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Leading Off (11/24/2015)

Governor-Elect Promises Lawsuit Over Immigration Action. On behalf of all Texans, Greg Abbott will probably sue the Obama administration for his executive order lifting the threat of deportation for millions of immigrants living in the United States illegally. This is not new territory for Abbott, since he’s sued President Obama some 30 times in his previous life as Texas attorney general.

Two Earthquakes in Two Days. On Saturday, a 3.3 magnitude earthquake registered near the site of the old Texas Stadium. On Sunday, a 2.5 magnitude earthquake occurred south of Highway 183 beneath Loop 12. It’s too bad we don’t have any idea what might be causing these quakes, since there have been seven in the last two months.

After Crash Kills Five Family Members, Terrell Teen’s Ticket Dismissed. This sad story, first mentioned in this forum last week, does not get too much better. However, the teenage driver, a 16-year-old boy who apparently fell asleep at wheel of the family’s SUV while en route to Florida for a vacation, was originally ticketed for careless driving. The crash killed five of his relatives. The judge dismissed the misdemeanor charge, saying that the boy had been punished enough, and there was no need to add to his pain.

Cowboys Coach and Governor Chris Christie Make Friends. This photo of New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is great. Garrett might be smiling, or laughing—I can only tell so much from the crinkled eyes. Could this be Christie’s “lose or I’ll engineer a monster traffic jam and trap you here forever” face? The world may never know. Anyway, the Cowboys beat the Giants. I am pleased.

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Leading Off (11/17/2014)

What Was That White Stuff, It’s Not Even Thanksgiving. It snowed, as per a particularly on-the-ball weather report, but it did not stick. More important, here is a photo of Delkus, conducting the flurries.

Temperature Drop Means More Rescued Cats. Aw. Even though my recent brush with cat ownership was like tugging impatiently at the devil’s coattails, this absolutely does not mean that these kitties are not deserving of warm homes. $15 adoptions will hopefully help.

Top Perry Advisor Has Three Alcohol-Related Offenses. Governor Perry’s office says it knew about Wayne Roberts’ record, which includes DWIs in 1990 and 2006, as well as a public intoxication charge in 2000. This is all the more relevant, however, since Perry is facing charges after attempting to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her 2013 DWI arrest.

Memorial Held For Thomas Eric Duncan. The service, held Saturday evening, was private, and took place more than a month after Duncan died of Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

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Leading Off (11/10/2014)

South Dallas Fund Comes Up Short. Apparently, mistakes were made in the way city funds were allocated, which means the fund, created in the late ’80s to encourage business development in South Dallas, is thousands of dollars short. The fund has also been plagued by allegations of mismanagement over the years.

American Airlines Flight Attendants Reject Contract. By just 16 votes. The airline, which merged with US Airways last year, and the union will enter binding arbitration.

White Supremacists Rally in Rockwall. They were protesting illegal immigration, if you can believe it. There was “yelling and finger pointing.”

Cowboys Go to London to Play Another Team From America. This is presumably one of those money-making ventures I hear so much about? Anyway, we won, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-17; Dez Bryant was the star; and that concludes the Liz Sports Report. Go, us.

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Recent College Grads Still Not Choosing Dallas

The Dallas Morning News has the breakdown of a study from Portland-based think tank City Observatory. Short version: the idea of a move to our fair city is not met with praise hands emojis from recent college grads. Cities such as Austin, Denver, and Portland are easy draws, but the study (which uses Census data) indicates that 25-34 year olds also find Houston, San Antonio, and Los Angeles preferable to Dallas. Per the News:

From 2000 to 2012, the Dallas area was among a handful of metros that didn’t grow the young grad segment as fast as the total population, the study said. And the share of young residents with a college degree actually declined over the period. In 12 years, the number of college grads, ages 25 to 34, increased 20 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth. That compares with an average increase of 25 percent for the 51 largest metros, the study reported. Houston, Austin and San Antonio added young college grads twice as fast as Dallas over the same time.

Of course, the Census numbers are from 2012. The study tosses out a few reasons for the demographic’s aversion, once of which is a downtown still playing catch up.

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Leading Off (11/3/2014)

Nina and Bentley Forever. Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who survived Ebola, and Bentley, her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, were reunited on Saturday morning after he was released from quarantine, and the scene could not have been cuter.

