Denton Dammit

The Texas Department of Transportation has been tracking traffic fatalities in the state. Officials made a curious discovery: close to half of Texas traffic fatalities happen in areas where oil and gas activities take place. In 2018, 1,673 people died and more than 6,000 were seriously injured in crashes in the Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale and Permian Basin — where oil and gas exploration is underway. Traffic deaths in these areas are up by 4% compared to 2017. Accident reports point to speeding as the most-often cited factor in traffic crashes. The second most-cited factor? Driver inattention due to actions — like looking at a cellphone.

The transportation department has been tracking fatalities on Texas roadways in general. Every day since Nov. 7, 2000, at least one person has died on a Texas roadway. The department has a campaign, “End the Streak,” dedicated to raising awareness of the deadly state of our highways and streets. The department hopes to end these fatalities by 2050. Be careful behind the wheel, Denton.

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It’s time to give some props to John Williams, the owner of Oak Street Drafthouse & Cocktail Parlor, and the crew at Komodo Loco, a restaurant across Oakland Street from the bar. Williams and his crew at the popular local watering hole sold out tickets to the Denton Mac & Cheese Festival at 2 p.m. Nov. 3.

The festival will have 25 mac and cheese dishes for patrons to sample. Last year, the festival raised more than $4,500 to help pay for school lunch debt at Denton ISD. Organizers hope to raise more than $7,000 this year. Like we said, the fest is sold out, but we’re guessing the organizers would accept donations for an initiative to help our public schools feed hungry students.

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How’s this for an interesting development? Thin Line, a Denton-based documentary film and music festival, has not only revived its 48 Hours of Horror, a video race, but it has partnered with Dallas VideoFest. In the competition, teams have 48 hours to write, produce and edit a 4- to 8-minute horror film. We can all watch the results at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Alamo Drafthouse Denton. But what else might this Dallas-Denton partnership cook up?

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The band Counting Crows and James Campion featured Denton artist Claire Morales and her band on the Underwater Sunshine Festival podcast. The hosts compared Morales to David Bowie and Mazzy Star and mentioned her David Lynch vibe. Morales and her band will play Underwater Sunshine Fest in New York next month. Explore the festival here: underwatersunshinefest.com. Follow Morales here: clairemorales.bandcamp.com.

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The city of Denton took a look at the historic preservation plan presented by the Lakota Group on Tuesday. When we looked at the PowerPoint cover image, something seemed ... well, different. We figured it out after a few minutes. It’s the only image we’ve seen of the downtown Square to be taken from the vantage point of the Texas Building on the corner of Oak and Locust (that we can remember, anyway). It was positively jarring to survey the downtown skyline in a photo and see the Wells Fargo building — the usual perch for pro photographers looking to get a bird’s-eye view.

Parting Shot

“So here is the thing: for every single one of us who have been told go home, the Spirit of God is singing to you, ‘No, sister! Show up!’

“Keep showing up.

“Speak up.

“Rise up.

“Stand up.

“Don’t make yourself smaller and quieter and lesser in a misguided attempt to avoid criticism and mockery from small-souled men like this.”

Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and an evangelist, in response to pastor John MacArthur, who recently said evangelist and teacher Beth Moore should “go home” instead of challenging the power and privilege of the patriarchs of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at cbreeding@dentonrc.com.

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