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Leading Off (1/30/15)

Fort Worth Officer Involved in Shooting. The officer is in stable condition after surgery on his abdomen. The suspect, a 40-year-old man with a reported history of mental illness, is dead.

Arlington Swingers Club Shutdown for Zoning Violations. Neighbors say it’s a sexual-oriented business. The city stresses that nobody found any criminal activity, though some of the parties had upwards of 200 guests. The “host” says he isn’t running a business because he only asks for donations ($80 for couples, $20 for single ladies), and he vows to keep “Eutopia” open.

Dallas Woman Convicted of Kidnapping Son. Erica Lonzetta Dominque abducted her son during a fight with the boy’s father, then drove the boy to an embankment and reportedly told him: “This is it for us. … You’re going to have to get killed.” (Side note: Sarah Mervosh is one of the best reporters at the DMN and her coverage of this story is proof. I dare you to read her description of the 6-year-old boy testifying against his mother and not get emotional.)

“Everest” Opera Opens Tonight. It tells the story of the men trapped on the mountain in the famous 1996 climbing disaster, including Beck Weathers, the Dallas man who at one point was left for dead in the blizzard.

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Tea Party-Supported Giovanni Capriglione Called ‘Turncoat’ By Local Tea Party

Giovanni Capriglione is a State Representative from Southlake. In 2012 he was elected with heavy Tea Party support. Now he’s being called a “turncoat” by the president of the Arlington Tea Party. In this video, you’ll hear just how mad Capriglione has made Joshua Finkenbinder. (The definition of “turncoat” is printed across the bottom of the screen.)

This is because Capriglione said he’d vote for Joe Straus, a Republican from San Antonio, to become Speaker of the House, and not Scott Turner, a Tea Party favorite from Rockwall. Straus has been called “The Harry Reid of Texas.”

Capriglione has said in the past that he’s worked with Turner, “broken bread” with him, and thinks of him as a brother, but that Turner “doesn’t have the depth on policy.”

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Earthquake in Dallas

UPDATE 3:28 p.m. The USGS says it was a 3.5, centered in Irving. I’m sure Tim, Brad, and Zac will all be along soon with some of their delightful brand of color commentary. It will be both much more informative and much more entertaining than this post.

Original: I felt it in North Oak Cliff. It felt like the building I was in was shivering. I’ve seen reports on Twitter saying people felt it in the Design District, in Downtown, and in Deep Ellum, too. As Brad just said, when I asked him if he felt anything at the office, “Every media member in Dallas just said the same thing.”

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Leading Off (1/5/15)

Cowboys Win First Playoff Game Since 2009. Glorious day! Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys came from behind to beat the Detroit Lions yesterday, 24-20, notching the team’s first playoff win in five years. There was drama, and controversy, and in the end, a lot of screen shots of New Jersey governor Chris Christie awkwardly hugging Jerry and Stephen Jones.

Haters Complain About Picked-Up Penalty Flag. Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens was flagged for pass interference while Dallas was down 20-17, but a few seconds later the flag was picked up and waved off, driving non-Dallas fans crazy. Even Cowboys players called it “a break.”

Redemption Thy Name Is Lawrence. Rookie Demarcus Lawrence could have essentially ended the game by falling on a fumble late in the fourth quarter. But he tried to return it, eventually fumbling the ball himself and giving Detroit another chance. A few plays later though, Lawrence redeemed himself with the forced fumble and recovery that sealed the victory.

Other Stuff Happened. A few other things happened, too. Some of them seem pretty important.

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Key to Cowboys Victory: Ignoring Andrew Luck’s Compliments

With that wonderful win Sunday night, the Cowboys have put themselves in position to win the division, and possibly even earn a bye in the first week of the playoffs — or to completely rip the hearts out of fans who could resist hope until only recently.

