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‘Apparently’ Kid Visits the State Fair of Texas

A month ago, Ellen DeGeneres announced on her daytime talk show that she was sending Noah Ritter (he of ‘apparently’ viral video fame) as her correspondent to report from the State Fair of Texas. A few weeks ago, a tweet by the Dallas Police Department confirmed that he had arrived.

Yesterday the video of his trip finally aired. My favorite bit is when he tells a Dallas cop to keep two hands on the wheel because “you have a child in the golf cart.”

I will say that Ellen‘s producers could have pushed harder to help Noah make wiser food choices. He’s at the world capital of freaky fried fare, and he opts for the cheese pizza?

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Leading Off (10/31/14)

Last Day of Early Voting. Dallas County Republicans got off to a strong start, but Democrats are scrambling to close the gap. In the most closely watched county race, district attorney Craig Watkins has been outspent by GOP challenger Susan Hawk. If you care about the outcome, get to the polls.

Bentley to Reunite With Nina Pham. The former Ebola patient/nurse’s dog has tested negative for the virus, and will be returned to Pham on Saturday. He’s been kept in quarantine since Pham’s apartment was decontaminated by health officials.

Last Man Seen With Missing Woman Says He’s Being Harassed. Enrique Arochi made the rounds of the local newscasts to publicly state that he had nothing to do with the disappearance of Christina Morris. Arochi was the last person spotted with Morris, who has not been seen since Labor Day weekend at the Shops at Legacy in Plano. He says he’s lost his job as a result of the police investigation into the case and that he’s being harassed by friends and family of Morris, who have been protesting outside his parents’ home.

Kissing Bugs in North Texas Carry Deadly Disease. Welcome to your new nightmare: “Little did she know then, she had just met a kissing bug. So named because it attacks exposed skin — sometimes near the mouth or eyes — while you’re sleeping. You may get swelling at the site of the bite, or you may not know what happened. But the kissing bug can carry something called Chagas disease, a potentially deadly condition, which attacks the heart. It may be decades before the damage is done. But much like mosquitoes and West Nile, not every kissing bug carries Chagas disease, sometimes called the ‘silent killer.'”

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Dallas Cowboys Are Still America’s Team, Twitter Finds

Just seeing this blog post from last week featuring this nifty interactive map of NFL fandom according to the number of followers of each team in a given area — admittedly an imperfect method, but just go with it. There’s no surprise that the Dallas Cowboys dominate in Texas, as well as New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

And if you look at this map of second-favorite teams you’ll find that the team has significant claims in Arizona, Louisiana, the Virginias and quite a few pockets of the Southeast:

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Suburban Expedition

When reading John Bloom’s July 1987 story, “Misty Crest: On the Frontier of the New American Dream,” what struck me was how strange it was to have a neighborhood in southwest Arlington written up as a hot new development. A-Town seems like an aging former starlet past her prime, while everybody now goes gaga for her much-younger counterparts in Collin County.

Bloom pokes fun at the absurdity of navigating among subdivisions with “Glades” and “Glens,” “Villages” and “Creeks” in their names — regardless whether there are any actual glades or glens or villages or multiple creeks in the vicinity. At the time, one of the homes he ventured out to look at had an asking price of $96,850, about the median for Dallas-Fort Worth at the time. Twenty-seven years later, houses in the same neighborhood are going for somewhat more, but generally sticking pretty close to today’s median.

I asked Bloom what spurred him to write this piece, which we are honoring as one of the 40 greatest stories ever published in D Magazine. He responded:

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Meet the Antigay Bully Arrested at DFW Airport in Last Week’s Viral Video

The man pictured above is identified on a police report as 27-year-old McCleish Christmas Benham. He is the man who was arrested for the assault depicted in the video that went viral on Friday, and who was not taken down by actor Paul Rudd.

Are you most surprised to learn that:

A) He was apparently drunk at the time of the incident.

or

B) His middle name is Christmas

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Poll: When Will Texas Have a Blue Governor?

Wendy Davis very likely will not be elected governor of Texas on November 4. Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate, leads significantly in most the polls. For all the hopes of Democrats of eventually turning our state blue, it’s not going to happen in 2014. So will the GOP ever lose its residency in the governor’s mansion?

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The Daily Show Bashes Dallas to Play to Austin Audience

The Daily Show is taping a week of programs down in Austin, and on their first night Monday, they went out of their way to play to the audience there by bashing Dallas. Firstly they appropriated the classic Dallas TV show intro and made it about Austin instead. Here are a couple of their other insults:

“Dallas is still a steaming concrete wasteland of traffic jams, big hair, and stupid belt buckles.”

