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Rick Perry Tweets and Deletes. Sunday evening, Governor Perry’s official account tweeted out an image of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (you know, the one who he tried to push out of office after her arrest for drunk driving, a move that has resulted in his indictment) with a ruddy nose and this caption: “I don’t always drink drunk at 3x the legal blood alcohol limit….” Perry posted that the tweet was “unauthorized” and quickly deleted it, but this is the internet. Listen, it could happen to anyone—you’re workshopping a good joke, and your finger slips. Oops.
Five-Year-Old Girl Found Dead in Northeast Dallas. Last seen around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, she was reported missing, then found deceased in an vacant apartment at a complex that was not her family’s own, around 2:30 p.m. Police have not released any other details.
Florida State University Does Not Quite Steamroll OSU. The two teams met at AT&T Stadium Saturday night for the Cowboys Classic. FSU, ranked no. 1, did win, but Oklahoma State University made them work for it. The final score was 37-31.
Volunteers in the Cedars Identify Problem Spots For City. The program, dubbed a “code crawl,” involved members of the Cedars Neighborhood Association armed with cellphones, taking photos of standing water, fallen stop signs, trash, and other code violations. The photos were sent along through Dallas’ 311 app. As it happens, the Cedars Neighborhood Association has also found success with its citizen crime patrols.Full Story
If you must leave the house, it should be noted that admission to the Dallas Arboretum is only five dollars today. Let’s not kid ourselves that September is any more kind to us than August, temperature-wise, however. 99 degrees is the projected temperature for Monday. Still, a little little sweat never got in the way of a good time. Be safe, Dallas.Full Story
The September issue of D, celebrating the magazine’s 40th anniversary, should be on a newsstand near you soon, if it isn’t already. The centerpiece of our celebration comprises 40 stories about 40+ people who represent some aspect of how Dallas has transformed in the last 40 years, or who epitomize some aspect of what Dallas is today. Those stories are truly brought to life by the astonishing portraits taken by our own Elizabeth Lavin.
Hear her and our creative director Todd Johnson talk about what made this project so challenging, and why we were motivated to do something special to mark our company’s birthday, in this video about the cover shoot. (And thanks to Robbie Curtis for producing this and the other video clips in our Dallas 40 online package.) Enjoy.Full Story
In addition to being extremely eco-conscious, Lee hopes to prepare its students for what lies beyond elementary school through a variety of cutting-edge learning and curriculum models.Full Story
John Wiley Price Trial Date Pushed: When I wrote Leading Off on Monday, I said (despite a planned 2015 start) Price’s trial wouldn’t start until at least 2016. Then I bet everyone $100. It’s smart that none of you took me up on that offer.
Lawsuit: Day Care Duct Taped Child to Mat: I don’t have children. I also don’t think this is the best way to handle nap time. Hold up, what? The day care also withheld water from kids so they didn’t have to change as many diapers, and hit kids? Duct-taping seems almost middle-of-the-road now. For the record: “Heart2Heart offered no comment on the lawsuit.”
Public School Covers Up Religious Plaques: Because, you know, it’s not really kosher to make Muslim, Jewish, or atheist students walk past a sign that mentions the “Holy Christian Church” and implores students to “give God alone the glory.” How did this fly for the past 17 years?
Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted on Sexual Assault Charge: “A new detective was going through files and realized [this 2006 case] hadn’t been filed so he notified us,” said Dallas County DA Office spokeswoman Debbie Denmon. “Since the case was never filed with our office, we knew nothing about it.” Bureaucracy wins again!
If you were any near the vicinity of downtown Dallas last night, you likely noticed that the familiar red hue of D Magazine had taken over Reunion Tower, the Bank of America building, the Hunt Oil building, and the Omni hotel. As Tim noted a little while ago, it was in the celebration of the publication’s 40th anniversary.
We asked our Instagram and Twitter followers to share their photos with us using the hashtag #DTurns40. The response was terrific, and here are some of the best.Full Story
Last week DART finally connected its light rail system to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Hurray. Raise a glass. Pat yourself on the back. Finished? Okay, moving on.
Today the public transit system said it is considering another should-have-happened-years-ago option for the future: the introduction of bus rapid transit lines to connect suburbs. What’s bus rapid transit (or BRT to transit nerds), you ask? Well, it’s simply a long range bus line that pretends to function like a train, only it’s much cheaper than building rail. The buses are longer, they run in dedicated lanes or roads, and they stop at actual stations. The most famous success story for BRT is Bogotá, Columbia. You can find out more about that here.
DART’s proposed BRT line would run along the route that has been set aside for the Cotton Belt rail extension, connecting Plano and Fort Worth. DART has wanted to build that rail line for years, but it’s really expensive and it doesn’t look like funding will come through any time soon. So, why not BRT? Good idea. Do it. After all, the hub-and-spoke DART system does make regional transport impractical. Who wants to go through downtown to get from Plano to Carrolton? (See, I don’t hate suburbs. I’m thinking about you guys out there.)
