May 02, 2022
Happy Monday! Spend time with people who bring out your best.
☀️ Today's weather: High in the 80s, low in the 60s, decent chance of rain all day.
🎵 Sounds like: "Danger Zone"
🚨 Situational awareness: Dallas police are asking for help finding a man who they say fled a wrong-way crash that killed two teenagers.
Today's newsletter is a well-rested 921 words — a 3.5-minute read.
1 big thing: 🧑✈️ The problematic pilot shortage
As airlines predict the most profitable summer ever, a massive pilot shortage could mean higher prices and more cancellations for customers.
Why it matters: The U.S. will lose about half of its pilots to retirement in the next 15 years, according to ABC News. Fort Worth-based American Airlines expects more than one third of its 15,000 pilots to retire in the next seven years.
What's happening: Thousands of pilots chose early retirement at the beginning of the pandemic. The FAA requires commercial pilots to retire at age 65. The major airlines are also struggling with a shortfall of flight instructors.
Between the lines: Pilots are tired. The pilots union for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines recently told the company's executives that "Fatigue, both acute and cumulative, has become Southwest Airlines' number-one safety threat."
What they're saying: "The airlines are underwater and trying to breathe through a straw," American 737 captain and union spokesperson Dennis Tajer told ABC. "Airlines are poaching each other's pilots. It's stunning, the level of aggression."
The bottom line: If you're thinking about becoming a pilot, you have a pretty good chance of getting a job.
2. 🚒 Firefighters' response delayed by 911 error
Emergency crews were delayed responding to a large apartment fire last month in Far Northeast Dallas because of a high volume of calls and the 911 dispatcher mislabeling the call, according to a city memo.
Driving the news: It took six minutes to assign a crew to respond to a blaze in April and nine minutes total for firefighters to arrive at a Forest Lane apartment complex where 24 units were destroyed and 100 people were displaced, WFAA reported.
- "Every minute of delay, the fire doubles in size," Dallas Fire Fighters Association President Jim McDade told WFAA.
What happened: The 911 call about the fire was received shortly after 9:52 pm on April 19 but couldn't be immediately transferred to Dallas Fire-Rescue because of a large number of calls the department dispatchers were already handling, the memo said.
- Then a dispatcher entered the wrong code, and the call was incorrectly added to a queue for lower-demand calls.
- The computer system the call center uses alerts dispatchers when a call is close to another incident, and the dispatcher "erroneously" added the fire to a medical emergency nearby.
- A DFR dispatcher noticed the issue, and firefighters were dispatched, six minutes after the initial call.
What's next: The fire department and 911 call center leadership will ensure high-priority calls are correctly transferred, dispatchers will be trained on properly coding calls and DFR will improve training on when to add calls to other nearby emergencies.
3. 🏀 A casual fan's guide to the Mavs' next playoff series
With Luka Doncic healthy, the Mavs have a puncher's chance to win their playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.
Yes, but: The Suns went to the NBA finals last season, and they have the best record in the NBA this season.
Context: The Mavs just won their first playoff series since 2011, so there's already no way to be truly disappointed.
The good news: Luka says his calf strain is no longer a worry. He'll likely be the best player on the court in this series.
- Even after Luka returned in Game 4, Jalen Brunson tallied 23, 24 and 24 points in the last three games of this series.
- The Suns struggled against New Orleans, a team that slipped into the last playoff spot in the West.
The bad news: Suns guard Chris Paul, a guaranteed future Hall of Famer, didn't miss a single shot in his last game against the Pelicans.
- Las Vegas has the Suns as nearly 3-to-1 favorites in the series.
An amazing stat: Luka has scored 500 playoff points in just 16 career games, the fewest needed since some dude named Michael Jordan.
The bottom line: ESPN's odds calculators now give the Mavs an 8.9% chance of winning the NBA title — up from 1.2% when the last series started.
New jobs to check out
😴 Don't sleep on these new roles on our Local Job Board.
2. Project Manager (IT) at Ceva Logistics.
3. IT Architect & Integrator at Airbus.
Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.
Hiring? Post a job.
4. 🗞 Burnt ends: Bite-sized news bits
🧑🏫 The State Board for Educator Certification voted in favor of requiring a new teacher certification exam in an effort to better prepare new teachers and keep them in the profession. (Texas Tribune)
👮 The Van Zandt County sheriff submitted his resignation after being arrested and indicted on charges of giving a false statement to a peace officer. (WFAA)
🌿 A group called "Decriminalize Denton" has collected 2,500 signatures on a petition asking city leaders to decriminalize marijuana. (NBC5)
🏟 Yesterday's crowd of 38,316 at the Texas Rangers game against the Atlanta Braves is the largest to attend a game at the new ballpark. (Twitter)
5. 🥾 One existential quest to go
Our friend Ben, at Axios Tampa Bay, recently stopped for a drink and a snack while hiking through the Smokies when he heard a Texan ask how much a can of Budweiser cost at a bar in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
- That's how Ben met Greg Melton, a 47-year-old bricklayer from Mansfield.
What's happening: In October, Melton — who says he helped build Texas Motor Speedway — had a heart attack on the job. He says he moped around until January, then decided that if he was going to die, he might as well hike the Appalachian Trail first.
Yes, but: Melton's backpack was stolen in Shreveport, La., so he used the last of his money to buy new gear. He stopped in Gatlinburg to find some work before attempting to hike all the way to Maine.
What they're saying: "If I'm gonna die," Melton told Ben, "I want to take my last breath looking at something beautiful, like a mountain."
💭 Our thought bubble: Godspeed, Greg Melton.
Editor's note: The second story in Friday's newsletter was corrected to state that H-E-B raked in a little more than $815 million (not thousand) in 2021 at 11 stores, while Albertson's 31 stores sold about $948 million (also not thousand) in 2021.
🦵 Mike is reading about cosmetic limb-lengthening surgery, which sounds horrific.
🪡 Tasha is looking for a good tailor in Dallas. Any recommendations?
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