Dim the lights: Number of Texas dance halls is dwindling, but some keep two-stepping 

Originally published Dec. 22, 2015 in The Dallas Morning News as part of “Disappearing Texas,” an occasional series exploring the places and traditions that are fading as Texas goes through tremendous change. Somewhere in Texas tonight, someone is dancing across a hardwood floor. The two-step is as much a part of our state identity as cattle […]

Hoping for the ‘real deal’ but harboring doubts, boy delivers Christmas wish list to Santa 

Originally published Dec. 22, 2015 in The Dallas Morning News as the debut of “The Moment,” a feature about everyday people at meaningful times in their lives. Shoppers meandered through NorthPark Center. Some carried big red Macy’s bags that proclaimed, in bold white script, “Believe.” But Casen Hagans, 11, wasn’t sure he should. In line […]

These real-life Jedis follow the way of the Force, find universal truth in ‘Star Wars’ 

Originally published Dec. 16, 2015 in GuideLive at The Dallas Morning News. This is a Jedi love story, but not as painfully awkward as Attack of the Clones. A long, long time ago (well, three years) in a galaxy far, far away (well, New Zealand ), Brenna Cavell was scanning the Internet. She came across a […]

McKinney students take flight with aviation program by building — and ultimately flying — their airplane 

Originally published Dec. 11, 2015 in neighborsgo at The Dallas Morning News. In a hangar classroom at McKinney National Airport, students from McKinney’s three high schools are learning to fly — as they assemble an airplane piece by piece. Quinn Dauenhauer, a senior at McKinney North, signed up for an introductory aviation course because he […]