This week’s game against the Colts will be the biggest challenge. And the Cowboys have a lot to deal with. In addition to DeMarco “Spray Tan” Murray’s surgically repaired hand, and Orlando Scandrick’s seems-like-a-real-life-Chappelle Show-sketch desire to run up the score on hospitalized children who dare play him in Madden, this week the team has to face the unrelenting kindness of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

The Wall Street Journal has a great story about just how jarring Luck’s niceties can be. Apparently, any time he’s knocked down he retaliates with love. From the WSJ:

Luck has become famous for congratulating—sincerely and enthusiastically—any player to hit him hard. Any sack is met with a hearty congratulations, such as ”great job” or “what a hit!” He yells it after hard hits that don’t result in sacks, too. It is, players say, just about the weirdest thing any quarterback does in the NFL.

When New England pass rusher Rob Ninkovich pulverized Luck last month in a Patriots’ 42-20 win, he got the customary congratulations. As Ninkovich tells it, he found himself paralyzed with confusion by the well-wishes, so he blurted out “Thanks for…uh…accepting that hit?” before running back to the huddle.

Also, Dallas is 3-4 at home this year. So there’s that.

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No, The Guy in That Fight Video Is Probably Not Mike Brown

A video has been circulating recently that purports to show Mike Brown, the 18-year-old shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, beating an older man over a backpack. I’ve seen this video passed around on Facebook in the last few days, mostly by people working backward from the notion that Brown was a menace to society who deserved to die. Some of the individuals sharing the video without skepticism are local journalists — because the industry just hasn’t had a hard enough time of late.

The footage is brutal and disturbing, and you probably shouldn’t watch it. Especially since the person in that video almost certainly is not Mike Brown. The rumor-debunking site Snopes looked into the matter and has determined that the video has been mislabeled. (It was also taken off of Facebook at one point, not because of the content or label or any policy of the social network, but because the person who first shared it removed the post and that’s how that works.)

Turns out, this footage was shot two years ago, when Brown would have been 15 or 16. Also, it was shot in Dallas, in the Woodland City Apartments (the original video is titled “Only in Woodland City”), and there is no indication Brown ever spent time in North Texas.

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DeMarco Murray Accused of Having Affair With Former Teammate’s Wife

Well, this is about as salacious as it gets. And the ultimate source for all things salacious: TMZ.

Yesterday Brennan Clay took to Twitter to announce that his soon-to-be-ex wife was having an affair with Cowboys star running back (and MVP candidate) DeMarco Murray, a former teammate of Clay’s at the University of Oklahoma. Clay told TMZ he found an old cell phone of his wife’s that had more than 50 “inappropriate” messages to and from Murray, along with explicit photos.

Clay’s wife, Gina D’Agostini, is a fitness instructor in Dallas. She deleted her Twitter and Facebook accounts not long after the allegations went public.

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Leading Off (11/25/2014)

Locals Gather to Protest Ferguson Grand Jury Decision. After the no-bill announcement last night in Missouri, a small group showed up at the Dallas Police Department with signs. Most of people in this video seem to be having a pretty good time. Certainly a better time than the people in these incredibly dramatic photos. There’s another local protest scheduled for tonight.

Rough Week for Local Police. Unrelated to that last item, it has not been a great stretch for local law enforcement. Three Dallas Police officers were fired, and one was charged with excessive force for an incident involving a panhandler. And the Arlington Police Department is investigating how accident reports were leaked to lawyers and injury clinics.

Four Earthquakes in Three Days. All in Irving. The latest one, a 2.2, hit last night around 11:45 p.m. (Insert awkward comment about how we all know this is fracking-related, but because that industry is so profitable and powerful, nothing will change anytime soon–unless maybe it gets worse.)

Mavs Lose Ugly. At home, to the 6-8 Indiana Pacers. Final score: 111-100. Despite having served his four game suspension for last season’s gun charges, Raymond Felton was inactive.

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Child Porn Suspect Told Police He’s Raped More Than 100 Kids

The details emerging in this case are incredibly disturbing. And you will probably be hearing the name Randy Ray Wesson a lot in the next few months. Wesson, a 28-year-old Fort Worth man, was arrested after police linked him to an Instagram account. It appears he was living with a 17-year-old named Ricardo Lugo, who was posing as a 12-year-old and attending Hurst Hills Elementary. Police say Lugo helped recruit victims. Wesson apparently also told police that he has sexually assaulted more than 100 children — identifying a dozen by name — and possessed 42,000 images of child porn.

