Five stories that have North Texas talking: A rocker is attracting criticism; another lawsuit in the Six Flags over Texas roller coaster incident; early voting starts today; and more:
Rock musician Ted Nugent is scheduled to appear with Republican governor hopeful Greg Abbott in North Texas Tuesday – and that’s attracting criticism from Democrats and women’s groups. They don’t care for his name-calling and relationships with teenage girls when he was younger. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Abbott’s campaign for governor said Monday he might not agree with some of Nugent’s language but praised the Motor City Madman as an avid defender of the Constitution. The campaign did not comment regarding Nugent’s inappropriate affairs from 30 years ago.” Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, a political action committee, told The News: “Greg Abbott has crisscrossed our state publicly promising to protect Texas women and children while he’s been making plans to appear at campaign events with an admitted sexual predator.” In a 1998 documentary on VH1, Nugent admitted having affairs with several underage girls. “I was addicted to girls. It was hopeless. It was beautiful,” he said. Nugent is scheduled to appear with Abbott this morning at a Denton restaurant and later today at a Wichita Falls coffeehouse. (Update: Here's the latest on the Nugent visit -- as well as reaction from Wendy Davis, the Democrat running for governor.)
- Six Flags Over Texas is suing the German manufacturer of the Texas Giant, saying the roller coaster car was a defective product and dangerous in design. The lawsuit comes after a Dallas grandmother, Rosa Esparza, plunged 75 feet to her death last summer. Six Flags filed the lawsuit Friday in Tarrant County. Last fall, the family of Rosa Esparza sued Six Flags and other groups, including Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, the German company that made the ride. Six Flags and Gerstlauer have denied liability. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “In the filing, Six Flags said it was ‘simply a conduit of providing the ride for the public’s use’ and is seeking ‘full indemnity’ from Gerstlauer.”
- Early voting starts today for the March 4 primary. Early voting runs through Feb. 28. You’ll need to bring an approved form of photo ID in order to vote. Here’s a list of acceptable forms. Check up on the various races on KERA’s elections page. Races include the Republican lieutenant governor’s primary featuring four candidates. They debated on KERA late last month.
- Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles is scheduled to meet today with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other department officials. The Dallas Morning News reports that Miles will update the department on Dallas ISD’s efforts regarding teacher quality and evaluation, as well as early childhood. “These are two priorities for President Obama and the Department, and I look forward to hearing their perspective and advice on our efforts in Dallas,” Miles told trustees in a memo, The News reports.
- After its record-setting visit to the Winspear Opera House last August, it makes sense for The Book of Mormon to come back to North Texas. But you’ll have to wait a year. It’s not here until February 2015. That’s the headline from the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s announcement Monday of its 2014/2015 Broadway Series season. KERA’s Jerome Weeks with Art&Seek reports: They include two venerable war horses — The Phantom of the Opera, tricked out with a new production design, and Annie. Plus, there are two musicals adapted from movies, Once and Newsies. And Motown: The Musical.