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Texas' Blue Bell Ice Cream Wants To Return To ‘Industry Norm’ After Listeria Outbreak

Sarah Richter

Five stories that have North Texas talking: An Arlington teenager opts for pushups after being caught with pot; more than 130 acres in North Texas burned in grass fires Thursday; a nod to KXT; and more.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Brenham, Texas-based ice cream company Blue Bell wants federal regulators to ease precautions in place since the deadly listeria outbreak in spring 2015 and allow the company to return to more normal procedures followed by its competitors. The Chronicle, after “reviewing documents obtained under a federal open records request, says Blue Bell has been working for months with a laboratory to develop tests to meet federal Food and Drug Administration requirements, prevent future outbreaks and help Blue Bell improve its economics,” The Associated Press reports. Joseph Levitt, an attorney for Blue Bell, has written the FDA that it's time for the company "to transition to the industry norm." Blue Bell had to shut its flagship creamery in Brenham for several months after last year's recall was linked to 10 listeria cases in four states, including three deaths in Kansas. It gradually returned to grocery stores throughout the second half 2015. But there have been slight scares since then. [The Houston Chronicle, The Associated Press]

  • An Arlington police who caught a teenager smoking pot outside a movie theater gave him the option to do pushups as his punishment. Police Lt. Christopher Cook says officer Eric Ball was working an off-duty detail at the theater when he encountered the teen, according to The Associated Press. He found the boy's mother inside, and the woman hugged and thanked the officer. Cook says the boy was respectful and realized he'd made a mistake. He says Ball played football under coaches who used pushups to ensure discipline. A video showing the teen struggling to complete the 200 pushups was posted on Facebook. [The Associated Press]


  • Area firefighters were battling grass fires in North Texas Thursday. More than 100 acres of land in Wise County burned, causing some home evacuations in the area, but no injuries were reported, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Officials estimate about 30 additional acres had burned in the eastern half of Parker County. The Star-Telegram reports: "The fires were being fueled by high winds and low humidity, authorities said. Fifty-five Texas counties have imposed burn bans, but not in Wise and Parker counties, according to state officials." [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

  • KXT 91.7 has been spinning local and legendary tunes for seven years. GuideLive this week published a feature about our sister station. In 2009, buzz was generating around KXT before host Gini Mascorro even pressed play on the first track in the station’s existence: Santana’s “">She’s Not There.” Crafting the playlists from a mix of new, local and legendary musicians has been the station’s approach ever since. And the hosts of KXT not only put a variety of artists on air but also present their shows at live venues and music festivals across Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton. [GuideLive]


  • There are few better ways to spend New Year’s Day than hanging out with Mother Nature. At least the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department thinks so. The department has rounded up a list of parks to visit and trails to trek for “First Hikes 2017.” In North Texas, hiking events will be held at Ray Roberts Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Whitney and Bonham state parks. There are plenty of other activities to do besides hiking across Texas, including bike rides, kayak trips and even polar bear plunges. Check them all out here. [Texas Parks and Wildlife]