Five stories that have North Texas talking: A police chief defends his use of ‘In God We Trust’ patrol decals; today marks the one-year anniversary of Ebola’s arrival in Dallas; SMU men’s basketball and golf get punished; and more.
A Texas police chief has sent a terse letter telling a watchdog group to "go fly a kite" after the group sent a letter of complaint when the chief placed "In God We Trust" decals on patrol vehicles. Childress police Chief Adrian Garcia says he sent the letter last week to the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. Garcia says the decals were placed on patrol vehicles in the Texas Panhandle town to express patriotism and also as a response to recent attacks nationally on law enforcement personnel. Law enforcement agencies in Florida, Missouri and elsewhere in recent months also have added the phrase to their vehicles. The foundation says the First Amendment prohibits government from establishing or even preferring a religion. Religious liberty groups say federal courts have repeatedly upheld the use of the phrase. [Associated Press]
- One year ago today, Ebola arrived in Dallas. Explore what happened – and the lessons learned – in “Surviving Ebola,” a KERA News radio and digital special. The radio program airs at 2 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. “Surviving Ebola” looks at how the virus, and the fear it created, were contained. It took a mix of solid protocols, on-the-fly adjustments and luck. Discover what the medical community and local governments learned, how treatment changed and how the people on the front lines fought the disease and survived. Explore the digital project here.
- The NCAA has punished the SMU men’s basketball and golf teams. KERA’s Gus Contreras reports: “The NCAA banned the Ponies from postseason play for the coming season. And it suspended basketball coach Larry Brown for nine games. The charges? Academic fraud, unethical conduct and a lack of control of his program. ‘I’m really disappointed in what happened to our kids,’ Brown said at Tuesday afternoon press conference. … The NCAA’s investigation found a former staffer did online coursework for basketball player Keith Frazier so he could become eligible to transfer and play at SMU. Then, when Brown found out, the NCAA says he didn’t do enough to comply with its rules. SMU President Gerald Turner called it an ‘isolated incident.’” Read more here.
- Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk will be back at work soon. WFAA-TV reports: “Hawk has been released from the in-patient facility where advisors say she was being treated for serious depression. … Hawk returned to town this past weekend. She is scheduled to return to work on Thursday, a source told News 8 Tuesday. In a statement issued last week, Hawk said she is ‘healthier and stronger than ever’ and excited to return to work. … A spokeswoman said she was being treated at a facility outside the Dallas area.” [WFAA-TV]
- A school newsletter has some Frisco ISD parents shaking their heads. WFAA-TV reports on the Borchardt Elementary School counselor’s newsletter. “On the last page, it said fourth and fifth grade boys would be split up this year during their monthly class with the guidance counselor. But what raised some eyebrows was the different lesson plans for boys and girls. While boys would talk about college and careers, girls would have ‘girl talk,’ on confidence and friendships. …The newsletter was just a snapshot of what the guidance counselor had planned, according to Frisco ISD spokeswoman Meghan Youker. The counselor had intended to swap the lessons for boys and girls each month, teaching them the same material over the course of a year. … Principal Jodi Davis sent out an email clarifying the counselor’s intentions to parents.” [WFAA-TV]
The Associated Press contributed to this report.