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Leading Off (8/30/13)

Dawson State Jail Shutters Saturday. Prisoners were cleared out of the privately-run jail in downtown Dallas this week, following the state’s decision earlier this year to close it. The contract with the for-profit company that operated Dawson, Corrections Corporation of America, runs out on Saturday. The closure of the often-troubled institution (criticized because of multiple deaths there in recent years) was made possible because the state’s prison population has been in decline. Now what to do with the building? Assistant city manager Jill Jordan said an analysis found it might be gutted and transformed into a hotel. But why bother gutting it? Surely there’s a market for travelers interested in the novelty of staying in cells with poetic phrases such as “Don’t be afraid. Soon you will pass out of darkness” carved into their paint-chipped walls.

Pet Obesity Is an Epidemic, Apparently. About 65 percent of cats and 40 percent of dogs weigh more than they should. A Fort Worth veterinarian will host a “pet boot camp” to teach owners how to get their animal best friends in shape. It’s humans who are truly to blame for the problem, says Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. “There’s not a single dog that goes to the refrigerator and makes himself an ice cream sundae,” Ward said. Maybe not, but YouTube is full of documented cases of dogs raiding fridges.

Meth Blamed For Car Fire. More evidence the DEA has Heisenberg on the run?