Five stories that have North Texas talking: Ken Paxton’s trial moves to Harris County; Tony Romo warms the bench for the Mavericks; there’s possibly $22 million in store for Dallas arts; and more.
A mysterious benefactor, only identified as “Mr. Gary,” spent more than $1,000 on ice cream for patrons of Sweet Sammies in Fort Worth over the weekend. He also gave each of the three employees working Saturday night a $100 tip.
Word of Mr. Gary’s unexpected generosity has spread this week. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the man told the workers that he had gotten a parking receipt validated at the shop before, so he wanted to return the favor. Mr. Gary came in around 7 p.m. with the intention of buying $300 worth of ice cream, but he kept shelling out money until the shop closed three hours later. The receipt stretched seven feet; the store plans to frame it, WFAA reports.
“He just felt compelled to come back and do us a favor,” owner Kory Close tells the Star-Telegram. “It was a pretty phenomenal night.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, WFAA]
- Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial has been moved from Collin County, where he lives, to Harris. Last month, the judge in the case ordered the trial moved after prosecutors had argued Paxton and his allies had tainted the jury pool in Collin County. The Texas Tribune reports: "Paxton responded to the venue change by expressing a desire for a new judge in the case. His lawyers told [Judge George] Gallagher they do not plan to give their permission — as required under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure — to let Gallagher follow the case to Harris County." Paxton is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. [The Texas Tribune]
- The Moody Foundation has offered $12 million to AT&T Performing Arts Center to help pay down its $27 million debt. The foundation would give another $10 million to establish a grant program for small and emerging arts groups in Dallas — on one condition. City Council will have to agree to change the name of City Performance Hall to Moody Performance Hall. Art&Seek reports that smaller arts organizations have complained in the past that the city and donors fund larger institutions like the Performing Arts Center at their expense. But if it all works out, groups with budgets less than $1 million would be able to apply annually for grants up to $25,000. The Cultural Affairs Commission will discuss Thursday. [Art&Seek]
- Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is going from one uniform to the next this month. A week after he announced his retirement to join CBS as an NFL analyst, Romo suited up for the Dallas Mavericks (in an albeit meaningless) game against the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night. Romo didn’t play in the Mavericks' home finale but he kept the bench warm during the game. He even got to wear the No. 9 jersey. Romo’s “Mav for a day” experience received a lot of media attention during Tuesday morning’s shootaround and photo opp with his youngest son, Rivers. Romo said it was a "no-brainer" to accept the offer from Dirk Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle. [The Associated Press]
- Landscape architect Peter Walker is the inaugural winner of UT-Dallas’ Richard Brettell Award in the Arts. The $150,000 prize – the richest arts prize in Texas – was established by arts patron Margaret McDermott to honor Bretell, a distinguished arts professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, Art&Seek reports. Walker, one of the world’s leading landscape architects, is behind the Nasher Sculpture Garden, the National 9/11 Memorial in New York and dozens of public parks, corporate headquarters and museums around the world. He also designed UT-Dallas’ campus. Listen to Walker’s Tuesday conversation on Think with Krys Boyd. [Art&Seek]
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