Five stories that have North Texas talking: Tesla comes to Dallas, but there’s a catch; more problems for the Allen ISD football stadium; Dallas Love Field public artwork wins a national honor; and more.
- A piece of public art at Dallas Love Field has won a national award. North Texas Sunrise by Dixie Friend Gay has been honored as one of this year’s top public art installations in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Year In Review. It’s a ceramic tile mural of the sun rising over a field of Texas wildflowers. The mural is in the airport’s main lobby. Gay’s North Texas Sunrise is 60 feet by 18 feet and includes 300,000 pieces of mosaic and hand-glazed ceramic tiles. The mosaic, designed to represent the vanishing prairie, includes purple coneflower, hop clover and Mexican hat. The Love Field Art Program, part of the city of Dallas’ Public Art Collection.
- Tesla is opening its first store in Dallas Friday – even though it can’t sell its cars in Texas. The opening of a “gallery” at NorthPark Center follows two similar stores in Austin and Houston. This isn’t your typical dealership. While Tesla’s Model S – which can go 300 miles on just one electric charge — sits in the gallery, you can’t test-drive one. You can’t buy one at the store, either. And you can’t discuss financing, leasing or purchasing options. (In Texas, you have to purchase one online.) You can thank a Texas law for that. Alexis Georgeson, a Tesla spokeswoman, told KXAS-TV (Channel 5): “The spirit of the law certainly isn’t being fairly applied here in Texas. It’s the most restrictive law in the country we face. We are a startup company. We don’t have independent dealerships. We need to sell to customers. We’re a car business that needs to sell cars.”
- More problems have been discovered with the $60 million Eagle Stadium in Allen ISD. Nelson Forensics found structural design shortcomings in seven areas at the $60 million stadium, including retaining walls, concourse framing, the press box and the main scoreboard. This follows the extensive cracking found in the building’s concrete – Allen ISD announced in February it was shutting down the stadium. The district says it wants the stadium to be repaired in time for graduation next spring. Crews could begin repairing the stadium in late July. Read more from KERA News.
- Mayors from all corners of the country are in Dallas today for the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. This morning, they’re gathering at the new Continental Bridge park in West Dallas. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports the mayors will be talking about how cities can help military veterans returning from overseas and Seattle’s efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. They’ll also discuss climate change, affordable housing and education reform. The mayors will also consider more than 100 resolutions on everything from support for universal pre-Kindergarten and background checks for all gun sales. There’s also endless networking opportunities – various companies wanting to do business will have representatives mingling with the mayors. KERA’s Stephen Becker spoke with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA point guard who’s the president of this year’s mayors conference.
- Actor Jason Lee has directed a promo for an upcoming documentary about Midlake, the Denton band. And Denton stars in the video. (Lee starred in the NBC series “My Name Is Earl.”) Mojo, a music magazine, reports: The promo “balances the gritty and romantic, the cornmills with the quaint legobrick Courthouse-on-the-Square. It’s less of a rock promo; more a meditation on an American small town in collision with the new millennium.” Mojo also says the video “doubles as a pretty nifty ad for Denton’s Portlandia-esque Paschall Bar, in which the group have a sizeable stake.” The documentary Midlake: Live in Denton, TX – premieres June 26 at the Glastonbury Festival in England. Here’s the promo: