Leading Off (7/16/14)

Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Faces Closure: According to the TEA, the school may be shut down due to four reasons. Surprisingly, none of them are “Prime Prep was founded by a football player who has no idea how to run a school.” It’s also fun to read these two (one, two) Deion tweets from the past two days, and wonder how one reconciles with the other.

Formerly Conjoined Twins Spend First Birthday at Home: The Ezell twins celebrated their first birthday together, 11 months after being separated and one month after leaving the hospital. This drew a collective “Cot damn, these kids are cute” when we saw the party photos.

Dead Bodies Found Inside Vacant Funeral Home: “I have some embalmed bodies back there, which ya’ll had seen them bring out,” said former funeral home owner Dondre’ Johnson. ”They were already in the casket; already had a funeral [and] one was ready to go to Nairobi.” First rule of fibbing: make up something so specific that it has to be true. Nairobi? Perfect!

Cowboys to Release Kyle Orton: Frankly, I was worried about how he’d continue to balance his commitments to both the Cowboys and Workaholics, so this seems like a solid move for all parties involved.


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Leading Off (7/9/2014)

President Obama to Visit Dallas Today: According to the White House release I got last night: In the evening, the president will attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event at a private residence. During the day, he’ll “meet with local elected officials and faith leaders to discuss the urgent humanitarian situation at the Southwest border.” This will take place at DalFort Fueling, out at Love Field. Get your pitchforks or welcome mats, depending on your preference.

Police Release Footage of the 666 Bandit: Good luck IDing him (I’m assuming it’s a him) from this, but take a shot at it. Your clues: rides a bike, looks pretty lanky, was downtown. Judging by these hints, I’d say it’s Eric Nicholson.

Fort Worth Man Added to Most Wanted Sex Offender List: ”He has several tattoos, including a biohazard emblem on the right side of his chest and a picture of a little girl on the left side of his chest.” Did I mention that he’s wanted on parole and probation violations stemming from three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child?

Father of Murdered Toddler Says Mother Is Innocent: OK, maybe not innocent, but he says she feared for her life when she buried her 19-month-old daughter. What is clear, since burying your daughter under a bridge in a rural Texas town is not, evidently: the alleged murderer, Joshua Beard, will not fair well in prison.

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Leading Off (7/2/14)

Fertilizer Storage Bill Gets GOP Pushback: It can’t officially see the light until the Texas Lege reconvenes in January, but the first draft of a bill which would add additional storage regulations is apparently “a power grab.” I’d be happy to personally send as many copies of Zac’s West story to Austin as need be.

Plano Man Pleads Guilty in Gas Line Bombing: Anson Chi took a surprise plea deal, admitting that he used a homemade bomb in an attempt to blow up a Plano gas line. Chi faces 30 years in jail, and will continue to represent himself. I’m sure that will go well.

Dallas Prepares for Wave of Migrant Children: Here’s the thing that I want to highlight: “The children will not be enrolled in public schools, but will be fed, educated and offered medical care at the shelters.” Hmm. Okay. I understand that there’s a need to walk a fine political line, but to purposefully restrict them from schools—when their case may not come to court for months, or even years—seems short-sighted. Yes, this is labeled as a temporary solution, but to not prepare for a more permanent solution is, again, short-sighted.

Obligatory U.S. Men’s National Team Link: Omar Gonzalez is from Dallas, and he was one of the strongest parts of the American squad’s game yesterday. Thousands attended a viewing party at AT&T Stadium, which, even as a soccer fan, I did not expect. Well done, Dallas, see you in 2018. Semis or bust.


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Dallas May Be Adding Another Elevated Highway

As the state tries to find a way to make the proposed Trinity Toll Road work with Dallas’ present-day infrastructure, it may inadvertently pit two Dallas neighborhoods against each other.

The question is what to do about the Jefferson Viaduct. If the toll road is built, the current viaduct—which carries traffic to and from Oak Cliff and downtown—would be too short, and need to be torn down. So there are two options on the table:

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Feds Give OK To Start Review For Dallas-Houston High-Speed Rail

There’s no need to read the item—again: densely worded, boring. It basically allows Texas Central Railway to begin its environmental impact study, which will explore various routes for the train, and how each path would impact the land below it. The study’s expected to last a year.

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Leading Off (6/25/14)

Storms Cause Massive Flooding Across Fort Worth: Much of the West Seventh Street area of the city sat under feet of water following a rapid three inches of rain, forcing dozens of water rescues city-wide. Your annual reminder to not drive into standing water is this video, which is absolutely batty.

Vonciel Jones Hill’s Pool Is a Dump: Typically, Leading Off is used to highlight stories of the overnight variety, but this is too good to neglect. Current Observer writer and former D Empire employee Eric Nicholson made his way to the alley behind City Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill’s house and, acting on a tip, found that her pool is to mosquitos what Zisu is to sideways-hat wearing beefcakes. When asked why the breeding ground wasn’t better maintained, Hill said her pool maintenance didn’t consist of mosquito dunks but rather “the stuff they put in the water to make it turn blue.” West Nile, it’s for the children.

Contractor Pleads Guilt to Bilking Plano ISD Out of Millions: Millions! How does someone not notice that $2.5 million slipped out of the district’s coffers? Was it all petty cash? Was it laundered through the basketball snack bar?

Bees Kill Two Dogs, Injure Man: My plan originally with this item was to a.) tell everyone to run and hide in terror, then b.) make a Thomas J joke. It would’ve killed. Then I saw the tags on this story—attack, bees, swarm, Wu-Tang Clan—and plans changed. Now it’s a full-fledged props to CBS reporter Andrea Lucia (or the web producer who tagged the story). Well done, CBS.

Yes, That’s Two Wu-Tang References in One Post: Deal with it.


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Leading Off (6/18/14)

Richard Durrett Has Died: The ESPN Dallas reporter and radio host apparently died of a brain aneurysm. His Facebook page is littered with remembrances and farewells. Prior to his time with ESPN, he spent nine years at the Morning News. I never had the pleasure, but hopefully other media folk will come along and say nice things. He was 38.

Man Faces 95 Years in Jail After Giving HIV to Teen: Matthew Reese is working on so many scummy levels it’s hard to know which one to start on. When he was 30, he carried on a relationship with a 15-year-old. After he was in jail for that, he kept writing her, saying he loved her (Also asked for cash). Turns out he knew he was HIV-positive during the entirety of the relationship. He also looks like this.

Oak Cliff Teen Attacked, Stabbed By Classmates: The 15-year-old was walking home with four other teens from summer school when the walk turned violent. The boy was stabbed more than 20 times, with a screwdriver.

DISD Graduation Rate Continues to Climb: The district’s 2013 graduation rate was 84 percent, more than a 20 percent increase from 2007. In 2012, 81 percent of students finished their degree in four years.

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