Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas County is chock full of uninsured drivers, measles outbreak continues and Tarrant County bears the brunt, the world loses a Dallas raised jazz piano giant and more.
Dallas County is a haven for uninsured drivers; new data shows one in six don’t have coverage. And things are getting worse. According to the Dallas Morning News, while numbers are down significantly from a few years back when close to one in five drivers had no insurance, this year’s number was higher than the uninsured total last year. The Department of Insurance reports close to 300,000 drivers in Dallas County regularly get behind the wheel without insurance. That’s about 16 percent of all motorists, a greater share than any other urban area in the Lone Star State.
Experts say drivers can easily get around the insurance requirement for state inspection and registration renewal by purchasing a one-month policy at the right time. After their stickers are on the windshield, they let the policy lapse. Under current law, drivers without insurance face a fine of up $350 the first time they’re pulled over. It jumps to $1,000 and possible suspension of their license on the second offense.
- Tarrant County Confirms 10th Case Of Measles: Health officials say it’s the worst outbreak since the early 1990s. In North Texas, 14 cases of measles have been confirmed: ten now in Tarrant County, two in Dallas County, and two in Denton County. Health officials have said they believe this outbreak originated with a person who recently traveled to Asia, where measles is much more common. Because the disease is airborne and highly contagious, health officials warn that any child who is not immune and hasn’t been vaccinated should expect to contract measles if exposed. [NBC DFW]
- Cruz To Renounce Canadian Citizenship: After the Dallas Morning News obtained a copy of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s birth certificate which showed a birth place of Calgary, Alberta in 1970, the Tea Party favorite has announced that he will renounce the Canadian half of his dual citizenship. In a statement released Monday night Cruz said, "Because my mother was a U.S. citizen, born in Delaware, I was a U.S. citizen by birth. When I was a kid, my Mom told me that I could choose to claim Canadian citizenship if I wanted. I got my U.S. passport in high school." [NPR]
- August Is Most Hazardous Month For Texas Workers: A new study that looked at workers comp claims in Texas has discovered an August spike. Travelers Insurance examined on-the-job injury data from the last two years and attribute the claims peak to a few different things. Officials say some companies hire seasonal workers during summer months who are less experienced and have less training. The notorious Texas heat is another problem. [KUHF]
- Jazz World Loses Top Piano Talent: A Texas-born jazz piano legend died Monday at the age of 79. Cedar Walton grew up in Dallas where his mother, an aspiring concert pianist herself, was his very first teacher. Always drawn to jazz, Walton moved to New York City in 1955 and stayed there. Walton was in good company during his career, playing with famed trombonist J.J. Johnson and recording the first drafts of John Coltrane's Giant Steps album. If you want a taste of what Walton was all about, treat yourself to this recording from the Umbria Jazz Festival in 1976. Stick around for at least 45 seconds so you can hear his sublime solo play. [NPR]