Leading Off (5/21/2013)

Devastating Tornado in Oklahoma: Another horrific tragedy. There are dozens dead, a lot of them children who were taking cover in the hallway of an elementary school. Thousands more are left homeless, their possessions in shambles. And while the death and destruction will eventually be quantified and ranked historically, the grief and suffering is immeasurable. In Dallas, we all know people from that part of Oklahoma, people in that part of Oklahoma. They are strong, proud people. They will rebuild. There will be places for you to volunteer, places to donate money, places to give blood. There will be stories of victims, stories of survivors, and stories of heroes. There will be more terrifying images–and likely some superb journalism. Our thoughts are with the people affected by the destruction. For now, for the rest of us: find a moment to hold someone you love.

Dallas Firefighter Dies in Six-Alarm Blaze: Here are some remarkable photos by Sonya Hebert-Schwartz, from the giant condo fire in northeast Dallas that killed Stanley Wilson, a 28-year fire department veteran, and the large impromptu farewell salute afterward.

DISD Poised for Fast-Track Pilot Program: Yesterday the State Senate approved a bill that would allow some Dallas students to graduate high school in three years (paywall), with the savings earmarked for a pre-kindergarten program. The bill now heads back to the House.

D Magazine Wins Big Industry Award: Last night at the City Regional Magazine Association awards banquet in Atlanta, D Magazine won General Excellence in our circulation category for the second year in a row. Tim and Zac are there, almost certainly celebrating in true gentlemanly fashion, refraining from all forms of debauchery, inebriation, coarse language, and sarcasm. I assume from the lack of national headlines that Tim did not give a speech. (Really though, if I can be earnest for a second: This entire staff is stacked from top to bottom with incredible, smart, talented people who work ridiculously hard every month to put out a magazine that truly serves Dallas and makes the city a better, more interesting place to live.) I expect a detailed recap of their trip soon.