Five stories that have North Texas talking: How much do you need to earn to afford an apartment in North Texas?; Dallas and Fort Worth mayors voice support for high-speed rail; did you see those amazing cloud formations last night?; and more.
- A minimum-wage worker can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment in Texas – or anywhere else in the country. That’s the conclusion of an annual study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Out of Reach 2014 analyzed wages and rental costs across the country. In Texas, a minimum-wage worker would have to work 93 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom rental. In Texas, a worker needs to make $16.77 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment – or an annual salary of nearly $35,000. In Dallas, you need to earn $17.56 an hour. In Fort Worth-Arlington, you need to make $18.04. KERA explored the issue online yesterday.
- The mayors of Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston voiced their support Thursday for the proposed high-speed rail line from North Texas to Houston. KERA explored the proposed line in this story last fall. Texas Central Railway wants to build a Dallas-to-Houston corridor for a 200-mph electric train, like the ones that operate in Japan. The bullet train could get from Dallas to Houston in about 90 minutes. Passengers could start boarding in seven years. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price appeared at a press conference in Houston. “This innovative project is a game changer for transportation between the two engines that drive job creation throughout Texas,” Rawlings said in a statement. Here’s more on the developments.
- The Obama administration is placing a grassland grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species. The decision could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in Texas and four other states. The Associated Press reports the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service is a step below “endangered” status and allows for more flexibility in how protections for the bird will be carried out under the Endangered Species Act. Biologists say a major problem is that prairie chickens fear tall structures, where predators such as hawks can perch and spot them. Wind turbines, electricity transmission towers and drilling rigs are generally the tallest objects on the plains. Oil companies have said potential new regulations would impede their operations and would cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in oil and gas development in one of the country’s most prolific basins, the Permian Basin.
- This weekend is your last chance to hang at The Slip Inn. The Henderson Avenue hangout is closing its doors Monday after 15 years at 1806 McMillan Avenue. The Dallas Observer reports that the club plans to reopen at a new location in the next few months. The club told the Observer that they want more space, better parking and better bathrooms. “This weekend, resident DJ Rob Viktum will be wrapping up the club’s last huzzah by spinning straight classic hip hop and boom-bap beats until it’s time to close the doors for good,” the Observer reports.
- The storm that rolled through North Texas last night produced some hail, rain, lightning – and some surreal cloud formations. The clouds went crazy – and the crowds went crazy, too, taking pictures of the nighttime show. More thunderstorms are expected this afternoon – some of them could be severe. Here’s a sampling from last night:
— Denise Newton (@BamaTripletMom) March 28, 2014
— Drew Wight (@DrewWight) March 28, 2014
— Papagolash (@Papagolash) March 28, 2014
— Michelle Williams (@Fiery01Red) March 28, 2014
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) March 28, 2014