It’s Not All So Depressing: The Most Positive Observer News Stories of 2022

We’ve taken a look at the most-read Observer news stories of 2022, which provided a peek into what the year’s most hotly debated topics were. We’ve also looked at the reports we thought were the weirdest and wildest of the year. But there’s more to Dallas than controversy and oddness, right? There are plenty of, dare we say, positive stories swirling around town these days, and perhaps to the surprise of many, we covered a number of them.

Maybe these aren’t even the most heartwarming stories you’ll ever read, but at least they prove that we do report on good things and not just the foibles of Ted Cruz. Now don’t get us wrong: holding our leaders accountable and calling out injustice is something we take great pride in doing. But it’s also nice to know we have stories like the ones below that offer a bit of encouragement to citizens as well.

A Pharmaceutical Maverick
In January we looked at how Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is attempting to take a bite out of Big Pharma. Cost Plus Drug Co. is a prescription startup he’s partnered with that continues to add new medicines to its supply at a fraction of the cost the public usually has to pay. It was hard for us to think of anything Cuban could bring to town that’s greater than Luka Doncic, but this could be it.

Mental Health for Everyone
In recent years, the topic of mental health has finally become less taboo. In March the city of Dallas approved mental health leave for all of its city employees, something that had been available only to licensed peace officers following a traumatic incident while on-duty. Because of this move, more than 8,000 city employees have the ability to take some time away when struggling and not have to worry about losing out in any way. Something else that many cite as helpful to their mental health is the ability to work from home. In April we reported on how Dallas was ranked as one of the best locations for working from home.

There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch
In time for the school year, Dallas Independent School District announced that all students, regardless of income level, could receive free school meals. And it’s not just lunch that’s included in the program. Through a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, DISD students now have access to free breakfast, lunch and after-school meals during the week, and even meals during winter, spring and Thanksgiving breaks.

Everyone Needs a Place to Stay
There’s no question Dallas still has a way to go before there’s enough affordable housing for everyone in need. The same can be said for those who can’t afford any housing at all. But steps are being taken in the right direction on both fronts. In April we looked at how the city announced it had $6 million to use to help organizations like Promise House shelter homeless LGBTQ youth. And in June we wrote about how the City Council approved a 270-acre mixed-use development for affordable housing that would help low-income families and residents combat rising rents in Dallas for years to come.

There are plenty of, dare we say, positive stories swirling around town these days.

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All Good in the Neighborhood
There was a time when local headlines were almost dominated by the catastrophe that was “Shingle Mountain” in southern Dallas, not too far from Paul Quinn College. The pollution-causing mess garnered national attention of the wrong kind and was finally removed in 2021. Now that the 60,000–100,000 tons of shingles are gone, it looks like the area will soon be able to house people, not shingles, in the near future.

Meanwhile in Cochran Park, a mulch pile that had been dumped by the city was finally removed after several months. If anything, it was a reminder of how a few dedicated residents can get City Hall to move when often it seems as though there’s little anyone can do. Also for the benefit of neighborhoods, Dallas updated its plan on how it would become more bike-friendly in July.

Outstanding Achievements
Olivia Julianna made the most of the 15 minutes of fame she never asked for after she was bullied by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida in July. Instead of wilting under the spotlight, Julianna not only responded with a few quips of her own, she also seized the moment to raise more $300,000 to help fund abortion services.

In September, Texan wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock won the gold medal at the world wrestling championships in Serbia. This impressive title followed her triumph in 2021 as the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in wrestling at the Olympics.

Soccer City, Texas
Although the U.S. men’s national team, which was packed with local stars, didn’t make it as far in the FIFA World Cup tournament as we had hoped, there were many promising signs for the future. Homegrown talent from North Texas and FC Dallas will surely take center stage in 2026 when the globe’s biggest sporting extravaganza comes to North America. Several matches will be played in Houston and at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.


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