Subscribe to Axios Dallas

Get smarter, faster with a daily look at the biggest stories in Dallas

iPhone showing Axios Tampa Bay newsletter on the Axios app

Texas illegal emissions dropped in 2020 but increased in Dallas area

Smoke billows near power lines
Photo: Samuel Corum for Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Illegal emissions dropped statewide in 2020, but North Texas saw an increase in unauthorized pollutants, according to a report from the Environmental Integrity Project and Environment Texas.

Why it matters: 2020's pollutant decline was mostly due to pandemic shutdowns of manufacturing and oil and gas production and not due to increased enforcement of environmental protections, the report says.

Dallas to hire law firm to investigate loss of police files

An illustration of an inmate cuffed behind his back, dissolving into pixels.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The Dallas City Council is planning an independent investigation into the loss of more than 8 million data files that largely contained information related to the Dallas Police Department's family violence unit.

Why it matters: This is the next step in determining the full scope of how the data loss occurred and how it could affect criminal investigations and cases filed with the Dallas County district attorney's office.

Delta-8 THC is being advertised as legal in Texas

Illustration of a hand holding a beaker with a green liquid and a marijuana leaf inside
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A popular cannabinoid is being sold in stores and advertised on billboards across North Texas as legal THC.

Why it matters: The legality of delta-8 THC, which has a slightly different chemical structure that makes it less potent than "regular" marijuana, is murky.

Dallas violent crime numbers declining

Illustration of a downward arrow made out of crime-scene tape.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Dallas crime numbers are declining slightly, which police officials say is linked to the chief’s violent crime reduction plan that has focused on hot spot policing.

Why it matters: Violent crimes increased in Dallas and nationwide in 2020, but police officials locally believe that numbers this year show the increase won’t continue.

Bald eagles return to Dallas

A bald eagle flies over trees.
Photo courtesy of John Bunker Sands Wetland Center

A pair of mating American bald eagles returned to their nest at the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center this month, after several months away.

The eagles were first spotted in their nest, in the arm of a metal tower at the wetland center, early on Oct. 3.

Why it matters: Bald eagles are rare in North Texas. There are only a few hundred in the entire state.

Dallas police expand mental health response

A truck with the words EMERGENCY RESPONSE UNIT is parked in front of a Dallas Police squad car.
Photo: Mike Stone/Getty Images

This year’s massive Dallas budget includes an expansion of a mental health response team to handle 911 calls that don’t require a traditional police response.

Why it matters: After George Floyd’s murder in 2020, critics called for a drastic shift in city budgets to put more money into social services and not just into police departments.

Tasha Tsiaperas
Oct 11, 2021 - News

Southlake schools fight over anti-racism book

Photo: Christian Ender/Getty Images

Schools in Southlake are re-evaluating which books teachers can keep in their classroom libraries after backlash over an anti-racism book.

Why it matters: The wealthy Tarrant County suburb has become a front line in the national fight over the way schools handle issues of race and personal identity.

Michael Mooney
Oct 11, 2021 - Politics

Trump pushes Texas speaker to act on 2020 election audit bill

Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former President Trump threatened Republican Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan with political consequences if a bill allowing for more audits of the 2020 election doesn’t come up for a vote soon.

Why it matters: Although Trump won Texas by six points in 2020, election audits have become a Republican purity test.