Five stories that have North Texas talking: Deadly crash in Mississippi kills four Texans; Cowboys expected to release Tony Romo; McMurtry’s typewriters sell for $37,500; and more.
The cause of a train-bus crash in Biloxi, Miss., that left four Texans killed and dozens injured Tuesday is under investigation. Carrying tourists to Mississippi casinos from the Austin area, a charter bus became stuck on the tracks for about five minutes before a CSX train struck it, The Associated Press reports.
Twenty-two of the more than 50 passengers were traveling from Bastrop Senior Center, the Austin American-Statesman reports. Others were from the Austin and Sealy areas. Ken Hoffman, 82, and his 73-year-old wife, Peggy, died in the crash. They were two former administrators with the Lockhart school district. Clinton Havran, 79, of Sealy and 62-year-old Deborah Orr of Bastrop also died, AP reports.
National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told The Associated Press Wednesday that the crossing in Biloxi has a hump that has caused tractor-trailers to bottom out in the past. The federal agency is looking into whether that steep grade played a role in Tuesday’s crash. There have been at least 17 accidents at that crossing since 1976. [The Austin American-Statesman, The Associated Press]
- The Dallas Cowboys are expected to part ways with longtime quarterback Tony Romo today, the start of NFL free agency. Romo became the starting quarterback for the Cowboys in 2006. He ultimately broke the franchise records for passing yards (34,183) and touchdowns (248). After losing the job to rookie Dak Prescott last season following an injury, his departure had been expected ever since. A trade was unlikely because Romo turns 37 next month, carries a $24 million salary cap hit and has missed most of the past two seasons due to injuries. He should be attractive as a free agent to contenders wanting a quarterback, including Denver and Houston. [KERA News]
- The two typewriters Larry McMurtry used to write his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Lonesome Dove" sold at auction for $37,500. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions sold the typewriters Wednesday in New York City. Eric Bradley, a spokesman for the auction house, said the typewriters sold to a bidder from Texas who wished to remain anonymous. The prolific Texas author and screenwriter said he still writes on a typewriter and has about 15 of them. While writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Lonesome Dove," a story about a cattle drive in the 1870s, he kept one typewriter in his hometown of Archer City, Texas, and the other in Washington D.C. [The Associated Press]
- Design plans have been revealed for the Museum of Street Culture in Dallas — opening this fall. The museum is part of the downtown development Encore Park, a “mix of historic restoration, art, live music, education, community gardens and social services,” Art&Seek reports. The development will encompass 508 Park, an old blues and swing recording studio, “where blues master Robert Johnson cut some of his greatest songs,” as well as the Stewpot, a nonprofit serving the city’s homeless community. The project plans revealed Tuesday have been updated to keep up with the pace of the gentrifying neighborhood. [Art&Seek]
- In the mid-’90s, the University of Texas at Dallas wanted to be better known in the academic world — for something. The university president at the time wanted to attract smarter students, gain recognition and connect with the community. Tim Redman, then an English professor, got the green light to make UTD known for having exceptional chess players. Redman tells Texas Standard that giving scholarships to impressive students that happen to be skilled at chess to improve the school’s reputation wasn’t completely random. He was on a team in the ‘70s. He recruited players and a Pan-American championship followed in the program’s second year. Now, the school has 10. [Texas Standard]