Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Dallas Starbucks drink order goes viral; prominent choreographer Bruce Wood has died; Sriracha is staying put; and more.
This is way, way, way bigger than a venti. Andrew Chifari of Dallas has ordered the most expensive Starbucks drink. The so-called Sexagintuple Vanilla Bean Mocha Frappuccino included 60 shots of espresso and cost $54.75. But Chifari got it for free. Consumerist has the details. “He’s a Gold member of Starbucks’ loyalty program, which entitles him to one free drink after every twelve that he buys. The free drink coupon entitles him to any drink available. Any drink? The only limits, it seems, were his imagination and what the baristas would let him get away with.” Chifari tells Consumerist he wanted to top last year’s effort in which a customer ordered a 48-shot drink that cost $47. Chifari brought in a 128-ounce glass and the baristas on McKinney Avenue got to work. The drink went viral. It took him five days to drink it. On Twitter, he’s posted pictures and his thoughts about his stunt: “I think the fact that Kelly Ripa said my name and Michael Strahan said I was smart has been the most exciting.”
- For the first time in 52 years, two spellers were declared co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday -- and one of them is from North Texas. The Associated Press reports: “Ansun Sujoe of Euless shares the title with Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, New York, after a riveting final-round duel in which they nearly exhausted the 25 designated championship words. After they spelled a dozen words correctly in a row, they both were named champions. Earlier, 14-year-old Sriram opened the door to an upset by 13-year-old Ansun after he misspelled "corpsbruder," a close comrade. But Ansun was unable to take the title because he got "antegropelos," which means waterproof leggings, wrong.” Other words that Ansun spelled? Croquignole, aeschylean, lotophagi, ctenoid and gemeinschaft, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Bruce Wood, a prominent choreographer in North Texas, has died. He was 53. He died of complications from pneumonia and heart failure. Wood was artistic director and choreographer of Bruce Wood Dance Company from 1996 to 2007. He founded the Bruce Wood Dance Project in 2010. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports: “Wood's death was unexpected. He had finished work on a new piece honoring Ann Williams, the retiring founder of Dallas Black Dance Theatre for a gala two weeks ago. He had also been preparing Touch, the next show of the Bruce Wood Dance Project scheduled for June 12-13 at the City Performance Hall.” Read more on KERA’s Art&Seek. Here’s a roundup of various KERA stories featuring Wood. Theater Jones reports on Wood’s death. And the Dallas Voice has this remembrance.
- Downtown Athens in Henderson County was evacuated Thursday evening after a fertilizer storage facility caught fire. The facility stores ammonium nitrate, the same fertilizer that exploded last year in West, killing 15 people. No injuries have been reported in Athens, a town of about 13,000 people, which is about 90 minutes southeast of Dallas. The fire started around 5:45 p.m. A five-block area was evacuated. As of 9:30 p.m., the fire still smoldered. The facility, Ag Services, is three blocks from the Henderson County Courthouse, the Athens Daily Review reports.
- The Sriracha spat is over. Sriracha is staying put in California. Elected officials in Irwindale, California, dropped a bill that would have declared the hot sauce company a public nuisance, the Los Angeles Times reports. City officials were concerned about the plant where Sriracha is produced after residents complained about odors burning their eyes and throats. That inspired various Texas officials to try to lure the popular hot sauce maker to the Lone Star state. Earlier this month, Denton officials traveled to California to meet with Huy Fong Foods, which makes the spicy condiment. During a separate trip, Rep. Jason Villalba, a Dallas County Republican and Sriracha fan, and other state officials also visited the plant. The company’s CEO has said he didn’t plan on leaving California, but has expressed interest in expanding, perhaps to Texas. NPR has more details.