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Fort Worth

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This is no joke: Fort Worth is the least funny big city in the country.

Yes, scholars have researched the topic and have even produced a book showcasing their work: The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner.

They surveyed the 50 biggest cities in the country. They say they discovered that humor has a “local flavor” – what’s funny in Dallas might not be as hilarious in Chicago.

Fort Worth isn't too funny for words. Cowtown ranked dead last on a list that ranks the funniness of the 50 cities. Arlington, you’re a bit funnier, but not by much. Arlington placed No. 46 on the list.

aastock / Shutterstock.com

The housing market in North Texas is hot, hot, hot.

It’s so hot that if you’re selling a home, be prepared to have a place to live – because it’s likely to sell quickly, according to a new national survey issued by the Redfin Research Center.

Dallas is ranked No. 5 on a list of the country’s fastest housing markets in March. In Dallas, 14 percent of homes sold within three days.

Fort Worth is ranked No. 8. Slightly more than 10 percent of Fort Worth homes sold within three days.

Ron Doke/Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt220/

What does the country think of Dallas?

(And, this being Dallas, we really do care what the rest of the country thinks of us. We might say we don’t care. But, deep down, we do.)

NPR journalists went to a Metro subway stop in Washington, D.C., where they saw a pair of posters “tempting passengers with images of a cosmopolitan city, an upscale arts district, a modern sports stadium.”

The poster's slogan is "Dallas: Big Things Happen Here." The reaction?

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Update 10 p.m. Tuesday: The Fort Worth City Council has delayed for one week a vote to permanently restrict outdoor watering to twice a week. 

Council member W. B. Zimmerman asked for the additional time to educate the public about proposed conservation plans.

Sal Espino, who represents District 2, was opposed to the delay. He said: "I would be in favor of moving forward with this ordinance, imperfect as it may seem to some, and then later changing it or tweaking, because we've already been doing twice per week watering."  

Fort Worth Tops List Of Best Downtowns in America

Mar 17, 2014

Liveability.com, a website that focuses on quality of life in small to mid-sized cities, seems to have used a mix of measurable criteria and editor preferences to form this ranking of downtowns. Retail and office vacancy rates, population gains, and income growth were some of the measures where Fort Worth excelled. Also cited were cultural amenities including parks, theaters, and entertainment districts like Sundance Square. Their take on the city: "Few downtowns have achieved the cohesion between cowboy culture and urban sophistication that Fort Worth has." The editors did not look at the country's largest cities, including Dallas, for this list.

Austin Police Department

UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: Austin police say any additional charges in the SXSW crash will be presented to the Travis County Grand Jury at a later date.

"The reason only one capital murder charge was filed is that Texas State law requires two or more deaths in the same criminal transaction for the filing of a capital murder charge," police said in an update sent to reporters.

Thursday, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that Owens would face two charges of capital murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA

Fort Worth wants to reduce medical bills and invest in healthier living, so the city is going blue in a five-year project, called the Blue Zones Project. But it doesn’t have anything to do with water or the ocean. 

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

This month, a new — and some say more challenging — GED test rolled out. After 70-plus years, paper is out, and online is in.

Forty states, including Texas, are offering this revamped version. Students and instructors in one Fort Worth test-prep class are having to adapt.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Google is selling Motorola Mobility's smartphone business to Lenovo Group for $2.9 billion.

Motorola has produced the Moto X smartphone in Fort Worth -- the first smartphone made in the U.S. Lenovo says it will continue the Fort Worth operation. Lenovo officials tell KERA that "there are now no plans to change Motorola’s approach to manufacturing."

A spokesman for the city of Fort Worth told KERA he wasn’t aware of any changes for the Moto X production. The phones are made at an Alliance plant.

[More from KERA News: Motorola Chooses Fort Worth For New U.S.-Made Phone]

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has a new learning space, where kids get some unusual playmates: scientists and researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Carl J. Licari Photography

Fort Worth is remembering former mayor Bob Bolen as a visionary who created the framework for what the city has become today.

Bolen, 87, died at his home Monday morning, leaving behind a long list of achievements that earned him the title of “people’s mayor.”

Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen is being remembered today for helping launch Alliance Airport and for bringing the Federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing to the city.

Bolen, 87, died this morning at his home.  He served as mayor from 1982 until 1991, longer than any other.

Texas Eagle / Flickr.com

The U.S. Postal Service is a step closer to leaving its landmark Lancaster Avenue post office in downtown Fort Worth. The building is among several iconic structures on the city’s south side.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

There’s a new gym in North Texas – but if you want to lift weights or use the treadmill at Downsize Fitness, you have to be at least 50 pounds overweight.

