Five stories that have North Texas talking: In a new poll, Texans weigh in on the bathroom issue; Denton holds its annual coffin race; the Trinity park project gets a boost; and more.
This October in North Texas, there wasn’t really a need to sip hot drinks or wear sweaters, much less pants, and you might have started sweating in your Halloween costume last night. That’s because it was the warmest October in 53 years in North Texas, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. This past month’s average temperature was a record-breaking 74.1 degrees, beating out the previous record of 73.5 degrees in 1963. For perspective, the average temperature in October is 67.5.
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) October 31, 2016
This October, the average low was 63.4 degrees, barely breaking the 1931 record. The average high was 84.9 degrees, the fourth highest on record (No. 1 is 88.4 in 1963). The hottest day this month was Oct. 5 with a high of 94, and the coolest night was Oct. 22 with a low of 51, according to the weather service. Hey, at least it’s not 1951. Back then North Texans endured a 106-degree October day, the hottest ever. Another extreme October day — in 1925, the high was 34. [National Weather Service]
- Just over half of Texans surveyed recently said transgender people should use facilities that correspond with their birth gender. The latest in a series of polls from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune shows what a sample of Texans think about the state’s hot-button issues. In the newest report, nearly 60 percent of Texans polled say the Constitution doesn’t need to be changed, and over a third of Texans didn’t know Attorney General Ken Paxton was having legal problems at all. Spoiler alert: He is. [The Texas Tribune]
- Dentonites get in the Halloween spirit with a different kind of tradition — speeding downhill in vehicles of death. Denton’s annual Day of the Dead Festival features a pumpkin patch, a salsa competition, a parade and several other family friendly events. But the festival is really known for one thing – coffin races. The Art&Seek crew went to Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival to find out about the 5th Annual Coffin Race, which is exactly what it sounds like. [Art&Seek]
- The idea of a park along the Trinity River just got $50 million closer to becoming a reality. On Monday, Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the donation from Annette Simmons, the widow of late billionaire and new namesake for the park, Harold Simmons. It marks the largest private donation toward a city in project in Dallas history, the Dallas Morning News reports. The donation will fund 20 percent of the $250 million park project. [The Dallas Morning News]
- Pumpkin is popular for fall desserts and drinks, but it also provides a health boost leading into the holiday season. Pumpkin contains a ton of fiber for the digestive system and beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which benefits eyesight and the immune system. Katherine Nashatker, Diabetes Education Coordinator with Parkland Hospital, dives into pumpkin’s healthy side and offers few recipes in this week’s “Vital Signs”. [KERA News]