Five stories that have North Texas talking: Denton officials to meet with Sriracha officials; a Rangers fan’s act of kindness goes viral; a local student who struggles in college is profiled in The New York Times; and more.
It's been called "the play of the game." An act of kindness from a young Texas Rangers fan has generated buzz online. The scene: The fourth inning of Saturday’s Rangers-Toronto Blue Jays game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Toronto third-base coach threw a foul ball to a boy in the stands. The boy, who was already holding onto another ball, took the foul ball and held onto it. Then he gave away the other ball to a young woman sitting behind him. She was clearly touched, putting her hand on her chest. The boy seemed all cool, acting as if this was no big deal. So smooth, so suave. Such a gentleman. The scene was captured on camera and replayed as the announcers gave a play-by-play of the boy’s smooth moves. Watch it below. [Deadspin and NPR]
- Denton is going out on a hot date with Sriracha Monday. Denton city officials have traveled to California to meet with leaders of Huy Fong Foods, which makes the popular hot sauce. The meeting comes after company officials met last week with a separate delegation of Texas representatives, including state Rep. Jason Villalba, a Dallas County Republican who hopes to lure the company to Texas. But Denton leaders are proud to say they were the first city in Texas to express interest in Sriracha. In October, Denton City Council member Kevin Roden, dubbed the “Sriracha Savior,” invited the company to relocate to avoid litigation. Officials in Irwindale say the Huy Fong operation is a nuisance after residents complained about flaming hot odors burning their throats and eyes. The company’s CEO says he has no plans to move his plant out of California, but is open to expanding to Texas if it can prove it can grow chili peppers as hot as the hybrid jalapenos he gets. WFAA-TV offers a preview of the meeting featuring Denton officials. [KERA News/Associated Press]
- A story in the Sunday edition of The New York Times about which college students graduate and which don’t features a North Texas college student. The story in the Times’ Magazine starts off with Vanessa Brewer, a smart student who came from a working-class family and did well at Mesquite High School, but struggled during her first year at the University of Texas at Austin. As the Times put it: “Rich students complete their college degrees; working-class students like Vanessa Brewer usually don’t. Can the University of Texas change her chances of success?” The Times reported: “There are thousands of students like Vanessa at the University of Texas, and millions like her throughout the country — high-achieving students from low-income families who want desperately to earn a four-year degree but who run into trouble along the way. Many are derailed before they ever set foot on a campus, tripped up by complicated financial-aid forms or held back by the powerful tug of family obligations. … Things spiral, and before they know it, they’re back at home, resentful, demoralized and in debt.”
- The Undermain Theatre has announced its 2014-15 season. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports: “The plays being offered include a life of Mary, the mother of Jesus — as written by an Irish novelist — a modern Russian fairytale, a world-premiere look at the future by a steampunk author and a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the ‘last picture show’ in Massachusetts.” They are Tomorrow Come Today, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The Flick and The Testament of Mary. Katherine Owens, Undermain’s artistic director, said in a statement: “Undermain’s 31st season examines worlds on the brink of change. Each of these four groundbreaking playwrights has given us stories of cultural shifts and the way humanity deals with being at the center of a world hurtling into the future.” Read more on KERA’s Art&Seek.
- A co-host of a North Texas talk show generated national headlines last week when she stormed off the set. Amy Kushnir, co-host of “The Broadcast” on KTXD-TV, was upset that ESPN aired on live TV a kiss between Michael Sam, who had just been drafted by the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, and his boyfriend. Kushnir appeared on Fox News to express her displeasure. But, as North Texas TV critic Ed Bark points out, Kushnir’s KTXD program hasn’t been getting lots of viewers. In fact, some days, hardly anyone’s watching. Bark reports that on Tuesday, the day after Kushnir walked off the set, the 9 a.m. broadcast registered no measurable audience. Bark reports on UncleBarky.com: “This is the long-established norm for The Broadcast, which hasn’t gotten beyond ‘hashmarks’ since the Monday, May 5th morning edition averaged 710 viewers in a market of 7.1 million. No, that’s not a misprint.” Or as Bark puts it: “If a co-host walks off a TV show that the Nielsen ratings say nobody in D-FW watched, then does it actually count as a walk-off?”