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D Magazine Staff Writer Michael J. Mooney Is a Very Popular Writer, Part 2,136

Ahhh December. Time for egg nog, racist uncles, and Best Of lists. You may remember my colleague Michael J.Mooney’s “How Not to Get Away With Murder,” from our December issue. Well, it turns out that was the third most-popular story on Longform this year, trailing only stories about Radio Shack and serial killers.

The story WAS NOT however, selected as one of the 10 best stories of the year by Longform’s editors. (Have to keep him humble.) Better luck next year, Michael.

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Leading Off (12/17/14)

Former Dallas U.S. Attorney Named ICE Head: Senate Republicans—including our own illustrious John Cornyn—tried a bunch of shenanigans to keep Sarah Saldaña from the post, but in the end it was Ted Cruz (and his bizarre, maybe-I-didn’t-think-this-through shenanigans) that actually allowed the Senate to vote on Saldaña’s appointment.

Oak Cliff Native Stevie Ray Vaughan Voted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Green Day was also voted in, which means that previous sentence holds absolutely no worth.

After Kaufman Killings, Eric Williams Went to a Barbecue: And that’s not even the most bizarre stuff to come out of his sentencing, which has been extended to today. “…Williams planned to use a crossbow to kill him. Kim Williams said he also planned to cut a hole in the judge’s stomach and pour in the homemade napalm he made as an extra coup de grace.” The death penalty is on the table, so the delay is understandable.

Barrett Brown Not Sentenced: Meanwhile, someone who should be out of prison is not. It’s been delayed until late January.

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Leading Off (12/10/14)

Dr. Kent Brantly Honored: The Fort Worth-trained doc was regaled by Tarrant County officials after he donated possibly life-saving plasma to at least three Ebola patients, following his own bout with Ebola. I heard something recently about how, in the United States, all of our statues are of generals and politicians, while in Europe they’re mostly of writers and philosophers. Maybe doctors should be added to the list.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show Comes to Denton Today: Yeah, sure, why not. Maybe it’s to cover fracking.

Arlington Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Drunken Hit and Run Deaths: Benjamon Stewart was convicted on three counts of intoxication manslaughter, and fleeing the scene, following a 2013 incident on Interstate 30. Uber, people. Uber.

Well, If You Live in Dallas, Maybe Uber: Dallas City Council is set to vote on the legality of Uber and Lyft today. This is your reminder of the city government’s hand in keeping those two companies out of Dallas.


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Feds: Trinity Toll Road Must Be Built to Large-Scale Version

What this means, of course, is that Michael Morris, Mary Suhm, and Craig Holcomb’s “we can always make a smaller road, and that’s what we plan to do” argument is complete garbage, and likely always has been. Because why wouldn’t it be complete garbage? If the environmental impact was going to be different for two DIFFERENT projects, you’d need two DIFFERENT approvals.

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Why Does Desoto Need a $733,000 Mine-Resistant Vehicle? And Duncanville, and Mansfield, and Bedford, and…

The town of Edgewood sits 60 miles due east of downtown Dallas, off US-80. It’s got about 1,400 residents and a busy Dairy Queen. The total size of the town is barely one square mile. And over the past 20 years the U.S. Department of Defense has provided the town’s police department with $1,585,908 worth of rifles, trucks, trailers, barbed wire, and dozens of other items.

The transfer is known as the 1033 Program, launched in October 1995 by the Pentagon as a way to distribute weapons, vehicles, and other supplies to police departments nationwide, with little or no oversight as to their need or use. This week, for the first time, the Pentagon released the names of those departments and the supplies they received. The Marshall Project broke them down, and found that the program has given out $5 billion worth of equipment since its inception, including tactical military equipment worth more than $1.4 billion. Close to 7,500 agencies nationwide have been a part of the program.
Below you’ll find a breakdown of every North Texas municipality that received items in the past 20 years. Thirty-four different departments have received supplies, to the tune of nearly $8.6 million. (Overall, Texas has received at least $191 million in equipment; the highest total for a single department is the Harris County Sheriff Department, with a whopping $26.8 million.)

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SMU Football Is On Pace For One of the Worst Seasons in College Football History

Yes, SMU is bad. You know this. You just might not have known how bad. Some stats, then.

SMU is averaging 9.6 points per game. The second-lowest scoring team in FBS football is Wake Forest, at 14.8 points per game. That’s 5.2 points less than the second-worst offensive team in the country. For some perspective, the next biggest jump is 3.1 points. That’s between the top scoring offense (Baylor) and the second (Marshall). It’s also the widest gap between the worst and second-worst offenses since at least 2000 (Idaho and Massachusetts were separated by 3.1 points in 2012).

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Leading Off (12/3/14)

TCU Climbs to #3 in Playoff Rankings: Baylor has hired a PR firm to push for its case, and is also trying to rush starting quarterback Bryce Petty back into play, after he suffered a concussion against Texas Tech. Amateur athleticism! Not professional in any way!

Deion Sanders Files Defamation Suit Against Ex-Wife: “The suit accuses Pilar Sanders of publishing false statements on social media that accuse him of multiple crimes, including child abuse, spousal abuse, assault and attempted murder. The suit also references defamatory statements it said she made on TV in a recent appearance on The O’Reilly Factor.” We’ve officially jumped the Sanders shark.

100 Brains Missing From UT Lab: Not Dallas-specific, but it would be impossible for me to read the line “It’s entirely possible word got around among undergraduates and people started swiping them for living rooms or Halloween pranks” and not include it in Leading Off. Anyway, if you know where any of these brains are, called 1-800-ChristHowCouldYouLose100Brains.

Dallas Iron Man Receives New Heart: Stark Novak was born with a congenital heart defect. Comic book fans will recognize his first name. The rest is too nice to try and paraphrase.

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Leading Off (11/26/14)

Dallas ISD Administrator “Fear[ed] Coming in Close Contact” With Bernadette Nutall: That’s the gist of a complaint filed by the HR administrator Tonya Sadler Grayson, which the DMN got its hands on. Nutall denied the “unpleasant” interactions with Grayson; DISD has hired former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins to look into the complaints. I don’t know, guys, this just doesn’t sound like the Bernadette I know.

Fort Worth Policer Officer Helps Deliver Baby on Highway: First of all, this happened on November 15. Someone sat on this bundle of news joy for 10 days. Fort Worth Officer Robert Scott was helping with traffic control when a man ran to his patrol car seeking help. Scott ran to the car, saw the man’s daughter in labor, and promptly helped deliver the baby. In a past life, Scott was an EMT.

“Dallas Man Who Made Fake Government IDs and Had Illegal Steroids and Child Porn Admits Guilt”: I cribbed that headline right from the story, because it was just too good, perfectly capturing the ludicrous nature of this case. Nicholas Freed was originally under investigation for receiving steroids by mail. When he went to go pick up that package, he was dressed as a federal officer, complete with a U.S. Marshal badge. Note: Freed is not a U.S. Marshal. When police raided his house, they found a “sophisticated government identification counterfeiting operation.” And child porn. Can’t forget the child porn.

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