Five stories that have North Texas talking: it will cost a Texas university $135,000 to bring Matthew McConaughey to campus as commencement speaker; a lake is recovering from an old fish kill; a gun range is headed to North Richland Hills; and more.
She’s a lean, mean, steak-eating machine! And she has plans to eat even more. Last May, Molly Schuyler ate two 72-ounce steaks in less than 10 minutes – a record – at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo. (The place where if you eat the steak and fixings in one hour, you get the meal for free.) The Amarillo Globe-News reports she’ll be back soon. “On April 19, Schuyler returns to the Big Texan in attempt to break her own record by attempting three 72-ounce steaks, three baked potatoes, three shrimp cocktails, three side salads and three rolls in under an hour. But this time, Schuyler will have some stiff competition while she downs the first steak dinner. Four teams of two — two professional wrestlers; two West Texas A&M University football players; a married competitive eating couple who have each successfully completed the challenge; and a team to be drawn at random — will take Schuyler on to see who can finish first and claim a $1,000 purse.” For the record, Schuyler is called a "competitive eater." Her Twitter page says: "Who says a mom can't still eat a lot?!?! Bring it on!!"
Watch Schuyler eat the two steaks last year. (Warning: It’s intense. And amazing.)
- Getting a big star to speak at commencement costs a lot of money. The Texas Tribune reports: “Call it the Houston Buyers Club: The University of Houston is paying $135,000 plus travel expenses to get Matthew McConaughey to speak at its spring commencement. Tuesday's big reveal followed the university's initial reluctance to release the amount. In a statement, school officials said the Academy Award-winning actor will donate the money to charity, minus the cut that will go to the booking agency that arranged the event.” [Texas Tribune]
- Experts say a North Texas lake has shown signs of recovery from a 2010 fish kill blamed on golden alga. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department on Wednesday announced encouraging results of recent gill net surveys at Possum Kingdom reservoir. Fish kills have been documented as far back as 2000 in what's commonly known as Possum Kingdom lake, about 60 miles west of Fort Worth. Biologists in 2010 estimated nearly 120,000 fish died in Possum Kingdom and also Lake Whitney in kills blamed on golden alga. Fisheries biologist Robert Mauk says most fish populations have done relatively well since then, with good numbers of older, larger fish. Striped bass have done especially well. Mauk says surveys haven't shown this many larger striped bass since a fish kill in 2001. [Associated Press]
- A company has plans to turn a vacant North Richland Hills building into North Texas’ newest gun range. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “Bodyguard Sports has announced that it will convert one of the city’s most-visible buildings — the former Home Depot Expo Design Center off Boulevard 26 — into an indoor shooting range complete with a gun store, a gunsmith, a café, event space, a place to shoot lasers at video simulations, and an indoor shoot house with nonlethal ‘Simunitions,’ two rifle and pistol bays and a five-stand sport shooting place.” The company founder says he wants to “create a family atmosphere that would cater to gun novices as well as expert shooters. Both alcohol and inebriated people will be banned from the business.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- A decades-old stained glass window will soon be on display at Dallas Love Field. The city sends along this note about a window saved from an East Dallas church: “The Campanile Window is a historically-significant work by Dallas artist and teacher, Octavio Medellin. The window, originally installed in the bell tower, is one of four installed in the Trinity Lutheran Church on Gaston Avenue in 1960.The church was demolished to build the new YMCA at White Rock. The blue and turquoise stained glass panels were restored and reconstructed by Michael Van Enter of Van Enter Studio. The restored window will be suspended in four sections in front of the clerestory windows of the Ticketing Hall at Dallas Love Field.” The three other windows will be installed at Dallas City Performance Hall in July.