from National Geographic



Thursday, May 27, 2021


The cicadas are here. Trillions of them are emerging from the ground in screaming, writhing masses across the eastern U.S. Here at Nat Geo, we’re stoked. I sent my co-workers a Slack poll asking if they’re excited, and a little more than half answered “heck yes!” The others were split between “ehhh” and “nope.” I myself am in the heck-yes category, but then again, I’ve never experienced it before.


My colleague, writer Amy McKeever, however, isn’t so excited. “I appreciate their existence, but I was here 17 years ago and am still traumatized by the cicada that flew into my mouth while I was on a run. These insects have no boundaries.” (Graphic designer Taylor Maggiacomo puts a more charitable spin on it: “They’re charmingly clumsy!”)

Brood X has been underground for 17 years, quietly sipping the sap from tree roots and biding their time. Now the weather’s warm, and they’re ready to party.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime rager. Their only goals are to eat and mate. Eat and mate. Eat and mate. The males sing raucous songs in unison to attract the ladies. If they’re lucky, a potential mate will give a little flit of her wings to show interest.

Plenty of other animals are interested in the cicadas too. Keep in mind they’re not locusts—they’re not going to destroy crops or gardens. They are, however, great food for all of spring’s new babies, from fledgling birds to opossum youngsters. Even the animals at the zoo are having a ball, Natasha Daly reports.

But like all good parties, this too must end. They all die.


dead bugs

Their bodies (pictured above left before they emerge) will litter lawns, sidewalks, fields, and forests with a crunchy carpet of insect exoskeletons (above right). Their eggs—up in tree branches—will eventually hatch into larvae, which will crawl back into the earth and begin the 17-year countdown all over again.

Our latest Overheard podcast captures this noisy, bittersweet party-til-you-drop cycle perfectly. Its title? “How Cicadas Become Flying Saltshakers of Death.”

Spring planting? Call 811 before digging

Many green thumbs will spend the pleasant spring days sprucing up their yards and gardens, and in support of safety, Atmos Energy reminds everyone to call 811 at least three business days before planting trees.

“Trees bring environmental savings and improve air quality while offering a shield from stifling summer temperatures,” said Oric Walker, Atmos Energy vice president of public affairs. “We encourage the enhancement of parks and green spaces for our communities to enjoy and advise this simple step of calling 811. It’s free, it’s safe and it’s required by law. Calling 811 can protect yourself, your community and the infrastructure that makes daily life possible.”

Even minor damage can weaken a pipeline and lead to a future leak or cause inconvenient outages. Volunteers are responsible for having lines marked, regardless of whether they are planting a sapling or a full-grown tree. The best way to avoid damaging your utilities is to call 811 a few days before digging to learn the approximate location of buried lines in your area.

Everyone who calls 811 is connected to a local notification center that will take the caller’s information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

Take the Atmos Energy Call 811 Pledge.

Federal mask order on public transit extended

The federal Transportation Security Administration has extended the face mask requirement for all public transportation through Sept. 13. The federal mandate, which began Feb. 1, includes bus and rail as well as airports and airplanes.

All Trinity Metro personnel and customers are required to wear a face mask covering the nose and the mouth while riding any of Trinity Metro’s vehicles and while visiting any Trinity Metro facility

Learn more about Trinity Metro’s response to COVID-19.

Meadowbrook-Poly UMC volunteers Jane and Gary Cumbie stopped packing boxes at Eastside Ministries this week to shop for more food to fill the boxes. The pantry is desperately short of rice, cereal, canned vegetables, fruit, soup and meat for current ESM clients and others expected May 15 at McMillan UMC-- the first grant-funded distribution in the 76119 zip code. Contact or 817-729-9567 for more information.

Hi Greater Meadowbrook News Team,

Now that we’ve reached the long-awaited phase of mass vaccination, certain states have emerged as leaders in the continued fight against the novel coronavirus, while others have fallen behind. Taking factors like weekly test positivity rates, hospital supply shortages, hospital admissions, and more into account, SYKES developed an original methodology to determine which states have been most (and least) effective in their pandemic response.