Frisco Has a Mosquito Problem. It’s thanks to the warmer weather we had leading up to this cold snap. The city is spraying after there was a positive test for West Nile.

Someone Bought the Rights to Name Baby Giraffe. The Dallas Zoo raised $50,000 by selling the rights to name the baby giraffe born at the zoo on October 29. All the funds will go to conservation.

Fisticuffs at Texas Motor Speedways. Two Nascar drivers, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski, got in a punching match after Keselowski’s car hit Gordon’s, causing Gordon to fall behind and finish 29th. Another driver, Jimmie Johnson, actually won.

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Leading Off (10/27/2014)

Two x Two Fundraiser Smashes Records. The annual black-tie fundraiser, Two by Two for AIDs and Art, broke its record this year when an anonymous collector bid $2.6 million for a Wade Guyton painting, bringing the total take to $7 million. Half the money goes to the Dallas Museum of Art, and the other half to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. CeeLo Greene performed.

After Hugging President Obama, Nurse Nina Pham Back in North Texas. But she can’t have Bentley, her dog, back just yet. The dog will be released from quarantine on Nov. 1.

Former Penneys CEO Raises $30 Million For New Start Up. Ron Johnson is back, with a secretive e-venture called “Enjoy.” It’s meant to humanize the online shopping experience when it comes to buying “things that matter.”

Standardized Test Scores Are Out. The Morning News put together this interactive, where you can see how schools’ STAAR results improved, stayed the same, or declined between 2012 and 2014.

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Leading Off (10/20/2014)

Ebola Update. Texas Health’s CEO took out a full page ad in the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to apologize for the hospital’s initial response to Thomas Eric Duncan. Meanwhile, the 21-day monitoring period for the first group of people exposed, including Duncan’s fiancée, Louise Troh, ends today. Finally, the lady on the cruise ship who is a lab supervisor at Texas Health was cleared, and allowed to disembark in Galveston. D Healthcare Daily’s Matt Goodman has all the latest here.

Sports-Related Update. Listen, I know you’ve missed these. I hate to wear a good joke thin. But I really don’t like the Giants, so believe me when I say that I actually cared about this outcome: a 31-21 win, making this six-game streak the Cowboys’ longest in 7 years. In other important news, Joseph Randle, now notorious for his attempt to score a five-fingered discount on underwear and Gucci Guilty, will endorse underwear for a website called in a deal that will, reportedly, more than help him repay whatever fine he got slapped with for shoplifting, in addition to the however many multiple thousands of dollars he’s going to make playing football this year. And, like magic, I have gone from being vaguely invested to utterly annoyed with the way things work in this world.

Early Voting Starts Today. I hope you guys are all already registered. If not, you’re out of luck for this election. The voter ID law is in effect even while it’s being challenged in court, so keep that in mind, too, and while you’re at it, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent is worth your time. Early voting will continue through Oct. 31, with the election on Nov. 4.

Change of Venue Request Denied in Kaufman County Murder Trial. Eric Williams, who faces the death penalty for killing Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, and his defense attorneys requested a change of venue for the trial, arguing that he wouldn’t get a fair one in Rockwall. His request was denied. Jury selection continues, and the trial date is set for Dec. 1.

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Leading Off (10/6/2014)

Police Find Homeless Man Who Rode in Ambulance After Ebola Patient. Michael Lively, the homeless man who was described as low-risk and not exhibiting symptoms, nonetheless inspired a manhunt that began Saturday. He walked out of Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been transported in the ambulance that had also transported Thomas Eric Duncan. Lively was found Sunday and taken to Parkland. Meanwhile, Duncan’s condition has reportedly worsened.

Woman Attacked By Bees Dies. Nancy Whitehead had rushed into the swarm to save her husband after he disturbed a hive near Possum Kingdom Lake. She was stung more than 200 times.

Rep. Ralph Hall Injured in Car Crash. Hall, 91, is the oldest serving member of Congress, though he lost the election in May that would have kept him in office for another term. He was injured in a car accident on Saturday and airlifted to Medical Center of Plano. He had surgery on his hip, but is said to be in good spirits.

Oncor Customers Still Without Power. On Sunday, 10,000 customers still didn’t have power after Thursday’s storm. Yikes. Service is mostly expected to be restored this morning.

