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JFK Limo License Plates Sell For $100,000 At Auction

Heritage Auctions
Willard Hess held a license plate that was on the limousine carrying President Kennedy when he was killed in Dallas.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: JFK limousine license plates sell at auction; George W. Bush talks about his father; an alligator rescue in a parking lot; and more.

The license plates that were on the limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in Dallas have sold at auction for $100,000. Noah Fleisher with Heritage Auctions says the plates sold Saturday for well over the initial bid of $40,000. Fleisher says they were purchased by a "high-end Kennedy collector" who requested anonymity. Heritage says that after the 1963 assassination, the limousine was sent for upgrades to a Cincinnati company that retrofitted presidential limousines. When a new set of plates arrived, the old plates were discarded. But the company's owner retrieved them from the trash. The owner, Willard Hess, kept the plates between books on his bookshelf. [Associated Press]

  • Minorities are less likely to own homes in Texas. The Texas Tribune reports: “While minorities occupy about half of the state’s housing units, they are less likely than white Texans to own their homes, and the state’s largest metro areas have some of the most substantial racial disparities among homeowners, according to recently released U.S. Census data. A shortage of affordable housing, credit problems and lack of savings for down payments are among the main barriers blamed for creating the demographic divide.” [Texas Tribune]

  • At 91, former President George H.W. Bush is back in the headlines for his critique of members of his son’s administration. His remarks are in a biography being published this week. The book also explores the elder Bush’s life story from Texas to the CIA to the White House. Author Jon Meacham appeared with George W. Bush at his presidential center Sunday to talk about his book, “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.” The Dallas Morning News reports they didn’t discuss the criticism: “While Bush wasn’t a transformative figure, he 'had a quiet, persistent charisma' and put what he thought was best for the country over his personal politics, author Jon Meacham told the 41st president’s son. … Meacham got access to the diaries of the now-91-year-old 41st president and his wife, Barbara, for the book. … At Sunday’s event, the conversation stuck mostly to stories of the elder Bush told through diaries he kept over the years, from his time in the United Nations through his presidency.” Meacham talked with KERA’s Krys Boyd on Think last week.  [The Dallas Morning News]

  • Did you hear about the big alligator caught at a strip mall in Sugar Land over the weekend? KTRK-TV in Houston reports: “The gator -- blind in one eye -- weighs more than 800 pounds and is more than 12 feet long. Wrangling the animal at the First Colony Commons Shopping Center proved quite the task for authorities. A Home Depot forklift had to be used to lift the gator onto the back of a truck. ‘I try to be sweet to these guys,’ laughed alligator trapper Christy Krobroth. ‘He wasn't too sweet to me but I'll forgive him for that.’” [KTRK-TV]

  • A hot HGTV show is giving Waco more free publicity than it could ever imagine. The Dallas Morning News explores the HGTV Fixer Upper phenomenon: “Chip and Joanna Gaines have put their stamp on Waco forever. This talented, driven couple and their cable TV show have harnessed the good life in this Central Texas college town and presented it to a national audience. They’re an economic boom that’s better than an oil gusher, rippling through the town as their HGTV show, Fixer Upper, breaks ratings records. … Joanna is being called the next Martha Stewart. …Waco’s Visitor’s Bureau gets daily requests, and not just from people planning to visit. In Fixer Upper’s third season, which begins Dec. 1, three of the featured couples moved to Waco because of the show. Waco hotels report that the frequency of visitors from New York, California and the Midwest has jumped since 2014, when the first season of Fixer Upper aired.” [The Dallas Morning News]

​The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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.