Five stories that have North Texas talking: Plano is the best city in America to get a job; the San Antonio River Walk runs dry this week; Fort Worth firefighters have a strange encounter with a juggler; and more.
Researchers from the Caruth Police Institute will be asking some emergency callers and drivers pulled over by Dallas police whether officers wearing body cameras has any effect on their confidence in law enforcement as a part of a new study. The Associated Press reported: “Drivers or 911 callers would get follow-up phone calls asking about treatment by the officer and whether the interaction helped or hurt their trust in police. Changes in the number of complaints, commendations and uses of force will be tracked. Researchers hope the study will show whether citizens and officers behave better knowing they are being recorded.”
For six months, researchers will monitor 100 officers who wear the cameras and 100 officers who don’t, according to The Dallas Morning News. The police department of 3,500 officers has paid for 400 cameras total, The Morning News reported, and about 200 officers will receive the first batch of cameras this month. [DMN and Associated Press]
Read more KERA News reports on body cameras for Dallas police.
Plano is the best city in the U.S. to find a job, according to a study by WalletHub. Perhaps that’s not surprising with J.C. Penney, Frito-Lay and Pizza Hut having their headquarters in Plano, and Toyota is on its way. In general, Texas is a decent state for employment opportunities — 16 cities are ranked in the study. As for North Texas — Irving landed at No. 4, Dallas at No. 24, Garland at No. 29, Grand Prairie at No. 32, Arlington at No. 41 and Fort Worth at No. 45.
Analysts from WalletHub compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across 17 key metrics, including job opportunities, employment growth and monthly median starting salary to determine the best (and worst) cities to find a job in 2016. Explore the full report.
Here are more details on Dallas’ rankings:
- 26th – Job Opportunities
- 28th – Employment Growth
- 40th – Unemployment Rate
- 37th – Industry Variety
- 5th – Monthly Median Starting Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living
- 74th – Housing Affordability
- 13th – Full-Time Employment
Former Dallas school board member Mike Morath officially heads the Texas Education Agency. Morath was sworn in by Gov. Greg Abbott Monday as the state’s education commissioner, according to the Associated Press. Morath was appointed on Dec. 14 to oversee the 1,200 districts and charter schools across the state. The AP reported, “Morath replaces Education Commissioner Michael Williams, who led TEA since 2012 and cited family reasons for his resignation. Morath's appointment is subject to Texas Senate confirmation during the 2017 session.” Do you know Morath’s top three priorities as TEA commissioner? [Associated Press]
San Antonio’s River Walk will be uncharacteristically dry this week. On Monday, the river that typically flows along the shops, hotels and restaurants of the tourist hotspot was drained for maintenance and sediment removal. KENS in San Antonio reported: “In January of 2010 and 2011, a total of 6,252 cubic yards of sediment was removed from the river loop and extension of the River Walk. This has enabled the City to reschedule the river draining to occur only on odd numbered years, or as needed, in order to do routine maintenance and inspect the walls that are normally submerged in the water." Maintenance will run through Saturday. [KENS]
A grain elevator isn’t the best place to juggle flaming batons. Fort Worth firefighters responded to a grain elevator fire on the eighth floor of a building off West Dickson and Hemphill streets on Sunday night, the Star-Telegram reported. When they reached the site of the fire, they found a man juggling flaming batons. The man had no reason for being there, and he wasn’t arrested nor was there damage to the building. The Engine 10 crew simply extinguished the batons and called it a night...albeit a weird one. [Star-Telegram]