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Big Tex To Debut His New Moves Ahead Of State Fair Opening

State Fair of Texas
Big Tex re-debuted last year, bigger than ever. This year, he'll be more limber as well.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: get ready for a more active Big Tex this year, a woman says Jerry Jones paid her to keep quiet about sexual assault, a country music DJ has written a song to RadioShack, and more.

Big Tex was installed last week at Fair Park, but he’s been “sleeping” since. Today, just before opening day at the State Fair, he’ll wake up, get a “check-up” by Children’s Health Pediatric Group, and show off some new moves. The 55-foot cowboy had just three movements last year: his mouth, his hand, and his head. This year, he’ll have 11, which will blinking, looking down and the ability to point.

Richard Mecke, the president of Texas Scenic and the head guy for Big Tex’s inner workings, told the Dallas Morning News: “[His movements] were always planned, but we didn’t have time to get to it [last year]. This hand was the original one we were building all along.”

  • The woman who’s accused Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones of sexual assault claims he tried to keep her quiet with regular payments over the course of four years. Jones’s attorneys have denied the sexual assault claims and have said the case falls outside of the five-year civil statute of limitations in Texas. A Dallas defense attorney told the Dallas Morning News that this new claim of pay-for-silence may exempt that statute of limitations. A hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow.

  • The number workers who have limited English proficiency is growing faster in Dallas than it is nationwide. That’s according to a new report by the Brookings Institution. Jill H. Wilson, senior research analyst associate fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the Dallas Business Journal proficiency in English is a strong predictor of economic standing among immigrants. Workers proficient in English earn 17 to 135 percent more than their limited English counterparts. Since 2000, the non-English speaking and English-limited population has grown 34 percent in Dallas.

  • A country radio DJ from Albany has penned a song, and his muse is RadioShack. The Star-Telegram reports Richie Phillips, who has created other parody songs before, says his feelings towards the struggling Fort Worth-based electronics retailer are genuine. The song is called “RadioShack, I Hope You Bounce Back,” and is sung to the tune of Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup.” Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:
… RadioShack, I hope you bounce back, I feel really sorry — no time to party RadioShack, it’s funds that you lack, guess you’ve been pestered by your investors … You’re in the red, but it don’t mean you’re dead … We have to give it our all, or there’ll be another boarded-up store in the mall …

  • An SMU professor has spent the last 21 years buying hand-made signs from homeless people. KERA's Jerome Weeks reports Willie Baronet first turned the signs into art works, but is now writing a book and documentary about the project. Baronet estimates he owns about 900 signs that reside in his studio, home, and office at SMU.
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.