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Five stories that have North Texas talking: there’s an app for dealing with bad college roommates, Bitcoin gains some traction in Texas, the Transportation Security Administration confiscates the most firearms from DFW International Airport, and more.

The drought has tested industries across Texas in the last few years -- and it's even had an impact on beer.

Samaritan's Purse

A doctor trained in Fort Worth is now fighting for his life in a Liberian hospital -- a victim of the Ebola outbreak he was trying to battle. 

Fort Worth Celebrates National Day Of The American Cowboy

Jul 28, 2014
Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

A herd of Texas Longhorns, a cow chip throwing contest, and cowboy karaoke attracted some 12,000 people on Saturday during Fort Worth's National Day of the American Cowboy. 

D. Davis / Flickr

The Fort Worth City Council is moving forward with zoning changes to its historic Stockyards over the objections of some residents and civic leaders.

Alcon Labs

Who needs Google glasses when you can have smart contact lenses? Google released its smart lens technology earlier this year, a partnership with pharmaceutical giant Novartis could help bring it to the masses.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Fort Worth on Friday dedicated a new 22-foot-tall monument at the banks of the Trinity River. It’s a bronze statue of U.S. Army Brevet Major Ripley Allen Arnold, the man who founded the city 165 years ago.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Google's Motorola Mobility smartphone unit will shutter its Fort Worth factory by the end of 2014, barely a year after it opened with much fanfare as the first smartphone plant in the U.S.

Leena Robinson / shutterstock.com/gallery-935740p1.html

Fort Worth has hired David Cooke, a former county manager in North Carolina, as its new city manager. Cooke, who was a finalist for the Dallas city manager job earlier this year, will start June 30. Cooke, 54, will earn $315,000 annually.

Matt Cobb

Supporters of Fort Worth veterinarian Lou Tierce have launched a social media campaign to defend him. His Camp Bowie Animal Clinic has been shut down and his license suspended while the state investigates allegations of animal abuse. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

A customer is accusing a popular Fort Worth veterinarian of stealing animals and conducting blood transfusions on her dog, which was supposed to have been euthanized.

On Tuesday, officers stood guard outside the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic as investigators seized two dogs. 

“It’s part of the investigation,” said Sgt. Raymond Bush, a Fort Worth Police spokesman. “So, at this point, these animals are evidence.”

Leena Robinson / shutterstock.com/gallery-935740p1.html

This is no joke: Fort Worth is the least funny big city in the country.

Yes, scholars have researched the topic and have even produced a book showcasing their work: The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner.

They surveyed the 50 biggest cities in the country. They say they discovered that humor has a “local flavor” – what’s funny in Dallas might not be as hilarious in Chicago.

Fort Worth isn't too funny for words. Cowtown ranked dead last on a list that ranks the funniness of the 50 cities. Arlington, you’re a bit funnier, but not by much. Arlington placed No. 46 on the list.

aastock / Shutterstock.com

The housing market in North Texas is hot, hot, hot.

It’s so hot that if you’re selling a home, be prepared to have a place to live – because it’s likely to sell quickly, according to a new national survey issued by the Redfin Research Center.

Dallas is ranked No. 5 on a list of the country’s fastest housing markets in March. In Dallas, 14 percent of homes sold within three days.

Fort Worth is ranked No. 8. Slightly more than 10 percent of Fort Worth homes sold within three days.

Ron Doke/Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt220/

What does the country think of Dallas?

(And, this being Dallas, we really do care what the rest of the country thinks of us. We might say we don’t care. But, deep down, we do.)

NPR journalists went to a Metro subway stop in Washington, D.C., where they saw a pair of posters “tempting passengers with images of a cosmopolitan city, an upscale arts district, a modern sports stadium.”

The poster's slogan is "Dallas: Big Things Happen Here." The reaction?

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Update 10 p.m. Tuesday: The Fort Worth City Council has delayed for one week a vote to permanently restrict outdoor watering to twice a week. 

Council member W. B. Zimmerman asked for the additional time to educate the public about proposed conservation plans.

Sal Espino, who represents District 2, was opposed to the delay. He said: "I would be in favor of moving forward with this ordinance, imperfect as it may seem to some, and then later changing it or tweaking, because we've already been doing twice per week watering."  

