Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texans love Samoas, apparently; the number of Latino voters has skyrocketed; how four North Texas schools have changed over the decades; and more.
‘Tis the season for those with an incredible metabolism or respectable lack of will power to eat box after box of Girl Scout cookies. This year is extra special for the national organization; the first known cookie sale by the Girl Scouts was held in 1917.
Thin Mints are largely America's favorite — preferred by 25 states with the exception of Texas. According to a survey out this month from Influenster, Texans prefer the caramel and coconut combination of Samoas. The state’s immediate neighbors to the east and west are in the same camp, but overall, the crisp chocolate and mint cookies were the most popular in the country. Both are top-selling varieties, though, according to the Girl Scouts.
Influenster polled more than 5,000 users of their site from across the country to determine the varying tastes by state. The same site determined that Texas’ favorite Halloween treat was candy corn, so let that be your compass for this latest revelation. See how the states compared and where you should possibly relocate. [Influenster]
- Before Dallas’ Jaap van Zweden heads northeast, he’s taking his victory lap. The music director for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will leave his post to take charge of the New York Philharmonic, but not before breaking a sweat in his 10th and final season. Art&Seek reports van Zweden is bringing the Austro-Germanic canon that he has always pushed as “the big, beating heart of the classical repertory," including Beethoven, Mahler, Wagner and more. The upcoming season will also include the Dallas premiere of Philip Glass’ Double Concerto for Two Pianos. Read more about van Zweden's farewell. [Art&Seek]
- For decades, public schools across North Texas have endured demographic changes. From integration and white flight to economic troubles and competition from charter and private schools, the educational landscape has changed again and again. Next Tuesday, KERA is launching a new American Graduate series that explores these changes – it’s called “Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools.” Education reporters have spent the past few months exploring life at four different high schools across North Texas: O.D. Wyatt in Fort Worth, Liberty in Frisco, Kimball in Dallas and Duncanville High. Here’s a preview of the series. [KERA News]
- The number of Latino voters in Texas surged by nearly 30 percent in 2016 from 2012. Figures released by the Texas Legislative Council show the share of the electorate with a Spanish surname increased to 19.4 percent in 2016 from 17.2 percent. The Austin American-Statesman reports Latinos make up 38 percent of the Texas population but tend to vote at lower rates than other groups in Texas or Latinos in other states. State officials determined the numbers using a count based on a list of Spanish surnames, and the findings don't account for every Latino voter. It appears that new voters are driving the increase in Latino participation. [The Associated Press]
- A commuter rail from downtown Fort Worth to D/FW International Airport is on track to board passengers by late 2018. And when service begins, airport officials say they'll be ready with their own station at the other end of the 27-mile line. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: "TEX Rail commuter trains are expected to begin service in late 2018, connecting Fort Worth, Grapevine and North Richland Hills. Residents of other nearby cities are expected to use the rail line as well. More than 8,000 daily riders are expected in the early years, and that number is expected to grow to 13,000 daily riders by 2035." [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]