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Leading Off (9/29/14)

There Are So Many Tires In The Trinity River. Tons, in fact. And until recently, the job of removing them was left to volunteer groups. Now, a Dallas-based company called Good Earth Inc. has a city contract that will pay out $850 per ton, with a cap at $2.8 million over three years. They have pulled 114 tons of rubber thus far.

City Pension Funds For Same-Sex Spouses Stalled. The City Council has taken steps to protect LGBT municipal employees by adopting resolutions that call for equal treatment and to amend personnel rules with language prohibiting discrimination. However, city pension benefits for these employees and their spouses are still in flux, because Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages.

World’s Biggest Passenger Jet Lands at DFW Airport. The double-decker A380, which is almost 8 stories tall and can carry 500 passengers, begins scheduled service this week. It’s so massive that the airport had to make about $4.5 million in renovations to accommodate it. Should you feel like flying in something I find fairly terrifying, you can go to Sydney, Australia on Qantas, or Dubai on Emirates.

TxDOT v. NCTCOG. In a charming battle of bureaucratic acronyms, the North Central Texas Council of Governments is using high traffic estimates to justify a toll road that would stretch from Garland to Greenville, through Dallas, Collin, Rockwall, and Hunt counties. The Texas Department of Transportation’s forecasts are much lower. There’s other stuff going on, too, like the fact that NCTCOG’s estimates for population growth in Rockwall and Hunt counties is significantly higher than state estimates. Anyway, just read this.

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Leading Off (9/22/2014)

Wrecking Ball Demolishes 129-Year-Old Building Downtown. 1611 Main Street, one of downtown’s oldest buildings, was razed almost completely Sunday afternoon to make way for the new incarnation of Forty Five Ten, the luxury boutique currently located on McKinney. It’s part of developer Tim Headington’s continued expansion along Main Street.

Man’s Body Found Next To Wrecked Pick-Up. The man was shot multiple times, and his body was found in a field in Fort Worth. Homicide police are investigating.

Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott Debate Exposes Policy Differences. Not so surprising. According to the Dallas Morning News, Davis came out swinging, but Abbott was unruffled as topics ranged from Medicaid to early childhood education to President Barack Obama. And abortion, of course.

Former SMU Student Sues. The unnamed plaintiff is suing the university over its alleged mishandling of a 2012 sexual assault complaint. The plaintiff says that after he reported the assault, the environment on campus became so hostile that he was forced to withdraw.

Okay, Fine, Cowboys Win Again. Because you practically begged me, I will tell you that the Cowboys came back from 21-0 to beat the Rams, 34-31.

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Leading Off (9/15/2014)

Dallas Cowboys Are Winners. I enjoy the fact that because these games are on Sundays, I have become your de facto announcer of sports information that you are probably already aware of, unless you live under a rock. Anyway, they overcame the misery of last week’s season opening loss to beat the Tennessee Titans, 26-10. All is right in the world, except for these next few news items.

Man Falls From AT&T Stadium Stands. This happened at the UCLA vs. UT game on Saturday. The man is in critical condition after falling 12-15 feet from the 100 section to the floor level suites.

Body Pulled From West Dallas Pond. Jerry Sanchez, 42, was reported missing on Friday. He has been identified as the man divers found in a pond off Canada Drive on Saturday. Cause of death is still undetermined.

Full Report On Fired Dallas ISD Investigator Released. Jeremy Liebbe was the head of the district’s Professional Standards Office. A couple months ago, he was placed on leave, allegedly without being told a reason, but he had done some digging into his boss’ background (she had a criminal conviction that she hadn’t reported on her job application) and there were questions regarding the installation of surveillance cameras. He was fired on September 5, and the district released statement saying that they had found ““multiple instances of poor behavior and decision-making, and violations of law and the Texas Education Code.” Now, Liebbe’s lawyer provided the Dallas Morning News with a copy of the 17-page report compiled by an outside attorney, along with a rebuttal to the findings.

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Leading Off (9/8/2014)

Cowboys Not Off to a Winning Start. America’s Team lost to the San Francisco 49ers at AT&T Stadium, which was apparently packed with 49er diehards for the season opener. New Cowboy Michael Sam was also there, cheering on the sidelines.

