Five stories that have North Texas talking: how many Texans text while driving?; University of Texas at Dallas alums score big on “Shark Tank;” Wichita Falls is short on water; and more.
Texans love to text while driving. Three out of four Texans at least occasionally speak on a cellphone while driving and nearly half sometimes read or text while driving, according to a study released Monday of 3,000 drivers by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The Texas Tribune reports: The institute surveyed drivers in April and May 2013 at 12 state driver's license offices around the state about their driving habits. The researchers found that 76 percent of drivers said they had talked on a cellphone while driving at least once in the previous month, with 24 percent acknowledging that they did so regularly. Forty-four percent of respondents said they had read or typed texts or emails while driving, and 18.5 percent said they had looked at Facebook or other websites while driving.
- Two University of Texas at Dallas alums emerged from the “Shark Tank” with a $350,000 deal with entrepreneur (and Dallas Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban to take their smartphone-controlled light bulbs to the next level. UT-Dallas sends along the details: Corey Egan and Swapnil Bora appeared on Friday’s show. They developed the idea for their Plano-based business, ilumi, while at UTD. Ilumi makes LED “smartbulbs” that allow users to control lighting levels and colors through a mobile app. Users can program lights to create a sunrise effect or romantic candlelight. “Mark’s just going to be just like fuel on the fire,” Egan said in an interview on the show. “This thing is going to spread like wildfire and ilumi’s going to shine across the world.” Here’s a clip from the show:
- Dallas police say a man was fatally shot Monday afternoon after he pointed a gun at officers during a standoff following a car chase. The chase began when officers tried to take Michael Mayo into custody after learning he had felony warrants for his arrest. Dallas Police Deputy Chief Gil Garza says Mayo led officers on a 30-minute chase through south Dallas before ending up in a Southwest Center Mall parking lot. Garza says that during the standoff with officers, the 30-year-old Mayo got out of his vehicle and pointed a gun at his head. Mayo then went back in his vehicle but later got out again and then pointed his gun at officers, who fired at Mayo. No officers were hurt. [Associated Press]
- Wichita Falls is so far behind on rainfall that city leaders are asking state regulators for permission to use treated toilet flushes as drinking water. The city is about 34 inches behind on precipitation over the past three years. It's awaiting state regulatory approval of a system that would re-use wastewater, a small amount coming from flushes. The two lakes that serve Wichita Falls are just 26 percent full. City leaders are also considering rare restrictions on outdoor watering for swimming pools and car washes. It's already cloud seeding to try to squeeze more out of rain clouds. A West Texas water supplier garnered attention in 2011 when it began constructing a wastewater re-use plant in Big Spring that's similar to what Wichita Falls wants. [Associated Press]
- April is National Poetry Month and the Dallas Public Library’s Arcadia Park Branch is celebrating at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday with a reading of “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson. “As you listen to this beloved, well-known poem, close your eyes and imagine the motion of a swing, recalling a pleasant memory or remembering what it felt like to be carefree with the wind against your face and blowing through your hair. With the guidance of master storyteller Alfreda Rollins, translate this feeling into a poem and create a vision board that reflects your experiences as keepsakes to take home.”