Friday, February 27, 2009

Restaurants Get On Board With Texas Smoking Ban

A potential statewide ban on indoor smoking is finding new support -- from North Texas restaurants.

Restaurant owners say a statewide ban would simplify confusion over the patchwork of different local ordinances.

Jerry Walker, president of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, lobbied lawmakers in Austin for a statewide law.

"When you can go to one city and have another set of rules in another city, it does affect business," he said.

Gov. Rick Perry opposes to a statewide ban, but Texas lawmakers are considering one.

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Fort Worth Entertainment

Fort Worth History

Fort Worth was founded as a military camp in 1849 and named after General Jenkins Worth. The fort was established to protect 19th century settlers from Indian attacks. It grew into a bustling town when it became a stop along the Chisholm Trail. Fort Worth became the center of cattle drives and the ranching industry.

The heyday of the cattle drives was known as Hell's Half Acre, an area of town filled with gambling parlors, saloons, and dance halls. In 1876, the Texas & Pacific Railway connected Fort Worth and transformed the Fort Worth Stockyards into a premier livestock center. When oil was discovered in Texas, Fort Worth was in the middle of it all.

Today, the city is portrayed as more old-fashioned and laid back than its neighbor, Dallas. Known as Cowtown, for its rough-and-rowdy roots, Fort Worth still celebrates its colorful Western heritage today and bills itself as "Where the West Begins."

In more recent years, Fort Worth has been referred to as "Funky Town" by mostly urbanites.

Ft Worth Homes

American Eagle plane makes emergency landing at D/FW Airport

February 26, 2009

An American Eagle passenger jet landed safely at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport today after an alarm was triggered and passengers reported smelling smoke.

Flight 3890 out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, made an emergency landing shortly after 1 p.m., and fire trucks surrounded the plane after it landed.

Officials said a sensor indicated smoke in the cargo compartment, said Jamie Morrison, a CNN producer who was on the plane.

American Airlines flight 2461 also issued an alert on Thursday after smoke was reported and landed safely at the airport.


Dallas - Fort Worth Foreclosures for 2008

There were more than 20,000 foreclosures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during 2008, mostly in southern and eastern Dallas County, according to data from Foreclosure Listing Service.

See the map here.

Ft Worth Homes

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Plans to divide stimulus money among Fort Worth-area projects

By MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – Texas highway officials, carving up federal stimulus money, are endorsing projects that range from a big toll road in Fort Worth to road improvements across North Texas.

Among the ideas:

•$250 million for the DFW Connector toll road project, which would expand State Highways 121 and 114 near Grapevine in Tarrant County.

•$60 million to repair dozens of existing highways in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and nine other nearby counties.

•$144 million for a new interchange at Interstate 20 and State Highway 121 in Tarrant County.

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Comedian Lily Tomlin brings her tour to Fort Worth’s Bass Hall

By JOY TIPPING / The Dallas Morning News

Is 69 the new 39?

"In my case it certainly is," says 69-year-old Lily Tomlin with a laugh. "I've got the same energy as when I was 39, but with a lot more experience.

"A lot." Tomlin, in a recent phone interview, says she has "never stopped touring, never. I've always had an act. I do 40 or 50 dates in a year; I fit them in between whatever else I have going on." She'll bring the current tour to Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth tonight.

Although her career has ranged from stand-up comedy to television and Tony Award-winning theater to Oscar-nominated film work, she says she needs to stay in touch with her fans, and comedy's the best way to do that. "They're like a big family to me, and I have to keep my hand in. Plus, I love to work on the stage more than anything else."

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Live local Fort Worth music for Feb. 27-March 5


GLASS CACTUS (Grapevine) Covers: Texas Unlimited Band. 9 p.m. $10. 817-778-2800.

KIRBY'S PRIME STEAKHOUSE (Southlake) Blues, swing: Glennda Hill group. 7 p.m. Free.


GLASS CACTUS (Grapevine) Disco covers: Le Freak. 9 p.m. $10. 817-778-2800.

KIRBY'S PRIME STEAKHOUSE (Southlake) Jazz: John Adams Trio. 7 p.m. Free.


Koi turn up dead in Fort Worth Japanese Garden after accidental chlorination
Feb. 25, 2009

More than 100 Koi fish were discovered dead today in the Japanese Garden pond after the water was accidentally chlorinated overnight.

The garden’s three ponds normally contain about 800 of the brightly colored orange fish that range in size from about six inches to three feet in length.

The accidental chlorination occurred during normal pond cleaning that is carried out every other year.

The procedure involves lowering the water level in the pond and placing two 55-gallon stock tanks filled with raw water in the pool to contain the fish. The tanks are filled with a water line that normally carries raw water, but due to a maintenance procedure at the nearby South Holly Water Treatment Plant, the line also was being injected with tap water. Tap water contains levels of chlorine that are safe for human consumption, but are harmful to Koi fish.

The Japanese Garden is closed to the public today.


Dallas-Fort Worth home prices slide, but not as bad as nationally

By Andrea Jares

Feb 24, 2009

North Texas home values dropped 4.3 percent between December and a year ago, according to figures released Tuesday morning from the S&P Case-Shiller Price Indices.

The price drop is the second-least severe of all 20 metro areas surveyed. Denver had a 4 percent drop.

Dallas-Fort Worth is also faring better than the national average, which saw an 18.2 percent drop between December 2007 and December 2008.

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Ft Worth Homes

Dallas-Fort Worth area to have new warning guidelines for storm emergencies

By BLANCA CANTÚ / The Dallas Morning News
Feb. 24th,2009
North Texas emergency officials announced new guidelines on Monday for outdoor warning systems to establish a standard for notifying residents of severe weather and other potentially catastrophic events across the region.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments formally unveiled the recommendations to kick off severe weather awareness week. Outdoor warning systems are typically referred to as tornado sirens but can be activated for other reasons.

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