Five stories that have North Texas talking: A poignant opening day in Arlington, gondolas to the Galleria and a European market planned for Valley View Mall’s lot, a petition to keep W's name off of Central Expressway and more.
Robbie Parker took his daughter Emilie to her first Texas Rangers game when she was just 3 months old. They saw the team together at Boston’s Fenway Park, and in Seattle, and at Rangers Ballpark. These moments are now at once beloved and wrenching for Parker, who lost 6-year-old Emilie in December when gunman Adam Lanza killed her and 19 of her classmates at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
Emilie’s dad became known as one of the first grieving parents to speak out, telling NPR’s Russell Lewis what a nurturing sister and thoughtful friend his daughter was. The Rangers invited Parker to throw the first pitch at the team’s season opener in Arlington today. [Dallas News]
- The Department of Defense's energy initiative will mean a solar-powered upgrade for Fort Bliss in far West Texas. The base will get 30 percent of its power from solar panels after an installation is finished later this year. Officials estimate the measure will save $39 million over the next 24 years. [El Paso Times]
- Valley View Mall used to be the only place in North Texas to locate and record pro-grade karaoke tracks. Soon, the location will become the only place in North Texas where one can browse a seven-story, glass-enclosed, European-style market and catch a gondola to the Galleria. Beck Ventures unveiled plans for a $3 billion mixed-use development called Dallas Midtown that include hike and bike trails to White Rock, two luxury hotels, and a wave pool. Seriously. [Dallas Business Journal]
- Deer breeders in Texas want a break from restrictions on tagging and venison sales. But other groups think the regs are already lax enough. Either way, the industry is trapping big money for the state. According to a 2008 study by Texas A&M University, deer breeding and hunting brings in an estimated $652 million annually. [Texas Tribune/NY Times]
- State Rep. Dan Branch filed a bill to name 7 miles of Central Expressway (US-75) for George W. Bush. It’s like an unofficial rename linked to the debut of the Bush Presidential Center later this month – signs would be paid for privately, and a highway already known by two names would get another. Dallasite Trey Carmichael and 18,000 (so far) of his friends don't like the idea. His petition to prevent the designation is posted on the left-leaning website SignOn.org. Carmichael’s own grandfather worked on Central Expressway after the Great Depression. He told Fox News last month the lifeblood for residents of Dallas proper can’t misrepresent the city. Even if the petition can’t block the measure, Carmichael hopes to deliver 20,000 signatures to Branch.