Five stories that have North Texas talking: Historic Gruene Hall to throw dance party for television shoot; Dallas police officers pitch in at the 911 call center; Buzzfeed is opening its first Texas office; and more.
Gruene Hall is asking for dancers to fill the floor that Thursday night. Jazz and Western swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown will be providing tunes from 6 to 10 p.m. Of course, if you’re planning to join the free fun, you have to be OK with eventually being on national television, according to the Facebook event.
“I’m not sure how she chose the Texas Hill Country. But she was very impressed,” hall co-owner Mary Jane Nalley tells San Antonio Business Journal. The owners aren’t sure when the Gruene Hall segment will air but it should be one of the earlier works in the new series.
Gruene Hall, built in 1878, is Texas’ oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall. Gruene, settled by German immigrants in the 1840s, is an historic spot in New Braunfels. [San Antonio Business Journal]
- Dallas police officers are working at the 911 call center as the city deals with staffing shortages that have contributed to long wait times for people calling with emergencies. The Dallas Morning News reports: “The center has experienced sudden spikes in calls that have correlated with two tragic deaths and left hundreds of people on hold for emergency services. In addition to technological trouble, the mayor has blamed the problem on having too few 911 operators.” City council members worry that officers are being taken off their patrols to staff the call center as the police department is facing its own staffing shortfall. [The Dallas Morning News, The Associated Press]
- Buzzfeed is opening its first Texas office in Austin next month. Summer Anne Burton, Buzzfeed’s executive creative producer, is returning to her native city to open the new “small, experimental office,” she tells Texas Monthly. Buzzfeed is based in New York but has creative and editorial offices all around the country and the globe. The Austin office will be “focused on creative output—including BuzzFeed’s branded content—and learning how to tap Texas talent and identity in order to establish a way to work outside of world capitals and America’s coastal megalopolises,” according to Texas Monthly. Want to gauge Burton’s knowledge of and devotion to Austin? Read this. [Texas Monthly]
- Dallas plans to un-pave a parking lot and replace it with a green space. The Dallas City Council approved a development agreement last week with Parks for Downtown Dallas to build Pacific Plaza park, The Dallas Morning News reports. “The nonprofit organization, which fought back an adversarial group that wanted to build an underground parking garage on the site, will donate $15 million to pay for the construction of the park and another $1 million for an operating endowment.” Pacific Plaza will be a 3.2-acre near Harwood and St. Paul Streets and Pacific Avenue. The group expects construction to begin in early 2018 and take 12 to 18 months to complete. [The Dallas Morning News]
- We’re two months into the Texas Legislature, and you might notice it’s a bit quiet on the lawmaking front. According to KUT’s managing editor Matt Largey, that’s all part of the plan. He says the session plays out kind of like a symphony. “It all begins with the flourish of a pounding gavel, but then it quickly dies down...But when we get a little ways into the first 60 days, the tempo picks up a bit. That momentum keeps building until the 60 day deadline for filing most bills (which was March 10) – and snowballs into frantic activity before sine die on May 29 – the end of the legislative session.” Here are the dates of interest for the 85th Legislature. [KUT]
The High Five is KERA's daily roundup of news stories from Dallas-Fort Worth and across the state. Explore our archives here. And sign up for our weekly email for the North Texas news you need to know.