Five stories that have North Texas talking: Keller’s mysterious graffiti had to be painted over; the Texas Rangers are searching for Tom Brady’s stolen jersey; goodbye, Valley View; and more.
The series of paintings found by parks department officials along the city of Keller’s trail system last month were vandalized recently. In January, a portrait of a doe was discovered on the wall of a tunnel that runs under Bear Creek Parkway in Keller. The doe was joined shortly after by a bird and an armadillo appearing to be painted by the same artist. Although the paintings classified as graffiti, warranting a Class C misdemeanor (equivalent to a traffic ticket), city officials made an exception.
Not only did the city want to keep the series of portraits but also it hoped to find the anonymous artist and request a full mural. Additional paintings, including a turtle and a pair of turkeys, joined the original trio after several news outlets publicized the city’s search. On Saturday, the City of Keller posted on its Facebook page to announce that the paintings were vandalized and had to be painted over. One person commented on the post saying: “I like the idea of displaying prints of the artwork in City Hall.” [KERA News]
- The “Texas Rangers are on the trail” to locate Tom Brady’s stolen jersey. Called upon by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Texas Rangers have been tasked with helping find the missing jersey, which disappeared from the New England Patriots locker room after the Super Bowl. Patrick said in a statement Monday that Brady's jersey "was stolen" after the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 at Houston's NRG Stadium, and that city police were already investigating. He added: “In Texas we place a very high value on hospitality and football,” and “It is important that history does not record that it was stolen in Texas.” Brady joked that he expects to see it soon on an online auction. [The Associated Press]
- Watch this water tower in Rowlett fall gracefully to the ground. Demolition crews worked for seven hours Monday to prepare the 155-foot water tower to meet the ground safely, The Dallas Morning News reports. The structure, built in the late 1970s, was rendered useless from damage after a tornado tore through the town on Dec. 26, 2015. A couple hundred people watched the event from a safe distance. "It has been the view out my back door for 29 years," Teresa Prunty Bass, whose home sustained about $51,000 in damage in the storm, tells the Morning News. "The sky is going to look empty when it's gone." [The Dallas Morning News]
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- Fort Worth’s bike share program saw a significant jump in usage in 2016. The bike share program, in which residents with an annual membership card can check out a bike at various stations across the city, launched in Fort Worth in 2013. There are 45 docking stations and 350 bikes in the city. According to NBC DFW, 55,841 trips were taken totaling 286,149 miles last year. Program director Kristen Camareno tells the news station: "We didn't expect quite a 35 percent jump. We usually anticipate 10 to 15 percent year-over-year which is what we've seen since we launched in 2013. The program plans to add two more docking stations this year. [NBC DFW]
- Valley View Center is on its way out — revisit the glory days with these archival photos. Built in 1973, the North Dallas mall is undergoing demolition to be replaced with “mixed-use development,” with potential plans for a hotel, fitness center, eight-screen movie theater and an apartment community, according to The Dallas Morning News. "The mostly vacant shopping center at LBJ Freeway and Preston Road is the largest piece of a 400-plus-acre development district called Dallas Midtown.” Check out photos from Valley View’s prime (i.e. when it housed the world’s largest popcorn ball) from GuideLive. [The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive]