Five stories that have North Texas talking: the latest on the Sandra Bland lawsuit; Alice Walton is selling her ranch; remembering Ebby Halliday; and more.
State attorneys want a federal judge to throw out a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the Texas Department of Public Safety and a state trooper by the Chicago-area family of a black woman found dead two months ago in a Texas county jail. Sandra Bland died in her Waller County jail cell July 13, three days after a confrontation with the white officer. Authorities say she committed suicide. On Aug. 4, Bland's mother sued the state police agency, Trooper Brian Encinia, Waller County and two jail employees. The Texas Attorney General's office has asked U.S. District Judge David Hittner to dismiss the complaint, arguing the police agency has constitutionally protected immunity and Encinia has qualified immunity. State lawyers also contend the lawsuit raises vague and insufficient allegations of civil rights violations. [Associated Press]
- Ebby Halliday, the down-home grande dame of the North Texas real estate scene, died in her sleep Tuesday night. She was 104. KERA’s Kat Chow reports Halliday first started selling ointment when she was 8 years old. Later, she sold hats. “A famous oilman heard about her talent for selling hats. His wife was one of her customers. He had a proposal: sell a bunch of homes that he’d built. ‘If I can sell her those crazy hats, maybe I can sell his crazy, cement houses,’ Halliday recalled in a video. So she staged the houses, dressed them with curtains and carpet and furniture. ‘I sold them all in, within nine months,’ Halliday said. By 1945, Halliday launched Ebby Halliday Realtors. The company was one of a kind at the time -- a woman-owned business. Now it's one of the biggest of its kind in the country.”
- North Texas finally saw some rain Wednesday. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport recorded 1.93 inches of rain on Wednesday, beating the previous record of 1.05 inches for Sept. 9. The airport also saw 1.38 inches of rain in July and August – 2.69 inches below normal. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- Friends and family are remembering the Dallas woman who was fatally shot last week in an Uptown parking garage. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Dentist Kendra Hatcher always had a sunny outlook, friends said, but her new relationship with a doctor that heated up in June had her smiling even wider. After a divorce, she was falling in love again. … ‘Kendra had a huge heart,’ the family said in a statement through a spokeswoman. ‘We are very proud of all her amazing work, and it is our hope that justice will be served.’ … Police suspect Hatcher’s boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend was involved in a plot to rob her, affidavits show.” [The Dallas Morning News]
- The Walton ranch near Fort Worth is yours – if you’ve got, oh, about $20 million to spare. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: Alice Walton, “the Wal-Mart billionaire heiress, is putting her 1,432-acre ranch Rocking W Ranch west of Fort Worth up for sale. The asking price is $19,750,000. … Walton announced in July that she wanted to get out of the cutting horse business to focus on other things, so she is selling off her prize-winning herd of animals at the Rocking W Ranch. … The ranch is among the largest of its kind in Texas. Located about 45 minutes west of Fort Worth along the Parker and Palo Pinto county lines, it offers three-quarters of a mile of Brazos River frontage with significant water rights and mineral rights that are in production.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
The Associated Press contributed to this report.