Texas ranks #41 in SYKES' "Best COVID-19–Fighting States in America in 2021" study.

Here's a look at the top and bottom 10 study rankings:

study map.pngmap

Visit to see the full findings, the study methodology details, and more. And if you'd like to use the above report findings map graphic, you can also access that image file here.

Neighborhood Events

Pate bicycles

Public Performance at Eastside Regional Library

Cliburn in the Community

Thursday, June 24, 2021 | 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM

portrait of pianist and soprano for cliburn concert

Let the entire family experience the magic of live music

East Regional Library staff invites you to enjoy the outdoor performance of Cliburn pianist Evan Mitchell and soprano singer Corrie Donovan.

Admission and parking are free, and guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. Access to Library restrooms and indoors will still be available.

About Evan Mitchell

Pianist Evan Mitchell's recent highlights include solo performances on the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (Chicago), at Merkin Concert Hall (NYC), and at several major venues in Shanghai; concerti with the symphony orchestras of Dallas and Fort Worth; and recitals with such major figures as double bassist Gary Karr, flutists Leone Buyse and Jim Walker, and clarinetist Corrado Giuffredi.

Evan’s new recording of world premieres with bassist Szymon Marciniak is earning rave reviews; Bass World called their performances “intoxicating,” deeming this “a seminal recording.” He is also featured on “Piano de Pampa y Jungla: A Collection of Latin American Piano Music.”

Evan has made repeat appearances on the Cliburn at the Modern and Mount Vernon Music series. Other performance affiliations include Avant Chamber Ballet, Fort Worth Opera, and Texas Winds. Since June 2014 Evan has been featured on the TCA Texas Touring Roster, and over the past eight years has been an integral part of the Cliburn’s education initiatives, giving over 300 performances for Cliburn in the Classroom, as well as appearing in numerous Cliburn Kids videos.

Evan received his DMA degree from Texas Christian University, and MM and BM degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His principal teachers have included John Owings, Arnaldo Cohen, and the late José Feghali. He teaches privately and at Tarrant County College, and serves as President of the Fort Worth Music Teachers Association.

About Corrie Donovan

Soprano Corrie Donovan has been praised for her “soul stripping, lyrical” interpretations and her “polished and distinctively powerful” performances. An adventurous, genre-busting performer and arranger, Corrie engages audiences by exploring a wide range of styles and languages. From premieres with Fort Worth Opera’s Modern Opera Showcases, to participating in Cirque Du Soleil’s vocal workshops in Mexico, to her arrangements of reimagined classical works, Corrie is committed to the full range of vocal expression.

Recently, Corrie won the Quarterfinalist’s Audience Choice Award with the national American Traditions Competition in Savannah, GA. Other credits include the New York Baroque Festival, and singing with the Fort Worth Opera Young Artist Studio for five seasons as principal and guest artist. With the contemporary group Ensemble 75, Corrie recorded the album Harmonic Allusions, named one of the Top 5 of the year by DFW. Ms. Donovan’s captivating recitals often serve as repertoire mash-ups, including arias, musical theater, jazz, traditional Celtic music, and art song, taking her audiences on a journey to make meaningful connections through the music of many genres and periods.

Corrie also loves working with children and is in her eighth year with the Cliburn’s education programs, Cliburn in the Classroom and Cliburn Kids. She was also the host for the first Cliburn Junior Competition in 2015 and teaches private voice through Northwest ISD. In her spare time, Corrie is an avid gardener and enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities.

When: Thursday, June 24, 2021 | 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM Location:Performance will be outdoors. Fort Worth Public Library - East Regional, 6301 Bridge Street, Fort Worth 76112-0823 View Map

Alicia Ortiz
District Director – District 4
Councilmember Cary Moon

3rd Thursday Jazz series is back!


Jazz is coming back to the Fort Worth Public Library! The 3rd Thursday Jazz Series was completely virtual in 2020, but plans are in the works to bring back the live, in-person concert experience this fall.

In May, the series kicks off with a retrospective highlight reel of favorite past performances. The June 17, July 15 and Aug. 19 performances will be virtual, but plans are for the Sept. 16 and Oct. 21 concerts to be live, in-person events at libraries.

