February 17, 2022
Happy Thursday! It's kind to be direct.
💨 Today's weather: Windy, high of 67 before temperatures drop.
🎵 Sounds like: "If I Were King"
⚖️ Situational awareness: Closing arguments are set for this morning in the federal trial of the former Los Angeles Angels executive accused of providing the drugs that led to pitcher Tyler Skaggs' overdose death in Southlake.
Today's newsletter is a noble 886 words — a 3.5-minute read.
1 big thing: The Republican baroness running for governor of Texas
Kandy Kaye Horn, a retired mortgage broker and philanthropist from Terrell, is the only woman running in the crowded Republican gubernatorial primary, March 1.
- She's also the only candidate who assumes the title of "baroness," which she bought online for $20,000.
Why it matters: Though she has virtually no chance in the race for governor, Horn has spent a reported $1.4 million of her own money campaigning, mostly in the form of billboards across Texas.
Background: Horn has a rags-to-riches story. She grew up with a single mother who died when Horn was 15. She graduated from TCU then got her MBA at UTA before becoming a successful mortgage broker in Houston.
- Her foundation has reportedly given away millions to nonprofits that help vulnerable people find jobs.
Details: Horn wants to legalize marijuana and release low-level drug offenders from Texas prisons.
- She also believes all public school teachers should get a raise and each school day should start with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, according to her website.
What they're saying: "At least I put myself out there as a different alternative as a different choice. Certainly I have some different ideas than all the men that are on the podium," Horn told Texas Monthly.
2. 🚘 You're wasting 39 hours in your car
North Texas drivers lost nearly two entire days to traffic last year, but we still have it better than before the pandemic.
What's happening: We're spending less time stuck in the car, especially during traditional commute times, as many people continue to work from home.
- Congestion during the morning and evening rush hour last year dropped 17%, compared with 2019, the annual TomTom Traffic Index found.
By the numbers: Overall congestion levels in North America decreased 14% in 2021 compared with 2019. At traditional peak hours, the drop in traffic was 31%.
- In Dallas-Fort Worth, the total time spent in traffic last year was 39 hours, up 4% from 2020, but down 11% from 2019.
- Elsewhere in Texas, Houston, Austin and McAllen all spent an average of 46 hours in their cars. In San Antonio and El Paso, it was 36.
Between the lines: The change in traffic patterns could be one of the lasting trends of the pandemic, Axios transportation correspondent Joann Muller writes, but a lot will depend on whether remote work sticks.
Zoom out: While 39 hours of local car time might seem like a lot, it's a far cry from congestion hot spots like New York City (80 hours) and Los Angeles (75 hours).
The bottom line: Traffic congestion isn't as bad as it was before COVID upended our weekday commutes. But it's still stealing our time.
3. 🔌 Where to charge your car
There are 180 electric vehicle charging stations in Dallas, but only 42 are free, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Driving the news: The Biden administration has kicked off a $5 billion program to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging networks nationwide, which could finally address a huge barrier to EV purchases: charging anxiety.
Why it matters: Dallas has big goals to increase access to electric charging stations, which are mostly in the northern, wealthier sections of the city.
- City leaders hope to have 1,500 charging outlets by 2030, up from 380 last fall, and for all transit vehicles used by DART, the city and Dallas ISD to be fully electric by 2030.
By the numbers: Data shows that most electric vehicles registered in Dallas are within a half mile of a charging station, according to an environment and sustainability committee briefing in December.
Your future begins here
4. 🗞 Burnt ends: Bite-sized news bits
💰 The Dallas Cowboys paid $2.4 million in a confidential settlement after four cheerleaders said a team executive watched them as they undressed in 2015 at AT&T Stadium. (ESPN)
⚖️ The Dallas County jail is understaffed and the nursing unit is only at 83% of its required capacity. (Dallas Observer)
⛳️ Crowds at the AT&T Byron Nelson can return at full capacity in May, after the four-day tournament was canceled in 2020 and attendance was reduced last year. (FOX 4)
🦅 The bald eagles nest at White Rock Lake was taken down by a big gust of wind. Now park officials are waiting to see where the eagles will move. (WFAA)
💬 Quote du jour
"Our hope is that one day no patient diagnosed with brain disease will ever hear the words 'there is no cure.'"— UT Southwestern president Daniel K. Podolsky on the $1 billion fund for its brain institute. (UT Southwestern)
5. 🍩 One vegan pineapple donut to go
If you're ever in Bishop Arts and need a quick sugar fix, stop by The Salty Donut.
- The Salty Donut is an artisanal coffee and donut shop that started in South Florida. Now there are locations in Austin and Dallas — and one coming soon to Charlotte.
What we ordered: The pineapple upside down cake donut, which happens to be vegan.
Where: The Salty Donut, 414 W Davis St, in Dallas.
Pro tip: Pair with the Cinnamon Toast Crunch latte for the full treat-yourself experience.
Six word review: Since it's vegan, it's technically salad.
🍰 Know a delicious dessert we should be sampling? Hit reply, and tell us.
🍔 Tasha is looking for some good burger recommendations. It's time to try something new.
Wanna buy ranks of nobility with us? Refer your friends to Axios Dallas, and get cool merch like stickers, totes, hats, T-shirts and more!