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Fort Worth Is One Of The Country’s Most Romantic Cities, Survey Says

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Fort Worth is more romantic than Dallas; a jury has been seated in the “American Sniper” trial; the Alamo is eroding; and more.

Fort Worth is among the country’s most romantic dining cities – and it’s more romantic than Dallas. That’s according to OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation service, which produced a list of the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America. OpenTable says we’re a “nation of hungry romantics.” Fort Worth made the list, coming in at No. 21. Dallas did not make the list. OpenTable says Atlantic City, New Jersey, is the country’s most romantic city. San Antonio is No. 2. Providence, Rhode Island, is third. Key West, Florida, is fourth. And Birmingham, Alabama, is No. 5. One other Texas city made the list: Austin ranked No. 9. OpenTable’s Most Romantic Cities Index considered three factors: “the percentage of restaurants rated 'romantic' according to OpenTable diner reviews; the percentage of tables seated for two; and the percentage of people who dined out for Valentine's Day last year.” (A friendly reminder: Valentine’s Day is Saturday.)

  • A judge is expected to hold a pretrial proceeding Tuesday ahead of opening statements in the trial of the man charged with killing the former Navy SEAL  depicted in the Oscar-nominated movie "American Sniper." The trial starts Wednesday. Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine, is charged with capital murder in the deaths of Chris Kyle and Kyle's friend, Chad Littlefield. They were fatally shot at a gun range in 2013. A jury of 10 women and two men was seated Monday. The movie is based on Kyle's memoir. The celebrated sniper served four tours in Iraq. Routh's attorneys plan to pursue an insanity defense. Prosecutors aren't seeking the death penalty. Routh faces life in prison without parole if convicted. [Associated Press]

  • A study by a team of Texas A&M-led architecture researchers employing lasers and digital images shows the iconic west facade of the Alamo in downtown San Antonio is slowly eroding. The loss at the base of a column at the historic mission's main entrance isn't much - 5 to 7 centimeters, or about 2 to 2.7 inches over the past half-century. But Robert Warden, director of the Texas A&M Center for Heritage Conservation, says the erosion adds up over time, especially if it accelerates. The Alamo's conservator, Pam Rosser, said the limestone facade - at 3 feet thick - is in no immediate danger but the study provides more evidence of the need for preservation work. [Associated Press]

  • A West Texas nuclear waste site wants to expand. The Texas Tribune reports: “Texas’ only radioactive waste dump wants to open its gates to tens of thousands of metric tons of spent nuclear reactor fuel now scattered across the country – a large expansion it is pitching as a temporary solution for a problem that has bedeviled federal policymakers for decades. Waste Control Specialists is seeking federal approval to temporarily store highly radioactive waste at its complex in Andrews County, northwest of Midland. In a letter sent Friday to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the company, formerly owned by the late Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, said it plans to file a federal license application in early 2016.” [Texas Tribune]

  • Learn more about what schools are doing to help immigrant students. Today at 2 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM, join host Krys Boyd and education reporter Stella M. Chávez for a special KERA program American Graduate: Generation One. Also, you're invited to a special conversation with students and educators featured in the series. Join KERA for this free community event at 6 p.m. Thursday at the KERA studios. RSVP here:  One in three Texas children has a parent who’s an immigrant – or they’re immigrants themselves. Explore the series online here.
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.