Find updates on the Library page.

Fort Worth’s Fourth returning to Panther Island Pavilion


The Fort Worth sky will light up with a 29-minute fireworks show, the largest in North Texas on July Fourth.

Celebrate Independence Day with an evening of festival food, drinks, live music and the largest fireworks show in North Texas on July 4 at Fort Worth’s Fourth.

The festival grounds will reopen this year to give patrons the opportunity to spread out and enjoy the evening and fireworks along the banks of the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion. Admission to the festival grounds is free.

Attendees are encouraged to enter the festival grounds as early as 6 p.m. for the fireworks show that includes spectacular special effects that can’t be seen from afar. Come early and claim a spot. Chairs and blankets are allowed.

The evening format includes local food and beverage vendors who will be onsite with multiple stands throughout the festival grounds. No outside coolers are allowed.

Ray Johnston Band will kick off the fest with live music on the Main Stage. As the sun goes down, the sounds of Party Machine Band will fill the evening air. The high-energy cover band will play dance favorites and pump up the crowd for the spectacular fireworks finale at 9:30 p.m.

The public is allowed to bring their own tube and float from 6-8 p.m. At 8 p.m., the water will be cleared before dark. No tubes will be available to rent this year due to the reduced hours of the festival. There will also be no kids’ activities.

Fort Worth is looking to expand neighborhood clinic opportunities

COVID-19 vaccine supplies are increasing across the nation, and the City of Fort Worth is expanding the locations available locally. City officials are looking for opportunities to bring the vaccine clinics into neighborhoods so that it is easier for residents to get a vaccine.

The city is also looking for organizations to host a community vaccine clinic. In order to host a clinic, the location must meet certain minimum requirements:

If you are interested, complete this form and staff will reach out to you to start a conversation, set up a site visit and answer questions.

The City of Fort Worth is now an independent vaccine provider and is eager to partner to provide turnkey, neighborhood clinics. To make an appointment at current and future City of Fort Worth sites, anyone 18 and up can register online or call 817-382-8478. Appointments are not required, but are recommended.

Vaccination facts to know:

In Tarrant County, register online or call 817-248-6299.

FWISD to Host Multiple Career Events This May

The Fort Worth ISD is buzzing with career opportunities this May.

The District’s Human Capital Management Department is hosting a series of career fairs this month in search of eager, talented educators.

It all begins Thursday, May 6 with a virtual Elementary Teacher Career Fair from 4:30-6:30 p.m. (A complete list of events is included below.) Prospective candidates must register to be considered for interviews.

Prepare for most May career fairs by attending the FWISD Networking Event. Hosted twice monthly, this virtual event offers prospective employees and current employees looking to enter a new District role an exclusive 15-minute one-on-one session with Central Office Staffing Coordinator Patrick Taylor or an HCM representative. You’ll be able to discuss what to expect when applying to the Fort Worth ISD including a resume review and feedback, insights for a future career, and more. The next FWISD Networking Events are scheduled from 1-2 p.m. Thursday, May 13 and 27.

Limited slots are available and are first come, first serve. Visit the Fort Worth ISD Careers pages on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how to register for a future network event.

HCM is hosting virtual career fair events for the following professional groups this May:

May 27: All-Level Teacher Career Fair, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

May 27: FWISD Networking Event, 1-2 p.m.

For additional details about career opportunities, visit

City Events

Rockin’ the River kicks off July 3rd with Jonathan Tyler headlining the all-day Music and Tubing Series

Popular Fort Worth tradition returns Saturdays at Panther Island Pavilion.

panther island

FORT WORTH, TX – Rockin’ the River is back for an exciting tenth year of popular music and tubing at Panther Island Pavilion. A Texas-sized line up including five bands and a fireworks show each Saturday from July 3 thru August 7 will continue what has become a Fort Worth summer tradition along the Trinity River.

Each week, the gates will open at 1:00pm with five different bands playing back-to-back sets beginning around 2:15pm on the Coors Light Waterfront Stage. After the headlining band finishes at 8:15pm, the water party moves to the shore with the fifth and final band playing until 9:25pm on the after-party stage before a weekly fireworks display.

