Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dozens of dog bite claims were filed in Texas last year; H-E-B is now the biggest private employer in the state; George W. Bush talks foreign aid and national security; and more.
There were 168 dog bite insurance claims filed in Texas last year — a number that puts the state in the top 10 for such claims, according to a State Farm report.
In 2016, the insurance company paid over $121 million for 3,660 dog bite claims, an increase of 15 percent. In Texas, the 168 dog-related injury claims totaled $13.1 million paid by State Farm. Among the 10 states, Texas sits in the middle. California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania all had more claims than Texas. Michigan, New York, Indiana, Georgia and Minnesota had fewer.
In Dallas, the issue came to a head in May , when Antoinette Brown was mauled to death by stray dogs. As a result of her death, Boston Consulting Group was commissioned to study stray dogs and provide recommendations to the city. The group estimated 8,700 loose dogs roam in southern Dallas alone.
Three Dallas nonprofits last month announced over $13 million for an aggressive spay/neuter initiative. Read more KERA coverage of the stray dog issue in Dallas and explore State Farm’s report for tips on how to handle an encounter with an unfamiliar animal. [KERA News]
- Dallas police will start issuing misdemeanor citations and releasing some people found with small amounts of marijuana. The Dallas City Council on Wednesday approved the plan, which takes effect Oct. 1. The measure, known as cite and release, applies to people with less than 4 ounces of marijuana who are not alleged to have committed other crimes. City officials say marijuana arrests disproportionately affect minorities. And supporters say jailing people over small amounts of marijuana wastes police time and taxpayer funds. The Dallas Police Association questioned the measure. [The Associated Press]
- There are more than 100,000 people on H-E-B’s payroll, making it the largest private employer in Texas. The grocery chain employs more than 90,000 at 332 Texas stores and more than 10,000 at 56 stores throughout Mexico, KVUE reports. The San Antonio-based company is planning to open nine new Texas stores in areas where H-E-B already exists, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. H-E-B has been buying several defunct grocery stores in North Texas over the past few years, including six Sun Fresh Markets in 2016. But four of those properties have already been sold or leased to other retailers. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, KVUE]
- In an interview with NPR, former President George W. Bush says foreign aid is a moral imperative. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would boost military spending by slashing funds for foreign aid (as well as the environment and arts and humanities programs). In contrast, Bush dedicated billions to foreign aid during his time as president, namely for combating HIV/AIDS in Africa. Bush said not helping in that pandemic wouldn’t have been in the “spirit of the United States." Bush also said helping other countries is a means to strong national security. Listen to the wide-ranging interview. [NPR]
- This weekend marks the 10th year for Denton’s Thin Line Fest, which gets its name from the “thin line” between fact and fiction. A slew of documentaries exploring everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to $2 bills will be screened through Sunday at various venues around Denton. Typically a documentary-only festival, film committee chair Stanton Brasher tells The Big Screen team that this year the event includes true-to-life narratives — films like “Titanic,” where the historical event happened but the story itself most likely did not. By the way, the festival is free. [Art&Seek]
The High Five is KERA's daily roundup of news stories from Dallas-Fort Worth and across the state. Explore our archives here. And sign up for our weekly email for the North Texas news you need to know.