Six Dogs Walk Into Downtown Neimans

Art Ortiz is the pack leader at DogFit Dallas. You can often see him walking around downtown with several dogs in tow. He’s great at identifying dogs with people problems, and is a godsend to many of us downtown dog owners.

He posted this video earlier today. As he explains it, he’d always heard Neiman Marcus was dog friendly, but had never taken his dogs inside. Today, during his normal walk, he decided to see what would happen. The overall reaction was great: everyone was kind and welcoming.

So the next time you’re thinking about making a trip to Neimans, take your dog along, or give Art a call. Either way, your dog will be happy.

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Leading Off (4/2/14)

Mayor Rawlings Apologizes for Handling of Home Rule. Mayor Mike Rawlings has stated the obvious: the rollout for the home-rule initiative in DISD was poorly executed. He asked people to create groups to offer ideas on how a home-rule district could operate saying the “blank page” idea was not a good one.

Plano ISD Employee Steals Millions. Last fall, someone noticed a suspicious invoice that former Plano ISD Kris Wilson Gentz submitted. The invoice was bogus, and it wasn’t the first one. Since 2004, Gentz had been creating invoices for work that was never done and equipment that was never purchased. He stole between $2.5 and $7 million. Though police are trying to recover the money, it looks like Gentz gambled most of it away.

 Oak Cliff Gets Permanent Dog Park. This news happened on Monday, but it’s about dogs, so I’m posting it today. ElmWoof has been popping up monthly in Elmwood, giving pet owners a place to let their dogs run free. With a $9,000 grant from Rawlings’ GrowSouth program, the park will now become permanent.

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Big D Reads Is Here

What’s your “ah-ha” book? Mine was Watership Down by Richard Adams. Christine Allison’s was Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. A lot of people have said theirs was Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which we honored with a month-long celebration last April. Starting today, we’re celebrating The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

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Leading Off (3/26/14)

Coalition Against Home Rule Forms. The coalition, made up of trustees Carla Ranger and Bernadette Nutall and representatives for blacks, Hispanics, administrators, and teachers, believes that the home-rule initiative for DISD would take away teachers’ and voters’ rights and turn the district over to charter operators.

Teen’s Body Found in Creek. On Monday, two students skipped class and went to play along Five Mile Creek. One, 14-year-old Javar Smith, got in the water where he started struggling. His friend couldn’t swim, so he ran to get help at school. He told a family member what had happened, but that person didn’t believe him. On Tuesday, the kid told a school official. Later in the day, Smith’s body was found.

Bacon Reunited With Owner. Sany Jimenez, 17, lost her potbellied pig on Friday. It was a fretful weekend for the teenager, but finally, yesterday, she was reunited with Bacon. The pig found his way to the home of a man who had to take a picture of him when he saw him because he feared people would think he was drunk if he didn’t. He also had thoughts of putting Bacon on the grill, but instead, turned him over to Arlington police. If you don’t like cute pets being reunited with owners, at least watch this for all the puns the reporter was able to work in (yes, bringing home the Bacon was used).

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Leading Off (3/19/14)

Scary Commute. Things got a bit dicey yesterday after a wreck on 635. Some thought the best course of action would be to turn around and try to drive against traffic (a few claimed that police told them to do so). Once everyone turned back around, traffic started to unsnarl.

Feds Announce Results of Online Child Exploitation Investigation. Operation Round Table, as it was called by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations team, busted a ring that had more than 250 victims and 14 suspects. One suspect is still at large and agents need help identifying the 18- to 20-year-old they believe is in North Texas.

Man Awaits DNA Test to See if He Was Stolen as a Baby. Sam Miller, 50, needs a new kidney as a result of a hereditary disease. He asked family members about the disease. None of them have it. That’s when he realized he was adopted. Then he found out his birth certificate was made up. Then friends came across a story about a baby stolen from its parent’s arms in Chicago around the time Miller was born. So now Miller’s waiting for the results of a DNA test to see if he was stolen as a baby.

Candace and Tony Romo Welcome Second Son. I am so behind. I didn’t even realize Candace Romo was pregnant. She had Rivers Romo yesterday. He’s 8 pounds, 12 ounces.

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Leading Off (3/12/14)

Miley Cyrus Watches Local Dallas News. I have nothing to add to this photo, taken by Channel 5 producer Katie Den Daas.

Grassfire in Trophy Club Breaks Out. It’s the fourth-driest-ever start to the year in North Texas and a grassfire popped up in Trophy Club. More than 300 acres burned between highway 377 and Lake Grapevine.

Arrest Made in Shoe Store Shooting. Police arrested 21-year-old Jacob Galen Everett in the death of 23-year-old Randy Pacheco, manager of Red Wing Shoes. Pacheco was killed February 25.

Parents Forgive Suspects in Son’s Murder. The family of Ivan Mejia hasn’t spoken much since their son was murdered on Saturday night, but they released a statement yesterday. “They wanted the other families to know that they hold no grudge, that they understand they are also grieving in this dark time,” said family spokesman Benjamin Alicea.

