Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas Motor Speedway partners with Duck Dynasty; a poplar bar owner in Terlingua has been killed; a closer look at the four Republican lieutenant governor candidates; and more.
- Texas Motor Speedway has announced a sponsorship deal with a controversial group. The Dallas Morning News reports: “TMS on Thursday unveiled a sponsorship deal with Duck Commander, a family-owned manufacturer of duck-hunting products and the genesis of the television show ‘Duck Dynasty’ on the A&E cable channel.” The April 6 NASCAR Sprint Cup race will be called the “Duck Commander 500″ for the next three years. Duck Commander replaces the National Rifle Association. The News reports: “Phil Robertson, the family patriarch and central figure on the television show, stirred controversy in December with comments about gays and blacks.” A&E suspended Robertson for a bit. TMS president Eddie Gossage says it might be the most unique sponsorship in professional sports. “This marriage is perfection,” he said.
- The owner of a popular bar in Terlingua in far West Texas was killed this week. Glenn Patrick Felts was found dead Tuesday morning in the parking lot of the La Kiva Bar. The Brewster County Sheriff’s Office says that Tony Flint has been charged with first-degree murder. He was in jail on $200,000 bond. Terlingua is on the edge of Big Bend National Park. Marfa’s public radio station, KRTS, reports: “Flint was a river guide for Far Flung Outdoor Center based in Terlingua and he was also well-known in the community, further compounding the sense of tragedy amongst residents.” The station also reported: “Trevor Reichman, a musician from the area and one whom Glenn took special pride in hosting – including a ‘listening room’ performance at La Kiva – said, ‘When one walked into La Kiva, one was walking into Glenn’s home and he made everyone feel welcome there. Making money wasn’t his priority. Making memories was. His legacy will live on.’” Marfa’s public radio station has more.
- Matthew Martinez, an “expression artist” from Oak Cliff, will be doing a live painting performance at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Generator Coffee House & Bakery in downtown Garland. Local singer-songwriter Rene Moffat will perform original music during the painting. “Live painting is a form of improvisational performance art, in which an artist publicly creates a visual art piece, often accompanied by live music,” the coffeehouse’s website says.
- The New York Times has put the four Republican Texas lieutenant governor candidates in the spotlight. The paper reports that the race is “illustrating the increasing shift to the far right for Texas Republicans as the rivals … try to appeal to the grass-roots and Tea Party conservatives who make up the bulk of the electorate in Republican primaries.” The Times continues: “Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and State Sen. Dan Patrick have talked about repealing the 17th Amendment, which established the election of United States senators by popular vote rather than by state legislatures, a favorite states’-rights cause of the Tea Party. … And all four candidates want the religious theory of creationism taught in public schools, despite the Supreme Court’s 1987 decision that banned it from classrooms.” Other candidates are Todd Staples, the agriculture commissioner, and Jerry Patterson, the land commissioner. The Republican lieutenant governor candidates squared off last week in a debate in the KERA studios. The primary is March 4.
- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has rocketed to fame over the past several months – but her media team gets a big “F.” That’s according to Dave Mann in The Texas Observer. “The Wendy Davis operation is about the worst at media relations that I’ve ever seen,” he writes “Her team’s mismanagement of the press is damaging her candidacy.” … As the weeks went by, though, Davis’ team often treated the press with suspicion, asking repeatedly what a story would say before granting access to staffers, refusing to confirm basic campaign scheduling details and shielding Davis from in-person interviews with some major outlets.” Also, Mann says that Davis shouldn’t have waited 11 days to respond to questions about her biography and her life story.