Editor’s note: The top 10 stories of 2017 represent the ups and downs of a year in Dallas. Here's a look back at the 10 most-read CultureMap stories from the past year. If you are looking for the top food stories, they got their own list, thanks to dining editor Teresa Gubbins.
1. Dallas police seek public's help in hit-and-run death of woman in Uptown. On March 18 at about 2:10 am, a dark sedan hit a young woman who was running across the street in the 2200 block of Cedar Springs Road near Pearl Street. The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office identified her as 23-year-old Rachel Spelman. Days later, police arrested John Esparza, 29, and he was charged with a second-degree felony for fleeing the scene of an accident resulting in death.
2. New Dallas-Fort Worth water park is set to make an epic splash. Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark will be a new recreational facility in Grand Prairie at State Highway 161 and the Waterwood Drive, set to open now in early 2018. The water park will be an indoor-outdoor venue with a retractable roof that's open year round.
3. New photos released of suspects in brutal attack of Dallas director. On January 14, Dallas theater director Derek Whitener was brutally assaulted in the parking lot of the CityPlace Target on Haskell Avenue. Surveillance images released to the public showed the alleged attackers at the CityPlace/Uptown DART station. Two suspects later were taken into custody, and Whitener was released from the hospital in late January.
4. Get to know the 2017 CultureMap Stylemaker finalists and cast your vote now. October saw the return of the CultureMap Stylemaker Awards, in which our readers helped determine our city’s arbiters of style. After 12 semifinalists were announced, the public voted, and it came down to six finalists — Deve Sanford, Amber LaFrance, Brad Pritchett, Rida Mandavia, Yasmeen Tadia, and Molly Tuttle — who were honored at a party on October 26 at Tootsies.
5. Aggie chicken restaurant chain gives the fingers to Dallas. The DFW arrival of Layne's Chicken Fingers answers Dallas' prayers for more chicken. The baby chain from College Station is opening its first area location in Allen, at 102 Central Expy., in a former Pollo Tropical space at the southwest corner of McDermott Drive. A spokesperson confirms that the Allen restaurant will open "soon."
6. How to get every possible discount at the 2017 State Fair of Texas. For many, the State Fair of Texas is an annual ritual, a segue from summer to fall and a touchstone of life in Texas, no matter how you enjoy it. For us, it’s all about the discounts. We spent all summer digging up the best State Fair of Texas discounts, and this is the full list.
7. Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants and chefs win big at Tastemaker Awards. The CultureMap Tastemaker Awards pays tribute to the people and places doing exceptional work in the Dallas-Fort Worth restaurant and bar community. For several weeks in 2017, we celebrated the nominees in a special editorial series. And on April 20, we revealed the winners at a swanky tasting event and awards ceremony at Sixty Five Hundred, emceed by celebrity chef Tim Love.
8. Dallas-Fort Worth's booming population growth blows past the rest of the country. Dallas-Fort Worth rolled out the country’s biggest welcome mat from 2015 to 2016. Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate Dallas-Fort Worth welcomed more than 140,000 new residents during the one-year period — the most of any metro area in the U.S.
9. Sparkling spring-fed pool makes for an ideal day trip from Dallas. Summer contributor Stacy Breen headed out on a Texas expedition that included swimming at a landmark pool and dining at a four-star resort. The price wasn't bad, and the best part is that she was able to do it all in a day. The pool was Hancock Springs Pool in Lampasas, 180 miles southwest of Dallas.
10. Former Dallas Maverick Shawn Marion lists his slam-dunk Preston Hollow home. You may not be a basketball star, but you had the chance to live like one. Former Dallas Mavericks player Shawn Marion put his Preston Hollow mega-modern estate at 4512 Isabella Ln. on the market. Rogers Healey and Veronica Lind listed for $5.95 million.