Fort Worth Tops List Of Best Downtowns in America

Mar 17, 2014

Liveability.com, a website that focuses on quality of life in small to mid-sized cities, seems to have used a mix of measurable criteria and editor preferences to form this ranking of downtowns. Retail and office vacancy rates, population gains, and income growth were some of the measures where Fort Worth excelled. Also cited were cultural amenities including parks, theaters, and entertainment districts like Sundance Square. Their take on the city: "Few downtowns have achieved the cohesion between cowboy culture and urban sophistication that Fort Worth has." The editors did not look at the country's largest cities, including Dallas, for this list.

Austin Police Department

UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: Austin police say any additional charges in the SXSW crash will be presented to the Travis County Grand Jury at a later date.

"The reason only one capital murder charge was filed is that Texas State law requires two or more deaths in the same criminal transaction for the filing of a capital murder charge," police said in an update sent to reporters.

Thursday, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that Owens would face two charges of capital murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA

Fort Worth wants to reduce medical bills and invest in healthier living, so the city is going blue in a five-year project, called the Blue Zones Project. But it doesn’t have anything to do with water or the ocean. 

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

This month, a new — and some say more challenging — GED test rolled out. After 70-plus years, paper is out, and online is in.

Forty states, including Texas, are offering this revamped version. Students and instructors in one Fort Worth test-prep class are having to adapt.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Google is selling Motorola Mobility's smartphone business to Lenovo Group for $2.9 billion.

Motorola has produced the Moto X smartphone in Fort Worth -- the first smartphone made in the U.S. Lenovo says it will continue the Fort Worth operation. Lenovo officials tell KERA that "there are now no plans to change Motorola’s approach to manufacturing."

A spokesman for the city of Fort Worth told KERA he wasn’t aware of any changes for the Moto X production. The phones are made at an Alliance plant.

[More from KERA News: Motorola Chooses Fort Worth For New U.S.-Made Phone]

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has a new learning space, where kids get some unusual playmates: scientists and researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Carl J. Licari Photography

Fort Worth is remembering former mayor Bob Bolen as a visionary who created the framework for what the city has become today.

Bolen, 87, died at his home Monday morning, leaving behind a long list of achievements that earned him the title of “people’s mayor.”

Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen is being remembered today for helping launch Alliance Airport and for bringing the Federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing to the city.

Bolen, 87, died this morning at his home.  He served as mayor from 1982 until 1991, longer than any other.

Texas Eagle / Flickr.com

The U.S. Postal Service is a step closer to leaving its landmark Lancaster Avenue post office in downtown Fort Worth. The building is among several iconic structures on the city’s south side.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

There’s a new gym in North Texas – but if you want to lift weights or use the treadmill at Downsize Fitness, you have to be at least 50 pounds overweight.

The new Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth has opened. "This is not the completion of Sundance Square," said Ed Bass, lead developer of the downtown district, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We've go more to do. A city is never finished."

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

So, where do you go when you need some TLC and appreciation?  Home, right?

That’s exactly what Sen. Ted Cruz has been doing this week.

Senate TV

Sen. Ted Cruz found a receptive audience in Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon, meeting with about 20 small business owners for nearly an hour in a closed-door meeting.

But they didn’t discuss the Texas Republican's involvement in the partial government shutdown. Instead, Obamacare was on the agenda. Over half of the participants wanted to talk about the Affordable Care Act and how it was raising their healthcare costs, said Bill Thornton, president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Extra security was in place for the event after threats against Cruz were posted on Twitter. The Hill reported that a person posted on Twitter Friday: “Take down Ted Cruz, at his home” and listed Cruz’s home address in Houston. “What goes around comes around CRUZ!!” the person wrote.

Lauren Silverman

Fort Worth isn’t just home to the Stockyards and Sundance Square anymore. Cowtown is now home to a plant that will produce the first smartphones ever assembled in the U.S.

Neuwieser

Three former Fort Worth fire chiefs are warning that proposed budget cuts would increase response time.  They hope to line up public support to reverse the cuts at budget hearings next month.

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