But here’s my question: why stop there?Full Story
Because I know you all can’t get enough of talk about municipal worker salaries, this morning I read more interesting data regarding the residency of city of Dallas employees. It was contained in a memo packet that was distributed to Dallas City Council members on Friday.
You already know that a relatively small percentage of Dallas cops live within the city limits and that only 36 percent of all city workers are Dallasites. This new information points to the fact that, as City Councilman Philip Kingston noted to me, “We seem to do worst with our middle income earners.”Full Story
School Starts Today: This is your annual reminder that school zones (and their expensive tickets) also restart today. And after last year’s troubles with third-party student transportation companies, Dallas ISD has 180 mini buses on the road. They’re blue, and look like hotel shuttles. You should not pass them. (See above warning.)
McKinney Avenue Trolley Extension Delayed Again: If you’ve ever been to our office downtown, you know it sits at the foot of the McKinney Avenue Trolley line. Well, former foot. The line extension now pushes it down St. Paul, near the DART line. Anyway, the construction’s been a mess for a couple of years now. And it seems like we’ll all have to wait until December for it to all clear up.
John Wiley Price Trial Delayed: Until September 2015. But nobody actually expects it to even start by then, right? Standing bet: $100 down, it doesn’t start until January 2016.
Cocaine Found in Tamales: This was in Houston, but how could you not click on that story?
My apologies, dear FrontBurnervians, for not alerting you to this sooner, but former Channel 5 anchor Jane McGarry has launched an “eMagazine.” That’s what she calls Real Jane. Feels like a blog to me. But let’s not bog down with nomenclature. The effort launched in July. In today’s top post, McGarry explains why she sold her house:Full Story
If you haven’t read Don Van Natta Jr.’s profile of Jerry Jones, you really should. The access Natta had is a writer’s dream. (And possibly an editor’s nightmare.) And you will probably end up liking Jones more by the end of the story.
The access starts with the writer finding Jones alone in a bar outside an owners’ meeting. We see Jones in his suite during the George Strait concert, hear him whispering in his son’s ear in the draft room, and drinking like the guys on Mad Men. He really, really, really wanted to draft Johnny Manziel. He’s apparently a big fan of Johnnie Walker Blue. (In plastic Dallas Cowboys cups.) And even at 71, he is irresistible to certain ladies. Or, as one of his close friends puts it: “Good women won’t leave him alone.”Full Story
The folks at KERA 90.1 were kind enough to show some interest in our 40th anniversary project. On Monday, Rick Holter, the station’s vice president of news, interviewed me in Klyde Warren Park, where we’ve installed an exhibit of staff photographer Elizabeth Lavin’s wonderful portraits. Here’s the “Friday Conversation” between me and Rick that aired this morning. In the short slideshow that accompanies the audio, you’ll see that I dressed for radio — and to prevent skin cancer. Anyway, the exhibit (shown above) is up for another few weeks. It’s on the east end of the park, in an area called The Commons. If you’re in the park, check it out.Full Story
Judge Rules School Finance System Unconstitutional. It’s the second time in 18 months that State District Judge John Dietz of Austin has decided in favor of the 600 local school districts that sued the state. Dietz ruled that, even after increasing school funding by $3.4 billion during the most recent session, the legislature has still left education statewide underfunded. He also cited inequities in the way state funds are distributed. The state (namely attorney general and GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott) will appeal.
Dallas County Not Properly Tracking HIV. A state report found 209 adult cases and 139 pediatric cases went “unreported” by the county health department from 2009 to 2012. That’s the largest number of unreported cases in Texas. Failure to follow up to collect information makes it difficult to determine whether a patient’s contacts may have also been affected and means the department can miss out on federal funding to treat patients.
Cowboys Winless in Preseason. They fell to the Denver Broncos, 27-3, last night. It’s the fifth time in franchise history the team hasn’t bothered to win any of its meaningless practice games.
Bitcoin ATMs Open in Dallas. In case you want to exchange your money that’s backed by the full faith and credit of the United States for a crypto-currency backed by the self-assurance of libertarian utopians worldwide. Right now one Bitcoin will cost you about $507.Full Story
Life was going well for Willard Jackson in January 1972. The basketball team he coached at Dallas’ Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High School was undefeated. They’d won the city championship two seasons before and finished second the previous year. There was talk of an opening soon at South Oak Cliff, and he’d been told his name was at the top of the list. The 29-year-old envisioned his future: a few years successfully coaching high school and then he’d take another step to the collegiate level.
