Five stories that have North Texas talking: what did Texas search for on Google in 2015?; outrage over Ethan Couch; a police chief delivers a baby; and more.
What did Texans search for on Google in 2015? A smorgasbord of stuff.
The top trending searches? In Dallas, it was Lamar Odom, the former Dallas Mavericks player who was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel in October. Naturally, sports teams rank high on Google searches: Texas Rangers was No. 2 in Dallas. (But the Dallas Cowboys didn’t make the top 10 – perhaps the team’s horrible season played a role?) Also in the top 10: Paris (related to the November terrorist attacks); actor Charlie Sheen and Bobbi Kristina Brown, who died in July after being found unresponsive in a bathtub earlier this year. Other popular searches: the film “Straight Outta Compton,” Hurricane Patricia and Sandra Bland, who was found dead in her jail cell after she was arrested during a traffic stop in Texas.
Why Odom? "We can certainly say because he's tied to the Kardashians, people might have known him from his NBA playing days but we saw an amazing amount of interest just out of these tragic events," Google News Lab trends expert Daniel Sieberg told CBS News.
There are differences around the state. In Houston, folks didn’t search as much for the Texas Rangers; instead they searched for the Houston Astros. In San Antonio, “Straight Outta Compton” was a more popular trending search than it was in Dallas. In Austin, folks preferred searching for “Jurassic World.” And in Austin, Caitlyn Jenner was among the top 10 trending searches; she didn’t make the top 10 in Dallas.
- Ethan Couch and his mom had a going-away party before fleeing to Mexico. They were captured Monday night. In North Texas, authorities released some details about the investigation. Here’s more from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “The heaviest punishment ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch can receive for fleeing the country is several months in jail, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson said Tuesday in a press conference. Since Couch, caught Monday in Mexico with his mother after a two-week search, fled while he was on probation as a juvenile, any punishment would be limited to the term of his juvenile probation, which expires when he turns 19 in April. A hearing to transfer his case to an adult court is scheduled for Jan. 19. The change would extend his time on probation.” Couch was on probation after he killed four people in a drunken-driving accident in 2013. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- After responding to a number of weather-related problems, a police chief in a small Texas town got a different kind of call: A stranded woman was about to give birth. The Clovis News Journal reports that Farwell police chief Larry Kelsay spent the weekend pulling cars from snowdrifts, helping people find shelter and dealing with damaged cause by the blizzard. Then, at about 1 a.m. Monday, a Farwell woman called police and said she was about to give birth. The town doesn't have a hospital and the roads were closed. Kelsay called paramedic Weldon Kube and drove him to the women's home. A second paramedic, Craig Giesbrecht, joined them there. Kelsay says it was an easy birth. The baby was born at about 3:30 a.m. [Associated Press]
- Emus invade Round Rock. Blue Bell returns. The world’s largest barbecue pit. Just some of the classic Texas moments from 2015. The Dallas Morning News has compiled a list of “35 of the most wonderfully Texan things that happened this year.” Check it out.
- What were the best public radio music sessions of 2015? NPR Music recently compiled a list. Amy Miller with KXT, our sister station, contributed: “In celebration of KXT's sixth anniversary, Houndmouth played to a sold-out crowd on Nov. 19 in Dallas. Earlier that day the band stopped by our studio to play a few songs and participate in KXT's first-ever VuHaus live stream. At the tail end of its fall tour, the band was in prime form, confirming what we had been hearing all year: ‘Houndmouth's live show is incredible!’”
Watch the performance:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.