Five stories that have North Texas talking: Of nearly 30 schools in Texas with Confederate monikers, 10 have changed their name; Spring’s Simone Biles earned the most gold medals in a single Olympics for a U.S. female athlete; it’s DFW Restaurant Week; and more.
It’s been a year since a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was removed from the University of Texas at Austin’s campus. Since then, 10 schools in Austin, Houston and Dallas have taken similar action to deal with contentious relics and building monikers honoring Confederate leaders. But at least 24 schools in the state have not, according to The Texas Tribune.
Last summer, the Tribune identified 29 schools named for Confederate leaders like Davis, General Robert E. Lee, General and General Albert Sidney Johnston. Five schools with one of these names changed. The list didn’t include Confederates such as John H. Reagan, the Confederacy's postmaster general, General John B. Hood or Major Richard Dowling, all of whom had at least one school named for them in Texas. Another five schools with updated from this list of names.
In Dallas, only after the community debated and asked the board to get involved, did students of John B. Hood Middle School vote in March to re-identify as Piedmont Global Academy. Dallas ISD has at least three other schools named for Confederate officers: Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee elementary schools in East Dallas and Albert Sidney Johnston Elementary in east Oak Cliff, The Dallas Morning News reported. [The Texas Tribune, The Dallas Morning News]
- A gymnast from Spring, Texas won her third gold medal in Rio on Sunday. You might have heard of her — Simone Biles? She won the women’s vault final, setting a U.S. record for the most gymnastics gold medals in one Olympics for a female athlete, NPR reported. What’s more, the 19-year-old is the first American woman to win gold on the vault, competing against a wide field of gymnasts, including Uzbekistan’s 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitina. Biles’ two other victories were in the team competition and individual all-around last week. [NPR]
- At 73, Vernon Fisher may well be the most important painter Texas has ever produced. That’s what Art&Seek reporter Jerome Weeks says after focusing on Fisher for the newest Artist Spotlight. Fisher has books written about his art. He has paintings in the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Art Institute of Chicago and more. But that’s not where you’ll find Fisher in the flesh. He primarily works in an old tire and tube factory on North Main in Fort Worth — the same studio he’s used for more than 30 years. Watch Art&Seek’s video with Fisher below and read about his personal journey as a North Texas creative.
- It’s DFW Restaurant Week, which promises to be a delectable experience (if you have a reservation). More than 125 high-end, foodie-approved restaurants in the metroplex are participating in the annual weeklong event. Each establishment will serve a three-course prix fixe menu for $35 or $45, according to GuideLive, and 20 percent of the proceeds will benefit the North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope, which provides counseling and education services for children. Reservations, which opened July 18, go quickly, but there will be spots available for non-Restaurant Week customers — just not with the fixed price menu. Happy eating. [GuideLive]
- A French photographer documented the everyday lives of the blind in Dallas for two months for an art project. Jerome Poulalier took pictures of 30 individuals ranging from ages 14 to 81 from the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind. Dallas Observer reported: “[Poulalier] participated in everyday activities such as yoga, swimming and dining out to understand how being born blind or becoming blind are both entirely different experiences than life with vision.” Dallas Lighthouse is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. You can view Poulalier’s work there until Sept. 27 for free. [Dallas Observer]