Have you seen the North Texas college student’s “Let It Go” video?; Longview parts ways with Ted Nugent; Fort Worth is getting trashy; and more.
- The East Texas city of Longview has paid $16,250 to end contract negotiations with controversial rocker Ted Nugent, who was under consideration as the headliner for Longview’s Fourth of July celebration. Longview’s payoff came after Nugent’s earlier comments and song lyrics became an issue during a campaign swing with Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. A city spokesman told the Longview News-Journal the controversy surrounding Nugent was just one factor that led the city to call off negotiations. The amount paid was about half Nugent’s performance fee. Mayor Jay Dean said Nugent’s act didn’t fit with the family-oriented program the city wanted. In January, Nugent called President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.” The comments resurfaced when Nugent campaigned in February with Abbott, who said he didn’t endorse the language. (Associated Press via Longview News-Journal)
- The city of Fort Worth is doing some dumpster diving. Fort Worth dug through about 800 barrels of trash and recycling containers last week from 400 households in an effort to get more recyclables out of the landfill, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Among the discoveries: sticky soft drink cans, rotting heads of lettuce, working electronics, legless baby dolls, messy pizza plates and rotting flowers. “Getting more recyclables into recycling carts not only saves the city money, but it will also extend the life of the city’s landfill,” the newspaper reports. “So the city spent $37,500 to hire Action Research, a consulting firm recommended by Keep America Beautiful and based in San Diego, to take a closer look analyzing the trash.” Fort Worth sends about 22 percent of trash and compost to be recycled, far short of its goal of 40 percent, the Star-Telegram reports.
- Larry McMurtry, the legendary Texas writer, will appear at the Dallas Museum of Art in May. The Dallas Morning News reports: “McMurtry, who will be joined onstage with collaborator Diana Ossana, will be discussing his soon-to-be-released novel The Last Kind Words Saloon. Jake Silverstein of Texas Monthly gets the honor of interviewing them. The event takes place 7 p.m. May 7 in the museum’s Horchow Auditorium.” Tickets are available here.
- NPR’s Steve Inskeep recently traveled along the U.S.-Mexico border — from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean – to explore how the two countries are linked and how they’re separated. NPR reporters have also been pursuing stories of people, goods and culture crossing the border. Stories have been airing on NPR in recent days. Catch up on the Borderland series.
- Brian Hull, a student at Dallas Baptist University, heard about a contest in which contestants were encouraged to create their own cover of the hit song “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen.” Hull is a Disney nut, so he sang the song using 21 voices of various Disney characters. He posted the video on YouTube earlier this month and it’s gone viral – more than 8.3 million people have seen him sing various voices, including Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Sebastian, the lobster from “The Little Mermaid.” The folks at Disney saw the video and they’ve apparently offered Hull an audition. Hull told The Dallas Morning News that the audition offer is a “dream come true.” Before Disney contacted him, Hull talked with WFAA-TV: “Have you ever had a feeling like you’re in a dream, and you’re just not waking up? That’s definitely what it feels like.” Hull said his favorite character to voice was Winnie the Pooh. D Magazine did this Q&A with him. And in case you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen the video, here you go – “Let It Go:”