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Facebook Plans To Build Huge Data Center In Fort Worth

Denys Prykhodov

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Granbury gay couple gets a marriage license after filing a lawsuit; the grandfather of modern cheerleading has died; a new medical school is coming to North Texas; and more.

Facebook is coming to Fort Worth – at least via a huge data center in the AllianceTexas park. A groundbreaking is scheduled for later this morning.  Not much has been said publicly about the north Fort Worth project, but Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has confirmed the plans. He’ll be at the groundbreaking. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “The project, rumored for months, has been held close to the vest by the California social media giant, which declined to comment on reports that it was planning a data center at Texas 170 and Park Vista Boulevard in AllianceTexas. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, Calif., has been growing its infrastructure to meet its expanding audience. … The project will consist of three 250,000-square-foot buildings on a 110-acre site. In May, the Fort Worth City Council approved a potentially lucrative, $146.7 million incentive package on real and business personal property taxes over the next 20 years — without naming the company.”

  • A North Texas gay couple has a marriage license – but it took a lawsuit. The Texas Tribune reports: “A Granbury gay couple on Monday obtained a marriage license from the Hood County Clerk's office after filing a lawsuit against the clerk in federal court. But attorneys representing Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton, who have been together for 27 years, said the couple will move forward with their lawsuit until the county clerk's office agrees to issue marriage licenses to all couples. … The Hood County Clerk's office would not say whether it is issuing same-sex marriage licenses and referred questions regarding the licenses to County Clerk Katie Lang's personal attorneys.” [Texas Tribune]

  • A new medical school is coming to North Texas. The Texas Tribune reports: “In an unusual bit of collaboration between a private and a public school, Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center announced plans Monday to open a medical school together. The school will operate on the Fort Worth campuses of the UNT Health Science Center and TCU. Administrators hope to enroll the first class of students in the fall of 2018. At full enrollment, the school will have about 240 students working toward medical degrees.” [Texas Tribune]

  • Lawrence Herkimer was called the grandfather of modern cheerleading. He died last week in Dallas. He was 89. Herkimer was cheerleading’s biggest cheerleader. The guy created a cheerleading empire. He started camps. He founded the National Cheerleaders Association. He even invented the pompom and something called a spirit stick. But he’s probably best known for what’s called the Herkie jump. “I threw this one arm up real hard and that would jerk this leg up the other way and that’s what my jump looked like,” Herkimer once said. Read more here from KERA News.

  • An 11-foot, 400-pound alligator game officials say was shot and killed without a permit has been identified as the beast that killed a late-night swimmer at a Southeast Texas marina. Texas game officials say the alligator was shot in the head and killed Monday afternoon in Adams Bayou in Orange, near where Tommie Woodward's maimed body was found early Friday. Justice of the Peace Rodney Price of Orange County Precinct 4 said remains found inside the carcass were identified as those of the 28-year-old Orange man. An autopsy determined Woodward died by drowning but lost his left arm below the elbow in the attack. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officers had been searching for the alligator since the fatal attack. [Associated Press]

Photo: Denys Prykhodov/

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.