Five stories that have North Texas talking: a major figure at the Texas Ballet Theater is retiring, a look at the artsy Trinity River bridges in Fort Worth, Ted Cruz was back in Texas over the weekend, and more.
- “My body is tired:” The Texas Ballet Theater’s principal dancer, Lucas Priolo, is retiring. “My body is tired,” he told TheaterJones. He said he looks forward to taking over his family jewelry store. Priolo joined the Fort Worth ballet in 2004. Priolo said his favorite ballet was Romeo and Juliet – because he got to dance with his wife, Julie Gumbinner. “I remember one show in particular just being one of those magical shows that had it all,” Priolo told TheaterJones. “The orchestra, the audience and the dancing just all came together and it was one of the most memorable shows in my career.” Art&Seek covered a 2009 performance featuring Priolo.
- Along Fort Worth’s Trinity River, a “String of Pearls:” Fort Worth Weekly takes a look at the city’s award-winning Trinity River bridges – while slapping Dallas in the face for its own Trinity spans. Fort Worth completed three bridges in 13 months for $39 million and two of them have won awards, the Weekly reports. “Meanwhile … where prices and pretense tend to run higher, Dallas has just approved its second Santiago Calatrava bridge, budgeted at $102 million — on a part of the river that has minimal public access and few amenities. Ask your Dallas friends when they last strolled, cycled, or jogged along the Trinity in their town.” The Weekly describes one bridge on the Clear Fork that connects Hulen and Bryant Irvin streets: “The bridge, which opened Sept. 19, is a work of art itself but also includes murals at the pedestrian level and benches for walkers and bikers to rest and admire the river and the bridge.” So take that, Unfair Park (although, truth be told, Eric Nicholson’s post knocking Fort Worth’s spanning efforts actually mocks Dallas’ more than Fort Worth’s. Irony, you know).
- Ted Cruz, back in Texas, vows to continue fighting Obamacare: The senator spoke Saturday at the Texas Medical Association’s conference in Austin. “Obamacare is the biggest job killer in the country,” he said, according to KUT Radio in Austin. Cruz chided fellow Senate Republicans who didn’t support House Republicans in their opposition to funding the Affordable Care Act. Cruz was criticized from both Democrats and Republicans for helping to start the government shutdown with no clear strategy to end it. But Cruz pointed to support from 2 million people who signed an online petition to show support for his efforts, The Texas Tribune reported. “You don’t try to pull back from an epic disaster like Obamacare and expect that it’s going to be an easy road,” Cruz said. He received a standing ovation from more than half of the audience at the University of Texas at Austin, the Tribune reported. “If the American people rise up and hold our elected officials accountable, that’s how we turn this around,” Cruz said.
- A college degree for $10,000 in Texas? Thirteen institutions in Texas now offer bachelor’s degrees that cost $10,000. But The New York Times reports that the relatively inexpensive degrees are “not for many students, not for many majors and not on the flagship campuses.” In most cases, students have to earn college credits “while they’re in high school, or at a community college, whose tuition may not be included in the total. Books are generally not included, either.” Texas is working with faculty at South Texas College and Texas A&M University-Commerce to “build from scratch a degree in organizational leadership that uses online resources and a competency-based approach,” the Times reports. In other words, students get credit for showing what they know rather than how many courses they take.
- Someone in North Texas is $19.5 million richer. If you bought a lottery ticket in Southlake over the weekend, check your numbers – you could be a winner. A Southlake gas station sold the $19.5 million winning ticket for Saturday’s Lotto Texas jackpot, according to the Texas Lottery. The Dallas Morning News reports that the Shell station near North Kimball Avenue and Northwest Parkway had sold the drawing’s only jackpot-winning ticket. No one at the store knows which employee sold the ticket with the winning numbers, 1, 7, 15, 35, 43, 53.