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In Just Two Days, About 40 People In Dallas Overdosed On Synthetic Marijuana

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Within 48 hours late last week, about 40 people in Dallas overdosed on K2, a synthetic drug that mimics marijuana.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a significant K2 overdose in North Texas last week; the Mavs lose to the Spurs in Game 7; Texans have a lot of state pride; and more:

Within 48 hours late last week, about 40 people in Dallas overdosed on K2, a synthetic drug that mimics marijuana. WFAA-TV reports that 20 patients were treated at Baylor Medical Center, while The Dallas Morning News reports 18 went to Parkland Memorial Hospital. K2 is sold over the counter. On Friday, several arrived at Baylor with symptoms similar to psychosis, including altered mental status, a doctor told WFAA. The station reports: “The patients, who ranged from teenagers to people in their mid-50s, were so sick some had to be sedated and others had to be watched to keep them from hurting themselves.” No deaths have been reported. Dallas police and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating. In Austin, at least 15 people were treated last week for overdoses, KXAS-TV reports. “Police are trying to determine who sold the drugs and whether synthetic marijuana was mixed with another substance, possibly heroin,” the station reported.

  • It’s game over for the Dallas Mavericks. The San Antonio Spurs on Sunday crushed the Mavs 119-96 in Game 7 of their playoff series. Tony Parker scored 32 points. At one point, the Spurs led by 31. The Associated Press reports via ESPN: “The finale featured Tim Duncan diving into Dallas' bench to save a ball and the Spurs' reserves continually on their feet to celebrate baskets. But no one had as much fun or hit the floor more than Parker. The All-Star point guard was 11 for 19 from the field and 10 for 13 on free throws as Dallas was unable to keep him from attacking the lane, despite a series of hard fouls.” For a couple of weeks, Dallas was a playoff town with the Mavericks and Dallas Stars both in playoff series. Now it’s all a distant memory.

  • So why is Toyota leaving California to move its headquarters to Plano? The Los Angeles Times reports: “Taxes, regulations and business climate appear to have had nothing to do with Toyota's move. It came down to a simple matter of geography and a plan for corporate consolidation, Toyota's North American chief told The Times.” Jim Lentz, Toyota's North American chief executive, said it didn’t make sense to have employees spread out in three states. "Geography is the reason not to have our headquarters in California," he told The Times. The newspaper reports: “The automaker will be eligible for $40 million from [the] Texas Enterprise Fund, plus some local tax breaks in Plano. But Lentz said incentives were a minor factor in the decision.” Catch up on the move here and here.

  • We all know Texans have a lot of state pride. And here’s more proof. Nearly 70 percent of Texas residents who were polled say their state is the best place to live in the country -- that's one of the highest rates in the United States. Meanwhile, only 24 percent of Texas residents -- or about one in four -- say they would like to move out of the state if they could. That’s among one of the lowest rates of any state in the country. That’s according to several new Gallup polls. Read more about how Texans feel about their state.

  • Four legendary NPR journalists are in North Texas. Cokie Roberts, Susan Stamberg, Nina Totenberg and Linda Wertheimer will speak at 8 p.m. Monday at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium as part of the SMU Tate Lecture Series. The event is sold out. The four women are known as the founding mothers of NPR.
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.