Five stories that have North Texas talking: Fort Hood shooting victims to get Purple Hearts today; Texas Rangers have their home opener this afternoon; geology students in Wichita Falls have discovered a really old rock; and more.
Play ball! Today is the Texas Rangers’ home opener at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers play the Houston Astros at 3:05 p.m. You can catch it on Fox Sports Southwest. The Associated Press reports: “After missing most of last season while rehabbing from left knee surgery, Derek Holland makes his 2015 debut Friday against the Astros. He also had some left shoulder soreness early this spring, but says he feels great and is ready to go. Holland missed the first five months last season because of the knee surgery after tripping over his dog on the stairs of his home.” Gates open at noon and Rangers officials encourage fans to give themselves plenty of time to get through the gates. That’s because of new security measures in place. Fans will have to walk through metal detectors. Across the country, all ballparks in Major League Baseball are installing the detectors – it’s a new requirement following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. After you get into Globe Life Park, you can pig out on some of the new food – and bacon is a big theme this year. There’s chicken-fried bacon on a stick, bacon sunflower seeds – even bacon cotton candy. You can wash all of that down with bacon beer. [KERA/Associated Press]
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) April 10, 2015
- Purple Hearts are being awarded this morning to victims of the 2009 Fort Hood attack. Army Times reports: “The victims of the shooting, the deadliest on a U.S. military installation, will be honored during a ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday at the III Corps headquarters on Fort Hood. As many as 47 Purple Hearts and Defense of Freedom Medals, the civilian equivalent of the Purple Heart, will be awarded Friday. The event is hosted by Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, commander of III Corps and Fort Hood.” The Nov. 5, 2009, shootings killed 13 people and wounded more than 30. Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted in August 2013 and sentenced to death.
- Former WFAA-TV health reporter Janet St. James has been diagnosed with breast cancer. WFAA reports: “Janet St. James, who spent nearly 19 years as a medical reporter with WFAA, has been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, she announced on her Facebook page Thursday. The diagnosis came on April 2, she said in the video. She said the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. St. James is set to have a double mastectomy that will determine her method of treatment. She was set to begin work as an assistant vice president of communications with HCA Healthcare of North Texas on April 6 after 25 years in broadcast journalism.”
- TxDOT is on a campaign to discourage texting while driving. The Texas Department of Transportation passes along this note: “With more people dying senselessly on Texas roads due to distracted driving, the Texas Department of Transportation kicks off its annual ‘Talk, Text, Crash’ campaign to urge drivers to give their full attention to the road. TxDOT’s campaign coincides with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.” TxDOT says nearly one in five Texas traffic crashes is caused by a distracted river. “Distracted driving-related crashes in Texas are highest among 16- to 24-year-olds,” TxDOT says. “In 2014, there were 100,825 crashes in Texas involving distracted driving — up 6 percent from the previous year.
- Geology students at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls have something new on campus to study: a salmon-colored, nearly 3-ton, 535-million-year old rock discovered on a trash site. They're calling it "The Rock." While the name might need work, the stone itself was welcomed last week by a small group of geology students, professors and administrators. The Wichita Falls Times Record News reports that The Rock was discovered along with concrete debris after a recent rain. One professor thinks the rock is made of Quanah granite and stems from an era when southern Oklahoma had active volcanoes. [Associated Press]