This roundup of Dallas news includes updates about the March 1 primary election, the city's big data loss debacle of 2021, the parking situation at DFW Airport, and a new coach for Paul Quinn College.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
Post election notes
Texas held its primary election on March 1, with an estimated turnout of 1.3 million votes cast in the Democratic primary, and 1.85 million in the Republican primary, or 3.2 percent of all residents in Texas.
For Governor, it'll be Greg Abbott vs. Beto O'Rourke, but Attorney General Ken Paxton is now forced into a runoff against George P. Bush. In Dallas County, Judge Clay Jenkins earned 87 percent of the Democratic vote, and will face Republican candidate and anti-masker Lauren Davis.
According to Texas Monthly, election officials rejected 10 percent of absentee ballot applications as of February 18, a major increase from prior years, due to a stupid new requirement that voters use the same form of ID to request a paper ballot they originally used to register — complicated, if you registered to vote a long time ago.
Beto O'Rourke will begin his statewide People of Texas Campaign in Dallas: He'll host an education town hall on Sunday March 6 at 2:30 pm, open to the public, at Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Rd. in Dallas.
According to a release, O'Rourke will use the event to outline his unifying vision for world-class public schools in Texas including fully funding public school classrooms, raising teacher pay, and ending the state's over-reliance on high-stakes, high-pressure standardized testing. He'll take questions from the community.
His campaign says he's aiming to correct policies by Greg Abbott that include underfunding Texas schools by about $4,000 per student compared to the national average, placing Texas in the bottom 10 states for per-student funding; and underpaying teachers by $7,500 a year - factors that explain why Texas is losing teachers and why half of Texas high schoolers graduate are not properly prepared for the postsecondary education that makes them four times more likely to secure a living wage job.
Dallas IT debacle
A report from Dallas' IT department says that the department had "inadequate protocols" to prevent a data loss that occurred in 2021, and that the loss appeared to be accidental. It said that an unnamed worker who deleted millions of Dallas police files including photos, videos, audio, notes, and other police evidence didn't have enough training, and had a "flawed understanding" of the city's backup and archiving system. The employee was said to have had a history of errors, and was fired in August 2021.
DFW International Airport is reopening one of its economy parking after two years of being closed due to low traffic during the pandemic. Located on the airport's south side, it's an economy rate lot with 2,154 spots and will reopen May 1, when travel is anticipated to increase for the summer.
Paul Quinn has hired Camille Smith, former Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) player and Dallas Wings coach, as the leader of its women’s basketball program. A former player of the year and McDonald’s All American, Coach Smith brings 12 years of professional experience with a focus on player development on the court and in the classroom.