Five stories that have North Texas talking: Sid Miller hopes for the “hog apocalypse”; McKinney man sings ode to Whataburger; protesters will dance outside Gov. Abbott’s house; and more.
Sid Miller hopes a newly approved poison will initiate a “hog apocalypse.” On Tuesday, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner announced that a limited-use pesticide, Kaput Feral Hog Lure, will be available later this year to combat the state’s large feral hog population, estimated at more than 2.5 million, The Austin American-Statesman reports.
Feral hogs cause millions of dollars in damage every year to urban and rural areas in Texas. However, Miller’s new method of population control isn't popular among all. The Texas Hog Hunters Association has created a petition against the use of the blood-thinning warfarin-based hog lure, arguing that poisoned hogs could hurt the humans that eat them.
Wednesday, a day after Miller made the poison legal, the Dallas City Council voted 14-1 to “pay an Aledo-based company called Striker Outfitters a total of $347,100 over the next three years to ‘humanely trap and remove’ hogs across the city,” The Dallas Morning News reports. The company will seek out the animals causing damage to “municipal golf courses, lake shores, riverbeds, fields and giant swaths of the Great Trinity Forest.” [Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News]
- Texas sportswriter Gary Cartwright died Wednesday at 82. Cartwright spent most of his career — from 1973 until 2010 — writing for the Texas Monthly, but he cut his teeth at North Texas newspapers, including the Fort Worth Press in the 1950s and the Dallas Morning News in the ‘60s. His work includes Dallas Cowboys coverage, several works of nonfiction and credits on four Hollywood screenplays, according to the Morning News. He may be best known for his book, “Blood Will Tell”, about the murder trial of millionaire T. Cullen Davis. Revisit some of Cartwright’s work for the Texas Monthly and his 2015 conversation with the Texas Standard. [KERA News]
- Two years ago, Ana Zamora was on top of the world, but now she’s on shaky ground. Zamora is a kindergarten teacher in Dallas and a DACA recipient. Known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program was created by President Obama in 2012 to keep approved young immigrants in this U.S. Three-quarters of a million unauthorized immigrants have gotten work permits and deportation relief through DACA. Under the new administration, the future for DACA beneficiaries and the program itself is uncertain. During his campaign, Donald Trump said he wanted so-called “DREAMers” like Zamora to “come from the United States.” [KERA News]
- Hundreds of people plan to protest Texas’ “bathroom bill” with a dance party outside Gov. Greg Abbott’s house. The “Queer Dance Freakout” scheduled for Thursday night was inspired by a similar event held last month outside Vice President Mike Pence’s home in Washington D.C., according to The Dallas Morning News. The bathroom bill would mandate that transgender Texans use bathrooms and other sex-segregated public facilities that coincide with their gender at birth. The event description reads: “We say NO to anti-transgender bathroom bills. We say NO to marriage equality limitations. We say NO to old men saying what we can and cannot do.” [The Dallas Morning News]
- A McKinney pastor is riding the wave of social media fame for his original ode to Whataburger’s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. In the week after Fred Thomas posted his soulful tribute on Facebook, the video has gained 4.5 million views and a personal shout-out from the Texas-based chain. Despite his witty verses and catchy chorus, there’s something about that biscuit Thomas can’t adequately explain. That wasn’t the case for Houston poet Amir Safi. He performed “Ode to Whataburger” at the Texas Grand Slam Poetry Festival in 2015. [KERA News]