Five stories that have North Texas talking: A big makeover for an opera house, how everything changed on Nov. 22, 1963, a big loss for the Cowboys, and more:
- A big makeover in Granbury: The historic Granbury Opera House is undergoing a $3.4 million makeover in time for a holiday debut. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the 127-year-old facility in Hood County, which is southwest of Fort Worth, should be ready for a black-tie gala Dec. 5 and the opening of “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 6. The opera house, finished in 1886, has been dark for nearly two years. Some Granbury City Council candidates have expressed concerns about the cost, but city officials believe the new-and-improved opera house will help boost tourism, the newspaper reports.
- How everything changed on Nov. 22, 1963 – including the news: Jim Lehrer covered the Kennedy assassination for the Dallas Times Herald before joining KERA and, ultimately, PBS. When he’s not bringing you the news, he’s busy writing. His 21st book is Top Down: A Novel of the Kennedy Assassination. He talks with Krys Boyd on “Think” at noon today on KERA 90.1 FM. In Sunday’s Dallas Morning News, Lehrer wrote: “On the working level, I know of no practicing journalist — broadcast or print, in Dallas or anywhere else — who did not end that November day without having been shocked into a new sense of our realities. Oh, my God! The people we cover — even presidents — are vulnerable. So are institutions — presidencies, statehouses, courthouses, city halls, schools.”
- Another Kennedy discussion: Larry Sabato, the prominent political scientist and author, will discuss the lingering power of President Kennedy at a World Affairs Council program at 7:30 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall. Sabato will also speak Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in Fort Worth. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center For Politics, is author of “The Kennedy Half-Century.” The World Affairs Council says on its website: “Sabato shows how JFK’s presidency has strongly influenced the policies and decisions–often in surprising ways–of every president since.”
- Big loss for the Boys: The Dallas Cowboys suffered a devastating loss Sunday afternoon as the Detroit Lions scored a last-second touchdown – but that was overshadowed by Dez Bryant’s meltdown. The Cowboys wide receiver yelled at quarterback Tony Romo. He yelled at tight end Jason Witten. He yelled at some coaches, too. After the game, ESPN reported that Bryant said “my passion is always positive.” He added: “I’m the nicest person off the field. When I’m on the field, even when I look angry, it’s still all good passion.” The Lions won 31-30, leaving Dallas with a 4-4 record, which is good enough to lead the NFC East.
- Middle class families giving up on DISD: Theresa O’Donnell and Christa Downer sent their daughter to their neighborhood school, DISD’s Alex Sanger Elementary in East Dallas. But three years later, they gave up on DISD – and they persuaded more than a dozen families to do the same. The Dallas Morning News explored the issue: “The struggles that O’Donnell and Downer encountered at Sanger may say more about the school system’s troubles. DISD needs to attract middle-class families to succeed. What does it say about the system if two committed parents — a top city of Dallas official and a university professor — can’t keep faith with their neighborhood school?” O’Donnell said that “the bureaucracy just beat us,” while a DISD spokesman told The News that the school is improving, citing renewed focus on a dual-language program.