Five stories that have North Texas talking: a beloved Dallas produce expert has died; we should have enough electricity this summer; new Texas inspection stickers are here; and more.
Mother Nature: Make up your mind! It was snowy and icy on Friday. Then cold over the weekend. Foggy Monday night and through this morning. Today, highs will reach into the 60s. Then, on Wednesday, it will be rainy early in the day – and it could get cold enough that we could get more freezing rain or sleet Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. “Any accumulations of freezing rain or sleet could create hazardous travel conditions during the afternoon hours,” the National Weather Service says. Cities to the south, including Waco and Temple, could see rain or thunderstorms. It’s still early, so things could change.
- Tom Spicer, a prominent and beloved Dallas produce expert, has died. D Magazine’s SideDish says he died at home, rinsing berries in the sink. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Tom was best known in recent years as owner and operator of Spiceman’s FM 1410, supplier of produce to many of Dallas’ best restaurants and gourmet groceries. His name adorned menus that offered ‘Spiceman’s greens.’ He tilled the land behind Jimmy’s Food Store off Fitzhugh and Bryan.” SideDish reports: “To say this is a huge loss to Dallas would understate what the charming, delightful, perfectly kooky Tom Spicer, an agricultural force in this area for over 30 years, meant to the culinary community. He had consulted on and designed working crop farms for decades. He was an acreage farmer with a deep understanding of how food grows and where and when it should be grown.”
- A lawsuit filed in Dallas Monday made headlines across the country. Nina Pham was one of two nurses who contracted Ebola after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. He was the Liberian man treated for Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas. Pham says the hospital failed her, so she decided to sue. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao talked with her lawyer, the hospital and the reporter who recently interviewed Pham. Last November, Pham called attorney Charla Aldous. “'Nina Pham is calling for you,'” Aldous recalls being told. “And I was like, 'Nina Pham? It has to be the Nina Pham.'" Aldous called Pham back, and soon got an earful about Texas Health Resources. Read more here.
- The grid operator for Texas says electric users should have sufficient supply for spring and summer. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, on Monday announced its seasonal forecast. The report for spring identifies more than 76,600 megawatts of generation resources available, with expected peak demand of about 62,000 megawatts. One megawatt is enough electricity to power about 200 homes during the highest demand conditions and about 500 homes during a mild spring day. The forecast is based on average weather conditions seen during the previous year and the history of typical seasonal generation outages. Summer peak demand is estimated at about 69,000 megawatts. ERCOT predicts nearly 77,000 megawatts of available generation resources. [Associated Press]
- Get ready for new inspection stickers in Texas. The Texas Tribune reports: “A new single-sticker system for inspecting and registering millions of Texas vehicles began on Sunday, and some lawmakers are warning that the change will confuse Texas drivers. … Under the current system, Texas drivers display two stickers on their windshields indicating their vehicle has been inspected and registered. The Legislature in 2013 approved a new policy to bundle vehicle inspection and registration into one process, with one sticker. Transportation officials say the single-sticker system will save the state money and help crack down on counterfeit stickers. The cost to vehicle owners will remain the same. Starting this past Sunday, when a car passes inspection, the owner will receive a written report instead of a sticker.” Read more here.