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Fort Worth T, utility spokeswoman retiring after long and newsworthy career

Fort Worth Transportation Authority spokeswoman Joan Hunter rides a Molly the Trolley during Super Bowl week in early 2011. Joan Hunter retired from the T this week, ending a 30-year-plus career in media relations. (Star-Telegram/Joyce Marshall)
Fort Worth Transportation Authority spokeswoman Joan Hunter rides a Molly the Trolley during Super Bowl week in early 2011. Joan Hunter retired from the T this week, ending a 30-year-plus career in media relations. (Star-Telegram/Joyce Marshall) Star-Telegram/Joyce Marshall

After more than 30 years fielding late-night calls about ice storms, train accidents and other forms of breaking news, Joan Hunter is calling it a career.

Hunter, the long-time Fort Worth Transportation Authority spokeswoman, retired effective this week. She worked at the T for more than 10 years, fielding reporters’ calls about everything from weather-related bus problems to car and pedestrian accidents on the Trinity Railway Express.

She also developed expertise on several transit projects, including the agency’s complicated application for federal funds to build the TEX Rail commuter line from downtown Fort Worth to Grapevine and DFW Airport.

Prior to that, she worked more than 20 years at TXU (now Energy Future Holdings), providing the public with the latest information on electricity, nuclear power and the like.

Despite her good nature and mild-mannered demeanor, her name has been associated with some of the hardest news in North Texas during the past three or four decades. She has appeared in newspapers and on radio and television broadcasts hundreds of times.

Nancy Amos, T senior vice president, lauded Hunter’s years of hard work during a staff retirement party Monday at the agency’s East Lancaster Avenue headquarters. Amos playfully told Hunter that when the next ice storm comes, “you can sleep through it.”

Hunter said she plans to stay in the Metroplex. She has a son in the Rockwall area. But she also plans to spend a lot more time visiting her grandchildren in Houston.

At the T, Laura Hanna will take the helm as agency spokeswoman. Hanna previously worked in communications at Texas Health Resources and Texas Wesleyan University.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796, @gdickson

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