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Leading Off (11/21/14)

Obama Announces Immigration Reform. It could mean thousands of people in Texas who otherwise might have been deported won’t be. Depending on whom you ask, this is either a great, humane thing for countless families or a tyrant seizing power to subvert democracy.

Local Family Moves to Oregon to Get Medical Marijuana for Infant. “Sure, we may have questioned the cannabis oil at first,” admits Chris Blanchett, whose 14-month-old daughter Ellanor has a rare seizure disorder called Aicardi Syndrome. “But that’s what we want to try now. And until you’re in our seat, you don’t understand what that decision means.”

The Story of Kent Brantley’s Survival. GQ’s Sean Flynn has a short oral history about the heroic Fort Worth doctor’s recovery from Ebola, from the perspective of the physicians who treated him. Worth checking out.

Glenn Beck: The Media Raped Bill Cosby. “Journalism is the most dishonorable, dishonest, callous, cynical, mean, stupid, stupid people and industry I’ve ever seen,” says Beck. Which reminds me: You can read my profile of Glenn Beck here.

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Alex From Target Gets the New York Times Treatment

The story of Alex from Target (from Frisco) is now a story about us looking at ourselves looking at ourselves looking at beautiful, polite people. When he left for work that morning, he had a little more than 100 followers on Twitter. Now he has around 733,000.

“To say Alex is ‘a sweet kid,’ as his parents describe him, is an understatement. He’s shy and exceedingly polite. He often chuckles to himself after speaking. While he answered most of my questions with short and sheepish replies, when I asked him about his girlfriend, Lindsey, he lit up, telling me that they met in chemistry class after sitting next to each other for a lab assignment.”

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Leading Off (11/5/14)

Election Results. Abbott won. Watkins lost. Republicans swept the stateMillions of dollars will go to highways. And Denton banned fracking. More here.

Cowboys Coin Regrettable Hashtag for London Game. The Cowboys are playing the Jacksonville Jaguars in Wembley Stadium this week. The team probably could have come up with something better than #CowboysUK.

Friend Apparently Lied to Plano Police Investigating Missing Woman. Christina Morris went missing after a night at the Shops at Legacy two months ago. Enrique Gutierrez Arochi, a friend of hers from high school, was with her the night she disappeared, but apparently wasn’t completely honest with the police. A coworker also said that Arochi had bruises on his forearm and that he complained of a sore back around the same time.

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Death Metal Legend King Diamond Lives in Frisco

This is just weird and awesome. King Diamond is one of those classic, screeching European metal singers who inspired bands like Metallica: skulls, makeup, a femur for a microphone, a denouncement by Tipper Gore in the ’80s. And apparently now he spends a lot of his time walking around Frisco. Sorry. Not just walking. Power walking.

From Thor Christensen’s DMN story:

“It’s all very normal. The neighbors know who I am and they say ‘Hi’ when I’m out walking,” says the 58-year-old falsetto-voiced singer of “Evil,” “Burn” and “Satan’s Fall.”

“I feel the Southern hospitality big-time in Dallas,” he says. “People are just so polite and helpful, which is one reason I love Texas. It’s not like that at all in Denmark.”

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Leading Off (10/29/14)

Amber Vinson is Back. I feel like this part of the inevitable Ebola book(s) and movie(s) will be covered in a cheerful montage.

Two Convicted Killers Set Free. Stanley O. Mozee and Dennis Lee Allen were both serving life sentences for the 1999 murder of a pastor when their convictions were overturned due to what sounds a lot like some disturbing prosecutorial misconduct.

Mavs Lose Close Season Opener to Spurs. Ugh. With 1:37 left on the clock, Dallas was winning. Chandler Parsons missed a three-pointer as time expired. I’m sure Zac will be along later with a venn diagram or something that explains this game, and, if we’re lucky, the whole season. Or franchise. Or — oh! — maybe the history of the rivalry with the Spurs. He could definitely do something solid with that. It could turn into the kind of material mere mortals might confuse for the hilarious ramblings of a mad man. But yeah, anyway, rough start.

A Story That Will Make You Feel Emotions. If you’re into that sort of thing.

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