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Live Amidst Nature In Far North Dallas Apartments

For the people of Texas, Far North Dallas is the area present north of Lyndon B. Johnson, also known as LBJ. In the east it borders with Richardson and in the north with Plano. Addison and Richardson are the inner suburbs over there. So, the neighborhood is surrounded by many suburban communities.

With surrounded by so many suburbs, it is quite easy for the residents of  far north dallas apartments to go for shopping in these nearby suburbs. There are some excellent shopping places like The Promenade shopping center in Richardson, and other such places in Plano, Denton and Carrolton too. Read more

For Dallas’ homeless, Tuesday’s cold front was a matter of life or death

Staff Photographer

The mounds on the sidewalk looked like piles of discarded bedding, but under each blanket was someone trying to survive Dallas’ coldest night in seven years.

The brutal cold front that rolled in Tuesday caused overnight temperatures to plunge to 13 degrees — the kind of cold that can kill. And at least two people did die overnight in Dallas after they were exposed to the elements.

For those without a place to go on nights like this, it’s not about staying warm. That’s futile in biting cold that makes your bones ache and your skin burn. It’s about just surviving.

Curled up under one of the nests of blankets on Park Avenue was Dawaylon Raymond, or Will as he’s known on the streets. He and four others claimed spots surrounding a small exhaust vent — prized territory on a frigid night.

Relying on the warm air and one another’s body heat, the group planned to endure the night on the sidewalk with the blankets a good Samaritan had brought them earlier.

Raymond, who is 20, had thought about going to a shelter, but he’d been turned down before when there wasn’t enough room. He didn’t want to haul all of his belongings miles away and risk losing his spot on the street.

On the coldest nights, shelters hit capacity quickly, leaving many to fend for themselves. Some crowd around fires under overpasses, ride DART trains as long as they can or huddle in doorways.

Others aren’t able to find warmth in time.

Two miles from Raymond’s spot, a 58-year-old woman was found dead Wednesday morning. A witness said it appeared she had frozen to death and fallen out of her wheelchair at a bus stop shelter.

"The sad, tragic fact is there’s not enough shelter beds, so even if every homeless person wanted to get into a shelter tonight, there’s not enough room," said David Timothy, founder of the nonprofit SoupMobile. "And that’s not a knock on the city. There just aren’t enough resources."

For Raymond, the cold was just one more challenge. "It’s hard enough being on the streets, period," he said.

He said he graduated from high school with top grades but ended up homeless after he got tired of his mother’s rules and left his home in Broaddus, in East Texas.

“Young and dumb,” he said as he shivered and clapped his hands to keep them from going numb, even with gloves. “I’m really paying for it now.”

People moved their blankets down Park Avenue next to The Stewpot in downtown Dallas on Tuesday night.

Just then a car drove up. “Y’all want some coffee?” a man shouted from the window. “No cream or sugar, though.”

Raymond jumped up from the curb. “That’s fine! This’ll warm us up anyway.” He grabbed a cup for himself after he made sure the others gathered along the street had one.

The man handing out coffee, who went only by James, said he’d spent years on Dallas’ streets after he left the military. Now he drives around offering hot coffee to the homeless on cold nights and bottles of cold water in the summer because he’s been there.

“This is the best I can do,” he said. “Give them coffee to warm them up and encourage them to not give up.”

He and Raymond talked about the city’s best dumpster for finding a good meal and how they wished people could spend just one night on the street to see what it was like.

“We need to do more than just talk the talk,” James said. “There are churches everywhere. Are they really doing all they could be doing? I could say a whole lot, but words are cheap to me. Actions speak for themselves.”

Raymond thanked James for the coffee and curled back up on a sack containing all of his belongings, hopeful for some sleep.

"It’s the wind that gets you. You can fall asleep, but as soon as that wind comes up under you — whoo you’re awake!" he said while pulling a beanie tightly over his head.

Sticking up from the top of the cap was a paper tag. "This hat was made for you with love," it said. It was signed "Charlie Gonzales."

