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A dozen new North Texas Legends await their June 3rd inductions at annual Press Club of Dallas event

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The Press Club of Dallas’ new group of 12 North Texas Legends includes (from top left clockwise) Janet St. James, Dale Hansen, Tom Joyner and Norm Hitzges. Induction ceremony is Saturday, June 3rd.

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A quartet of on-camera luminaries and a trio of radio standouts are among the dozen new North Texas Legends being honored next month by the Press Club of Dallas.

Tickets are now on sale for the seventh annual event, being held on Saturday, June 3rd at the historic downtown Dallas Sixth Floor Museum.

This year’s ceremony includes an inaugural posthumous induction, with D-FW’s first television meteorologist, Harold Taft, being honored for a 42-year stint at WBAP-TV, which later became KXAS-TV and now is billed as NBC5. Taft died of cancer on Sept. 27, 1991, shortly after his last weathercast on Aug. 30th of that year. His son, Rafael Taft, now a Grand Prairie police officer, is scheduled to induct him.

The TV contingent also includes three WFAA stalwarts -- sports anchor Dale Hansen, retired investigative reporter Byron Harris and former medical reporter Janet St. James, who is now assistant vice president for strategic communications at Medical City Healthcare.

Country and western radio’s “Midnight Cowboy,” Bill Mack, who early on dubbed Taft “The World’s Greatest Weatherman,” is a part of a radio contingent that also includes nationally famous “fly jock” Tom Joyner and D-FW sports talk dean Norm Hitzges.

The Press Club also is honoring five new Legends who made most of their contributions away from the public’s eyes and ears. They are:

***Mike Blackman, who was the longtime executive editor of Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram.

***Bill DeOre, the former featured editorial and sports cartoonist for The Dallas Morning News.

***Yolette Garcia, former award-winning producer at KERA-TV and now an assistant with Southern Methodist University.

***John Jenkins, recently retired as news operations manager at NBC5 after breaking into television as one of D-FW’s first African-American photographers at both KDFW-TV and WFAA-TV.

***John Lumpkin, longtime Associated Press bureau chief in Dallas before becoming instrumental in launching and sustaining the Bob Schieffer School of Journalism at TCU.

Last year’s event was completely sold out, and capacity at the Sixth Floor Museum is restricted to 225 because of fire marshal restrictions. All admissions ($25 for Press Club members and $30 for non-members) include food, beer, wine and soft drinks at an opening reception scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Induction speeches will begin around 7 p.m., with Harold Taft’s son and all 11 living Legends confirmed as attendees.

Note to readers: Your friendly content provider is a second-year Press Club of Dallas board member and co-chair of this year’s Legends event.

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