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Texas Is The Second Best State To Make A Living, Survey Says

Jiri Flogel

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas is a good place to make a living; the Texas agriculture commissioner has a beef with Chipotle; Fort Worth’s stockyards could be at a crossroads; and more:

Texas is the second best state to make a living. That’s according to, which used data from various groups, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Forbes reports the study examined “average salary, cost of living, employment rate and workplace conditions.” Forbes says: Texas scored second place with a winning combination of state tax, cost of living, and unemployment metrics.” Washington ranked No. 1, while Minnesota came in third. The worst place? Hawaii. Really? Yes. The state ranks worst due to a cost of living that’s 157 percent the national average and a poor work environment score, Forbes says. New York and Mississippi round out the bottom three.

  • The Texas agriculture commissioner has a beef with Chipotle and wants to talk with its founder after the company decided to import grass-fed beef from Australia. Commissioner Todd Staples in a letter Monday says it's "misguided" and "irresponsible" for Chipotle founder Steve Ells to believe that Australian meat is raised more responsibly than cattle in Texas, the nation's leading producer. Ells last month defended the move by writing for the Huffington Post that Chipotle was having difficulty getting beef it prefers from U.S. producers because the lingering drought is leading to the smallest herds in decades. Staples says he wants Ells to meet with him and Texas beef industry leaders. [The Associated Press]

  • Fort Worth's historic stockyards district could be at a crossroads. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports a California-based real estate investor and the stockyards' largest landowners have formed a joint venture to build new hotels, restaurants and shops. The $175-million expansion project has elicited a mixed response in the Cowtown. Some worry it will undermine the folksy charm of the historic hotels, saloons, parading longhorn cattle and indoor rodeo. The stockyards draw 3 million tourists annually. Others see the expansion as a great way to boost business. There has been little new stockyards development in a decade. The Fort Worth City Council has approved $26 million in economic incentives for the project. [The Associated Press]

  • KERA will host a special screening of the film “Freedom Summer” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the station, 3000 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas. Register by 5:30 p.m. here.[Update: The screening is full.] The documentary focuses on the effort to get blacks registered to vote in Mississippi. Join KERA and our community partners - Dallas Faces Race, The Embrey Family Foundation, the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU and the South Dallas Cultural Center – for video clips from the documentary and a panel discussion. The film airs June 24 on KERA-TV (Channel 13). KERA’s ongoing radio series, “The Voices of Freedom Summer,” features Rev. Peter Johnson, who was a 19-year-old civil rights worker in 1964. On Monday, historian Bruce Watson, whose book serves as the source material for the documentary, appeared on KERA’s “Think.” Listen to that conversation here.

  • Fantasia, Lucy Hale and Kool & the Gang are among the musical acts at this year’s State Fair of Texas. The lineup was announced Monday. Other acts include the Swon Brothers, Siggno. La Maquinaria Norteña and Collective Soul. Oct. 11 will feature the inaugural Red River Music Fest, featuring Deryl Dodd, Cody Canada & The Departed, Jason Boland & The stragglers and the Casey Donahew Band. The music fest takes place the same day as the big Texas-Oklahoma football game. This year’s State Fair runs Sept. 26 through Oct. 19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit:  Jiri Flogel/

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.