; tax-free weekend is coming; and more.
When it comes to fair food, the zanier, the better. Last year, the just-so-crazy-it-might-just-work combination of bacon and margarita took home an award. In fact, the allure of winning one of the Big Tex Choice Awards encourages the wildest of food dreams to become reality every year since 2005.
NOTHING makes me hungrier than this announcement every year! (Makes me dream of fall & football too, which is nice.) https://t.co/IWTUR4bJC4
— Dave Froehlich (@DaveFonFOX7) July 29, 2016
The State Fair of Texas released a list of 34 semi-finalists for the coveted prize that range from fried jello to cheeseburger stuffed onion rings. Judges will taste those selections, narrowing down the competition to a mere eight, and announce them in the mid-August, GuideLive reported. Then, the public will be invited to sample the top eight during the Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony on Aug. 28, and a winner for “Best Taste” and “Most Creative” will be crowned.
Peruse the list of (mostly) fried foods vying for a spot in the judges’ hearts and in everyone else's stomach. And, don’t worry if you get attached to one disgustingly good-sounding item. If that food doesn’t make it far in the competition, the creator can sell the item at the awards ceremony. [GuideLive]
- Campus carry takes effect today — 50 years after the University of Texas at Austin shooting. On Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Whitman carried out a sniper attack from the tower of UT’s Main Building, killing 14, plus an unborn child, and injuring 32. Before the spree, he killed his mother and wife in their homes, intertwining gun violence and mental health. Texans who survived the ambush and others who have read about it in the decades since, still wonder what could have been done. Explore Texas Standard’s project on the UT Tower shooting and how something “Out of the Blue” has haunted the state for a half-century. [Texas Standard, KERA News, The Texas Tribune]
- It’s time to get back in the school state of mind. Luckily, the annual Texas sales tax holiday has been set for this weekend, making most school-related items more affordable. The Associated Press reported: “The law, as in previous years, exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales and use taxes.” The tax break would be about $8 for every $100 spent, and the holiday includes qualifying items sold online. Read the fine print from the comptroller’s office. [The Associated Press]
- A 5-year-old boy from Fort Worth has been collecting hundreds of food cans all summer. After being inspired by a speaker at school, Miles Umscheid started Meals for Miles. He wrote a letter to classmates, neighbors, family and friends to spread the word about his endeavor, KXAS reported. From cans left on his doorstep to donations by mail, Miles has been able to help re-stock the Tarrant Area Food Bank and nearly accomplish his end-of-summer goal of 2,000 cans. You can help Miles with direct donations to the food bank or the boxes outside the Montessori School of Fort Worth. [KXAS]
- Many details of a hot air balloon crash over the weekend remain unknown or unconfirmed. Here’s what we do know: “The crash happened Saturday morning in a pasture near Lockhart, which is about 30 miles south of Austin. At least 16 people died, making it apparently the worst such crash in U.S. history and among the deadliest in the world.” Authorities have not provided details on why the balloon crashed or identifications of the occupants, but they will be collecting and reviewing any video footage of the crash. [The Associated Press, KERA News]