The most important Dallas stories of 2021
As the year draws to a close, here's a look at some of the biggest storylines in the Dallas area in 2021.
Why it matters: These are the ongoing stories we found most interesting and important this year — and also some of what we'll be following in 2022.
The ever-evolving pandemic: This year the COVID stories were a little different. As schools went back to in-person learning, mask mandates became a contentious topic across North Texas.
- Same for vaccine mandates.
- A lot of Texans also died from COVID, including some prominent anti-vaxxers.
A no good, very bad year for local airlines: Both of the large airlines based in North Texas had a rough 2021. Southwest and American both had weekends that included thousands of canceled flights, costing millions.
- Both airlines are also experiencing issues with their pilots unions and federally required vaccine mandates.
- American CEO Doug Parker announced that he's retiring in 2022.
- Southwest CEO Gary Kelly got COVID.
Dallas lost a lot of data: The city of Dallas is still looking into exactly how 8 million data files from the police department were lost.
- City Council hired Kirkland & Ellis, a law firm which employs former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox, to conduct an independent investigation.
Local insurrectionists: Dozens of North Texans have been arrested through the year, after storming the U.S. capitol on Jan. 6.
- Some are former military officers.
- One has already been sentenced to jail time — where she plans to write a book.
- At least one is running for office.
Critical race theory in the wealthy suburbs: Southlake has had quite the time trying—and then sort of refusing—to teach public school students issues related to race and personal identity.
- The controversy involves a federal civil rights investigation, banned books, a secret recording of an administrator both sides-ing the Holocaust, and a national podcast.
- The first black principal of Colleyville Heritage High School also resigned after being accused of teaching critical race theory.
The crazy real estate market: Prices have skyrocketed, and they're still climbing.
Local lakes getting makeovers: Bachman Lake in Northwest Dallas is getting a $25 million makeover that includes dredging the bottom and building a public skate park.
- Dallas is also acquiring Parkdale Lake — the site of an old electric station on the southeast side of town — as part of a 110-acre property donated by Oncor.
The Cowboys are pretty good: The team has so much potential it actually hurts a little.
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