Five stories that have North Texas talking: no hesitation from Kaufman County D.A. appointee, airman reunited with Afghan puppy, Ann Richards immortalized on postage and more.
She didn’t even pause when Governor Rick Perry asked her to step in. Kaufman County District Attorney appointee Erleigh Norville Wiley simply said, “You can’t be fearful. You just have to be prayerful.” Once confirmed by the Texas Senate, the 49 year-old Republican court-at-law judge will step into the role left vacant when D.A. Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were murdered. As a result, county officials including Wiley were already wearing bullet proof vests and under surveillance.
Wiley grew up in Kaufman County, went to law school at the University of Texas and spent 14 years in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office where she specialized in cases of child abuse and neglect. Read more from the Dallas Morning News about the praise surrounding this appointment, as well as the incredible story of Wiley’s choice to donate a kidney to her ailing husband five years ago.
- Airman Moves Heaven And Earth For Afghan Puppy: Charles Schultz said, “Happiness is a warm puppy,” and Senior Airman Tom Burright wholeheartedly agrees. While serving in Afghanistan he unofficially adopted a dog begging for scraps near a U.S. military camp. The Afghan hound, christened Lyla, became a camp mascot and bright spot for the troops. When the time came for Burright to return to DFW, he wasn’t ready to say goodbye, so he contacted Puppy Rescue Mission. The group helped him raise $4,000, Lyla got her shots, was carefully loaded into her crate and made the 18 hour flight to the U.S. She was happily re-united with Burright yesterday whose wife and three year-old son were thrilled to meet her. [Dallas Morning News]
- Up In Smoke: Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 letters, invitations, parcels, and flyers were destroyed when a post office in Corpus Christi caught on fire. The fire was most likely electrical and while nobody was hurt in the accidental blaze, the post office will probably have to be demolished. About half of the P.O. boxes there were damaged, but unless you took out insurance on your item, the Postal Service doesn’t cover losses on destroyed mail. [AP via WFAA]
- Forever On A Stamp: Speaking of snail mail, a petition on change.org with more than 1,000 supporters so far wants to see former Texas Governor Ann Richards grace a U.S. postage stamp. Organizers are working on this project in advance of the 25th anniversary of Richards’ inauguration, which happens in 2016. They’re asking for signatures online as well as helming a letter writing campaign. As listed on the site, the Ann Richards Commemorative Postage Stamp Committee includes luminaries like Warren Buffet, George Clooney and Billie Jean King.
- Do free gifts and story pitches mix?: Public media is used to fundraising, but Austin PBS station KLRU is taking a unique approach on an upcoming documentary project. They’ve launched an actual online campaign to raise $25,000 for a documentary about the role of race in university admissions. They’ve laid out their pitch very precisely; they’ll trace Supreme Court cases from Sweatt v. Painter to this term’s Fisher v. Texas. If you donate to their journalistic cause, you’ll get some station swag. A $10 donation equals a KLRU sticker, $1,000 buys a private dinner with the filmmaker. You can track the campaign online here.