Search Continues For Missing Fort Worth Woman. Christina Morris, 23, was last seen a week ago, at the Shops at Legacy in Plano, around 4 am. Her family and friends have organized search parties, expanding as far as Lake Lewisville on Sunday.

Earthquake Hits Arlington. The 2.4 magnitude earthquake struck early Sunday morning near the University of Texas at Arlington. There were no reported injuries.

Rick Perry Courts Experts. Governor Perry has been consulting with everyone from the CEO of Starbucks to policy experts from President George W. Bush’s administrations and Mitt Romney’s campaign, the Dallas Morning News reports after obtaining his schedule through an open records request. This is probably not in preparation for anything.

Land Deals Key in John Wiley Price Indictment. There are seven properties that do not seem to be on the up-and-up, according to federal authorities. The alleged real estate scheme allowed Price to amass more than $300,000 in income and assets, using “straw buyers” to obtain the properties, which are really not all that fancy. One is a defunct hot tub factory in East Texas.

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Leading Off (9/1/2014)

Rick Perry Tweets and Deletes. Sunday evening, Governor Perry’s official account tweeted out an image of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (you know, the one who he tried to push out of office after her arrest for drunk driving, a move that has resulted in his indictment) with a ruddy nose and this caption: “I don’t always drink drunk at 3x the legal blood alcohol limit….” Perry posted that the tweet was “unauthorized” and quickly deleted it, but this is the internet. Listen, it could happen to anyone—you’re workshopping a good joke, and your finger slips. Oops.

Five-Year-Old Girl Found Dead in Northeast Dallas. Last seen around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, she was reported missing, then found deceased in an vacant apartment at a complex that was not her family’s own, around 2:30 p.m. Police have not released any other details.

Florida State University Does Not Quite Steamroll OSU. The two teams met at AT&T Stadium Saturday night for the Cowboys Classic. FSU, ranked no. 1, did win, but Oklahoma State University made them work for it. The final score was 37-31.

Volunteers in the Cedars Identify Problem Spots For City. The program, dubbed a “code crawl,” involved members of the Cedars Neighborhood Association armed with cellphones, taking photos of standing water, fallen stop signs, trash, and other code violations. The photos were sent along through Dallas’ 311 app. As it happens, the Cedars Neighborhood Association has also found success with its citizen crime patrols.

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Leading Off (8/18/14)

Governor Perry Indicted. A Travis County grand jury indicted Rick Perry on two felony charges, abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, late Friday. He vetoed $7.5 million in funds to the Public Integrity Unit after its leader, a prominent county Democrat, refused to resign after her arrest for drunk driving. Perry has a summons to appear, and may do so as early as today.

Two Killed in South Dallas. One other person was injured, in a shooting spree that happened very early this morning along Ledbetter Road. Police are searching for suspects.

Dallas Theater Center Does a Very Nice Thing. An Alaskan teenager sent the DTC a letter, thanking them for their modernized interpretation of Les Miserables. She hadn’t actually seen the show, of course, but she’d read about it and looked at pictures and watched a few short clips. She asked if there was a chance they’d videotape the whole thing, and the theater (along with the Fairmont Hotel) responded by bringing her to Dallas for closing night, which was Sunday. It was super sweet.

DART to DFW Starts Today. That’s the good news. The bad news: no express trains.


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Leading Off (8/11/14)

Fatal Shooting in Oak Cliff Involves Off-Duty Officer. A man, believed to be unarmed, was shot by an off-duty Dallas police officer at West Twelfth Street and South Rosemont Avenue on Sunday evening. The officer, wearing a uniform and driving a marked vehicle, responded to a 911 call about the man, who had been harassing women on the street, as part of the DPD’s Extended Neighborhood Patrol program. According to police, the officer shot the man after he refused to comply with orders and moved toward the officer in a “dangerous” manner.

Rangers Win. A bearded player named Nick Martinez appears to have had a good game on Sunday. It would also appear that this win ended a seven-game losing streak to the Houston Astros. By now, you can tell that I am a baseball expert and I can stop typing.

Supermoon Mutes Meteor Showers. Unless the people you follow on Instagram really let you down, you know that the full moon was 30 percent brighter and 14 percent bigger last night. In addition to making Remus Lupin 14 percent more testy than usual, that brightness upstaged the Perseid meteor shower.

It Rained Yesterday. And it might very well rain today.

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