Five stories that have North Texas talking: Will Taco Charlton stick with his nickname?; tornadoes tear through East Texas; DSO violinist brings Mozart to the bar; and more.
In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new kind of “taco” in Texas — a 22-year-old, 6-foot-6-inch pass rusher for the Dallas Cowboys named Taco Charlton. Well, that's his nickname. Vidauntae Charlton, a defensive end out of Michigan, is the Cowboys’ newest recruit. He was a first-round pick in the NFL draft Thursday. Since then, North Texas has been slightly freaking out that America’s Team now has a player named Taco.
During his first press conference at The Star in Frisco, Charlton was asked among other things about his taco preferences, SportsDay reports, to which he said, “I feel like if you have a taco, you really can’t go wrong.” Shortly after the draft, Charlton was offered free tacos for life from Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, a North Texas chain. Taco Bueno’s president also welcomed him. Charlton’s agent said he’s been getting calls about endorsements, too. He's letting his agent handle that for now because he wants to get settled in, but he says he’s excited to try the tacos in Dallas.
Charlton’s nickname was given to him by his mother and grandmother. Charlton was born Nov. 7, 1994 — two months premature. “And at that time, Taco Bell had a commercial, ‘Rushing for the Border’ or ‘Running for the Border,’” his mother Tamara. “My mom would say he was running for the border, since I kept going into preterm labor,” she says. “And she would write on my cards: ‘It’s for the best of Taco. He’s running for the border, but just keep him in.’” According to the Cowboys, “Vidauntae will likely take a back seat to Taco” as he moves forward professionally. [Dallas Cowboys, SportsDay]
- Four tornadoes tore through East Texas Saturday night, leaving at least four people dead. The storms hit parts of Henderson and Rains counties, but the most severe damage was reported in Van Zandt County, in and around Canton, which is about an hour east of Dallas. Gov. Greg Abbott traveled to Canton Sunday afternoon. He said that in the next 24 hours, authorities will continue to look for people in the rubble and clear debris, and volunteers can come later. Read more from our blog. [KERA News]
- This Dallas violinist grew up on the farm, but now in the big city, she's trying to bring music to the masses. Lydia Umlaf, 25, is one of the youngest members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; she joined two and a half years ago. Recently, she’s started playing live classical music in venues very different from the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Along with other friends from the DSO, she’s been playing in Dallas’ hippest spots for “Mozart in the Bar” concerts. Learn more in the Artist Spotlight. [Art&Seek]
- The Dallas Zoo has hippos again for the first time in 16 years. Adhama (male) and Boipelo (female) are now cohabiting in the zoo’s new $14 million Simmons Hippo Outpost, which opened to the public Friday. The pair of Nile hippopotamuses arrived last month from Albuquerque and Los Angeles. The Dallas Zoo hasn’t had hippos since 2001, when “Papa,” the most recent hippo died at age 53. At the time, he was the oldest Nile hippo living at a U.S. zoo. [KERA News]
- El Corazon de Tejas, a beloved Oak Cliff restaurant, closed its doors Sunday. News of the closure came weeks ago. JR’s Demolition filed for a demolition permit, which the city approved. GuideLive reports: “At the time, [owner and operator John] Cuellar told The Dallas Morning News he had no immediate plans to close the restaurant. Speaking by phone Wednesday, however, he said the building had been sold and the landlord had terminated the lease.” A CVS pharmacy could potentially replace it. [GuideLive]