Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas has Olympic dreams; Fort Worth comes closer to naming a new city manager; Wichita Falls’ toilet water could be transformed into drinking water; and more.
- Dallas really wants to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. And North Texas might know by next month whether it’s still in the running. The Dallas Morning News reports that the U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to soon make a decision on which American cities will still be considered. If Dallas is awarded a bid – and that’s still a big if – Fair Park would play a key role. An Olympic Village would be built near Fair Park. A renovated Cotton Bowl could host track and field events. Fair Park could host other competitions, too. “American Airlines Center, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, the Trinity River corridor, Toyota Stadium in Frisco and existing and proposed facilities at Southern Methodist University would all be major event sites,” The Newsreports. And don’t leave out AT&T Stadium – it seems to be an obvious choice for hosting something big during a proposed North Texas Olympics. North Texas would have some stiff American competition: Boston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Philadelphia are among some of the cities that apparently want to host the 2024 Games. KXAS-TV explored the possibility back in February. Texas Monthly analyzes the news. But if Big D were to land the big event, what would we call it? The Dallas-Fort Worth Olympics? The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Olympics? The North Texas Olympics?
- It’s down to three city manager finalists in Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports all three are from out of state and that the City Council will conduct more interviews later this month. They are Roderick L. Bremby, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Social Services; David Cooke, the director of business development for Mulkey Engineers and Consultants in Raleigh, N.C.; and Penny Postoak Ferguson, deputy county manager of Johnson County, Kan., who was previously an assistant city manager in San Antonio. “The council tossed out all four of the original finalists in February and started over, re-advertising for the job and bringing in new candidates,” the newspaper reports. The council is seeking a new city manager after Tom Higgins announced his retirement. But he’s staying on until the council finds his replacement.
- Last week, Mayor Mike Rawlings told KERA that Toyota chose to move its national headquarters to Plano over Dallas in part because of the state of the Dallas ISD. “The big elephant in the room is we don’t get Toyota in Dallas because of the school system,” Rawlings said. But Rawlings told The Dallas Morning News he made a mistake when he said that, saying he “spoke out of turn.” The Newsreported: “He [said he] believed what he said about the school, but shouldn’t have presumed to speak for Toyota executives as to their reasons for the move.” Rawlings said: “Plano [over Dallas] was a smart move for Toyota,” because workers could live in northern Dallas and have a manageable commute.
- What goes down the toilet might come back through your faucet as drinking water. Wichita Falls could become the first city in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater. Yes, that includes water from toilets, which for some citizens is a little tough to swallow, as KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports. She traveled to Wichita Falls to explore the issue. Water supplies are still expected to run out in two years, which is why the city has built a 13-mile pipeline that connects its wastewater plant directly to the plant where water is purified for drinking. “I think it’s gross,” said Marissa Oliveras as she ordered a glass of tap water with her sandwich at Gidget’s Sandwich Shack in downtown Wichita Falls.
- SMU has announced speakers for its 33rd season of the Tate Lecture Series. The season starts in late September with a trio of big political names: Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright, who both served as Secretary of State, as well as David Gergen, the former presidential adviser. Other speakers include PayPal founder Peter Thiel, New York Times columnist David Brooks, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and statistician Nate Silver.