Five stories that have North Texas talking: Waging battles over Christmas is a Texas tradition; here are this year’s top Google trends in Dallas-Fort Worth: expect more tacos in 2017; and more.
Texas officials have fought over Christmas at least seven times. According to The Texas Tribune’s list, the state’s government leaders “wage battles against the so-called ‘War on Christmas’” seemingly year after year. The most recent quarrel came last week when Attorney General Ken Paxton criticized a Killeen school’s decision to remove a Peanuts-themed poster.
Staffer Dedra Shannon had put up a homemade poster that included a biblical verse recited by Linus in the film "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and the principal asked that she take it down, The Associated Press reports. Paxton came to the poster's defense saying its removal was an "attack on religious liberty." The attorney general says that the state’s Merry Christmas law adopted in 2013 means schools can't "silence a biblical reference to Christmas," according to the AP.
— Texas Values (@txvalues) December 14, 2016
Killeen administrators argue school employees are not permitted to impose their personal beliefs on students, The Washington Post reports. The nonprofit lobbying and advocacy group Texas Values sent a letter to the board of the Killeen ISD Monday, which Paxton followed with his own letter Tuesday. At a meeting Tuesday night, which drew an audience of nearly 100 people, the school board refused to reinstate the poster.
On Thursday, the office of Ken Paxton sent a release saying he's intervening in the lawsuit filed on behalf of Dedra Shannon against the school district's decision. [The Texas Tribune, The Associated Press, The Washington Post]
- Dallas Police Department is losing officers faster than it can replace them. Tasha Tsiaperas, with The Dallas Morning News, says 99 Dallas police officers have left the department over the past 10 weeks.“It’s a continuation of a trend that has started over the past two years, but it seems to have worsened,” she tells Texas Standard. To increase the number of police officers, the department is trying to hire about 449 officers in the next year. Tsiaperas says they’ll need at least 3,700 applicants to fill those spaces. [Texas Standard]
- What did Dallas-Fort Worth google in 2016? Google Wednesday launched its annual “Year in Search,” a compilation of the most popular news, figures and queries that dominated billions of user searches in 2016. With the database, you can explore what people in countries all over the globe searched for this year (by month, too). Take a look at some of the trending searches in Dallas-Fort Worth — “Pokemon Go,” Dallas Shooting, Mexican food near me — to see how 2016 played out in this small corner of the world. [KERA News, Google]
- Trompo is opening a second location. In August, the West Dallas taqueria got a nod from "Bon Appetit" magazine, as one of the best new restaurants in the country. Business boomed following the announcement. GuideLive reports: “The decision to open a second restaurant, however, was more about inviting diners to sit and stay a while.” At the new location, patrons will be able to order beer and wine with their tacos and quesadillas and enjoy it inside or on the patio. Trompo 42 will be located at 213 West Eighth St. in Oak Cliff and will open next spring. [GuideLive]
- Looking to volunteer in North Texas during the holidays? It’s always a good time to give back to the community. And the holiday season is no exception. Whether it’s your money or time, there are plenty of ways to donate to organizations that feed, clothe and help North Texans get back on their feet. We’ve compiled a quick guide with several Dallas-Fort Worth area groups to check out for upcoming and ongoing volunteer opportunities. Explore the quick guide. [KERA News]