Five stories that have North Texas talking: Prince George is attracting a following at a hardware store; we’ll know today which airline will get the extra Love Field gates; more on the Parker County earthquakes; and more.
- A Lake Highlands hardware store owner isn’t surprised when new customers have their feathers ruffled over the shop’s mascot. Prince George, a Buff Orpington rooster, occupies a spot in the front of the Gecko Hardware Store and he’s proving to be a big draw. The store’s co-owner, Andrea Ridout, says foot traffic went up noticeably on the weekends when customers realized the rooster likes the attention. Ridout says Prince George started ruling the roost after a little girl returned him after she learned he wouldn’t become a hen. The rooster has occupied the top spot on the store’s pecking order for a year. Dallas officials have given the store an exemption to keep the feathered animal on the premises. Prince George also visits schools and senior citizen sites. [Associated Press]
- The drama between Southwest Airlines and Virgin America is expected to end Friday when Dallas’s city manager decides which airline will fly out of the last two open gates at Love Field. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao looks at the last-minute jockeying: “The PR battle to win two gates that American Airlines must give up as part of its merger with US Airways has been theatrical. Sir Richard Branson, the English entrepreneur, who’s a minor investor in Virgin America, released a video love letter this week. Southwest Airlines, on its blog and Twitter page, asks “What’s love got to do with it?” Once Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez makes his decision, the real competition begins Oct. 13, when the Wright Amendment restriction ends.
- A police officer shot and killed a 93-year-old in Hearne this week. Friends say 93-year-old Pearlie Golden still shopped at the grocery store in the small Texas town near Bryan-College Station. Now they and Hearne’s mayor want the police officer who shot and killed her gone. Texas Rangers are investigating what led to a Hearne police officer fatally shooting Golden at her home after responding to a 911 disturbance call this week. Hearne police have said in a statement that Golden “brandished a gun” when Officer Stephen Stem arrived Tuesday night. Prosecutors say a preliminary autopsy shows Golden was struck twice in her body and grazed once. Dozens of protesters Thursday marched to police headquarters in Hearne. Mayor Ruben Gomez greeted them and said he will recommend that the officer be fired at a city council meeting Saturday. [Associated Press]
- There have been at least 300 minor earthquakes in Parker County, northwest of Fort Worth, since December. That’s according to new research released Thursday by SMU scientists. While that sounds like a lot, it doesn’t mean a big one is on the way. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao reports: The latest Texas quakes recorded by SMU scientists are too small to even register at the U.S. Geological Survey. Paul Caruso, a USGS geophysicist, says small quakes, even a swarm of them, are not dangerous. The SMU report is an update on the ongoing data collection by seismologists. They’re trying to identify more accurate locations of the Parker County earthquakes. And they hope to learn whether there’s a link between seismic activity and injection wells that are used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling. Catch up on KERA’s earthquake coverage.
- The Allen Arts Festival returns Friday through Sunday. The festival features gallery-quality work from local, state and nationwide artists displaying and selling paintings, woodwork, sculptures, glass, mixed media and other works of art. There will also be children’s art activities and live entertainment. The free three-day outdoor festival, which starts at 4 p.m. Friday, is at Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm.