Five stories that have North Texas talking: West hopes to push past tragedy, a surprising study on Texas drivers, getting Dallas children past nature fears, and more.
- West, Texas Carries On With Annual Festival: West is still recovering from the deadly fertilizer plant explosion that rocked the town back in April, but residents hope that WestFest can take the focus away from the tragedy. The town’s annual end-of-summer festival opens this weekend and many hope that it will be a time of celebration. “We’ve had our memorials,” Brian Muska, a West City Council member, tells The Dallas Morning News. “We want Westfest to be Westfest, and we want to celebrate what West is about.”
- Activists Get Creative With Video Game:What is it like for a woman trying to seek an abortion in Texas? Two abortion rights activists want to illustrate just that through a new game. Carly Kocurek, an assistant professor in digital studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and self-described feminist Allyson Whipple are the developers behind “Choice: Texas.” The game will play out the journey through five playable characters as they navigate geography, time, and money to obtain the procedure. [The New York Daily News]
- Texans Are Actually Driving Less: Driving rates are declining nationally, but it doesn’t always seem like it here in North Texas. But behold, Texans are actually cutting their driving, a new study suggests. What’s even more surprising is that the state has the lowest number of vehicle miles traveled per capita out of the South Gulf states. There’s been a push locally for more public transit: Dallas is putting more resources into the DART lines, the city of Arlington is finally considering busses and Fort Worth is expanding their bike sharing program. [WFAA]
- North Texas A Hub For Faith-Based Films?: When Hollywood thinks of North Texas, ‘Dallas’ is probably the first thing to come to mind. But the region may become a center for faith-based filmmaking, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, as several faith-based companies are moving their headquarters to the area. Experts attribute this to the socially conservative climate and scores of megachurches in North Texas.
- Dallas Kids Apparently Fear Nature: The Dallas Arboretum is opening a children’s adventure garden next month. The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden aims to teach kids about life and earth sciences. Arboretum Vice President Maria Conroy told The New York Times last week that many Dallas children are afraid of nature because the city is an urban jungle. Yikes. Author Barbara J. King contributes to NPR’s Cosmos and Culture blog, and she says she can sympathize with those kids.