If only he hadn’t stopped in for a drink at the Sportspage bar on Inwood Road one Saturday night, that might have been. Instead, as recounted by one of the 40 greatest stories ever published in D Magazine, Jackson was arrested and charged with the rape and robbery of two women in an Oak Lawn apartment weeks earlier. In “A Case of Rape,” Jim Atkinson writes of how our justice system delivered injustice for Jackson — convicting him of a crime he didn’t commit despite what seems to be overwhelming evidence in his favor (including a solid alibi and the confession of the actual perpetrator.) It’s a heartbreaking tale, and Atkinson’s article was a finalist for a National Magazine Award.Full Story
The Texas Transportation Commission, the governmental body which overseas TxDOT, is holding its monthly meeting in Dallas today at Union Station (I wonder if anyone took DART in to it). Plans for I-345 and the Trinity Toll Road are among the topics under discussion. And here’s the good news: the meeting is live streaming over on the Dallas Morning News‘ website. So all you transit wonks out there can blow your afternoon by watching the most excruciatingly boring meeting east of the RTC. Turn it into a drinking game: take a drink every time you hear the words “leveraging,” “delivery, “project,” or “facility.”
UPDATE: Sen. Royce West just got up in the meeting and very emphatically announced his opposition to the at-grade boulevard-ing of I-345Full Story
Back in June, when the National Center for Policy Analysis fired its CEO for alleged “sexual misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty,” the free-market think tank had more than a dozen directors on its board. Chief executive John C. Goodman denied the charges at the time, you might recall, and said his dismissal was based on trivialities. Today the NCPA board is down to just five directors—and insiders say the Dallas nonprofit is struggling to survive.
So, what happened to bring all this about? The apparent implosion has come as the result of an office romance between Goodman and a staffer that went way off the rails, leading to an unusual “job promotion” that backfired badly:Full Story
The News published this story on Sunday about the proliferation of managed toll lanes. Just now getting to it. My apologies. The story has a look at “plans to build the nation’s largest network of managed toll lanes into the region’s existing highways,” and it notes that “virtually every major highway project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area involves a tolling component.” I get it. We’ve run out of money to build more roads. No one has the stomach to talk about raising taxes the traditional way. So the road builders say we need a per-use tax. But two things in this story caught my eye.Full Story
Our 40th anniversary issue will arrive in subscribers’ mailboxes this week and hit newsstands this weekend. You’ll hear more about it on FrontBurner in the coming days and about a related photography exhibit that we installed at Klyde Warren Park yesterday. Right now, I just wanted to share the below video taken last night. Several of the buildings downtown turned red last night to celebrate our anniversary. Thanks to everyone who flipped their LEDs for us. But a special thanks to the Hunt Oil building, which really did it up right:Full Story
St. Vincent, aka erstwhile Dallas resident Annie Clark, was recently interviewed by Andy Morris for GQ UK. The entire thing is entertaining, but I guess the relevant portion for our purposes is when she recommends Merritt Tierce’s new novel, Love Me Back.
Can you recommend a good book?
I just read a book called Love Me Back by a woman from Dallas, Texas called Merritt Tierce. It’s excellent. It’s fiction but it seems to be cut pretty close to her life: she talks about her life in the food service industry (which sounds like it could be a very boring premise) but it’s an awesome book. It’s especially poignant for me reading it because I knew every restaurant she was talking about in Dallas: they remind me of a time in my life. I remember when you were 14 and you’d used to go to Chillis [sic] to hang out on a Friday night and think it was very wild. All the tchotchke Americana on the walls: amazing!
You likely remember our contest, the 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas. It wasn’t that long ago we revealed to you the winners in our December issue. We’ve changed it up this year and are shining the spotlight on the other half. In May, we put out a call for Dallas’ best bachelors. From the hundreds of nominees we received, we narrowed the pile to down to 20 outstanding Dallas gents. Now we need your help selecting the top 10. Check out our first five candidates this week, select your three favorites, and vote. You can come back and vote once a day every day. Voting for this first round ends Sunday at midnight, when we’ll release the candidates of Week 2. We’ll need you to come back and help us out again. Ready, set, go.Full Story
As I wrote previously, yesterday’s post about the relatively low percentage of Dallas Police officers who live within the city proper got me curious about what those numbers look like for all city employees. So I asked.
According to the city public information office, as of last year (the most recent info they had) 36.2 percent of 12,316 city of Dallas employees are also residents. The city’s data claims a slightly higher percentage of cops (21.7 percent) than was in the FiveThirtyEight post (19.1 percent.) The fire department has fled the city at an even higher rate though, with only 17.2 percent of its uniformed personnel Dallasites.
The city charter requires only that the city manager, auditor, attorney, and secretary live in town. If you look at the department by department breakdown below, you’ll see that cops and firefighters are the least likely employees to be residents. Among the city’s civilian workforce, 48.6 percent call Dallas home. Sanitation Services boasts a 70.1 percent residency rate among its 321 employees.
See the full data below.Full Story
By now, you’re aware that District Attorney Craig Watkins hit someone on the Tollway and then paid that someone to keep quiet about the accident. Read this Tod Robberson post from yesterday. The FBI is now looking into the matter. As Robberson points out, Watkins apparently did the old “Do you know who I am?” bit at the accident scene. Let’s go back to another accident involving Watkins, this one from 2007.Full Story