The new Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth has opened. "This is not the completion of Sundance Square," said Ed Bass, lead developer of the downtown district, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We've go more to do. A city is never finished."

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

So, where do you go when you need some TLC and appreciation?  Home, right?

That’s exactly what Sen. Ted Cruz has been doing this week.

Senate TV

Sen. Ted Cruz found a receptive audience in Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon, meeting with about 20 small business owners for nearly an hour in a closed-door meeting.

But they didn’t discuss the Texas Republican's involvement in the partial government shutdown. Instead, Obamacare was on the agenda. Over half of the participants wanted to talk about the Affordable Care Act and how it was raising their healthcare costs, said Bill Thornton, president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Extra security was in place for the event after threats against Cruz were posted on Twitter. The Hill reported that a person posted on Twitter Friday: “Take down Ted Cruz, at his home” and listed Cruz’s home address in Houston. “What goes around comes around CRUZ!!” the person wrote.

Lauren Silverman

Fort Worth isn’t just home to the Stockyards and Sundance Square anymore. Cowtown is now home to a plant that will produce the first smartphones ever assembled in the U.S.

Neuwieser

Three former Fort Worth fire chiefs are warning that proposed budget cuts would increase response time.  They hope to line up public support to reverse the cuts at budget hearings next month.

Willow Blythe / KERA News

Heading to high school is a challenge for any kid. There are new friends, new teachers and the normal ups and downs of being a teenager.

For 15-year-old Chance Hawkins, the road is even tougher. Chance has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and deterioration. It’s often fatal by age 25.

Still, Chance is an upbeat kid. He's one of the students we’re following from 8th grade through high school for the series Class of 17, part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative.

Fort Worth B-cycle

Fort Worth’s bike-sharing program is getting a boost from the Texas Transportation Commission: more than $500,000 to add 10 new bike-share stations.

Great Plains Restoration Council

Update, Tuesday 4:47 PM: Jarid Manos says that his group, the Great Plains Restoration Council, would likely try to work with the prospective buyer on preserving even a portion of Rock Creek Ranch.

“If we do this right and there’s conservation, it makes [the buyer’s] project not just another [building], but sustainability for the landscape," Manos says. "There are very accomplished landscape architects. We can still use it in a way. [Rock Creek Ranch] is too priceless to lose. It expresses life like people don’t imagine, right in our own backyard."

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

At her first meeting as a new Tarrant Regional Water District board member, Mary Kelleher made good on her campaign promise to challenge the status quo.

Frank Moss/Gyna Bivens

A long serving Fort Worth city council member is trying to hold on to his seat in this weekend’s run-off election.

Saturday’s vote will determine whether incumbent Frank Moss or first-time candidate Gyna Bivens wins east Fort Worth’s District 5.

A proposed bullet train between North Texas and Houston is still years away from becoming reality, but Dallas and Fort Worth are already sizing up station locations. The idea is to build three: one each in Dallas and Fort Worth and another somewhere in between. But both ends of the Metroplex want to go first.

Lauren Silverman

There are more than 130 million smartphones in the U.S. But none of them say “Made in the USA.” When Motorola debuts its high-end smartphone -- the Moto X --  it will be the first.

And every Moto X will come from Fort Worth.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

For the first time since its inception more than fifty years ago, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will take place without its namesake. Cliburn died in February from cancer. There are additional changes to one of the world’s most prestigious music contests that brings the classical music focus to Fort Worth. The once-every-four-year competition is about to begin again with tonight’s traditional “draw” party.

Fort Worth ISD Candidates Discuss Priorities, Charter Schools

May 9, 2013
Rosa Say / Flickr

Six candidates are competing for two contested seats on the Fort Worth Board of Education.  Half of the candidates responded to our questionnaire with information about:

·       Their qualifications

·       Needed changes within the district

·       Whether they support expanding charter school options

Fort Worth City Council Incumbent Sal Espino has represented District 2 since 2005, when Council member Jim Lane stepped down and recruited Espino.

Lane now says Espino has "lost his focus"  and Lane wants to return to the seat he held from 1993-2005.

ProPublica writer Theodoric Meyer says the Joint Strike Fighter being built in Fort Worth is by far the most expensive military project underway, but is unlikely to be wacked hard by sequestration cuts. In a February briefing on sequestration, the White House singled out the Joint Strike Fighter saying the Navy would “reduce procurement” of the plane. Lockheed, with some 17,000 employees in Fort Worth, told KERA: “Until sequestration is permanently eliminated, there will be an overhang on our industry that stifles investment in plants, equipment, people, and future research and development.”

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