Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Texas female pilot finishes the elite Army Ranger school; a ruling on Houston’s anti-discrimination ballot; a Dallas startup launches private air service to Houston; and more.
A Texas pilot of attack helicopters who competed in triathlons is one of two women to finish the Army's elite Ranger School. First Lieutenant Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas, will graduate this week from the grueling two-month Ranger course. Captain Kristen Griest of Connecticut will also graduate. In a joint statement, their families say they are "just like all the soldiers" who are graduating. Griest and Haver are "happy, relieved, and ready for some good food and sleep" before they line up Friday at Fort Benning alongside 94 male soldiers who also earned the coveted black-and-gold Ranger tab to adorn their uniforms. [Associated Press]
- Houston city leaders made a mistake on its anti-discrimination ballot, the state supreme court says. The Texas Tribune reports: “The Houston City Council used the wrong language when it put its nondiscrimination ordinance for gay and transgender residents on the November election ballot, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. As part of the ongoing legal challenge to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as HERO, the council placed the issue on the ballot asking voters whether the city should repeal the ordinance. But the court ruled the council must reword the language because the vote should be on whether to affirm the ordinance, not repeal it. That means the ordinance will not take effect unless voters say so.” [Texas Tribune]
- Hop on a private plane that takes you from Dallas to Houston two hours door to door, thanks to a new start-up. Xconomy reports: “But on a flight run by the Dallas startup Rise, there was no need to get through security 30 minutes in advance, parking was just yards from the plane, and a smiling attendant pointed passengers to free Wifi and fresh coffee [while waiting] the 15 minutes for the flight. … Rise [is] an ‘all-you-can-fly’ aviation startup founded last August and approved in early July by the Federal Aviation Administration. ‘We’re dealing with the most valuable commodity in the world,’ says Nick Kennedy, Rise’s CEO and co-founder. ‘We are saving our members time in a safe and efficient manner.’” You’ll need a $750 deposit – and monthly membership dues start at $1,650, Xconomy says. [Xconomy]
- StoryCorps is teaming up with ABC News to get high school kids and their grandparents to share their stories. ABC reports: “'The Great Thanksgiving Listen’ will take place over Thanksgiving weekend this year, and will mark StoryCorps' largest initiative to date in recording the oral histories of everyday Americans. High schoolers will be invited to record an interview with a grandparent or another elder, either through StoryCorps’ recently released app. ‘We are looking to record more interviews in that weekend than we have in the last 12 years,’ [StoryCorps founder and president Dave] Isay said of ‘The Great Thanksgiving Listen.’ ‘It's the biggest thing we’ve ever tried to do.’” Learn more from StoryCorps. [ABC/StoryCorps]
- The Dallas Arts District has chosen four design firms as finalists to update its original master plan. Jerome Weeks reports for KERA’s Art& Seek: “The Sasaki Plan was approved by the Dallas City Council in 1983. It outlined using a neglected portion of downtown to gather together new homes for major cultural groups. The plan proved successful but didn't anticipate such major new additions as Klyde Warren Park. So Arts District leaders have called for a serious upgrade of the Sasaki Plan. The four finalists, which include Sasaki Associates, creators of the original guide, will present their ideas Thursday to an advisory committee. It's only the start of the long process of developing a new plan to present to the City Council.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.