Five stories that have North Texas talking: D Magazine says Kidd Kraddick had lymphoma, more were without power during the ice storm than initially reported, “The Nutcracker” as a comedy, and more:
- Kidd Kraddick, the popular Dallas-based morning radio show host who died over the summer, kept a big secret – he had lymphoma. That’s according to D Magazine, which explores Kraddick’s life in January’s issue. “It was ironic, really, that a man who had become so successful by talking about his life on the radio would choose to keep such news quiet,” Jamie Thompson writes. He did share the news with his best friend, Toby Wilson. “Part of it was just his personality. … He was a professional extrovert, but Kraddick could also be deeply private.” His cancer, however, was not the primary cause of his death. An autopsy revealed that he had severe blockages in his heart, but it’s not clear whether his cancer treatments affected his heart condition, D Magazine reports. The story examines his death and the intense media coverage it received. “The coverage of his death was shocking to me,” Rusty Humphries, a Phoenix radio host and former Kraddick co-host, told the magazine. “How do I say this without sounding horrible? In a way, it was his crowning achievement. Mark Cuban was the guy who announced it. Harry Styles tweeted about it. People were crying in the streets. I mean, when was the last time you heard about a DJ dying? Never.”
- Eight North Texas arts groups from major establishments like the Dallas Opera to tiny outfits like Documentary Arts are beneficiaries of this month’s announcement of National Endowment for the Arts grants. Totaling $225,000, the money will help fund new works about the African diaspora at the South Dallas Cultural Center, Big Thought’s middle-school arts program in poetry writing and presentation (called DaVerse — which includes hip-hop poet-performer Will Power) and new plays in Kitchen Dog Theater’s New Works Festival 2014. The largest grant went to the Amon Carter Museum, the only art museum in the area to receive a grant. Jerome Weeks with KERA’s Art&Seek has more details.
- Who knew that “The Nutcracker” could be a comedy? Tonight, for one night only, Texas Ballet Theater will trade in the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, for its PG-13 cousin, The Nutty Nutcracker. The new show, which incorporates pop-culture references, is a collaboration between artistic staff and dancers. Past shows have included a crossed Glinda the Good Witch, Abraham Lincoln, the Coke Polar Bears, President Obama and the last dance of “Dirty Dancing.”
- Eric Brown is trying to educate teens and parents about drugs after his 15-year-old son died of an apparent drug overdose over the weekend. Family members say that at 4 a.m. Saturday, Heritage High freshman Montana Sean Brown experimented with a hallucinogen similar to LSD, The Dallas Morning News reports. He died at a hospital. “My kids tell me that it’s easier for them to get these designer drugs that skirt the law than it is to get alcohol,” Eric Brown told The News. The family thinks he took a drug similar to 2C-I or “N-Bomb.” The cause of Montana’s death is pending toxicology results. The News reported: “Last month, the National Institute on Drug Abuse identified ‘N-Bomb’ drugs — a group of related hallucinogens — as an emerging trend in the country and noted that at least 14 people reportedly died after taking such drugs between March 2012 and April 2013.”
- More than 800,000 North Texas customers lost power at some point during the recent ice storm, an Oncor executive testified Thursday. The Dallas Morning News reports that Oncor executive Jim Greer appeared before the Texas Public Utility Commission. Oncor had earlier said at least 500,000 people were without power, but that they were still looking through the data. Parts of East Dallas and Plano were without power for four days. But Greer said the hardest-hit area was in Paris, northeast of Dallas-Fort Worth. Power wasn’t fully restored until five day after the storm hit. Trees and power lines were covered in about 1.5 inches of ice, Greer said.