Five stories that have North Texas talking: Marathoners from the Lone Star State react to deadly Boston explosions, Dallas responds with amped-up security, NYC stocks liquid courage straight from Texas and more.
North Texas runners who entered the Boston marathon seem to be safe and accounted for, but several have harrowing stories about the scene on Boylston Street after yesterday’s deadly blast. The explosions killed three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and injured at least 150 others. NPR’s the Two-Way blog is posting updates as they happen including the latest on the investigation.
KERA’s Stella Chavez caught up with marathoner Mike Bordelon who was watching the race he’d already finished from his Boston hotel room when he saw the tide of runners suddenly change course. Listen to her story here.
The Dallas Morning News spoke to local Stacy Yervasi, who crossed the finish line about 60 seconds before the first explosion. “I looked back and saw smoke,” she said. “I wondered if it was some sort of celebratory cannon, but it seemed random at four-plus hours. Then, the second explosion happened. It was clear something was wrong.” You can read the full story here.
- Security Response In Dallas: The nation is responding to the tragedy in Boston by ramping up security at large public events. Though precise details haven’t been released, at last night’s Mavericks game, the American Airlines Center added extra safety measures. ESPN reports that Mavs coach Rick Carlisle lived along the Boston Marathon route during his playing days with the Celtics.
- Exonerees Fight For Others’ Freedom: In case you missed it in the news scramble after the Boston tragedy: NPR’s All Things Considered spotlighted a group of prison exonerees, all from the Dallas area, who have formed a detective agency with a simple goal: to prove the innocence of others who have been wrongly accused. Former Texas Observer Managing Editor Michael May introduced us to Claude A. Simmons Jr., Thomas McGowan, Christopher Scott, Johnnie Lindsey and Richard Miles. These men spent years behind bars, decades in some cases, before being freed. A group of filmmakers is about a year into a documentary called Freedom Fighters that will follow these exonerees as they dig deep into cases they believe landed innocent men behind bars.
- Free Speech And License Plates: The Confederate flag will stay off the list of customizable Texas license plates, despite a federal lawsuit citing free speech violations. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has sided with the state, which rebuffed an effort by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to introduce a vanity plate emblazoned with a Confederate flag. Sparks writes that the plates weren't intended to be a public forum, which means the government can exclude designs it considers offensive. [Courthouse News via the Dallas Observer]
- Drink Up, Yankees! Beer connoisseurs in the Big Apple are finally able to fill frosty mugs with Texas’ signature amber brew. As of yesterday, Shiner Beer was on tap and in bottles in all five boroughs of New York City. According to CultureMap Houston, a Shiner rollout is also planned for all six New England states and Oregon. That’ll leave Idaho as the lone holdout. The Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, is the oldest independent brewery in the Lone Star State and one of the largest craft breweries in the nation. [Texas Monthly]