Five stories that have North Texas talking: Parker County inmates helped their jailer having a heart attack; Texas let a lot of failing students graduate in 2015; former President George Bush can’t help but dance; and more.
At least eight Parker County inmates, still shackled, saw the jailer guarding their cell suddenly slump forward and lay motionless in his chair. They managed to escape their holding cell, check the guard’s pulse and make enough noise by shouting and banging to summon help from other deputies, NPR reported. The incident was captured on surveillance video.
Parker County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Speegle, who responded first, said the situation could have been dangerous, considering the guard had keys and a gun, WFAA reported. Speegle corralled the inmates into the cell, and other deputies performed CPR until paramedics arrived to shock and revive the guard.
Nick Kelton, one of the inmates involved, described the guard as a "good man" in an interview with WFAA. "It never crossed my mind whether he's got a gun or a badge," Kelton said. "If he falls down, I'll help him." According to The Associated Press, the unnamed jailer "continues to recover from an apparent heart attack."
Watch the WFAA story below. [WFAA, NPR, AP]
- Nearly 6,000 Texas students were cleared to graduate in 2015, but they didn’t pass all of their end-of-year tests, according to data from the Texas Education Agency. Last year, the state Legislature approved Senate Bill 149 reducing the number of tests high schoolers had to pass to graduate. The Texas Tribune reported: “Prior to passage of the legislation, students in the class of 2015 would have been required to pass five end-of-course exams to graduate...Instead, they were able to walk the stage even if they had failed as many as two of the tests as long as they had passed all their coursework and a special “graduation committee”... unanimously endorsed it.” [The Texas Tribune]
- Explore the personal journeys of North Texas creatives. Art&Seek, KERA’s arts and culture coverage, launched Artist Spotlight — a weekly conversation with regional artists of various disciplines. First, Clare Floyd Devries. She has never taken a theater class, but she’s North Texas’ most prolific set designer, designing more than 200 shows in 16 years. And this week, meet Sedrick Huckaby, an artist known for his quilt paintings that have hung in museums around the U.S. Over the next year, Art&Seek will build a catalogue of these North Texas artists with a story each week. [Art&Seek]
- President George W. Bush can’t help but dance to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” There were a few bright moments at a solemn memorial Tuesday held for the five Dallas police officers killed in an ambush last week. Police Chief David Brown recited Stevie Wonder’s “I’ll Be Loving You Always,” and President Barack Obama followed it with a joke, saying he’s glad he met his wife before Brown did “because she loves Stevie Wonder.” Former President George W. Bush offered kind words as well, he'll likely be remembered for his stifled dancing while hand-in-hand with his wife and Michelle Obama at the end of the broadcast. See the video below and explore our live blog for videos, tweets, pictures and other highlights from the memorial. [KERA News]
- Topo Chico has deep roots in Mexico and a wide reach in Texas. The bubbling mineral water, bottled in Monterrey, Mexico since 1895, has become a mainstream choice of beverage for Texans in bars, coffee shops and grocery stores. David de la Garza, U.S. marketing manager for Topo Chico, attributes the popularity to promoting within the “five pillars” — the arts, fashion, culinary, health and music worlds. But, it’s not a “hipster brand” de la Garza told Texas Standard. It’s just shifted from a predominantly Hispanic consumer base to include more people craving those signature throat-tickling bubbles. Yes, Topo Chico is pretty hip now, but it wasn’t long ago that branding looked like this. [Texas Standard]