Raymond said Gonzales is a 91-year-old man who had come by earlier and handed out knit caps.

"He hand-knitted them all himself," he said. "Everyone got one."

Thanks to Gonzales, James and the those who brought blankets, Raymond and his group made it through the night. But they said each day the challenge starts over.

"We’re not living out here," said 39-year-old Ryan Rule, his nose red and speech slow from the numbing cold. "We’re just surviving. I’d like to live again."

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Huge stakes in Texas firm’s hunt for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

Director General of Civil Aviation Malaysia, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, left, shakes hand and exchanges the Memorandum of Understanding documents with CEO of Ocean Infinity Limited, Oliver Plunkett, right, during the signing ceremony of the MH370 missing plane search operations between Malaysian government and Ocean Infinity Limited in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Jan. 10, 2018.

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — Malaysia’s government said Wednesday it will pay U.S. company Ocean Infinity up to $70 million if it can find the wreckage or black boxes of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 within three months, in a renewed bid to solve the plane’s disappearance nearly four years ago.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said there was an 85 percent chance of finding the debris in a new 9,653 square mile area — roughly the size of Vermont — identified by experts.

The government signed a "no cure, no fee" deal with the Houston, Texas-based company to resume the hunt for the plane, a year after the official search by Malaysia, Australia and China in the southern Indian Ocean was called off. The plane vanished on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

"The primary mission by Ocean Infinity is to identify the location of the wreckage and/or both of the flight recorders … and present a considerable and credible evidence to confirm the exact location of the two main items," he told a news conference.

If the mission is successful within three months, payment will be made based on the size of the area searched. Liow said the government will pay Ocean Infinity $20 million for 1,930 square miles successfully searched, $30 million for 5,790 sq. miles, $50 million for 9,653 sq. miles and $70 million if the plane or recorders are found beyond the identified area.

Ocean Infinity Chief Executive Oliver Plunkett said the search vessel Seabed Constructor, which left the South African port of Durban last week, is expected to reach the southern Indian Ocean by Jan. 17 to begin the hunt.

He said eight autonomous underwater vehicles, which are drones fitted with high-tech cameras, sonars and sensors, will be dispatched to map the seabed at a faster pace. Plunkett said the underwater drones can cover 463 sq. miles a day and complete the designated search area within a month.

"We have a realistic prospect of finding it," he said. "While there can be no guarantees of locating the aircraft, we believe our system of multiple autonomous vehicles working simultaneously is well suited to the task at hand."

The official search was extremely difficult because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight. Systems designed to automatically transmit the flight’s position failed to work after this point, said a final report from Australian Transport Safety Board last January.

"I feel very happy but at the same time very panicky whether it can be found or not. Now it’s back to four years ago where we have to wait everyday (to find out) whether debris can be found," said Shin Kok Chau, whose wife Tan Ser Kuin was a flight attendant on MH370.

Underwater wreck hunter David Mearns said the new search takes into account oceanographic models used to drastically narrow the possible locations of the crash and deploys state-of-the art underwater vehicles that will allow the company to cover far more seabed at a faster pace.

"There are no guarantees in a search of this type. However, notwithstanding that uncertainty, this upcoming search is the best chance yet that the aircraft wreckage will be found," said Mearns, director of Blue Water Recoveries Ltd.

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Dallas City Council has no appetite, or ability, to take over DCS’ crossing guard program

Staff Photographer

The city of Dallas is now tasked with cleaning up what City Council member Casey Thomas called "an absolute mess that we didn’t create": figuring out who will take over operations of the school crossing guard program that Dallas County Schools plans on abandoning at month’s end. And as the council discovered Wednesday, it won’t be easy picking up the pieces.

"We are grasping for solutions," Jon Fortune, the assistant city manager for public safety, told the council. "We don’t have a lot of answers."

Dallas doesn’t have the money to operate the program — $2 million just to get to the end of the school year, and $5 million every year going forward. The city also doesn’t have the personnel to either vet the 400 crossing guards employed by DCS or staff a new program.

