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Fido, Rover? Nah, I Like Lakshmi Singh


Five stories that have North Texas talking: NPR is inspiration for pet names and small businesses, Boston bombing suspect’s final resting place still in question, a young UT Southwestern patient takes on Jeopardy! and more.

Most lovers of public radio have probably either delighted in or eye-rolled over the stellar sign-offs of NPR reporters. A roster of names like Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and the simpler but alliteratively fantastic Allison Aubrey, Carl Kassell and Susan Stamberg has gotten listeners’ attention. The Atlantic examined the power of NPR names in a recent piece noting that pets, livestock and businesses across the world have been named in honor of radio favorites. Correspondent Sylvia Poggioli has both a cow in Cambodia and a restaurant in Salem named after her.

So what’s the verdict North Texas? Do you own a Springer Spaniel named Sam Baker? A Bichon Frisé named B.J. Austin? Zeeble has a nice ring to it if you’re trying to christen a Zanzibar day gecko. And I don’t know about you, but I’d patronize the Justin Martin Juice Bar or the Shelley Kofler Café should either business launch in the DFW area. And if you want to give your own name the NPR treatment, there's a formula to figure it. Give it a whirl, mine's Colurtney Tangier.

  • Lots Of Offers, No Takers: A Massachusetts funeral director has been running a frustrating loop since Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a gun battle with police. More than 100 out of state grave offers have come in, including at least one from Texas, but none have panned out. "It's not only Massachusetts that doesn't want him," Worcester funeral home director Peter Stefan says, “Nobody wants him.” Stefan says he’s followed up on many offers of donated plots and as soon as the cities and towns where the graves are located find out what’s been volunteered, the response has been the same.  "You're not gonna do that here." One of the offers came from a Texas truck driver who wanted to make sure no one knew who would be buried in the plot he was donating. But when the town got wind of his offer, it was hastily vetoed. Tsarnaev's mother has said she wants the body returned to Russia.  [AP via NPR]

  • Oil Drilling Patience Is A Virtue: FDR’s grandson says he’s found an undisclosed oil field in the Permian Basin worth billions, but it might take decades to extract a profit. Elliot Roosevelt Jr., the 76-year-old owner of a small Dallas oil company, wants to use an old technique called carbon dioxide flooding to pull oil from aging wells once the natural pressure has run out. According to the Dallas Morning News, the field Roosevelt believes he’s identified contains 573 million barrels of oil, worth more than $50 billion at current prices. But because the oil in question is very deep and saturated with water, his experts say it will take more than 60 years to get it all out, something that doesn’t seem to bother Roosevelt.  “We’re looking at this in the long term,” he says.

  • What Is… Tenacity?: For a Texas 21 year-old battling brain cancer, the answer to her uphill climb comes in the form of a question. After being diagnosed with a brain stem tumor her freshman year of college, Taylor Roth originally thought she only had a year to live. Two years later, she’s not just beating the odds medically; she’s elbowing out competition on the quiz show circuit. Taylor’s brainpower and personality landed her on Jeopardy!; you can catch her episode tomorrow. And get this, she told KERA’s Lauren Silverman that she decided to leave the brain cancer survivor bit out of her audition and just enjoy the experience.

  • Do You Hear the Students Sing? The lullaby of Broadway will resonate throughout Fair Park tonight as North Texas’ top high school thespians are honored in the DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards. The full star treatment will descend on Dallas; students will arrive in luxury cars and walk the red carpet before the awards show kicks off. The winners of the coveted Best Actor and Best Actress award will head to New York City this summer for five days of training with Broadway’s finest and a chance at national recognition. KERA will be at the big event and will have more on the sights and sounds tomorrow.
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.