There’s A Bat Invasion At Texas A&M | KERA News

There’s A Bat Invasion At Texas A&M

May 5, 2015

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a new scholarship honors Thomas Eric Duncan; the latest on the Garland cartoon event shooting; early voting ends today for Saturday's municipal elections; and more.

Recently, hundreds of Mexican free-tailed bats hightailed it to Texas A&M University’s natatorium. The Texas Tribune reports: “Renovations and eradication efforts at the bats’ normal home – the football stadium Kyle Field – have forced the flying mammals out across the rest of campus in search of new shelter. ‘They are finding bats in the gym, in the swimming pool – all kinds of places,’ said Thomas Lacher, a wildlife and fisheries sciences professor and bat expert on campus. Bats have always had a presence at the university. Several thousand live in Kyle Field year-round. …Removal efforts began in 2013, when the university hired a local pest control company to hang nets in some concourses. That allowed the bats to get outside the stadium to feed, but then prevented them from getting back in. Other areas of the stadium were demolished to make room for gleaming new amenities. Soon, large groups of bats began appearing elsewhere on campus.” [Texas Tribune]

  • The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for the attack at a Garland center exhibiting cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. The Associated Press reports: “An audio statement on Tuesday on the extremist group's Al Bayan radio station says that ‘two soldiers of the caliphate’ carried out Sunday's attack. It did not provide details and it was unclear whether the group was opportunistically claiming the attack as its own.” Garland police now say SWAT team officers were involved in the shooting. Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said Monday that a single police officer subdued the two gunmen, but that after his initial shots, SWAT officers nearby also fired at the two men. Harn said police don't know who fired the lethal shots. Read more here. [Associated Press]
  • A new scholarship will help train nurses and doctors in Liberia. KERA’s Lauren Silverman reports: “Seven months after Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S. last year, the hospital where he was treated reached a settlement with his family. Texas Health Resources agreed to create the Thomas Eric Duncan Memorial Fund in his honor. There’s $125,000 in seed money. The team that will manage the donation includes Ebola survivor Nancy Writebol and her husband, David. Both are missionaries.”
  • Early voting wraps up today for Saturday’s municipal elections. Here’s a nifty map that shows early voting polling locations. KERA’s Krystina Martinez reports: “Municipal elections historically have a low voter turnout, but there’s been renewed interest in the Dallas City Council elections: Eight council member seats are up for grabs. The other six are running unopposed, and of course, there’s the mayor’s race, which features Mayor Mike Rawlings and attorney Marcos Ronquillo.”
  • Some Star Wars stars celebrated "May the 4th Be With You" at the Dallas Museum of Art. May 4 is aka Star Wars Day, which Star Wars fans consider to be a holiday. The museum said on its Uncrated blog: “It is a little known fact that the DMA is a favorite art spot for those from a galaxy far, far away. This May 4th we spotted Princess Leia and Darth Vader roaming the DMA—without light sabers, as they aren’t permitted in the galleries—checking out some of their favorites in the collection. May the fourth be with you!” [h/t KERA’s Stephen Becker]