Although Jonathan Tyler was born in Birmingham, Alabama, he later relocated to Dallas where he formed his band Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights. They take cues from Southern rock veterans like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Black Crowes, and Led Zeppelin and have toured extensively with the likes of Heart, Kid Rock, and O.A.R. as well as playing major festivals including Austin City Limits Music Festival, Forecastle Festival, Summerfest, SXSW, and others. Tyler and the Northern Lights will bring their muscled sound to Fort Worth to headline the opening weekend of this year’s Rockin’ the River stage on July 3. Carson Jeffrey will bring his honest, raw, and often emotional country rock sound to the party to round out the first weekend when the show moves back to the land for the after-party.

Stephenville-natives Giovannie and the Hired Guns will deliver their high energy show and unique Texas country sound on July 10. The band continues to make a name for themselves in the Texas music ranks, where they are known for playing thrilling shows that always keep fans on their toes. The fun continues all day with Ross Cooper, Dustin Massey, and local fave Austin English. The Lowdown Drifters will bring their country, folk, and rock-infused sound to the after-party crowd.

Fan favorites The Dirty River Boys return to the Rockin’ the River stage on July 17. Beers and fists are often raised as the Boys’ amped guitars and fiddle-fired energy deliver a dynamic live experience fans will not soon forget. Dallas-based Saints Eleven will also bring their Texas country and rock blend to the stage that day. After four potent albums, 14 charted radio singles, and a slew of virally intensive music videos & regular co-bills with many of the top artists in the scene, lead singer Jeff Grossman and the band say they are just getting started. Hellbound Glory will bring music from their latest release Pure Scum to the after-party stage. The band credits influences from Hank Williams to Nirvana and pumps out a country and roots rock vibe.

Chris Colston has been playing music since his stepfather signed him up from drum lessons at the age of seven. Now he’s headlining the Rockin’ the River stage with his gritty Texas roots, blues and rock n’ roll sound. Colston will headline the waterfront stage on July 24. Another raising star on the Texas/Red Dirt scene, Cody Hibbard, will round out the night on the after-party stage. Hibbard honed his songwriting skills and deep-rooted love of country music riding around on his dad’s tractor as a kid and later at the United States Naval Academy. It’s a show you won’t want to miss.

Cody Canada & The Departed return to the RTR stage on July 31. Canada and his band are a surefire recipe for a good time. This year his son, Dierks Cobain Canada, will also take the stage with his band Waves. The star-studded Saturday will also include Austin Meade as he continues to make waves throughout the state and beyond with his powerful performance style. Jarrod Morris will close out the night with his no fluff, raw and real lyrics and genre-blurring sound.

John Baumann is excited to be back on the stage to support his latest release Country Shade released last year. He will close out the series on August 7 on the main waterfront stage. Jon Stork brings his unique “rockytonk” and soul sound to the after-party stage on the final weekend. Newcomers to the RTR festival – Teague Brothers Band, Taylor Hunnicutt, and Western Youth round up the final weekend’s lineup.

In addition to live music on two stages; food and beverage options will be available for purchase, as well as tube and watersport rentals. Rain or shine, we rock the river. In the event of inclement weather, the party does not stop. We simply move the fun over to The Shack. Nightcap? You bet. Each event ends with a fireworks show right on the banks of the Trinity River.

Thirty bands over the six-week music series will perform at Rockin’ the River. Check out the full band line-up and other details at:

Rockin’ the River is presented by Coors Light. It is generously sponsored by 95.9 The Ranch and North Texas Marine. Rockin’ the River benefits Tarrant Regional Water District’s (TRWD) Trinity River recreation and programming initiatives on Panther Island.

The Panther Island Pavilion Beach is open 7 days a week through Labor Day weekend with various beach and river activities including a roped off swim area, food and beverage concessions and tube and watersports rentals.

Sign up for fun and learning at Camp Fort Worth

School may be out, but the fun and learning doesn’t have to stop. Enroll your kids in Camp Fort Worth and let them discover new skills and friendships.