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Leading Off (3/5/14)

Dewhurst and Patrick Face Each Other in Runoff. It was expected David Dewhurst would take most of the votes, but Dan Patrick beat him rather easily. However, on May 27, Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst will face off for Texas lieutenant governor. Here are the rest of the results from yesterday’s elections.

Dallas City Manager Finalist Out of Job. Deanna Santana interviewed here for the Dallas city manager position. Though she didn’t get the job, she may end up in Dallas anyway. Apparently, her authority in Oakland was undercut by her attempt to get a job here and in Phoenix, so she’s being replaced. 

Richardson ISD Teacher Found Dead. Emily Lambert was a third grade teacher at O. Henry Elementary in Richardson. She was out of state last weekend, visiting a friend, when she vanished. Her body was found Tuesday outside of Loving, New Mexico. Police are investigating her death as a homicide.

Meter Reader Steals Water. For more than four years, Mark Anthony Coleman has been stealing water. He understood how the system worked and was able to keep from paying for water. He justified his actions by saying the city pays him only $11.73 an hour. Now that he’s been caught (something he knew would happen eventually), he’ll have to leave his home, because he can’t afford rent and doesn’t have water.

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Leading Off (2/26/14)

D.A. Watkins Speaks Out. Attorney Ted Steinke has accused D.A. Craig Watkins of conflict of interest in the case with his client and State District Judge Carlos Cortez. Steinke’s client accused Cortez of assault in December. Last week, Cortez was cleared of criminal charges. Now, Steinke wants a special prosecutor. Watkins told FOX4: “This is just, just, just evidence of lawyers from the Henry Wade-era who just can’t get with the fact that I’m the District Attorney of Dallas County.”

Take a Tour Bus To Colorado. Not long ago, Michael Mooney took a trip to WinStar World Casino on a tour bus. I think we’ve found his next assignment: a tour bus to Colorado for a “new kind of Rocky Mountain high.” The bus starts running next month. Security is a concern.

Duke Retires. Duke, a German Shepard, started working for the Dallas Police Department in 2008. During his time in the department, Duke has helped seized 1,100 pounds of pot, more than 100 pounds of meth, 34 pounds of cocaine, and $1.3 million. But last fall, he started having seizers and was experiencing confusion. His handler says Duke has the equivalent of Lou Gehrig’s Disease for dogs. While it’s not known how much time he has left, his handler, who bought Duke for $10, assures the rest of Duke’s life will be spent having fun as a pet. Duke reminds me of my good friend Reagan.

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Leading Off (2/19/14)

Downed Officer’s Kit Saves Life. Downed Officer’s Kits, which were developed in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been handed to DPD officers. On Saturday, when police officer Joshua Burns was shot, a fellow officer had the kit and used it on him, saving his life. The kits, which contain a tourniquet, bandage, and blood clotting gauze, cost between $50 and $60. Originally, 3,200 were purchased in preparation of the JFK 50th Memorial. Now, officers are advocating for more.

Garland Wants ISD to Fire New Superintendent. There’s a lot going on here: a new superintendent, a longtime administrator put on administrative leave after an investigation was launched, and teachers protesting with bags over their heads. Take a look.

Frisco Regulates E-Cigarettes. If you’re in Frisco, and you vape, you can no longer vape where you can’t smoke. The ordinance passed 6-0 last night and will take effect next month.

Fair Park’s Summer Adventures Canceled. State Fair organizers spent $30 million creating attractions and making improvements at Fair Park to open Summer Adventures last summer. Unfortunately, too few people visited. So the program—along with the positions that were created for it—is gone. City Council member Dwaine Caraway has a few thoughts about the sudden closure of the program. “It’s a boot in the butt as far as I’m concerned,” he told WFAA 8.

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Leading Off (2/12/14)

Dallas Firefighter Remembered. Monday night, Scott Tanksley was helping a wrecked driver when another driver with an out-of-control car approached the scene, hit the first car, and hit Tanksley, who was thrown over the side of a bridge where he died. Tanksley was a 14-year veteran of the department and was remembered on Tuesday.

Mayor Rawlings Launches Poverty Task Force. On Tuesday, Mayor Rawlings said that having about 260,000 Dallas residents experiencing poverty is a problem he wants to address. He’s forming a poverty task force. The group, which contains CitySquare’s Larry James and Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins, will focus on short-term goals versus pie-in-the-sky ideas.

Mutt Takes on Westminster Dog Show. I’m pretty happy when I get to do an animal story in Leading Off. I’m even happier when I get to talk about a rescued dog making it big in Leading Off. So today is a pretty great day because I get to link to this story about Jimmy, an 8-year-old mutt who participated in the Westminster’s Dog Show on Saturday. He didn’t win, but he did make People, so he’s had a pretty good week. (Also, perhaps my favorite part of this video is around 1:25 when the cat tries to steal the limelight from Jimmy.)

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