Five stories that have North Texas talking: Ted Cruz stands shoulder to shoulder with a Democrat to the delight and despair of pundits everywhere, North Texans are getting sick from unwashed fruits and veggies, Lone Star State-made sake could be the next big thing and more.
Texas’ freshman U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is once again the talk of Washington, but this time it's with a different slant. Yesterday, the fiery Tea Party Republican made headlines for an unlikely alliance with New York Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. According to NPR, Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul endorsed her bill that would dramatically change how military sexual assault cases are reported and prosecuted. "All of us, Republicans and Democrats, and I think the commanders in the military want to solve the problem,” Cruz said.
This bipartisan show of support has delighted some, and enraged others. Bill Kristol at the conservative National Review accused Cruz and Paul of undermining the military’s chain of command and “grandstanding” for the media. If Gillibrand’s bill passes, it would create a new justice system to handle the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases, taking that power out from under from the military brass.
- Foodborne Illness Spreading Across North Texas: Summer is a great time to break out the watermelon, but watch out for cyclosopriasis. CBS 11 reports North Texas has seen a spike in the rare gastrointestinal infection. Cyclosopriasis is usually contracted from improperly cleaned fruits and vegetables during the production process. Symptoms include bloating, stomach cramps, and nausea. A tip: wash your fruits and veggies before you dig in, even if you aren’t eating the rind.
- Rise Of The Crazy Ants (And Bugs, And Plants): UT’s newly formed Texas Invasive Species Program has almost $3 million to use in the fight against ecosystem interlopers. Over the next six years, researchers will study and gather data on invasive species like Buffelgrass and the Tawny Crazy Ant. Those two have already breached the Texas border, but scientists are also on the lookout for the likes of the Cactoblastis moth, which isn’t here yet. Check out a video called “Rise of the Crazy Ants,” that researchers from UT’s Brackenridge Field Laboratory put together. [KUT]
- More Mouths To Feed, More Stores To Do It: Grocery store development in North Texas is on the rise, and it’s all thanks to population growth. According to the Dallas Business Journal, smaller markets are popping up in DFW as a matter of convenience. “There’s not only more people to serve, but you have traffic and congestion issues. So what might have been a simple 2-mile drive two years ago is now a complicated 2-mile drive,” says Ronnie Volkening, president and CEO of the Texas Retailers Association. Volkening also says the surge of young professionals in North Texas is the reason behind the rise in farmer’s market-inspired stores.
- A Toast To East Meets West: Grocery store shelves included, a potent, musky drink direct from Japan is finding itself more and more at home in the U.S.A. Americans aren’t just embracing sake as an import, we’re starting to make our own, and Texas is no exception. The Austin-based Texas Sake Company uses local rice only and ships sake throughout the state during non-summer months. Here in North Texas you can find it at Central Market. The company says they’d expand even faster if they had a larger, more consistent rice supply to work with. So next time you’re hankering for a local pick-me-up, remember, craft beer isn’t your only option. [NPR]