Camp Fort Worth is full of challenging and creative activities for children ages 5-13, with each day promising nonstop fun and excitement. All campers will also participate in a research-based reading curriculum with 45 minutes of intentional and measurable instruction based on best practices provided by a trained Literacy Support Specialist.

Camp runs 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, June 28-Aug. 6. (No camp Monday, July 5.) The cost is $35 per week, or $175 for all six weeks if paid in full at registration. Scholarships are also available.

Camp Fort Worth will be held at 18 City of Fort Worth community centers, which are located throughout the city.

Safety measures will be in place:

Learn more about Library’s high school equivalency prep program

The popularity of the Fort Worth Public Library’s Spanish-language Texas High School Equivalency (TxHSE) preparation classes has continued to grow. Each month, prospective students are invited to a virtual question-and-answer session to learn if the program is right for them.

The question-and-answer sessions are set for noon on the first Mondays of each month. Upcoming sessions will be June 7 and July 5. Register for the free online session in advance. REGISTER ONLINE

The TxHSE exam is designed for those who did not receive a high school diploma but want to advance their careers and achieve other personal goals. The Library program helps prepare students for the exam, which comprises four core subjects: mathematics, language, social studies and science.

The Library program moved online in March 2020 and has continued to be popular.

Solfía Olguín, who took the class in 2020, sums up common reasons for taking the TxHSE.

“When I made the decision to return to school, I wanted to demonstrate to myself that I could achieve goals placed before me,” she said. “I wanted to feel proud of myself and demonstrate to my daughters and family that everything is possible. It is never too late to learn.”

Obtenga más información sobre el programa de preparación de equivalencia de escuela secundaria de La Biblioteca Pública de Fort Worth

La popularidad de las clases de preparación en español de Texas High School Equivalency de la Biblioteca Pública de Fort Worth sigue creciendo. El primer lunes de cada mes, se invita a los futuros estudiantes a una sesión virtual de preguntas y respuestas para saber si el programa es adecuado para ellos.

Las sesiones de preguntas y respuestas están programadas para el mediodía del primer lunes de cada mes. Las próximas sesiones serán el 1 de marzo, 5 de abril, 3 de mayo, 7 de junio y 5 de julio. Regístrese para la sesión gratuita en línea con anticipación.

El proceso de aprobar el examen TxHSE está diseñado para aquellos que no recibieron un diploma de escuela secundaria pero que desean avanzar en sus carreras y lograr otras metas personales. El programa de biblioteca ayuda a preparar a los estudiantes para el examen. Este programa comprende cuatro materias fundamentales: matemáticas, artes del lenguaje (escritura y lectura), estudios sociales y ciencias.

Este programa hizo la transición a una clase en línea en marzo de 2020 y continúa con éxito.

Solfía Olguín, quien tomó la clase en 2020, resume razones comunes para tomar el TxHSE:

“Cuando tomé la decisión de regresar a la escuela, quería demostrarme a mí misma que podía lograr las metas que se me habían propuesto”, dijo. “Quería sentirme orgullosa de mí misma y demostrarles a mis hijas y mi familia que todo es posible. Nunca es demasiado tarde para aprender."

#LoveLocal promotes retail, dining and attractions

Published on March 02, 2021 graphic that says love local

Visit Fort Worth has launched a month-long campaign to encourage residents to #LoveLocal by supporting local businesses, restaurants and community nonprofits.

Last month’s historic winter storm left thousands without power, clean water and basic necessities, a further setback to the hospitality industry that was already hard hit by COVID-19. Mandatory closures increased the strain many Fort Worth business owners already felt because of pandemic restrictions in place since March 2020. The campaign encourages those who are able to put dollars and time back into the community by dining out, shopping small, donating or volunteering.

Supporting partners for the campaign include the City of Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Tarrant County, the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Now and Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

“Tourism is built on the strength of our local community, especially small business. We want to remind our fellow residents the impact they make when they share their resources with others,” said Mitch Whitten, executive vice president of marketing and strategy for Visit Fort Worth.

The Love Local campaign will include social media and advertising on local radio, magazines and websites. Visit Fort Worth is sharing customizable graphics that local businesses and partner organizations can use to support the campaign.

Learn more and get involved.