Five stories that have North Texas talking: highways are bad in Dallas-Fort Worth; a gas war in Stephenville; a terminally ill “Star Wars” fan has died after seeing the new movie; and more.
A terminally ill Texas "Star Wars" fan who requested an advance screening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has died less than a week after watching the movie. Daniel Fleetwood, who had cancer, had a private screening at his home in Spring last week. His wife, Ashley, posted on Facebook that he died in his sleep early Tuesday and "is now one with God and with the force." Diagnosed with spindle cell carcinoma and told he had just months to live, the 31-year-old Fleetwood lobbied online to be allowed to see an early version of the movie, due out Dec. 18. He saw an unfinished version, thanks to the film's producers and director, J.J. Abrams. Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors say a celebration of Fleetwood's life is scheduled Nov. 21 in Nacogdoches. [Associated Press]
- The Dallas City Council has approved adding gender identity protections to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Chapter 46 of the Dallas City Code, which was passed in May 2002, makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation. The ordinance, which applies to everything from employment to housing, has defined sexual orientation as ‘an individual’s real or perceived orientation as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual or an individual’s real or perceived gender identity.’ Which means that for 13 years, the transgender community has been protected in the city of Dallas. … The council went the extra step by separating sexual orientation from gender identity. The council voted unanimously on the amendment, which now reads, ‘It is the policy of the city of Dallas to bring about through fair, orderly, and lawful procedures the opportunity for every person to obtain employment, access to all places of public accommodation, and housing, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.’” [The Dallas Morning News]
- A grand jury has returned indictments for engaging in organized criminal activity against 106 of the 177 bikers arrested following the deadly shootout outside a Waco restaurant in May. McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said at a news conference Tuesday evening that the panel acted on all 106 cases that it had been asked to consider. He says law enforcement agencies are still working on additional cases related to the shootout between police and bikers outside of a Twin Peaks restaurant. He says, "We're not done. We still have a lot of work to do, and we'll continue to do that." Nine people died and 20 were injured during the shooting, which authorities say arose from an apparent confrontation between two motorcycle clubs. [Associated Press]
- Some of the state’s most congested highways are right here in North Texas. (No shocker there, right?) The Texas Tribune reports: “A new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute named the stretch of I-35 between U.S. 290 N and SH 71 [in Austin] as the most congested roadway in Texas. The annual report of the top 100 congested roadways in the state — commissioned by the Texas Department of Transportation — called a stretch of Houston's I-610 the second-most congested roadway (it was No. 1 last year and I-35 in Austin was No. 2). Two separate sections of U.S. 59 in Houston and a portion of I-35 E in Dallas round out this year's top five.” To be precise, it’s Stemmons Freeway/I-35 E/U.S. 77 in Dallas. No. 6 on the list is Fort Worth: North Freeway/I-35 W/U.S. 287. And No. 7 is in Dallas: Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway E/I-635. No. 9 is back in Fort Worth: North Freeway/I-35W/U.S. 287. [Texas Tribune]
- There’s a gas war going on in Stephenville. The San Antonio Express-News reports: Two stations in Stephenville, about 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth, are selling a gallon of unleaded gasoline for $1.29 as of Monday. ‘Nobody is anywhere near that in the country,’ said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. ‘They are selling at a substantial loss.’ … So, why would the Allsups-owned Alon station, located at 2725 W Washington St., and the H-E-B, at 2150 Washington St., take such a loss on their product? ‘It's a gas war,’ said Suzy Martin, manager of the 20-pump Alon station, in a phone interview with mySA.com on Monday, attributing the quickly dropping prices to ‘competitive prices.’” [San Antonio Express-News]
The Associated Press contributed to this report.