Axios Dallas

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Happy Friday! You are what you do, so do something great.

🌧️ Today's weather: Cloudy, windy and rainy. High of 68.

ğŸŽµ Sounds like: "The Luck of the Irish"

🩺 Situational awareness: The Texas Medical Board will consider what qualifies as a medical exception to the state's abortion laws at its meeting next week.

Today's newsletter is 885 whooping words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: DFW is still booming

Change in population, 2020 to 2023
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Texas — and specifically North Texas — saw some of the biggest population increases nationwide last year.

The big picture: The Lone Star State has six of the country's top 10 fastest-growing counties by percentage and eight of the top 10 counties with the largest numeric growth, per a new U.S. Census Bureau report.

  • Denton has become the seventh Texas county to have a population over 1 million, after adding nearly 30,000 residents last year.

Why it matters: Dallas-Fort Worth continues to see a massive influx of new residents, with many people moving to the suburbs and exurbs.

  • Kaufman was again the fastest-growing county in the country, followed by Rockwall County.

The latest: Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties were among the top 10 counties nationwide to add the most people between July 2022 and July 2023 — adding nearly 94,000 residents total.

  • Collin and Denton were the top two, with Collin adding 36,364 people and Denton adding 29,943.

Of note: This data is the most recent release of the annual Population Estimates Program, which estimates the population between censuses.

  • The program uses administrative records and other sources to calculate annual changes in population and housing.
Change in population, 2020 to 2023
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Reality check: People are still moving out of Dallas proper.

  • More than 34,000 Dallas County residents moved away in 2023, up from the nearly 19,000 departures in 2022, per the Census report.

The bottom line: Despite that trend, Dallas County remains one of the most populous counties in the country, ranking eighth with more than 2.6 million residents.

  • And, it was third in the country for natural population increases, adding 19,550 babies. Tarrant County ranked fifth with 13,010 babies.

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2. 💰 Reward offered in whooping crane killing

A rare whooping crane chick, the first born at the Dallas Zoo, was found dead on Jan. 9 in Louisiana. Photo: Courtesy of Dallas Zoo

A whooping crane hatched at the Dallas Zoo and released into the wild was found fatally shot in Louisiana, the zoo announced this week.

Why it matters: Whooping cranes are among the rarest species of birds, protected under the Endangered Species Act. Harming one is a federal crime.

  • The crane, born in June 2023, was the Dallas Zoo's first successful hatching of the species.

The latest: The crane was found dead, with a gunshot wound, on Jan. 9, in Mamou, Louisiana, according to the zoo.

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are investigating.
  • A $12,500 reward — contributed by various organizations including the zoo — is being offered for information leading to the arrest and indictment of anyone responsible.

Flashback: The bird was released into its habitat in Louisiana in November as part of the zoo's conservation efforts with the Whooping Crane Center of Texas.

Stunning stat: At approximately 5 feet tall, the whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America.

What they're saying: "The impact of this significant loss is felt by everyone involved," zoo officials said in a statement to Axios.

Go deeper: Read this 2016 Texas Monthly story about the many challenges facing the people trying to save whooping cranes.

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3. ☘️ How to watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade

North Texans will do anything to bring some Irish luck to the Dallas Mavericks. Photo: Albert Pena/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you're planning to go to the St. Patrick's Day festival in Dallas this weekend, get there early.

Context: The celebration along Greenville Avenue has been around for over 40 years, starting as a "little neighborhood spectacle" with around 10 trucks and some flatbeds.

  • Now, it's believed to be one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the southwestern U.S.
  • The parade route gets packed, and the St. Paddy's Day Dash will precede the floats.

By the numbers: The share of North Texans reporting to have Irish ancestry in 2022 was lower than the U.S. average of 9.5% — but there are still plenty of Irish wannabes in the region.

If you go: The celebration is 9am-3pm tomorrow.

  • The parade with over 90 floats will start at 11am at Blackwell Street by Half Price Books and end around 2pm at SMU Boulevard.

Zoom in: Here's the parade map. You can also join this watch party along the route.

  • Organizers recommend taking DART or ridesharing.

Pro tip: Many North Texas businesses are offering specials for St. Patrick's Day.

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4. ğŸ—ž Burnt ends: Bite-sized news bits

We pluck the biggest headlines for you. Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🚨 A Dallas police officer was injured during a shooting in pursuit of a stolen car. (NBC5)

✈️ A Boeing jet tire blew out during an American Airlines flight takeoff from DFW to LAX. The plane landed safely. (WFAA)

🔌 The total eclipse next month could affect solar power generation. (Dallas Observer)

⛔ Pornhub, one of the world's largest pornography websites, disabled access in Texas yesterday over objections to a state law that requires age verification to prevent access to minors. (Axios)

5. ğŸŽ² One cocktail to go: Game Theory

Roll the die on this concoction. Photo: Tasha "Prisoner of Dilemmas" Tsiaperas/Axios

Do not pass go and set out on a quest to this Fort Worth restaurant for games, bites and drinks.

  • There are shelves filled with games to play while you snack and sip. It costs $2.50 per person to pick any of the board games.

What to order: Mother of Dragons — tequila, dragonfruit, grapefruit and lime.

  • Snag the pretzel bites, too.

Where: Game Theory Restaurant + Bar, 804 S. Main St. in Fort Worth.

Cost: $14

Six-word review: Refreshing — but slightly sweet — juicy sipper.

📭 Know a drink we should try? Hit reply and tell us.

This newsletter was edited by Emma Hurt and copy edited by Carolyn DiPaolo.

Our picks:

🇮🇪 Mike is wondering how many of the area's best Irish pubs he can visit this weekend.

🏃‍♀️ Tasha is trying to get excited about running 19 miles this weekend.

👀 Naheed is still seeking closure from the messy "Love Is Blind" finale.

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