Five stories that have North Texas talking: The South Texas congressman who told off Trump reflects as the election nears; what would it actually take to finish the border wall?; SMU claimed its fourth victory over Houston in 27 years; and more.
The State Fair of Texas keeps outdoing itself. The fair, which wrapped up Sunday night, sold $56 million in food and ride coupons, beating its 2015 total by $2.4 million. Last year's $53.6 million blew the $42 million sold in 2014 out of the water.
In its 130th year, the State Fair welcomed more than 2.4 million guests during in its 24-day run, according to a press release Sunday night. The Hall of State alone welcomed approximately 225,000 people to see The Taylor Swift Experience and four other Texas-centric exhibits.
More numbers from the 2016 State Fair of Texas:
- 6,000 seasonal employees
- 9,000 entries in the state fair’s Creative Arts competitions (up 100 entries from 2015)
- 52,000 test drives at the Chevrolet Ride & Drive
- 60 dogs adopted at “Bark at Fair Park” run by DFW Rescue Me
- 12,708 livestock entries in this year’s fair (up from 10,722 in 2015)
- 7,500 students competed in agricultural shows (up from 5,528 in 2015)
- Record $131,ooo for the Grand Champion Market Steer at the Youth Livestock Auction
- $1.4 million in scholarships and prizes raised for students in the annual Youth Livestock Auction (down from $1.5 million in 2015)
- $1.2 million in college scholarships to 201 graduating seniors in Texas
- 267,000 pounds of food collected from fairgoers to get discounted fair admission (down from 303,298 in 2015)
- 158,000 cans of food collected through partnership with Canstruction
Mark your calendars and start budgeting now — the 2017 festivities begin Sept. 29. [State Fair of Texas]
- U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela kept a low profile until he wrote an open letter to Trump this summer. Vela denounced the the Republican presidential nominee’s stance on immigration, the border wall and Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was overseeing the fraud case against Trump University. Vela’s letter garnered particular attention for his unexpected profanity. Running for his third term, he recently reflected on his uncharacteristic boldness in an interview with Texas Monthly. [Texas Monthly]
- A border wall between the U.S. and Mexico is the subject of The Washington Post’s series, “Concrete Divisions.” Donald Trump has made such a wall the centerpiece of his campaign. Although Hillary Clinton opposes finishing it, as a senator, she voted for the 2006 bill that led to construction of most of the existing fence, the Post reports. The last installment of the Post's three-part series looks at the people on both sides of the issue and the Rio Grande. Explore the project. [The Washington Post]
- No. 11 Houston lost to SMU by more than 20 points Saturday night. It was only the fourth time in 20 matchups against the Cougars that the Mustangs have won since receiving the so-called death penalty in 1989, The Associated Press reports. The last time Southern Methodist (3-4, 1-2) beat a team ranked 11th or higher, they were No. 4 and finishing off a near-perfect 1982 season (11-0-1) with a 7-3 victory over sixth-ranked Pittsburgh in the Cotton Bowl. [The Associated Press]
- The Dallas Architecture Forum will offer a free, public lecture tonight to open its 20th anniversary season. Designers, historians and critics present discussions about architecture and urban design as part of an annual lecture series from the longtime Dallas organization. The International Deputy Director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Shiraz Allibhai, will come from Geneva, Switzerland to present tonight’s talk about the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art. [Dallas Architecture Forum]