‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant From Texas Loses Cancer Battle A Week Before Her Episode Airs | KERA News

‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant From Texas Loses Cancer Battle A Week Before Her Episode Airs

Dec 9, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Don’t hold your phone and drive in Denton; watch a short film on the Dallas police ambush; hear the sounds of the border at the Amon Carter; and more.

A woman who competed on “Jeopardy!” this year while battling terminal colon cancer died Monday, a week before her episode was set to air. But 41-year-old Cindy Stowell’s prize money will go to cancer research as she wished, The Associated Press reports. Competing on the quiz show was a "lifelong dream" for the science content developer from Austin, according to host Alex Trebek.

According to a statement on the quiz show’s website, she was invited to audition for the show in August. Before the audition, Stowell reached out to contestant producer Maggie Speak with the following message:

“Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in person interview, and the taping date? I ask because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live. The doctor’s best guess is about 6 months. If there is the chance that I’d be able to still tape episodes of Jeopardy! if I were selected, I’d like to do that and donate any winnings to … charities involved in cancer research. If it is unlikely that the turnaround time would be that quick, then I’d like to give up my try out spot to someone else.”

Stowell passed the audition and was booked for the earliest possible taping Aug. 31. Her appearance will air Tuesday. [The Associated Press]

  • Denton banned using handheld devices while driving this week. The Denton City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday to approve the ban. Denton already had an ordinance banning texting while driving in place, but it has been difficult to enforce, the Denton Record-Chronicle reports. This new ordinance permits an officer to pull someone over if he/she observes the driver simply holding a wireless device. Texas remains one of four states that hasn’t enforced a statewide ban on texting while driving, but for the fifth time, a bill has been filed ahead of the 2017 Legislative session to possibly move the state into the majority. [Denton Record-Chronicle, The Texas Tribune]  


  • Revisit the moments before and after the Dallas police ambush with this film. As a peaceful protest was ending July in downtown Dallas, a gunman opened fire. Five officers were killed. Nine others, and two civilians, were injured. An interfaith prayer service, candlelight vigil and memorial attended by President Barack Obama followed. Dallas filmmaker, Christian Vasquez, directed “Divided Together Again,” as “an attempt to encapsulate the mood before and after the shooting, as the city seemed to unify around a sense of collective grief and confusion.” [KERA News]

  • A new exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum of Art explores live near the border. Photographer Richard Misrach and artist and musician Guillermo Galindo created the exhibition “Border|Cantos” currently on display at the Fort Worth museum. It features Misrach’s massive photographs taken along the border, accompanied by music Galindo created using artifacts found there. The music is played on instruments made of worn shoes, tires and even bones. Make sure to carve out enough time for this show. You’ll need 20 minutes to listen to Galindo’s compositions alone. Listen to the full story about the exhibition. [Art&Seek]

  • Actor Judge Reinhold was arrested at Dallas Love Field Thursday for disorderly conduct. Transportation Security Administration officials selected the 59-year-old actor for a random pat-down, and he wasn't pleased, The Dallas Morning News reports. He was told he could be taken to a private screening room, but Reinhold refused and then became "belligerent." He wasn't calming down when officers arrived, so they arrested him. He was taken to Dallas County Jail and booked on a disorderly conduct charge, a Class C misdemeanor that comes with a fine. [The Dallas Morning News]