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Leticia Van de Putte And Dan Patrick To Debate Tonight In Austin

Bob Daemmrich
The Texas Tribune
Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte, the Republican and Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, spoke at the Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: the candidates for Texas lieutenant governor will put up their dukes, investigators say the driver of the 18-wheeler that killed four community college softball players didn’t brake, what it’s like to date Austin's “Professor Dumpster”, and more.

The two candidates for lieutenant governor will debate tonight in Austin. This will likely be the only debate between Leticia Van de Putte and Dan Patrick before the Nov. 4 election. The two have very contrasting beliefs on most issues, which was made clear at last weekend’s Texas Tribune Festival, as KERA’s Bill Zeeble reported. Patrick has taken a tough stance on immigration, while Van de Putte has accused her opponent of being anti-Latino and anti-immigrant. KUT has a primer on what to expect from tonight’s debate, which Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey will moderate. KERA will air the debates on KERA-TV (Channel 13), KERA 90.1 FM, and streaming here on at 7 p.m.

  • Authorities say the driver of the 18-wheeler that struck the bus of the North Central Texas College softball team didn’t brake or take evasive action. The Star-Telegram reports the driver also told authorities he was reaching for his drink when the crash happened late Friday night. His vehicle veered across the median on I-35 near Davis, Oklahoma and struck a bus carrying the NCTC softball team. Four players were killed in the wreck and two remain in the hospital.

  • North Texas is home to a few billionaires; make that 20, to be exact. The Dallas Business Journal reports Forbes has released its annual list of The Richest People In America. Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, topped the other North Texas billionaires, coming in at no. 9 with a nearly $35 billion fortune. Mark Cuban ranked no. 225 with $2.7 billion, and the H. Ross Perot Sr. and Jr. took the No. 129 and No. 340 spots, respectively.

  • Dating the Austin professor who moved into a dumpster can have its challenges. Writer Clara Bensen wrote in Salon about the ups and downs she and boyfriend Dr. Jeff Wilson of Huston-Tillotson University have faced as he embarks on his year-long Dumpster Project – a sustainable living research project to turn a 33 square foot dumpster into something habitable, as he lives in it. Benson has spent several nights in the dumpster home as well, and she says it has a camping charm to it, but it has some downsides, like little privacy.

  • Dallas/Marfa-based photographer Nancy Newberry was featured on the New York Times’ Lens Blog for her latest project “Halfway to Midland.” In it, Newberry wanted to portray her home state outside of the typical folksy caricatures and more on daily life. Her most well-known series, “Mum,” also focuses on another part of her youth: the tradition of high school homecoming.  

(Correction: In an earlier version of this post, Dr. Jeff Wilson was identified as a UT Austin professor. He teaches at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin.)

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.