Wednesday’s briefing came amid an ongoing legal battle between the city and DCS scheduled to resume in court next week. The city wants DCS to continue operating the crossing guard program until the end of the year. City attorneys are also demanding DCS hand over money sitting in an escrow account designated for the program.

Alan King, a former DISD chief of staff now heading DCS’s dissolution committee, told The News the agency has about $300,000 it will turn over when lawyers say it’s OK. But city officials say that amount is still "to be determined," and that they’re awaiting further responses from the bus agency.

"Look, this is an ugly situation we’re in," Mayor Mike Rawlings said Wednesday. "But in some ways I am very glad we’re starting to resolve this. There was terrible rot in this organization so I supported the dissolution of DCS."

DCS is being dissolved amid allegations of bribes and kickbacks. The committee tasked with DCS’s dissolution said last month it doesn’t have enough money to both keep the buses running through the end of the school year and oversee the crossing guard program.

That committee, which includes Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, wants Dallas to take over the crossing guard program, which the city ran until 2012. Six years ago, the city spent half of what DCS says it costs to run the program today.

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State law says cities with populations of more than 850,000 are responsible for providing school crossing guards. But that same chapter of the local government code says cities "may contract with one or more school districts to provide school crossing guards."

DISD officials have said they want to take control of DCS’s busing operations, but not its crossing guard program.

The biggest reason no one wants this particular hot potato is because there’s no money for it.

When this photo was taken in 2011, outside Hector P. Garcia Middle School in Dallas, then-83-year-old school crossing guard Oneal Davis was an employee of the city of Dallas. A year later, Dallas County Schools took over the program.

State law says counties may collect $1.50 from each county vehicle registration for what’s called a Child Safety Trust Fund, of which crossing guard programs are one component.

Harris and Bexar counties pocket that $1.50, but Dallas County doesn’t, which is one reason the city says it can’t afford the program. North Dallas council member Lee Kleinman said the council should tell the county commissioners to begin collecting that money immediately.

"There should be some way they contribute for the sake of the children," council member Tennell Atkins said. "They should do it."

But even if the county does reverse course, it likely wouldn’t happen until February 2019, said Kim Tolbert, chief of staff to city manager T.C. Broadnax.

"And even with that additional potential source," she told the council, "we’d be looking at a $2-million gap."

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday.

Rawlings said state Sen. Royce West, whose law firm has made millions representing the DISD,is planning a sit-down with representatives from City Hall, the school district, the county and DSC to find a way forward.

Tolbert said city officials were looking at taking over the crossing guards for 90 days, maximum, so all parties could work on a "more feasible solution down the road." North Oak Cliff’s Scott Griggs said he would support that short-term solution.

In 2012, DCS and the city signed two interlocal agreements that, in part, used fines collected from the so-called stop-arm camera program to pay for crossing guards. That’s the same program that led to Dallas County Schools’ downfall amid an FBI investigation and, last week, a federal indictment.

The city, so far, has had no say in DCS’ dissolution, as no city representative sits on the committee that state comptroller Glenn Hegar assembled to wind down the bus agency. Rawlings said he has requested a meeting with Hegar to remedy what several council members deem an unfair and unfortunate situation given the demands now being placed upon the city.

Said White Rock Lake’s council member Mark Clayton, "We’re gonna get hosed on this deal."

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Hot housing market driving up home prices in Dallas

DALLAS – Rachel Freeman and Austin Poynter are on the hunt for the home of their dreams in Dallas.

A large kitchen and yard are must-haves, but as the real estate market heats up in Dallas and nationwide, speed is now the name of the game. If a house sounds promising, the couple has to act fast.

Homebuyers have to act fast in today’s hot housing market CBS News

"If you don’t, then it’s going to be off the market before you can even take a look at it," said Poynter.

Traffic at open houses is typically sluggish this time of year, but has recently picked up the pace. According to online realtor Zillow, some of the areas with the fastest appreciating home values are San Jose, Nashville, Charlotte, Seattle and Dallas.

