Five stories that have North Texas talking: This year’s MacArthur “genius grant” recipients include a bioengineer from Houston; a flight to DFW had to make an emergency stop in Lubbock due to a disruptive passenger; Denton has a vibrant history with hooch; and more.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins doesn't know yet whether she'll return to Earth in late October as planned. Rubins tells The Associated Press a delayed homecoming back to Houston might force her to vote for president from the International Space Station. "It's very incredible that we're able to vote from up here," she said, "and I think it's incredibly important for us to vote in all of the elections." AP reports: “The Russians have delayed the next crew launch for technical reasons. It was supposed to take place Friday, but it's off for at least a month. Rubins and her two crewmates — a Russian and Japanese — can't come home until the next crew arrives. NASA likes to have an overlap of several days, if not more.” Rubins requested an absentee ballot, which lists her address as “low-Earth orbit” before she left the planet in July. [The Associated Press]
- Rice bioengineering professor Rebecca Richards-Kortum won a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” without knowing she had been nominated. Before she answered the phone, she had assumed it was a telemarketer. Instead, it was word she won $625,000. NPR reports: The foundation noted her commitment to "improving access to quality health care for all the world's people. Richards-Kortum is not only developing novel solutions but also training and inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists to address our shared global challenges." Meet all 23 fellows, including two sculptors, a synthetic chemist and a cartoonist to name a few. [NPR]
- A disruptive passenger was removed from an American Airlines flight to DFW International Thursday. Pilots had to make an unplanned stop in Lubbock after the passenger was yelling and banging on the cockpit door, The Dallas Morning News reports. The airline says other passengers helped flight attendants restrain the man during the redeye flight Thursday morning from Ontario, California. Airline spokesman Ross Feinstein says the flight continued on to DFW airport after a delay of about an hour in Lubbock. [The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News]
- The eight largest cities in Texas have school districts led by Latinos. That’s a big deal in a state with a surging Hispanic population and a history of political underrepresentation. In a two-part series this week, KERA and KUHF in Houston dig into the implications for students, schools and the politics of education. In Part 1, you’ll learn who leads the schools in North Texas and across the state. In Part 2, you’ll meet Richard Carranza, the newest Hispanic superintendent leading Houston ISD and a talented mariachi musician to boot. [Texas Station Collaborative]
- Before Denton’s craft beer boom, the city had a vibrant history with hooch. Shaun Treat is a former assistant professor at the University of North Texas and writer for WeDentonDoIt.com. He has given several lectures on the a history of hooch, including one to KERA's Justin Martin. "Whenever the city of Denton was established — it's kind of amazing because now you go there and of course we have craft beer houses on every corner — but there were actually more saloons than there were any other type of business combined.” Listen to the conversation. [KERA News]