Five stories that have North Texas talking: The founder of Schlitterbahn has died; Texans are wary of people coming into the state, poll shows; a Dallas County election judge was fired for racist comments; and more.
Stressed from the election? Head to a driving range in Longview. Players at the Alpine Target Golf Center can swing golf balls at huge portraits of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hung on round hay bales. The range has offered the playful poll of sorts since Oct. 24, when early voting started. The Associated Press reports, “It's hard to tell if golf balls count as votes for or against the candidates, but rancher Craig McAlpine says the balls amassed around Clinton's hay bale indicate more people have teed off in her direction.” For the record, they are just pictures of the presidential hopefuls, and it’s all in good fun co-owner Paige Williams tells the Longview News-Journal. [The Associated Press]
- Schlitterbahn founder Bob Henry passed away Monday at 89. Henry and his wife, Billye moved from Houston to New Braunfels in the late ‘60s. “Thumbing through the newspaper, Billye spotted a For Sale ad for the Landa Resort, a group of 34 screened cabins along the Comal. The Henrys bought the property and a year later built a tube slide that dumped guests into the river,” according to Texas Monthly. That was the modest beginning of Schlitterbahn, now the single biggest driver of the New Braunfels’ $500 million annual tourism business. Read more about Henry’s legacy. [Texas Monthly]
- According to a poll, Texas voters are wary of people they perceive as outsiders. The Texas Tribune reports that 45 percent of Texans said Muslims living in the U.S. should be subject to more scrutiny than members of religious groups. And half of voters don’t think Texas should accept Syrian refugees who has passed throughs security clearances. But there is a partisan split on both of those opinions. [The Texas Tribune]
- Four years later, Texans are still searching for stability with Obamacare. KERA’s Lauren Silverman reports, “Even though more than a million Texans signed up for coverage last year, health insurers say they’re losing more money than they expected, raising premiums and dropping out of the marketplace altogether." Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act opened Tuesday. [KERA News]
- A Dallas County election judge was removed from his position over his racist comments on Facebook. Randy Smith, 43, had supervised a polling place on election days for close to 20 years, until racist comments he made in the summer 2015, got him fired this week. Smith sees his removal as an injustice, according to the Dallas Morning News, because his comments were his personal opinion, he says. [The Dallas Morning News]