For Now, It's ‘Portable City,’ For Kids In West, But When Will Rebuilding Start? | KERA News

For Now, It's ‘Portable City,’ For Kids In West, But When Will Rebuilding Start?

Jul 16, 2013

The fertilizer plant explosion in West killed 15 people, injured 200 more and flattened homes and businesses across town. It also destroyed three of the town’s four schools, which means when the first bell rings next month, students will start the year in what some are calling “Portable City.” But while a village of prefabricated buildings tends to be a sign of imminent construction, it might not be the case in West.

According to the Associated Press federal officials have rejected the town's $40 million disaster aid request and insurance companies have offered about $20 million of the estimated $59 million value of the schools' insurance policy. Town leaders are worried that if rebuilding is delayed indefinitely, displaced families might decide not to move back. "You want to be home. You want that sense of normalcy," says Crystal Anthony, a school board member.

After the April 17 explosion West borrowed classrooms from nearby districts so seniors could graduate on time and students could finish the year. [AP via NPR]

  • Drug Kingpin Nabbed Near Texas Border: One of Mexico’s most vicious cartel leaders was captured just 20 miles south of the Texas border, on a quiet country road. NPR reports that the leader of the Zeta drug organization, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales also known as Z-40, was captured yesterday. He was wanted on both sides of the border -- and had deep roots in North Texas. According to the New York Times, the Zetas are known for violence and brutality. The gang's calling card is often beheading victims, leaving body parts on highways and hanging bodies from bridges.
  • Outside The Filibuster Bubble: News junkies in Texas and politicos on Capitol Hill may be buzzing about Wendy Davis’ recent filibuster attempt and proposed filibuster rule changes in Washington, but research shows the rest of the country isn’t paying much attention. In 2011, which was the last time Pew Research asked people how much they’d heard about proposals to change the filibuster rule; nearly half said they hadn’t heard anything. Furthermore, a lot of people don’t understand what a filibuster is. In 2010 when Pew Research asked how many senators are needed to break a filibuster, only about a quarter (26%) of the respondents knew the answer was 60. 
  • How ‘Bout Them Billon Dollar Cowboys?: Forbes put out its list of the most valuable sports teams in the world and the Dallas Cowboys nabbed the fifth spot overall, second place in the United States and the number one ranking of all NFL teams. So what are you worth if you’re the fifth most valuable team in the universe? A staggering $2.1 billion. Only the New York Yankees, valued at $2.3 billion, topped America’s Team in, well, America. Soccer dominated the top three spots with Real Madrid, a $3.3 billion franchise, ranked first. The Houston Texans, the only other Lone Star State team to make the top 50, were ranked 13th. If you want to see some Cowboy glitz up close, you can hear the NFL Fox team gush about the stadium jumbo-tron below.

  • On The Runway, In The Driveway, Same Difference: Food trucks have been hawking mini jalapeño corn muffins, stuffed mushroom caps and cupcake push pops in parking lots across America for some time now. So it’s only natural that mobile entrepreneurs would expand from calorie counts to thread counts. Fashion trucks are starting to cruise across major Texas cities including Dallas, Austin and Houston. KUHF interviewed two young entrepreneurs at the helm of their own mobile boutiques. Fashion trucks like the Vintagemobile and Luxeliner in Dallas are on summer hiatus right now, but will roll back into business in the fall.