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Stalled In The Stall: Pro Hockey Player Trapped In Dallas Hotel Bathroom

Joel Ward/JRandalWard42

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A professional hockey player gets stuck in a Dallas bathroom, artists gather for “A Gathering” tonight at the Winspear, more on JFK’s trip to Dallas – the 1960 visit, and more.

“Stuck in the washroom … please help?” Joel Ward is a winger for the Washington Capitals hockey team. He was in North Texas on Saturday as his team was playing the Dallas Stars. Ward was eating breakfast with his team members at the Dallas Omni Hotel in downtown when he visited the bathroom. He entered a stall – and then got stuck. For 40 minutes. The door wouldn’t open. Ward tweeted the news: “Stuck in the washroom...someone help? #Dallasproblems #OmniHotel #Validexcuse.” Several teammates raced in. They couldn’t unlock the door. Omni staff arrived. No luck. Someone brought in a ladder and Ward climbed over the stall door to safety. Players held him so he wouldn’t fall, The Washington Post reported. Ward was teased throughout the day. SB Nation reported that the Stars posted Ward’s tweet on the jumbo screen at American Airlines Center, as well as this greeting:“Glad you could make it tonight!” For the record, the Stars won the game: 2-1.

Reflecting on AIDS through dance and song: Two years ago, hundreds of performers came together to produce the biggest one-night-only collaboration among North Texas artists. They created an AIDS benefit at the Winspear Opera House called "A Gathering." They decided to produce a second “Gathering” – it takes place tonight at 7. Tickets start at $12. KERA's Jerome Weeks offers a behind-the-scenes look.Two years ago, the evening was an artistic knockout -- but it filled only half of the Winspear. Organizers hope for a bigger turnout tonight.

A tale of two visits: There was JFK’s fateful visit to Dallas in November 1963 – but there was also a visit to Dallas in September 1960, when he was seeking the Democratic nomination for president. In Sunday’s Dallas Morning News, Alan Peppard wrote about “JFK’s Forgotten Dallas Motorcade.” John F. Kennedy happened to pass by the Texas Book Depository, too. The paper’s website features a rare color film of a Kennedy speech in Dallas, as well as several photos. “The Lone Star interlude began near midnight on Sept. 11, 1960, with a scotch-fueled Johnson berating Kennedy staffers in El Paso,” Peppard wrote. “It concluded on Sept. 13, 1960, with an unexpected triumph in the citadel of the American right wing: downtown Dallas. … Knowing what the next decade would bring, John F. Kennedy’s 1960 trip to Dallas seems like a vignette from romantic fiction.”

Run, Debra, run – as an independent for governor? Debra Medina, a Republican who lost the 2010 primary in the governor’s race, tells the Texas Tribune that has received millions of dollars in pledges on the condition that she instead run for governor as an independent. But she told the Tribune that her focus right now is on running for state comptroller. And if the 2014 governor’s race is tight, that means an independent like Medina could siphon votes away from the Republican and Democratic candidates, the Tribune reports. Wendy Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat and Texas state senator, announced her candidacy last week, while Greg Abbott, the state attorney general, is the Republican front-runner.

Art in a southern Dallas park: Walk through College Park and you’ll see a work of art – the park pavilion. The new structure is made of steel that’s formed at angles, creating a “torqued and folded profile” that’s inspired by the canopy of pecan and oak trees that surround the park, near Paul Quinn College in southern Dallas. The Architect’s Newspaper blog recently took a closer look at the project, designed by Architexas and Snøhetta, the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta. The Dallas Park and Recreation Department has spent the past several years renovating or building new pavilions across the city. The pavilion’s sides were “water jet cut in abstracted leaf shapes of varying sizes and densities,” the architecture blog reported. That resembles dappled sunlight falling through leaves.

By the way, today is a big day at KERA. We've launched "KERA Newsroom,"10-minute news segments that air weekdays at 8:20 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. You can also listen online.

And, before we go, here's the tweet that Joel Ward sent out from the Dallas Omni Hotel:

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.