Five stories that have North Texas talking: Rick Perry and Hillary Clinton appear in Texas today; Dallas City Council trashes the bag fee; cheaper beef is coming thanks to Texas floods; and more.
Today in Texas, it’s Rick Perry vs. Hillary Clinton. Both presidential contenders are making appearances around the state. Perry, the former Texas governor, is announcing his presidential bid this morning at the Addison Airport. Texas Public Radio reports Perry will appear with decorated soldiers and the widow of military sniper Chris Kyle. “In a growing field of ... Republican presidential candidates, Rick Perry will try to remind voters he served six years in the Air Force during the Vietnam era,” Texas Public Radio reports. Clinton made stops Wednesday in Dallas and San Antonio to raise money. Today, the Democrat will speak at Texas Southern University in Houston. The Texas Tribune reports that Clinton is expected “to call for expanded early voting across the country and criticize states like Texas for tightening election laws, according to her presidential campaign.” KERA’s Krystina Martinez offers this look at what Clinton is doing in Texas this week.
- The Dallas City Council has bagged the bag fee. The council on Wednesday voted to end the city’s controversial 5-cent fee for plastic bags. Starting Monday, bags will be free once again. Last month, a group of bag manufacturers sued the city over the 5-cent fee, which the council approved last year. Read more from KERA News.
- The Dallas Independent School District has fired an employee after news reports about his involvement in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Jesse Lovelace, the director of transportation services, was hired May 1. In the lawsuit, a bus driver in the Atlanta school district said that “Lovelace touched her inappropriately and made lewd comments and suggestions between 2008 and 2009 while he was transportation supervisor,” The Dallas Morning News reports. The district says it will learn from the incident and strengthen “hiring processes.” “We don’t want these types of incidents to distract from the work of the district,” Wanda Paul, chief of operations, said in a statement. Superintendent Mike Miles said “this particular hire does not support the culture of professionalism and excellence that we are trying to build. We can do better.”
- We’re getting more clues that Facebook could create a data center in Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “Facebook was named in a state application for tax exemptions for a nearly $1 billion data center planned for AllianceTexas, tying the social media giant to the Fort Worth project. Winner Llc., doing business as Ernst Llc., filed for special tax exemptions through the Northwest school district with the state comptroller’s office in mid-May. In the application, the ‘newly created entity’ said that it has not yet filed Texas franchise tax returns but that ‘in the future, it will be filing as part of a combined group membership with Facebook, Inc.’ The application is the first public document that names Facebook alongside Winner Llc., which won approval for $146.7 million in tax breaks last month from the Fort Worth City Council.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- One benefit of the recent Texas floods: cheaper beef. Bloomberg reports: “May was the state’s wettest month on record, and now there is more green grass than the cattle can eat. With the drought over, ranchers … are preparing to expand U.S. herds that had shrunk to the smallest since 1952 and sent beef prices surging to records. … While adding cattle can take more than two years, the revival of Texas pasture land is a key step in boosting supplies. The government last month estimated U.S. beef output will halt its four-year slide in 2015 and increase next year. Companies including Tyson Foods Inc. and Texas Roadhouse Inc. say a rebound in supply should eventually bring meat costs down.” [Bloomberg]