This Week in Texas: Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Posted September 25, 2019 in The Mignon Memo

You Won’t Go Far Without the Star:  Texans Need a REAL ID-Compliant Driver’s License by October 1, 2020

Does your Texas Driver’s License have a gold star?  The Texas Department of Public Safety is working to ramp up awareness that air travelers need an updated REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card by October 1, 2020, if they plan to use it to go through airport security.  While roughly 16 million Texans are in possession of a current REAL ID, DPS estimates at least 4 million still need to update their documents within the next year, and it recommends that you not wait until the last minute.

If your license is missing the gold star in the upper quadrant, you can visit to see if you’re eligible to renew online.  If not, DPS shared tips to avoid long lines at driver’s license offices:

  • Renew early: You don’t have to wait for your driver’s license expiration date.  You can renew up to two years before your license expires.
  • Go on slower days: Mondays, Fridays and days after holidays are the busiest days of the week, and summer is the busiest time of year.
  • Take proper ID: Before going to a center, make sure you have the proper documents.  Check the website for acceptable proofs of identity.

Apple’s Mac Pro Manufacturing Will Remain in Austin

On Monday Apple announced it will continue manufacturing its Mac Pro computers in Austin, after the company received exemptions from some proposed federal tariffs.  Production will begin soon at the same facility where Mac Pro has been made since 2013.  Austin is a significant hub for Apple – the company has about 7,000 employees in the metropolitan area, including contractors.  In December, a plan was announced to invest $1 billion in a new 133-acre corporate campus in Austin and add 5,000 workers; the new campus could eventually hold up to 15,000 workers.

The State Fair of Texas Opens this Friday

The big day is almost here – the State Fair of Texas opens this Friday in Dallas.  This year’s theme is Celebrating Texas Creativity and kick off events include the Opening Day Parade at noon and the official opening ceremony at 7:00 p.m.  Big Tex will be sporting fancy new duds and boots in honor of the occasion.

But who are we kidding?  For most of us, the main attraction at the State Fair is the food and seeing what fried concoctions the geniuses who think these things up will amaze us with next.  This year we’ll be lining up for Big Red Chicken Bread (a fried chicken wing sitting in a Big Red-infused doughnut), Fla’Mango Tango (fried mango with a side of strawberry-mango sorbet) and Champagne Jell-O Hot Shots (Champagne and Chablis in a watermelon-flavored Jell-O shot topped with jalapeno slices)…not to mention numerous Fletcher’s corny dogs.  Though the Fletchers may be embroiled in a lawsuit within the family, we’ll still happily enjoy this State Fair tradition while contemplating the important things in life…like what the crispy bit at the end is called.

The State Fair runs through October 20th.  Bring on the stretchy pants!

Only in (outside) Austin…

The legendary Garth Brooks brought his Dive Bar Tour to the oldest dancehall in Texas Monday night for a free show at Gruene Hall for about 800 lucky fans.  Ticketless fans weren’t left out, however, grabbing spots in front of the jumbotron outside the historic dancehall for a memorable street party.