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Come New Year’s Day, Smoking In Denton Bars Will Be A Thing Of The Past


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Denton smokers face new rules; thousands of American Airlines flights don’t have pilots; pour one out for “Christmas Cookies”; and more.

Denton bars are going smoke free first thing in 2018.

When the city updated its smoking ban in April 2015, it gave bars until the end of this year to comply. In that time, some bars became nonsmoking establishments or added outdoor patios to accommodate people who wanted to smoke.

There are about a half dozen spots that still let patrons light up indoors, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Dusty’s Bar & Grill owner Jennifer Gibbs tells the Record-Chronicle that all of her customers are smokers, so she’s converting half of her space to an open-air patio.

“My main concern is if I accommodate my downstairs patio area for my regulars, I don’t know who will go inside of Dusty’s,” she said. “I’m hoping for the many, many people who insisted we go nonsmoking will come in to eat and drink now so we can pay the bills.”

Gibbs opposed the ban in 2015 and says she’s not thrilled about having to make changes.

Denton City Council adopted the first smoking ordinance in 2012. Fort Worth’s working on rewriting its ordinance, which first took effect in 2008, to ban smoking in bars, too. Dallas approved a ban in 2003 and tightened the rules five years later. Dallas parks and trails became smoke free in March.

Texas is one of 14 states that doesn’t have a statewide ban, so it’s up to local governments to decide.

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  • Out of office: Fort Worth-based American Airlines is scrambling to find pilots to operate thousands of flights over the busy Christmas holiday period after there was a glitch in the system used to schedule flights. [NBC DFW]

  • Rats! There are several hundred sewer rats in the Texas Health and Human Services Commission building in Austin. It's going to cost $60,000 for extermination. [The Texas Tribune]

  • Time to go, Joe: Tarrant County Republicans are urging U.S. Rep. Joe Barton not to seek re-election after a nude photo of the 68-year-old Republican from Ennis leaked. Also, he exchanged explicit messages a few years ago while he was still married. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

  • Melt down: Blue Bell introduced its “Christmas Cookies” flavor before Halloween, and now it appears it’s impossible to find. People are NOT happy. [KUT]

The High Five is KERA’s daily roundup of stories from Dallas-Fort Worth and across the state. Explore our archives here. And sign up for our weekly email for the North Texas news you need to know.