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So Dreamy: American Airlines’ New Dreamliner Takes Off From D/FW

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D/FW International Airport
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Twitter/@dfwairport
American Airlines' new Boeing 787 Dreamliner took off from D/FW International Thursday morning.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: remembering Jim Wright; Texas isn’t likely to ban powdered alcohol this session; early voting turnout is low in North Texas; and more.

American has joined the list of airlines flying the Boeing 787 jet, which it hopes will appeal to passengers and open new, profitable international routes. Passengers boarded at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Thursday morning for American's debut flight of a 787 to Chicago. Domestic service is just a warm-up. Next month, American will begin using 787s on flights to Beijing and Buenos Aires and eventually other places. American joins United as the only U.S. airlines using the plane, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner. The plane is made largely from carbon materials to reduce weight and boost fuel economy. American has ordered 42 of them. List price: $218 million, but airlines routinely get big discounts. Check out The Dallas Morning News’ blog about the flight. [Associated Press/The Dallas Morning News]

  • Jim Wright, the Fort Worth congressman who became speaker of the U.S. House but then resigned under fire, has died. He was 92. Wright represented the Fort Worth area for 34 years, beginning with his election in 1954. He was the Democratic majority leader in the House for a decade, rising to the speakership in January 1987, to replace Tip O'Neill. But after about two years as House speaker, Wright was charged with 69 violations of House rules on reporting of gifts, accepting gifts from people with an interest in legislation, and limits on outside income. He left office in June 1989. Read more here. And KERA’s BJ Austin explores Wright’s Fort Worth legacy. [Associated Press/KERA]

  • Texas isn’t likely to ban powdered alcohol this session. The Texas Tribune reports: It appears powdered alcohol is coming to Texas, after a measure that would outlaw the controversial new product was pulled from the Texas House on Wednesday. House Bill 1018, a statewide ban on powdered alcohol, or Palcohol, was set to be debated and voted on in the House on Wednesday. But state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, the author of the Palcohol ban, postponed the measure until July 4 — more than a month after the end of the legislative session — likely killing the bill. Read more here. [Texas Tribune]

  • Early voting numbers are in, and it’s a mixed bag for Dallas and Tarrant counties. KERA’s Krystina Martinez reports: In Dallas County, it appears voters are staying home. Early voting turnout is 6 percent, down from a typical 10 percent. In Tarrant County, it’s about 5 percent – up from the 3 percent who early voted last year. But Colleyville saw an early voter turnout of 18.5 percent. Learn more here.

  • Rural critics are organizing to try to stop plans for a Dallas-to-Houston bullet train. The Texas Tribune reports: “Just over a year ago, the mayors of Dallas and Houston announced their support for a proposed privately funded bullet train that would travel between the two cities in less than 90 minutes. … Rural critics have banded together, pooling resources, hiring lobbyists and trying to build alliances with enough urban lawmakers to kill the project. ‘The vast majority of the folks between Dallas and Houston are against it,’ said Kyle Workman, president of the recently formed Texans Against High-Speed Rail. ‘They don’t want their land to be taken. They don’t want a train going through their quiet country landscape.’” [Texas Tribune]

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 keranews.org, 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.