Five stories that have North Texas talking: There are more Zika cases in Texas than we thought; three Texans could serve as Secretary of Agriculture; don’t dump a woman with Cowboys tickets; and more.
It’s the time of the year to reflect and move forward. And though many New Year’s resolutions fizzle out by February, some personal goals could lead to a worthwhile lifestyle change — like starting a new job in a more affordable city. According to the financial website Nerdwallet, Austin is the best place for job seekers in 2017. Actually, half of the cities ranked in the top 10 are state capitals.
The analysis ranks 100 cities. To determine the rankings, Nerdwallet looked at “each place’s October 2016 unemployment rate from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as the increase in the working-age population from 2010 to 2015 with U.S. Census Bureau data.” These two metrics were given the most weight in the analysis. The methodology also includes census data for median earnings and median monthly rent in each city.
According to the analysis, Austin has 3.2 percent unemployment rate; its employed population grew 34.51 percent, and the median income for full-time employees was over $45,000. If a move down south isn’t in your future this coming year, a North Texas city also made the top 10: Irving ranked at No. 9. Dallas and Fort Worth are No. 19 and 20, respectively. Explore the full study. [Nerdwallet]
- A doctor, who survived Ebola after contracting the virus in 2014 while treating patients in Liberia, has quietly returned to practicing medicine in Fort Worth. Dr. Kent Brantly now teaches young doctors at JPS Health Network, where he says some patients recognize him and bring up his battle with the virus, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The 35-year-old was a JPS resident before heading to Africa. Brantly said his health is fine and he draws on his experience in Liberia to teach the message of caring for others. He says the lesson he's tried to preach most is "choosing compassion over fear." Read the feature. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- It’s likely we missed some cases of Zika in Texas this year. “That became clearer after health officials closely monitored a small area in South Texas earlier this month and found several additional cases of locally-transmitted Zika,” KUT reports. Last month, Cameron County reported the first-known locally-transmitted case of Zika in Texas. Officials started conducting tests by taking urine samples from people living in an eight-block area near that first case and talking to them about their symptoms. Chris Van Deusen with the Texas Department of State Health Services says this work helped identify four more cases of locally transmitted Zika there. [KUT]
- Three Texans are in the running for Secretary of Agriculture in Trump’s Cabinet. The candidates include current Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, former state Comptroller Susan Combs and Elsa Murano, the former president of Texas A&M University. Patrick Svitek, with the Texas Tribune, tells Texas Standard it’s not a coincidence that a lot of the conversation is focused on these Texans. “Agriculture is a big part of life and also a key focus of government in Texas, so it would make sense that there would be at least more than one candidate coming from Texas for this federal position.” Listen to the conversation. [Texas Standard]
- A woman attending the Dallas Cowboys game against the Detroit Lions Monday night had a tweet-worthy sign. Breanna Clanton held a poster that read “My fiance dumped me in a text message. He should have waited until after Christmas," NBC DFW reports. It caught the attention of Alex McDaniel, an editor at the Oxford Eagle, and she tweeted a picture of Clanton with the caption: “Her fiancé dumped her VIA TEXT before finding out she bought him Cowboys tickets for Christmas. She's doing fine.” As her story was shared, Clanton received support (and some flack) on social media, but at least the Cowboys won 42-21. [NBC DFW, SportsDay]