Five stories that have North Texas talking: Chipotle focuses on burritos, not guns; North Texas is a dangerous place for pedestrians; take a journey up Interstate 35; and more:
- A beloved Dallas high school choir teacher will conduct his final concert – at the Meyerson Symphony Center. The concert, called Mr. Parker’s Opus, is at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Michael Parker, 67, is the choir teacher at W.T. High School in northwest Dallas. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Before there was Glee, there was Mr. Parker’s high school chorus. In 1969, 40 years before the television series premiered, Michael Parker started a show chorus at a school in Nederland, near the Gulf Coast. It was one of the first school choruses in Texas devoted to pop music and Broadway tunes.” Parker started making $5,800 as a teacher. Last December, DISD Superintendent Mike Miles attended a W.T. White concert – intending to stay for 30 minutes, he stayed for 2 ½ hours because he enjoyed the performance so much, The News said.
- Chipotle says guns aren’t welcome in its restaurants anymore after an incident at a North Texas restaurant. Gun rights advocates brought military-style assault rifles into a Dallas Chipotle over the weekend, and the company says “the display of firearms” created a potentially intimidating environment. The company notes that it has traditionally complied with local laws regarding open and concealed firearms, but said that “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.” The announcement came after a petition by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has called on other companies to ban firearms in their stores as well. [Associated Press]
- Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington are among the most dangerous cities for pedestrians, ranking 12th most dangerous out of the 51 largest metro areas. That’s according to a new report released by the National Complete Streets Coalition. The coalition says that from 900 Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington residents were killed while walking between 2003 and 2012. Across the state, 4,192 people died while walking. “The report, Dangerous by Design 2014, ranks America’s major metropolitan areas according to a Pedestrian Danger Index that assesses how safe pedestrians are while walking. The report found that the majority of those deaths likely could have been prevented with safer street design.” Read the report here.
- Nine years ago, Joyce Powell was in a hospital, on her way to the bathroom, when she fell and broke her hip. She recovered. But there’s something she hasn’t gotten over: A fear of falling. It might sound silly, but it turns out that people who are afraid of falling are actually more likely to fall. That’s why Powell attends a fall prevention class at the University of Texas at Arlington: not just to get stronger, but to face her demons. The UT-Arlington effort is the focus of Chapter 3 of The Broken Hip, a two-month KERA News Breakthroughs series that explores the issues surrounding this serious medical issue. Catch up on the rest of the series here.
- Take a journey north on Interstate 35. The New York Times’ series, The Way Up North, seeks to explore a country that is “still conflicted about immigration and whether newcomers are integrating into American life.” Journalists are traveling from Laredo to Duluth, Minn., to show whether immigrants and longtime residents are getting along; whether they interact at school and church; and how they experience births, graduations and funerals. “Laredo is our starting point. Even compared with other border towns, it is a unique place, more dominated by commerce between Mexico and the United States and more Hispanic. Historians note that it is one of few cities in the region that have never had a white, European-linked majority.”