Dallas has one of the hottest housing markets in the country CBS News

Marc Bullock is a real estate agent in Dallas. He said prospective buyers need to come in pre-approved. "Things are moving off the shelf so quickly that if you’re not submitting that along with your contract for purchase, you’re not going to get very far," Bullock said.

For Austin Poynter, the question is whether the market will keep going strong.

"It’s like, ‘Oh, is it better to go in now? Is it better to wait six more months to see if the prices are going to drop at all?’" Poynter said. "We’re at the point where we might as well buy now."

One of the factors driving the current real estate boom is the sale of starter homes. Realtors also say more millenials are contributing, but getting mortgages.

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Detroit Pistons at Dallas Mavericks live chat

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki attempts a shot over Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris during a game in 2016.(

GAME INFORMATION

* Who: Detroit Pistons (17-13) at Dallas Mavericks (8-23)
* Where: American Airlines Center in Dallas
* When: 8:30 tonight
* TV: Fox Sports Detroit
* Radio: WWJ-AM 950 and Pistons radio network
* Social media: Follow MLive sports on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
* Twitter: Follow Ansar Khan and Brendan Savage

The Pistons will try to stretch their winning streak to four games when they visit the team with the worst record in the Western Conference. Avery Bradley will miss his third game with a groin strain that will keep him out for at least another week, probably longer. Reggie Bullock is coming off a career-high 20 point-game against Orlando, his third consecutive start, and has made 20-of-31 shots (64.5 percent) his past four games.

The Mavericks have lost three in a row. Harrison Barnes leads the Mavs in scoring (18.3) and rebounding (7.1). Rookie Dennis Smith Jr. is averaging 14.4 points. Dirk Nowitzki, 39, in his 20th season, is averaging 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds. The Pistons swept two games from the Mavericks last season and have won their past three in Dallas.

FILE — Charlie Villanueva during his stint with the Detroit Pistons.
Pistons rookie Luke Kennard believes tough coaching will make him a better player.

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Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold faces more claims of abusive behavior from former aide

AP

A third former top aide has accused Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold of crude, abusive behavior, CNN reported Wednesday.

One of the Corpus Christi congressman’s former communications directors, Michael Rekola, described a work environment so hostile that he said he required counseling and medical treatment.

He described "screaming fits of rage, slamming fists on desks and castigating aides," CNN reported.

He has offered to provide the House Ethics Comittee with "examples of sexually inappropriate comments" and discuss Farenthold’s "emotionally damaging" and "intimidating" behavior.

Rekola said he’d been subjected to lewd comments, including remarks about his fiancee shortly before his marriage. He said he left his job soon after Farenthold made those comments in 2015.

The congressman denied the comments, CNN said.

But Elizabeth Peace, another former communications director who has accused Farenthold of inappropriate behavior, said she was a witness to the remarks about Rekola’s fiancee.

"Every staffer in that area heard it," she said. "It was the most shocking thing I’d heard him say at that point."

Earlier this week, Peace backed up another former aide’s accusations that Farenthold engaged in inappropriate sexual banter with his staff.

The first accuser — Lauren Greene, who also once served as Farenthold’s communications director — received an $84,000 settlement after suing him in 2014 for sexual harassment, gender discrimination and a hostile work environment.

Farenthold has maintained his innocence and recently vowed to repay taxpayers for the settlement, which was covered with money controlled by Congress’ Office of Compliance.

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If Congress doesn’t fund children’s health insurance, Texas officials have an idea

The New York Times

AUSTIN — If federal funding doesn’t come through, Texas may have found a way to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program a few more weeks.

Texas agencies are considering an accounting trick to leave more money in the program. By not taking matching money from the federal government for kids who used to be enrolled in CHIP but are now covered by Medicaid, Texas can stretch the remaining federal funds for CHIP.

The tactic isn’t a long-term solution. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus wrote a letter asking state Health and Human Services Commissioner Charles Smith to support the option as a “temporary bridge.”

“While I am cautiously optimistic regarding federal efforts, I do want to ensure that the state is prepared to move quickly and prudently should Congress fail to act in a timely manner,” Straus wrote.

