Five stories that have North Texas talking: the former McKinney police officer apologizes for what he did in the viral video; commuter rail in Tarrant County; Dallas ISD debate team heads to a national tournament; and more.
The attorney for the black teenage girl wrestled to the ground by a white police officer at a McKinney pool party says she believes her client's civil rights were violated. Attorney Hanna Stroud said at a news conference Wednesday that she is still considering what action to take a day after McKinney Cpl. Eric Casebolt resigned. Cellphone video showed Casebolt forcing 15-year-old Dajerria Becton to the ground and pulling a gun on other teens. Stroud says Becton has no physical marks from her confrontation but has had a hard time sleeping and eating. Meanwhile, Casebolt’s attorney said Wednesday that he apologizes for his actions. “He allowed his emotions to get the better of him,” attorney Jane Bishkin told reporters. “Eric regrets that his conduct portrayed him and his department in a negative light. He never intended to mistreat anyone.” She says he was reluctant to respond to a disturbance at the pool party because he had already responded to two suicide calls, which had taken an "emotional toll." Read more here. [KERA/Associated Press]
Here's video of Stroud's remarks from The Dallas Morning News:
- A new commuter rail line in Tarrant County is a step closer to reality. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “After enduring years of doubts about their ability to pull off construction of the 27-mile commuter rail line from downtown Fort Worth to Grapevine and DFW Airport, TEX Rail officials on Tuesday officially inked a contract to order rail cars. The $106.7 million order with Switzerland-based Stadler Bussnang AG is enough to pay for eight rail cars … The rail line is tentatively scheduled to open by the end of 2018, and is on course to receive enough federal grant funding to cover roughly half its nearly $1 billion total cost.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- A Dallas ISD middle school debate team is heading to a national tournament. WFAA-TV reports: “For only the second time in Dallas ISD history, students from Marsh Preparatory Academy will compete at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas, which will be held June 16-19. School may be over, but practices continue until competition. On Thursday, the pre-teen's topic was feeding the growing world population with fish. It's a high-brow discussion, but the pros and cons are masterfully handled by the sixth-through-eighth graders.” Read more here. [WFAA-TV]
- Texas doctors say they have done the world's first partial skull and scalp transplant to help a man with a large head wound from cancer treatment. MD Anderson Cancer Center and Houston Methodist Hospital doctors announced last week that they did the operation on May 22. The recipient is Jim Boysen, a 55-year-old software developer from Austin. Radiation treatments for a rare cancer left him with an open wound in his head that would not heal. Along with the scalp and skull, he received a new pancreas and kidney to treat lifelong diabetes. Read more here. [Associated Press]
- NPR explores the effort to allow deep fryers back in Texas public schools. Kate McGee with KUT, the public radio station in Austin, reports: “A little more than 10 years ago, Texas banned soda machines and deep fryers in public school cafeterias. Now the state's current agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, wants to do away with that ban. He believes these kinds of restrictions should be in the hands of local school boards — not state regulators. But some students are among those who aren't happy about this idea. … But Miller insists his proposal is not about treating kids to fried food. ‘We're all about what our country was founded on — we're about giving our school districts freedom, liberty and individual responsibility,’ says Miller.”