Leslie Knope would be proud of how this Parks and Rec team is handling a graffiti artist.

First there was the deer. Then came the armadillo.

The paintings popped up in the Bear Creek Parkway tunnel. No one took credit.

Thus, a small mystery began to excite the 42,000 residents of Keller, Texas.


Who left the graffiti? Why did they choose to paint these animals in particular? And what will become of these works of art?

Photo by Mike Sexson, shared with permission.

What little information has comes from the City of Keller Government Facebook page, which has been sharing updates as the mystery unfolds. The Parks & Recreation Department first became aware of the deer painting on January 11, according to a Facebook post sharing the first image. Over the weekend, an armadillo appeared. A bird joined them a few days later.

Usually works of graffiti are painted over in short order, but this is where the plot thickens. Was parks manager Gary Davis angry? Not at all. In fact, the post noted he doesn’t have the heart to paint over it.

The animals were there to stay.

Photo by Mike Sexson, shared with permission.

From the start, it’s been clear the city wants to know the artist’s identity. But the whodunnit isn’t going to end in an arrest.

The city isn't looking to reprimand the artist. They're looking to help them.

Cody Maberry, the director of community cervices for Keller's Parks & Recreation Department, says he wants to find the artist to “give them the credit that they deserve for their talent.”

That’s not all. Maberry is also hopeful that the artist will be interested in working together.

“We've got a public arts board and we would love to work together to maybe help them,” he says. “We want to create a mural under there. What do we want? What do they need? How can we make it the best it can be?"

This hope that the city will get to work with the person (or persons!) responsible is no secret. The game is afoot, and they’re enjoying every minute of it: “We're not sure who is more excited: the Parks folks or the Public Arts Board,” they wrote on Facebook.

Photo by Mike Sexson, shared with permission.

Although the artist has yet to come forward, they're still hard at work. On the morning of Jan. 26, a turtle was added to the artist's creative menagerie.

Photo by Mike Sexson, shared with permission.

Did Banksy make a trip down to Texas? Will the artist or artists ever come forward? Is the turtle the last of the series? At this time, the mystery remains unsolved.

As for the paintings, the city doesn't have plans to remove them any time soon — unless someone comes in and defaces them.

For now, the deer, armadillo, bird, and turtle have found a safe place to call home in Keller, Texas.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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