Happy Wednesday! Joy drives a ceaseless labor.

🌬️ Today's weather: Windy, highs in the high 70s.

🎡 Sounds like: "Might as Well Get Stoned"

πŸ“‰ Situational awareness: Homicides connected to extremism declined in 2023 for the second year in a row, according to new data from the ADL Center on Extremism.

  • But the group found that risks for extremist violence β€” like last year's deadly shooting spree in Allen β€” remain high as antisemitism and domestic terror threats have risen.

Today's newsletter is 934 elevated words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: NBA says it won't go for gambling

NBA commissioner Adam Silver's relationship with Mavs ownership has always been complicated. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Mavericks' new owners' ties to the gambling industry won't mean the league will get more involved in legalized gaming, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters at All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis.

Why it matters: The Adelson family, which bought the Mavs last year, founded the Las Vegas Sands corporation, the largest publicly traded gambling company in the world.

  • Sands also owns several gaming properties in Macau, which is part of a massive Chinese market the NBA has courted for years.

The big picture: Their purchase immediately sparked speculation that the team β€” and the league β€” might deepen their relationships to legal gambling.

Flashback: Last November, the NBA was part of a coalition of professional sports leagues and gambling companies that launched a series of ads promoting responsible sports betting.

What they're saying: "Whatever you're doing off the court is independent of the rules that you're operating under, and all of our gaming rules will apply to the Adelson-Dumont families in the same way they do to other people," Silver told reporters, according to Sports Illustrated.

  • "As we always say, you sort of park your day job."

Meanwhile: Silver also shared his thoughts on the 24-year ownership tenure of Mark Cuban, one of the league's most contentious owners. Cuban has had "an incredible impact on this league," Silver said.

  • "I have been with the league through his entire tenure of his ownership, from his earliest days in the league. He pushed us hard."
  • "Despite some of the back-and-forth with Mark and David [Stern] publicly and a little bit with me, there's always been very respectful relationships," he said.

The bottom line: Cuban's advocacy and energy as the team's owner helped shape the fate of the entire league, shifting everything from the NBA's use of technology to the way teams and players market themselves.

  • It will be interesting to see if the new owners continue that tradition.

Share this

2. 🌿 Texas' first cannabis beverage

The new cannabis drink has a yellow hue. Photo: Courtesy of Texas Original

Texas Original, the state's largest medical cannabis provider, has launched a cannabis beverage called Elevate.

Why it matters: The new drink, the state's first legal cannabis beverage, was created to help patients manage conditions like anxiety, pain, inflammation and depression, the company says.

How it works: Each 1-ounce bottle of Elevate contains equal parts THC β€” the main active ingredient in cannabis β€” and cannabigerol (CBG), a naturally occurring cannabinoid without psychoactive properties.

Context: In states with less stringent marijuana laws β€” like the veritable hippie hollow of Oklahoma β€” cannabis drinks have been available to medical marijuana cardholders for years.

Catch up quick: Though it's low profile, Texas does have a medical marijuana program.

Meanwhile: Austin-based Texas Original celebrated Valentine's Day by launching a new dark chocolate THC product.

Share this

3. πŸ“œ Silvia Webber, the "Harriet Tubman" of Texas

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios; Photos: The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley Digital Library

Descendants of Silvia Hector Webber β€” the first free Black woman in present-day Austin and the "Harriet Tubman" of the Underground Railroad to Mexico β€” are working to resurrect her story.

Why it matters: Texas is one of many states that have passed laws limiting discussions about slavery in schools, and Webber's descendants say teaching her story is the best way to fight attempts to erase history, writes Axios' Russell Contreras.

Driving the news: Webber's descendants announced that they've found new records showing she was 8 years old when she was sold along with her mother, Sarah, from an area near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Between the lines: Webber's accomplishments would have remained unknown had it not been for Ohio State history professor MarΓ­a Esther Hammack, who found Webber's freedom papers and has been researching the topic for years.

Read the rest from Axios Latino

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

A bridge you hate is an arch enemy. Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

✈️ An American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Doha, Qatar, reached 840 mph, which might be a world record. (DMN)

πŸš† The new Trinity Lakes train station in east Fort Worth began service along the Trinity Railway Express on Monday, replacing the Richland Hills stop. (WFAA)

🚨 Police records show that a man was found dead this month in an Uptown Dallas apartment trash chute. (FOX4)

πŸ“± Gov. Greg Abbott is being criticized for comments on X about the Carrollton teacher who went viral after wearing a dress to school. (Dallas Observer)

5. πŸ‘‘ One record-setting homecoming mum to go

A mum fit for a 50-foot giant. Photos: Courtesy of LISD Communications

Fashion design students at Lewisville High School now hold a world record for creating the largest homecoming mum.

Driving the news: The school unveiled the roughly 37.5-foot mum at its homecoming game in October.

The intrigue: The class project cost $800 and took nine weeks to complete.

What they're saying: "We wanted to go beyond traditional expressions of school pride and set a record that would not only make our school stand out, but also unify the student body in a unique way," Abby Winston, the Lewisville teacher who led the project, told Guinness.

An enormous homecoming mum
This mum absolutely doesn't quit.

Between the lines: Mums have started to rival football as a homecoming tradition.

The very, very big picture: Record-breaking homecoming mums keep getting larger.

  • Arlington ISD's special education department earned a world record in 2021 with a 22-foot mum for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Go deeper

This newsletter was edited by Bob Gee and Emma Hurt and copy edited by Nicole Ortiz.

Our picks:

πŸ‘– Mike is somehow agreeing with (of all people) director David Lynch about (of all things) the importance of a good pair of pants.

⚾ Tasha is "idling" like pitcher Max Scherzer.

πŸ€” Naheed is open to suggestions for which Guinness record she should try to smash.

Find your daily dose of Axios Dallas intoxicating? Become a Dallas member for as little as $50 a year, and get exclusive newsletters and access to members-only events!