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Weather Channel Starts Twitter Fight With Fort Worth’s Joel Burns, Sparking Social Media Storm

Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns held a sign in the Stockyards Monday. His tweet to The Weather Channel ignited a social media storm.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Did you catch the Fort Worth and Weather Channel Twitter battle on Monday; Sriracha fever continues; Pecan Lodge prepares for its big move to Deep Ellum; and more.

Monday's social media storm about Fort Worth started with a simple tweet. Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns complained on Twitter to The Weather Channel that it should stop showing photos of Dallas when giving the Fort Worth forecast on its weather app.

The Weather Channel responded, referring to Burns’ efforts to stop bullying. (Burns earned international attention in 2010 when he delivered a message to gay teens called “It Gets Better.”)  

The response ignited a social media storm, with Twitter users calling out The Weather Channel for being snarky. Burns followed up by asking The Weather Channel to donate money to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and the Trevor Project. The network eventually issued an apology. Meanwhile, a Twitter hashtag -- #ThisIsFortWorth – starting popping up as people posted pictures of the city. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has more details, including this video of Burns talking about the Twitter incident.

  • The maker of the popular hot sauce Sriracha said Monday that he has no plans to move his contested plant out of California. But he would consider expanding into Texas if the Lone Star State can produce peppers as hot as the ones grown especially for him in Southern California. A pair of Texas lawmakers toured the Huy Fong Foods plant in the Irwindale, where officials are moving to declare David Tran's operation a nuisance after residents complained about flaming hot odors burning their throats and eyes. Texas State Sen. Carlos Uresti and state Rep. Jason Villalba held a news conference after the visit to extol the virtues of doing business in Texas. Tran said Texas must prove it can grow chili peppers as hot as the hybrid jalapenos he gets. Tran said he would be open to putting a second plant in California or another state, but key is finding a place with the weather and soil conditions to support the hybrid peppers. Uresti and Villalba said their state's agriculture officials will begin investigating conditions in Texas. [Associated Press]

  • The super-popular Pecan Lodge marked its last day at the Dallas Farmers Market over the weekend. But, dear barbecue fans, there’s no need to fret. Pecan Lodge will open again soon – perhaps May 23 – in Deep Ellum. The Dallas Observer visited on Sunday to soak in the scene – and the sauce. The Observer reports: “There was a feeling of nostalgia that hung heavy in the air at Shed 2, because most understood that Pecan Lodge will be a completely new animal when it reopens in Deep Ellum soon. … Most expected a deluge of customers on this last day of business -- a television camera captured the first plates of brisket as they slid across the counter -- but the line was the shortest it had been in some time, barely running the length of the restaurant. It was Mother's Day, and Mom trumps all -- even smoked meats.”

  • Mayors of two North Texas towns affected by the recent string of earthquakes testified Monday at a Texas House subcommittee meeting. The Texas Tribune has this report:The mayors say that the state has moved too slowly in investigating what’s behind the phenomenon and whether local oil and gas activities are to blame.  “If I could sum up our experience in one word, it would be frustration,” Azle Mayor Alan Brundrett said Monday at the first meeting of the Texas House Subcommittee on Seismic Activity. “While everyone seemed genuinely concerned, there is a disconnect between various stakeholders.” Lynda Stokes, mayor of neighboring Reno, said her town’s major concerns are "getting lost in politics.” ... The Tribune reports the subcommittee is tasked with investigating any possible links between the state’s booming oil and gas industry and a recent uptick in earthquakes.

  • She’s called Fort Worth’s godmother of rock ‘n roll. Fort Worth Weekly profiles LaVon Rosenauer, aka Ema, who for 40 years has run a booking agency that “provides everything from pop bands to clowns to celebrity look-alikes to orchestras to comedians.” The Weekly reports: “She had no idea … that she would become a major force in the local rock ’n’ roll scene during the roaring 1960s and 1970s, back when bands like Texas, Lynx, Lo Della, Savvy, Jamm, and Pantera ran wild.” She handled local bookings for Pantera for about a year before the group got really big. She got into the business when she booked gigs for a band that her sons formed. Soon, bands were lining up for her services.  Today, she’s 84, but she plans on continuing to work and book gigs.

(Photo Credit: Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

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.