Five stories that have North Texas talking: Big shooting ranges to open in North Richland Hills and Frisco, let the government shutdown begin, America's best bathroom is in Texas, and more:
By next summer, North Richland Hills will be home to an indoor shooting range that will boast mock holdups, shooting lanes, a gun shop and even a café, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. A former Home Depot Expo Design Center is being transformed into the Caliber Shooting Center. The building, between Boulevard 26 and Davis Boulevard, near Northeast Loop 820, has been vacant since 2005. The shooting range will include a deceleration chamber that will slow fired bullets until they drop and can be collected, the newspaper reports. Meanwhile, in Collin County, the Frisco Gun Club is scheduled to open later this month. The business promises “the exclusivity of a country club, the luxury of a private dining club and the ruggedness of a firing range,” The Dallas Morning News reported earlier this year.
- Let the shutdown begin: As the clock struck midnight, the federal government closed its doors, the first shutdown since 1996. A spending bill was due last night to fund the government. But there’s a showdown between House Republicans, who demand that the spending bill include anti-Obamacare amendments, and Senate Democrats, who refuse to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act. NPR is offering continuing coverage. So who has to work and who has to stay home? The New York Times produced this helpful interactive graphic. (Hint: NASA TV employees get to stay home, but the International Space Station scientists have to stay in space.) The Dallas Morning News reports on how Texas House members were preparing for a shutdown.
- Shutdown, part two: More on the government hoedown – err, shutdown. For a laugh, read The Onion’s coverage of the government hoedown. The satirical publication reports: “Already donning the bib overalls, Stetson hats, and festive gingham skirts that they will wear throughout what is expected to be a long and strenuous hoedown, legislators on both sides of the aisle told reporters that there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans negotiating a last-minute deal that would forestall a countrified barn burner the likes of which the federal government has never before seen.”
- In Arlington, more money for arts: The city of Arlington is increasing annual grant funds set aside for arts and cultural events from $100,000 to $125,000, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Applications are due Oct. 15. Groups have to prove that their events draw visitors from outside city limits. The Arlington Museum of Art said its $25,000 grant from last year helped fund its “Rembrandt: An Evolution of Etchings” exhibit, which drew 5,000 visitors from 16 countries, 41 states and 123 Texas cities beyond Arlington. The museum’s executive director told the newspaper that many visitors reported being in town for games at Rangers Ballpark.
- At more museums, it's 'Pictures Please!" The Dallas Museum of Art is among museums across the country to loosen rules to let visitors shoot photos in their galleries. “We now routinely attempt to negotiate with all of our lenders to allow photography of their works while on display in the galleries,” Maxwell L. Anderson, the Dallas Museum of Art’s director, told The New York Times. “It is far more important for our gallery attendants to focus on the safety of the works of art and our visitors than to have to constantly admonish our visitors, ‘No photographs!’ ” Deborah Solomon, WNYC’s art critic and author of the upcoming book “American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwall,” included Anderson’s thoughts as part of an opinion piece in the Sunday edition of The New York Times. “Museum bans on picture-taking are practically unenforceable and are also obsolete,” Solomon wrote.
- “Restrooms You Have to Pee to Believe:” America’s best restroom is in Texas – the New Braunfels Bucee’s. Texas Monthly takes us on a tour. The bathroom is the champion of the annual “America’s Best Restroom” contest, which is sponsored by a bathroom supplier company. “People will hold it so they can go here,” said 21-year-old Texas State University student Scott Sommerlatte. A team of five maintenance workers man the bathrooms 24/7. The magazine reports: “The men’s room has eight sparkling sinks, twelve always-humming automated EnMotion towel dispensers, and nine Bucee’s beaver–logoed pink-gel-soap dispensers (not to mention six additional public Purells).”