Five stories that have North Texas talking: A morning in HP with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Dallas Fort-Worth might not be as religious as we think, car sharing catches on in Texas and more.
The "Iron Lady" of British politics, ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, died of a stroke this morning at age 87. Her son, Mark, was thick in Dallas high society; he worked for Lotus Cars and at one time was married to Diane Burgdorf, the daughter of a prominent millionaire. In 2005, he admitted to an “unwitting” role in a coup plot to take over Equatorial Guinea; he was fined $506,000 and given a suspended jail sentence.)
And her grandson, Michael, is remembered fondly at Highland Park High for his football exploits, particularly a spectacular catch he made in a 2007 playoff game.
Wendy E. Lane of the AP chronicled one of Margaret Thatcher’s softer moments with her son in Dallas as they strolled through Highland Park one morning in October 1987. The then-prime minister courted mothers and children, suggesting that the sun may be too bright for one baby’s eyes.
- A Religious Surprise – Gallup list of America’s most religious metros does not include Dallas Fort-Worth, believe it or not. Provo-Orem, Utah leads the nation and the South owns the rest of the top 10. Though Texas has pockets of “highly religious” at its borders, North Texas’ megachurchgoers are no match for Alabama or Mississippi’s devout – Texas isn’t ranked in the top 10 most religious states, either. Why could this be? In an analysis of this 2012 data, Richard Florida links lower rates of religiosity with higher numbers of gays, immigrants, college graduates, and “level of innovation.” [Atlantic Cities]
- The Medicaid Puzzle –Lawmakers are trying to assemble the “Texas solution” to our state’s Medicaid problem – without actually proposing legislation that would expand Medicaid, lest Gov. Rick Perry veto the measure. (A party-line vote in the House last week to reconsider Medicaid expansion from the budget stalled the matter.) So what next? Some key negotiations with the federal government to draw down expansion dollars. [Texas Tribune]
- Share The Road, And The Car – Fort Worth’s bike-sharing program debuts April 22. Another kind of wheels co-op is gaining momentum in American cities like Austin: Car sharing. The Bond-esque experience sends members hopping from smart car to smart car, paying only for the time they drive. NPR’s Wendy Kaufman reports companies like Car2Go are finding success that suggests Americans don’t find identity or power in their cars anymore. [NPR]
- Final Four Trash Talk, In Chess – Louisville and Michigan fans may be talking smack in Atlanta, where their schools face off tonight for the NCAA men's basketball title. But chess players aren't far behind. You might’ve heard Webster University chess players and their coach Susan Polgar talking some trash on Morning Edition before the Final Four of College Chess this past weekend. Sure enough, the St. Louisians at Webster took the win. The University of Texas at Dallas’ team returns from the Maryland tournament with second place.