Five stories that have North Texas talking: North Texas Food Bank sees spike in donations since longtime leader’s death; Joe Straus got the green light for a fifth term; your chances of getting a job are good in Plano; and more.
The North Texas Food Bank has seen a spike in donations in the week since it lost its longtime leader to a battle with cancer. Jan Pruitt died on Jan. 2. Earlier in December, she stepped down as the food bank’s president and CEO and stopped receiving treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. In lieu of flowers, Pruitt’s family asked for donations made in her honor. The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday that current total of donations will provide more than 200,000 meals. Under Pruitt’s leadership, the food bank began work on a plan to increase the number of meals provided to North Texans to 92 million a year by 2025, according to The Dallas Morning News. The North Texas Food Bank serves 13 counties. The first year Pruitt was in charge, the food bank gave out 11 million meals. The latest count is 70 million. Learn more about Pruitt’s legacy from KERA reporter Courtney Collins. [The Dallas Morning News, KERA News]
- All 150 lights next to the names of members in the Texas House were bright green for Joe Straus. On the opening day of the state’s 2017 Legislative session Tuesday, Straus was unanimously re-elected House Speaker. That wasn’t the case back in 2015 “when he faced a Tea Party challenger who forced the first contested vote for Speaker since 1975. All but 19 House members voted for Straus,” The Texas Tribune reports. Straus was first elected House Speaker in 2009. He now shares a record-tying fifth term with former House Speakers Pete Laney and Gib Lewis for the longest tenures presiding over the House. [The Texas Tribune]
- Plano is one of the best cities to find a job in 2017, according to WalletHub. Make that the second best, just behind Scottsdale, Ariz. Analysts compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across 23 indicators of job-market strength, like “job opportunities” to “employment growth” to “median annual income.” Plano scored well in individual categories including highest median annual income and affordable housing. But the hours spent working and commuting to work prevented the Dallas suburb from landing the No. 1 spot. Explore the full study. [WalletHub]
- Houston’s finest — Beyonce and her sister, Solange — talked to each other for Interview magazine. In the piece published Tuesday, Solange says growing up in a house with older sister Beyonce was like a "master class" for becoming a musical success. Solange told Beyonce she practiced working on her music a lot in their Houston home, saying their mother "always taught us to be in control of our voice and our bodies and our work." Beyonce said it was strange to be interviewing her sister, but added that she was Solange's "biggest fan." When Beyonce asked how she did as a big sister, Solange said she was "the most patient, loving, wonderful sister ever." [Interview]
- The first Mexican-American to rise to Catholic bishop in the U.S. has died. Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores, former archbishop of the San Antonio Roman Catholic archdiocese, died Monday at the age of 87. Flores died of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted living center for retired priests. According to The Associated Press: “Flores was born in the small Texas Coastal Plains farming town of Ganado. He was ordained in Galveston in 1956, became a bishop in 1970 and was appointed head of the El Paso Catholic diocese in 1978. He was appointed San Antonio's archbishop the following year and served until his retirement in 2004.” [The Associated Press]