Five stories that have North Texas talking: Country singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver and Willie Nelson are texting buddies, the Dallas Contemporary’s director of exhibitions will be opening her own gallery, and more.
Country singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver released his first album in six years, called Long in the Tooth. He says in a much better place now than he was seven years ago, when he was involved with a bar argument with another man, leading to a parking-lot shootout. The 1973 Honky Tonk Heroes, which was mostly written by Shaver, is considered one of the best of the “outlaw country” genre. These days, his life mirrors less of the songs he used to write: he gave up drinking and is very religious. And he regularly texts his good buddy Willie Nelson. In an interview with NPR’s David Greene, he says “we’re the only ones over 70 that text.”
- Dallas Contemporary director of exhibitions Erin Cluley will be leaving the organization at the end of the month to open her own gallery. She didn’t always have plans to open her own space. When she first started working at the Contemporary, Cluley thought she would work in museums for the rest of her career. When she went on a trip last summer to Salem, Massachusetts, she went in for a psychic reading just for fun. When it was predicted she would open her own space, she returned home and went to work. The Erin Cluley Gallery will open in September in Trinity Groves.
- The Economist has mapped the most liberal and conservative big cities in the United States, and Texas cities fell on both sides of the spectrum. Dallas is the second most liberal city in Texas, behind Austin. Fort Worth lies on the center of the chart, and Arlington is the most conservative out of Texas big cities. The data comes from a forthcoming study in the American Political Science Review, which looked at seven large-scale surveys accounting for cities of more than 250,000 people. Big cities tend to skew more liberal, even in conservative states like Texas. Pew Research Center recently found that 46 percent of liberals prefer to live in cities, compared to just 4 percent of conservatives, who tend to live in smaller towns and rural areas.
- Dallas police are investigating an off-duty Dallas police officer, who was involved in a shooting in Oak Cliff last night that killed one person. CBS 11 reports that the officer was working an extended neighborhood patrol when a 911 call came out of the 100 block of N. Windomere. According to the 911 call, a white male was walking up and down the street making lewd comments to females. The Dallas Police Department said the officer saw an individual fitting a description of the suspect and followed while waiting on cover. The officer got involved when the suspect stopped a vehicle and attempted to enter with the family inside. Authorities said the suspect approached the officer in a dangerous manner, forcing the officer to shoot the man. The suspect was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital.
- A transportation official says regional and state leaders will never consider replacing I-345 with anything other than a highway. The Dallas Morning News reports Michael Morris, the transportation director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, made this statement during a City Hall meeting. State officials have denied that they’ve made that conclusion. The Texas Department of Transportation hasn’t started its study of I-345, which would examine the costs and traffic impacts of replacing I-345 with a street-level boulevard, as well as costs and logistics. Patrick Kennedy, an urban planner and major advocate of tearing down I-345 in favor of a boulevard, criticized Morris’s statement. “That’s inappropriate for a staff person to be suggesting policy,” he said.