In this weekly roundup of city news, a street in Dallas gets a name change, Denton launches a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, and a group decides to hold their own darn MLK parade.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
Botham Jean Boulevard
The Dallas City Council voted to change the name of a section of South Lamar Street to Botham Jean Boulevard, to honor the man who was killed in his apartment by police officer Amber Guyger on that very street in 2018. It covers a stretch of South Lamar Street between Interstate 30 and South Central Expressway, which includes the South Side Flats apartment complex where Jean lived and was killed.
"Renaming the street in honor of Botham Jean would show the citizens of Dallas that his death was not in vain and show the world his life mattered," states the proposal for the name change.
The Dallas Police Department has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, a training program developed by Georgetown University Law Center to build a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm. The DPD will partner with the University of North Texas at Dallas through the Caruth Police Institute to provide ABLE Training for all employees.
More than 70 other law enforcement agencies and statewide and regional training academies from across the country are part of this progrram, which provides tactics to help law enforcement officers prevent misconduct, reduce mistakes, and promote health and wellness.
Love a parade
Due to the pandemic, the official 39th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade has been canceled. But local activist group Next Generation Action Network is hosting a commemorative march of its own. It'll take place on Monday, January 18 at 11 am.
COVID-19 vaccine site
Following Dallas County and Tarrant County, Denton County opened what it says is one of North Texas' largest mass vaccination sites in North Texas on January 14, capable of vaccinating 3,000 people per day. The site is at the CH Collins Athletic Complex, and also has a unique drive-through design in which you don't need to leave your vehicle.
New med center
UT Southwestern Medical Center has signed a lease at Pegasus Park, a new development on the former Exxon campus. UT Southwestern is a public academic health science center in Dallas and also the largest medical school in the University of Texas System and state of Texas. Pegasus Park was developed by J. Small Investments as a 23-acre mixed-use life sciences hub with commercial tenants, a biotech hub, a social impact hub, and entertainment/dining venues. Oooh restaurants, now we're talking. Construction on the center is underway with an opening set for mid-2021.
Lone Star Prize
Dallas-based Lyda Hill Philanthropies and Lever for Change has selected five finalists for the $10 million Lone Star Prize, a statewide competition designed to fund solutions focused on building healthier, stronger communities.
Two finalists are local: Dallas-based Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and Merit America in Irving. The other three finalists are JUST Community; Texas Water Trade; and William Marsh Rice University, Baker Institute for Public Policy.
More than 172 proposals were submitted. A final grant recipient will be announced in the spring of 2021.