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Open Carry Group Wins Fight Over Arlington Sidewalk Ordinance

Rodger Mallison
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A coordinator for Open Carry Tarrant County openly displays his rifle outside Arlington City Hall before an Arlington City Council meeting on April 22. He did not attempt to enter the building with the weapon.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A judge temporarily halts Arlington’s sidewalk ordinance aimed at Open Carry Tarrant County, the first potential fracking ban in the state is up for vote in Denton, Wichita Falls residents weigh in on their drinking water, and more.

A federal judge has sided with Open Carry Tarrant County over Arlington’s sidewalk ordinance, which prohibits pedestrians from handing out literature to motorists through busy intersections. The ordinance was passed after members of Open Carry Tarrant County had a run-in with police officers in March as they were handing out pocket-sized copies of the Constitution. The gun rights group says the ordinance infringes on their First Amendment rights.   The Dallas Morning News reports U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor signed a temporary restraining order, which will prevent Arlington from enforcing the ordinance until the case is resolved in trial. In a 26-page opinion, O’Connor also said ““the fact that plaintiffs tactics or message may cause some people to be uncomfortable is not a proper motivation for limiting free speech rights.”

Photo credit: Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram

  • The city of Denton is expected to vote on a potential fracking ban today. The city sits above the Barnett Shale, one of the country’s largest natural gas fields. Citizens filed a petition in May to put a fracking ban to a vote. There have been rising concerns over natural gas drilling and the use of disposal wells as parts of North Texas have been rattled with small earthquakes over the past year. If Denton doesn’t approve the ban tonight, it will go to voters in the November ballot.

  • The verdict on Wichita Falls' recycled drinking water is out. The city began recycling wastewater for drinking water last week in an effort to bolster drinking supplies. The process itself was a bit controversial, but now that the program is up and running, how does the water taste? Well, one resident told theFort Worth Star-Telegram: "it tastes kind of bleachy.” Another resident said the blend of lake water and treated wastewater tasted the same as city tap water always has, but “it’s not really good tasting water.”

  • If the impressive music music lineup for the Austin City Limits Music Festival hasn’t convinced you to buy day passes, what about the chance to use a golden Porta Potty? The golden throne will boast air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a live feed of the festival, and magazine rack filled magazines you would want to read. There’s a contest for 10 single day passes to ACL Fest as well as 10 passes to the golden toilet. Here’s a sneak peek inside the golden Porta Potty:

  • The Dallas Theater Center is looking for eight people to become “living set decorations” for their upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show. If you’re a gender-bender, snake-charmer, or happen to be “glamorously tattooed”, you may stand a good chance. Here are the details on the open call.
Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.