Spokeswoman Carrie Williams confirmed that the Health and Human Services Commission has discussed possible ways to extend CHIP with the Legislative Budget Board, including forgoing the federal match funding for a few months.

“We’re all working together to assess contingency funding options and analyze the risks they may carry for state taxpayer dollars if federal funding doesn’t come through in time,” Williams said in an email. “We’re open to exploring options and doing what’s best for Texas under the direction of state leadership. We’re hopeful that federal funds will be made available to carry the program through February, and that Congress renews the program soon.”

Congress allowed CHIP funding to expire Sept. 30. Since then, the commission has requested an extra $90 million from the federal government to keep CHIP through February.

The commission has signaled that it feels confident that additional money will be approved but is waiting for written commitment from the federal Centers of Medicare and Medicaid, expected by Saturday, before mailing CHIP cancellation notices to families.

For Texas kids enrolled in CHIP, the federal government matches 92 percent of the money the state puts in — a much higher rate than the 56 percent funding match for those enrolled in Medicaid. The higher match funding for CHIP goes to Medicaid to cover Texas children who switched from CHIP to Medicaid.

If the state uses the accounting trick, Medicaid will temporarily lose some of its support, but Texas would be able to reclaim the money retroactively if Congress reauthorizes CHIP funding.

Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the Center for for Public Policy Priorities, a center-left think tank, said this method could result in a significant amount of funding for CHIP because its match rate is dramatically higher than for Medicaid.

“It’s wonderful to see creative thinking going on about how we can postpone what will be a tremendous waste of state money and effort and tremendous stress for 400,000 children,” said Dunkelberg, a former state Medicaid official. “If we can use creative but legitimate financing methods to make the money stretch further, it would be huge.”

As of August, CHIP covered 402,500 children in Texas and nearly 35,000 women. Dallas County has 50,000 kids enrolled in the program.

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Supermoon To Rise Over Dallas This Weekend

DALLAS, TX — Those looking for free entertainment in Dallas this weekend might be able to find it right in their own back yards. Starting at 5:51 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, the last Supermoon of 2017 will take its place in the sky above the U.S.

The moon will be most visible during moonrise. Weather permitting, the spectacle will last until 8:07 a.m. Monday.

The last Supermoon of the year is sometimes referred to as the "Cold Moon," but Dallasites need not worry about getting too cold. Sunday’s forecast calls for a high of 75 degrees and a low of 63 degrees. The only weather concern North Texans should have is clouds, as the forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and light rain.

It’s called a Supermoon because of its large appearance in the sky. Because the moon circles Earth in an oblong orbit, it gets closer to the blue planet at certain points in the year — sometimes more than 30,000 miles closer than regular. As a result, the moon will appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.

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Watch Now: Last Supermoon Of The Year This Weekend

Associated Press file photo — The super moon rises, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Ascain, south western France. Monday’s supermoon, a phenomenon that happens when the moon makes a close pass at the earth, is the closest to earth since 1948. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

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Terry Glenn dead at 43 after car crash near Dallas

Former NFL wide receiver Terry Glenn died Monday after a one-vehicle rollover accident near Dallas that left his fianc?e slightly injured, officials said. He was 43.

Glenn died shortly before 1 a.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office. Irving (Texas) police are investigating the cause of the wreck at 12:18 a.m. on eastbound Highway 114, said Chelsey Jones, a police department spokeswoman.

Glenn, a former star at Ohio State who lived in the Dallas area, was driving when the vehicle left the highway, struck a concrete barrier and rolled, authorities said. Glenn was ejected. Jones said his fianc?e was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Her name and further details weren’t released. Jones had no immediate information on whether the couple wore seatbelts.

Elway shaking up the Broncos’ offenseBroncos promote Musgrave to offensive coordinatorWoody reflects on Terry Glenn

Glenn played parts of 12 seasons in the NFL — six with the New England Patriots, five with the Dallas Cowboys and one with the Green Bay Packers. He made the Pro Bowl in 1999 as a member of the Patriots and finished his career with 8,823 yards and 44 touchdowns.

Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who was Glenn’s teammate with the Patriots and Cowboys, said Glenn turned a corner as he got older.

"He was one of those guys that just grew up in the worst possible environment, and he told me at one point he had a hard time trusting people because everybody he ever trusted either betrayed him or died and so he kept to himself," Bledsoe told ESPN’s Todd Archer. "But as he got older, he really started to open up. When I was with him there at the end of our careers in Dallas, he really started to allow himself to trust people and started to turn a corner and become a happy person. Then with his retirement he was making a big impact on the world.

"The last time I talked to him, he just sounded like he was genuinely happy and in such a good place, and really, finally, totally overcoming those demons from the way he grew up. He was living a long and fulfilled life, and that makes it just such a horrible tragedy seeing what he overcame and then for his life to end too soon."

Glenn was selected by the Patriots with the seventh overall draft pick in 1996 and helped New England reach the Super Bowl later that season. He had four seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards, two with the Patriots and two with the Cowboys.

Patriots coach Robert Kraft said in a statement that the franchise is "shocked and deeply saddened by today’s news."

"Terry was one of the most gifted receivers we have ever had," Kraft said. "For so many Patriots fans, his rookie season will be remembered as one of the most impactful in franchise history. After a disappointing 6-10 finish in 1995, we drafted Terry seventh overall, and in his first year, he helped propel the Patriots to an AFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance. One of my favorite memories came when we hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional playoff game. It was my first home playoff game as an owner and just the second home playoff game in our history. It will always be remembered for the fog that filled Foxboro Stadium that day. Yet, on the first play from scrimmage, Drew Bledsoe threw a deep pass that disappeared in the fog and reappeared 53 yards downfield in Terry Glenn’s hands. We scored on the next play and ended up winning 28-3. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry’s family, his former teammates and friends who mourn his loss."

"I was pretty close with Terry," Belichick said. "His rookie season was my first year here in ’96, so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people that were involved in his life and his upbringing separate from the Patriots. Terry’s a very smart individual. Had, obviously, a lot of physical skill and talent. Could do a lot of things on the football field very naturally. And I think was, deep down inside a good person with good intentions and a good heart. Obviously, it’s a very unfortunate passing and a sad day."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement that Glenn "was a gentle and kind hearted young man."

"We are all terribly saddened by this news of his passing," Jones said. Too young and too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his loved ones and all of the people who were touched by his life."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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How SMU’s big brain tackles everything from cancer research to finding what works in Dallas schools

Staff Photographer

Scientists looking for ways to improve chemotherapy narrowed millions of drug interactions down to three compounds with the help of a supercomputer at Southern Methodist University.

Meanwhile, a community psychologist in the university’s education school uses it to analyze academic results to identify what programs are having an impact in Dallas ISD students.

Being a data-driven university is key to SMU providing blockbuster research that leads to discoveries and designs impacting the Dallas community and the world at large, SMU president Gerald Turner said Monday.

“Information technology and data science are critical to the future of any 21st-century business and to the future of Dallas,” Turner said. “Data drives our economy.”

Turner spoke to area leaders about the progress SMU has made over its first 100 years. As he talked about what’s next for the university, he said SMU’s major commitment is to grow data-related initiatives in every discipline at the school that will help focus projects and produce more dynamic research.

In the past five years, SMU has invested about $85 million in data curriculum and in a supercomputer now known as ManeFrame II.

A high-speed supercomputer helps researchers study complex issues by processing massive amounts of data. SMU’s computer has tackled issues ranging from cyber security to cancer.

For example, researchers were able to narrow down drug compounds to find out which can overcome resistance to chemotherapy. They then used a Minecraft-like game to simulate treatment to further identify what works.

Turner said SMU’s supercomputing power is among the top 20 of the nation’s universities.

The university already offers 13 graduate degrees related to data science and plans to be one of the first in the nation to offer a bachelor’s when it does so next fall.

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