Five stories that have North Texas talking: Where’s the best barbecue in North Texas?; Keller police reveal where they’re tracking speedy drivers; NPR investigates North Texas’ Daystar Christian TV network.
- What’s the best barbecue in Dallas-Fort Worth? We don’t mean to spark World War III. But some experts are chiming in. The Dallas Morning News’ BBQ Posse offers its list just in time for the Final Four fans who are in town. Among the Posse’s top picks in Dallas: Pecan Lodge, Lockhart Smokehouse, and the Baby Back Shak. Elsewhere, there’s Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell; Hutchins BBQ in McKinney; Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Shack in Garland. But, wait, there’s more. Check out the list for all of the locations. The Posse wrote: “One reader asked what may be the ultimate question this year for barbecue fans who also enjoy a little college basketball: Pecan Lodge or Hutchins? Our answer: Figure out how to eat at both. These are probably the two best joints in the area and among the top handful in the state.” Last summer, NPR’s Wade Goodwyn profiled Pecan Lodge: “It’s not even noon yet but every table out front of the Pecan Lodge in downtown Dallas is filled with veterans with barbecue heaped on their plates, smirking at the gobsmacked newbies. First timers are easily discernible by the stunned looks on their faces when they walk in and see the line. Half the people standing in line are not even going to get barbecue; it’s going to run out before they can order.”
- Police in North Texas say the term “speed trap” is becoming a misnomer as they’re turning to social media to notify motorists where officers are watching for speeders. Police in Keller, which is near Fort Worth, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram they started using Twitter and other social sites to post the locations of officers with radar guns. They say the intention is to get motorists to slow down. Two weeks after starting the routine, Keller police added 1,113 followers on Twitter and 2,187 friends on Facebook. Dallas police began the practice shortly after Keller.
- Flip on Daystar television at any hour of the day and you’ll likely see the elements of modern televangelism: a stylish set, an emotional spiritual message and a phone number on the screen soliciting donations. Based in a studio complex in North Texas, Daystar broadcasts to a potential audience of 2 billion people around the globe. The Internal Revenue Service considers Daystar something else: a church. Daystar and dozens of others call themselves churches, which means they not only taxes, but any requirement to disclose their finances. And, as NPR has learned, for the last five years churches have avoided virtually any scrutiny whatsoever from the federal government’s tax authority. (For the record, KERA sold one of its TV stations, KDTN Channel 2, to Daystar back in 2003.) “All Things Considered” aired an investigative report on Tuesday’s program, as part of its week of Texas coverage. Part two continues this afternoon. “All Things Considered” airs at 4-6:30 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.
- Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings apologized Tuesday for the bumbling launch of the home-rule school proposal that could change the way Dallas schools are governed and run. Rawlings hopes to save the effort, which has faced harsh attacks from critics. He says it could free the Dallas school district of some state rules which would allow bad schools to improve faster. The home-rule proposal has been misunderstood and poorly executed, Rawlings told reporters. He plans for more meetings with residents. The Texas legislature approved home-rule charter districts 19 years ago. But no Texas district has ever passed it, perhaps because it takes a lot of signatures — 5 percent of registered voters — to get it on the ballot. After that, a quarter of registered voters must turn out when it’s on the ballot. A petition drive is underway. About 25,000 signatures need to be collected. If it’s successful, DISD trustees would appoint a 15-member charter commission that would create a governance plan over which trustees would have no power or control.
- What inspires Mike Judge? The creator of Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill once lived in Richardson. Now he has a new show on HBO, Silicon Valley. Judge explained his cultural influences to Vulture: “These are the movies, TV shows, musicians, and cartoonists that inspired Judge during his own incubation stage.” They include Dazed and Confused, National Lampoon magazine, Willie Nelson and … Leave it to Beaver? Vulture says Silicon Valley “examines Bay Area start-up culture with all of the earnest solemnity you’d expect from the creator of Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill.” The piece appears in New York magazine.