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Texans, Lock Up Those Tailgates

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas thieves target tailgates, Sesame Street’s Count von Count fills a tall order, Denton students rub elbows with music legends and more.

Texas tops a new list that will make any truck-enthusiast scowl; worst in the nation for tailgate thefts. Houston, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth were the worst hit areas with the most claims filed in the last six years. The National Insurance Crime Bureau, an Illinois-based nonprofit, funded the nationwide tally.

According to law enforcement, tailgates can be ripped off in about 10 seconds. They retail for $1,000-$4,000 but when stolen, are unloaded on the black market for a huge markdown. Police officers advise truck owners to etch an identifying mark or serial number on their tailgate so they have a prayer of tracking stolen goods.  [Dallas Morning News]

  • This story is brought to you by the number 1 billion. That’s how many views Sesame Street’s YouTube Channel can now boast. (Big Bird shows up on KERA Channel 13 at 11 a.m., as per usual.) After hitting the YouTube milestone yesterday, beloved character Count von Count had his work cut out for him, but embraced the challenge with this masterful song. [Washington Post]

  • Denton students are tuning up for a memorable concert. Students in the jazz program at Calhoun Middle School, Denton High School and the Texas Women’s University will take the stage tonight with Grammy nominated saxophonist Jeff Clayton. Next month they’ll play alongside Earth, Wind and Fire’s Bobby Burns. It’s part of their Denton Community Health Clinic Concert Series. Since the jazz program gets a lot of community support, Director Jesse Woolery tells us he wants his kids to know what it feels like to give back. And since many families of students in the Denton ISD rely on the clinic, Woolery says it’s the perfect beneficiary.

  • The sun no longer holds much sizzle for oil giant BP. At an energy conference in Houston this week, the company announced that it’s “thrown in the towel on solar.” CEO Bob Dudley says while harnessing the power of the sun is a viable energy source; BP has worked at it for 35 years without ever making much money. This comes after BP changed its logo to resemble the sun and launched a “Beyond Petroleum” campaign 13 years ago. [NPR]

  • In our final installment of State of the Arts this year, the digital world enters the physical world… in 3D, thanks to Art&Seek. KERA’s Jeff Whittington will chat with Nancy Hairston, an artist and CEO of SculptCad, a company that’s taking 3D printing somewhere brand new. Find out more about the panelists and their digital innovations here.
Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.