Five stories that have North Texas talking: remembering Thomas Eric Duncan; Gov. Rick Perry’s highs and lows; the best movies of 2014; and more.
What did Dallas search for the most on Google in 2014? Ebola. That’s probably not much of a surprise, considering Ebola placed Dallas in the media spotlight when three people were treated for Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital this fall. World Cup was the second-most searched item in Dallas; 2014 Winter Olympics came in third. The mobile game "Flappy Bird" was No. 4; the Disney movie “Frozen” was No. 5. The other top 10 searches: actress Jennifer Lawrence; actor Philip Seymour Hoffman; Grammy Awards; comedian Joan Rivers; Malaysian Airlines. The top trending “how to” searches in Dallas? “How to hack;” “how to solder;” and “how to beatbox.” And the top trending “what is” searches were “what is Ebola?;” “what is ALS?;” and “what is EDM?” (No need to Google that one: It’s electronic dance music, by the way.)
- Family members are remembering Thomas Eric Duncan this week. Tuesday would have been the 43rd birthday of the Ebola victim who died this fall in Dallas. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao recently traveled to North Carolina to visit the family of the Liberian national. On Monday, we aired a story featuring Duncan's mother and sister, who over the years left Liberia, eventually settling near Charlotte, North Carolina. On Tuesday, we aired a story about Josephus Weeks, the nephew who says he was raised as Duncan’s “twin brother.”
- Kim Williams has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for her role in three Kaufman County murders. Two weeks ago, her estranged husband Eric Williams was sentenced to death. He gunned down Mark Hasse in January 2013. Then, two months later, he killed Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia. Kim Williams says she was in the car for all three murders. KERA’s Bill Zeeble has more.
- Since 2000, Rick Perry has been governor of Texas. But next month he’s leaving office. This week, the Texas Tribune is exploring Perry’s legacy in a 10-part series. Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton talked about the governor with KERA’s Eric Aasen. Perry is Texas’ longest-serving governor, and he’s had a big influence on the state. “He transformed the office into a much more powerful one than it was ever envisioned to be,” Hamilton says. Read and listen to the interview here.
- What are the best movies of 2014? KERA movie expert Stephen Becker – he’s part of our “Big Screen” team -- has made his list. And he defends his choices. Check it out here.