Five stories that have North Texas talking: Lowe's in Abilene hired a disabled veteran and his dog, too; several Texans are up for Grammys; Baylor hires a new football coach; and more.
An Islamic organization that funded a dozen billboards across Dallas and Fort Worth to combat misinformation about Islam has received more hate calls from Dallas than any other city participating in the nationwide campaign, The Associated Press reports. The Islamic Circle of North America used mosque donations to fund the billboards spread across the city's highways. The billboards read "ISLAM = Racial Equality" and provide a phone number and website for "Why Islam?"
— Naomi Martin (@NaomiMartin) December 5, 2016
New Jersey's hotline call center manager Imam Jawad Ahmed said the group should do more of these campaigns in Dallas because of the amount of hate responses, AP reports. The billboards in Dallas have been up for five weeks, in which the group has received 75 calls. However, Ahmed said the majority of callers were non-Muslims that wanted to learn more about the religion. [The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News]
- The story of a man and his dog — both pictured in red-and-blue Lowe’s vests — has touched the hearts of many in recent days. The Abilene Reporter-News reports that U.S. Air Force veteran Clay Luthy and his 10-year-old golden retriever, Charlotte, both work at the home improvement retailer. Luthy has had five surgeries on his knees and can't bend his left leg. Charlotte is trained to help Luthy up if he can't get off the floor. She has become favorite among customers in her two months on the job. However, Charlotte may soon need to retire. At home is Charlotte’s apprentice, a 6-month-old golden retriever named Lola. [The Associated Press]
- A second Republican elector from Texas says he won’t vote for Donald Trump. In a New York Times op-ed published Monday, Christopher Suprun of Dallas confirmed his decision not to vote for Trump when the Electoral College meets Dec. 19. He had threatened to do so earlier this year, telling Politico his party's presidential nominee was "saying things that in an otherwise typical election year would have you disqualified," the Texas Tribune reports. Suprun's defection comes nine days after Art Sisneros of Dayton announced he was stepping down as an elector. [Texas Tribune]
- Musicians from D-FW and across the state have been nominated for at least one Grammy. Locally, Arlington’s Maren Morris leads the pack with four nominations, including Best New Artist, and Best Country Album. Statewide, and across the board, Beyoncé, landed the most nominations — nine big ones for her album, “Lemonade.” Other Texas musicians with their name on the billing for the 59th annual music awards include Fort Worth’s Leon Bridges, a capella group Pentatonix, former Lindale resident, Miranda Lambert and gospel singer Kirk Franklin. Read more from GuideLive about the Texas ties and see all of the nominees here. [GuideLive]
- Baylor University has hired Matt Rhule as its new football coach. He takes over a beleaguered Big 12 Conference program after winning 20 games over the past two seasons at Temple University, the Associated Press reports. Rhule replaces two-time Big 12 champion coach Art Briles, who was dismissed after a scathing report over the university's handling of sexual assault complaints, including some against football players. The Bears are 6-6, and headed to the Cactus Bowl even with a six-game losing streak. [The Associated Press]