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We're Denton Dammit

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Lucinda Breeding

District 63 Congressman Tan Parker is the chairman of the state House Committee on Investments and Financial Services. On Tuesday, Parker appointed Rep. Phil Stephenson to be chairman of the House Sub-Committee on State and Local Bonded Indebtedness

State Rep. Tan Parker, left, listens at a May 2015 hearing at the Capitol in Austin.Jay Janner, Austin American-Statesman/AP file photo
State Rep. Tan Parker, left, listens at a May 2015 hearing at the Capitol in Austin.
Jay Janner, Austin American-Statesman/AP file photo

The sub-committee considers legislative measures dealing with the authority to issue bonds, the effects of bonded indebtedness on the economy and the transparency provided to taxpayers regarding bond issuance and transactions. Parker is a Flower Mound resident, and Stephenson is a Wharton lawmaker.

Texas Rep. Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton, center, and other lawmakers are sworn in during the beginning of the 85th Texas Legislative session at the state Capitol on Jan. 10.Eric Gay/AP file photo
Texas Rep. Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton, center, and other lawmakers are sworn in during the beginning of the 85th Texas Legislative session at the state Capitol on Jan. 10.
Eric Gay/AP file photo

Texans are familiar with controversies surrounding the sale of purebred puppies in pet stores. They might be less familiar with the brewing controversy surrounding the sale of sulcatas -- African tortoises that can grow to 200 pounds. American Tortoise Rescue, a California-based nonprofit, is campaigning against the sale and purchase of sulcatas. Because the tortoises are cute when they’re tiny, families are drawn to them. But as the giant breed grows, they can get aggressive and damage homes and apartments. They also can live up to 50 years in captivity. Surprised owners are forfeiting the adult tortoises to rescuers, or just dumping them in wild or wooded areas. The rescue network is looking for knowledgeable people to adopt the tortoises through their state rescue networks.

The African spurred tortoise is also known as the sulcata tortoise. It can grow to 200 pounds and live up to 50 years in captivity.EPA/AP file photo
The African spurred tortoise is also known as the sulcata tortoise. It can grow to 200 pounds and live up to 50 years in captivity.
EPA/AP file photo

A team of esports enthusiasts is making its way through a major competition. The local group is based out of the University of North Texas, and is competing in Heroes of the Dorm, presented by Blizzard Entertainment. The UNT team has beat out hundreds of other colleges to advance to Round 64. The players — Zane Castillo, Tory Williams, Javier Lopez, Liam Pollard, Andrew Nam and Weldon Phan  are a step closer to heading to the live Heroic Four and National Championship in Las Vegas on April 8. 

A team of UNT students is headed to the qualifying round of "Heroes of the Dorm" esports tournament on Saturday.  The grand prize of the tournament is free tuition for the remainder of their college careers. Pictured, from left: Zane Castillo, Tory Williams, Javier Lopez, Liam Pollard and Andrew Nam and on the bottom, Weldon PhanBlizzard Entertainment
A team of UNT students is headed to the qualifying round of "Heroes of the Dorm" esports tournament on Saturday.  The grand prize of the tournament is free tuition for the remainder of their college careers. Pictured, from left: Zane Castillo, Tory Williams, Javier Lopez, Liam Pollard and Andrew Nam and on the bottom, Weldon Phan
Blizzard Entertainment

The grand prize? Tuition for the rest of their college career. Before they can reach the live national championships, the UNT team has to compete and qualify against 63 rival university teams from across North America. The action begins Saturday and will be broadcast live exclusively on Facebook. To watch matches live, bookmark www.facebook.com/HeroesEsports.

We think our new city manager Todd Hileman is already fitting into Denton quite nicely. In a sit-down lunch with the Denton Record-Chronicle staff, he said he's a craft beer fanatic and has already stopped into the Bearded Monk for rare brews. Anyone who sneaks in drinking time between 12 hour days and moving across the country is good with us.

New City Manager Todd Hileman listens in during a City Council meeting on Jan. 24 at Denton City Hall.Jeff Woo/DRC file photo
New City Manager Todd Hileman listens in during a City Council meeting on Jan. 24 at Denton City Hall.
Jeff Woo/DRC file photo

On Tuesday, the Academy of Country Music named UNT alumna and Grammy Award winner Maren Morris its New Female Vocalist of the Year. Morris will perform during the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, airing at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 2, on CBS.

Maren Morris accepts the award for best country solo performance for "My Church" at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.Matt Sayles, Invision/AP file photo
Maren Morris accepts the award for best country solo performance for "My Church" at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.
Matt Sayles, Invision/AP file photo

Shortly after the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 6, a bill that would require people to use restrooms and other facilities that match the sex recorded on their birth certificate, Denton transwoman Kathryn Winters reaffirmed her intent to fight the measure. Winters was among Denton residents who traveled to Austin to testify against the bill, which will now move to the House. “Tomorrow, I will pick up where I left off and I will never give up on this fight, I will never stop,” said Winters. “None of you are alone, you are all loved. Never forget that.”

Denton goth-pop artist Jessie Frye posted her cover of Madonna’s “Lucky Star” on her Facebook Fan Page. The local artist has demonstrated her ability to craft glossy power anthems and shadowy songs about relationships. She strips the gleeful sensibility from the Material Girl’s early chart-topper and imbues it with some grown-woman intuition. And she paints the song a little dark around the edges as only Frye can. Check it out.

Leave it to a Texan to make a product to de-fluff animals. Austin resident Jay Michael has invented something called HandsOn, a pair of gloves that can be used to groom or bathe livestock or household pets with a coat. You can either stroke an animal’s coat while wearing the gloves to whisk loose hair and dander away, or you can use HandsOn to bathe your pet, using the scrubbing nodules on the the gloves' fingers. For a closer look, visit https://handsongloves.com.

Parting Shot

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." — Writer Flannery O'Connor