Five stories that have North Texas talking: DFW International Airport ranks No. 2 for most confiscated guns; Dallas police chief David Brown loves Twitter; Denton’s Midlake gets more love, and more.
- Denton’s Midlake continues to get publicity. This time, it’s in American Way, American Airlines’ magazine. Thor Christensen writes: “Midlake has always been a band of restless omnivores. But on Antiphon, its first album since singer Tim Smith left the group, ‘We opened up our palette to even more influences, from classical to Motown to psychedelia,’ says Eric Pulido, a founding member who’s made the jump to lead vocalist.” Pulido says four albums helped shape Antiphon: Pink Floyd’s Meddle; The Bee Gees’ Their Greatest Hits: The Record; Genesis’ A Trick of the Tail; and The Band’s The Band. Antiphon made KERA commentator David Okamoto’s top-10 list of the best Texas music albums of 2013. In November, NPR featured Midlake on Weekend Edition Saturday.
- A Dallas jury has found a 76-year-old man guilty of capital murder for the shooting deaths of two neighbors in a dispute over dog feces. Chung Kim was convicted Thursday and faces an automatic sentence of life in prison for the killings of Michelle Jackson and boyfriend Jamie Stafford. Prosecutors say Kim shot Jackson as she stood on her apartment balcony in February. He then went upstairs to her apartment and shot and killed Stafford. Kim has said the couple’s dog would use the balcony as a bathroom and when the neighbors washed it, the urine and feces would stream down to his balcony. He’s insisted the shooting of Stafford was in self-defense. He’s also said he doesn’t remember shooting Jackson but he could have suffered a blackout. [Associated Press]
- Airports across the country reported a 20 percent jump last year in the number of guns confiscated from passengers. Dallas-Fort Worth International ranked No. 2 nationwide on the list of airports with the most confiscations. That’s according to Transportation Security Administration data analyzed by the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative. The survey shows that at DFW International, 98 guns were confiscated last year – 84 percent were loaded and 26 percent had a bullet in the chamber. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the country’s busiest airport, ranked No. 1 with 110 guns. The numbers could be higher: A TSA official told the Medill initiative that final figures would be released shortly. “Final numbers tend to be slightly higher than those compiled by Medill because the weekly blog post data is not updated after it is posted.”
- Dallas Police Chief David Brown is definitely a fan of Twitter. He’s active on the social media network, posting notes about basketball tournaments and answering questions from his Twitter followers. But among the updates he posts are the names of the officers and other employees he has recently fired. It all started as an effort to increase transparency. But the city’s police association is complaining about the practice. KERA’s Lauren Silverman has more details.
- The income gap in Texas between whites and minorities could take a toll on the state, according to a new book by a Texas demographics expert. Hispanic and black Texans are likely to continue to lag socioeconomically behind whites, leading to a poorer and less competitive state, according to Steve Murdock’s book Changing Texas: Implications of Addressing or Ignoring the Texas Challenge. Murdock is a former state demographer and former director of the U.S. Census Bureau. The Texas Tribune reported on his book this week. The Tribune reports: “The Texas challenge, he writes, is to consider ways — through education, for example — to level the playing field for disadvantaged Texans. … Black and Hispanic households in Texas in 2010 had median incomes in the $35,000 to $37,000 range, compared with $60,000 to $64,000 for white and Asian households. The types of households increasing fastest are those with the highest rates of poverty, writes Murdock, who projects that poverty rates in the state could increase from 14.4 percent in 2010 to 17.7 percent in 2050. That’s not just a problem for low-income families but for the state as a whole, the book says. A lack of well-educated workers makes the state less attractive to private companies. And more people living in poverty means the state has to spend more on education and social services.”