And when Jon Stewart asked correspondent Jessica Williams whether the people of Austin were concerned about catching Ebola from nearby Dallas, she responded sarcastically:

“Oh, yeah, Jon, Austin is going to pick up something after Dallas.” (Pauses for laughter and cheers.) “No, Jon, Austin sets the trends, and Dallas finds out about them five years later.”

Also Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and Fort Worth State Senator, Wendy Davis was the guest on the show. She was full of all the sort of banal statements you expect to hear from a politician a week before the election. You can watch an extended version of the interview here.

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Whoa, Paul Rudd Was (UPDATE: Not) One of the Airport Heroes Who Took Down the Homophobe

You remember the video we posted about late Friday? When I put that item up, the video had a little more than 10,000 views. Now it’s got more than 1.7 million.

Well, turns out that one of the onlookers who rushed to the defense of the man attacked by an antigay bigot at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was Paul Rudd. The actor. You know, this guy. He was probably on a connecting flight from Kansas City.

UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: The Internet appears to have let us all down, folks. Jezebel reports that Rudd’s publicist says it’s not him.

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VIDEO: Crowd Stops Antigay Attack at DFW Airport

The video above depicts a drunk?/drugged?/crazy? antigay bigot harassing and then physically attacking a man in a pink shirt at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. It’s dated 10/23/2014.

The crowd around the bully forces him to the ground, which might give Rudy Bush another reason to celebrate the fact that western civilization has not declined as badly as some like to portray it.  Of course, if Rudy then reads the comments on the YouTube page for the video, they might well reverse his position.

I don’t understand why this was being filmed initially. Maybe the guy had already done something to attract attention before filming began?

(H/T Raw Story)

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Nina Pham Is Ebola-Free. Is She a Hero?

News this morning is that the first Dallas nurse to contract Ebola is now free of the virus and will be discharged from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center today. This is, of course, great news.

Over on the Morning News site, Rudy Bush opines that Pham, along with the other Ebola nurse/patient, Amber Vinson, and sergeant-of-arms of the Canadian Parliament Kevin Vickers, who killed a terrorist gunman, should give us hope for western civilization:

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Leading Off (10/24/14)

Porsche at Center of New Allegations Against DA’s Office. The car was parked for months at the courthouse parking garage before Ace Parking (which manages the garage) asked United Tows to haul it away. Thing is it was a vehicle belonging to the county government and intended to be used in drug stings. The owners of United Tows says Craig Watkins’ staff accused them of car theft, even though it appears the company followed all the legal procedures required of it. The Morning News sought records detailing the process by which the DA’s office bought back the car from United Tows, but has had to file a lawsuit to get those details released.

It’s Going to be in the 90s This Weekend. Yes, we’re getting to the later part of October, when things would — you’d expect — be cooling down a bit. But instead the forecast calls for unusually high temperatures for the season. Meanwhile the continued drought is prompting more significant watering restrictions, and we have an unusually cold winter to look forward to.

SMU Makes Offer to Mack Brown. The school’s football team is looking for new leadership after former coach June Jones bolted after the second game of what’s been a dreadful season for the Mustangs. They’ve reportedly had “preliminary discussions” with Brown, the former University of Texas at Austin head coach who led the Longhorns to a national title for the 2005 season. The dollar figures they’ve discussed are $4 million a year for eight years.

Lawn Care Company Flying Too Many Flags. If you’ve ever trekked up to my hometown of Denton and exited onto Dallas Drive on your way to the Courthouse Square, after you descended the hill along which I received the first two speeding tickets of my life, you saw a fleet of orange trucks sitting along the right side of the road, usually adorned with letters spelling out some community announcement about a Knights of Columbus pancake breakfast or a VFW barbecue or somesuch.  And you saw a whole lot of American flags.  The orange trucks belong to Frenchy’s Lawn Care, which is owned by Vietnam vet Andre “Frenchy” Rheault. Well, after many years of displaying as many Old Glories as he likes, the city’s code enforcement department has told Rheault that the flags have to come down. Only one American flag, one Texas flag, and one miscellaneous flag are allowed on any one property. Rheault plans to fight.

Topless Cheerleaders Use Drugs. Photos of the Lamar High School students engaging in naughty behavior made the rounds of social media and have caused quite a ruckus in Arlington.

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Why Are There Painted Halloween Traffic Barrels Along LBJ Freeway?

Why am I obliging the nice fellow who sent me a press release this morning about traffic barrels painted with Halloween-themed art as a promotion for the LBJ Express project and Valley View Center and the redevelopment going on up there to re-dub the area Dallas Midtown?

Because I couldn’t help but wonder about the wisdom of encouraging drivers to take a gander at traffic barrels as they drive by, even if it’s just along the frontage road. The release:

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