Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Seattle Seahawks Player Blames Matthew Stafford for JFK Assassination

Sure you’ve probably seen the traffic downtown today. As Tim mentioned in Leading Off, James Franco and Stephen King are making a movie about this thing that happened here a while back where a President got killed. D Magazine has written about that thing a little. It’s the kind of event football players who were not born yet blame on other football players who were not born yet.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford grew up in Dallas. He graduated from Highland Park. Last night his team lost to the Seattle Seahawks. The victory was especially sweet for Michael Bennett, a defensive end on the Seahawks who told reporters that he had been holding an insane grudge against Stafford. Bennett, whose brother Martellus used to play for the Cowboys and says plenty of strange things himself, went all 1963, saying, “I don’t like Matt Stafford much. He’s from Dallas. They killed the President (JFK). … I hold it against him.”

People are funny.

Leading Off (9/30/15)

NCAA Comes Down Hard on SMU Basketball. The team is banned from post-season play this year, and coach Larry Brown will miss nine games. The program will also lose nine scholarships over three years. All this stems from a lengthy academic fraud investigation. It is the third college program Brown has led to what ESPN is calling an “unplanned March vacation.”

Susan Hawk Released from Treatment. The embattled Dallas County district attorney has been released from the facility where she was seeking treatment for what she called a “serious episode of depression.” She is expected to return to work tomorrow.

Father Arrested for Shooting Stepson. There aren’t a lot of details yet, but apparently a 59-year-old man shot his 30-year-old stepson during an argument in Haltom City.

Rangers Snap Three-Game Losing Streak. Cole Hamels allowed six runs, the most since joining the Rangers, but the team held on against Detroit to win 7-6. The “magic number” is down to four.

Leading Off (9/23/15)

Irving Mayor Tells Glenn Beck There’s More to Clock Story. Beth Van Duyne appeared on The Blaze to say that “the other side of the story is not coming out” about the now-famous clock incident. She also doesn’t like the President’s reaction. They speculated whether someone put Ahmed up to this, to test for weak points in Irving security. Beck asked: “Any doubt in your mind that this is really kind of the final throes of weakening us to the point to where we don’t ask any questions, to be ready for final confrontation? Total confrontation?”

Investigators Looking into Waxahachie Explosion. Neither Atmos nor the fire department will say what they believe caused the giant house explosion that injured three and damaged several homes earlier this week. Apparently AT&T confirmed the company has been working in the area. Neighbors have been given the green light to return, but they would understandably like to know what made a nearby house explode.

Neighbors Ban Together to Take Down Alleged Burglar. The Munger Place neighborhood had been having a lot of car break-ins and garage thefts. Yesterday someone saw a 16-year-old boy opening car doors. There was a pursuit. There were punches. I sure hope they have the right guy. Otherwise the pile up that followed would have been pretty awkward. From a neighbor: “At that particular time all of the neighbors just piled on top of him and once the neighbors piled on top of them he had it because somebody was sitting out of his behind somebody was putting a leg on his arm he couldn’t move it all.”

Dallas Cowboys Trade for Matt Cassel. After the tragic injury to Tony Romo, the Cowboys made a move for another quarterback. Cassel is probably best known for being an adequate fill-in for Tom Brady seven years ago. He’s played on a few teams since then, most recently the Bills. He’s expected to back up Brandon Weeden, who was until yesterday the only other quarterback on the roster.

NBC Reporter Demonstrates How to Break a Car Window

North Oak Cliff has experienced a lot of broken car windows recently. Someone has been throwing bricks and rocks at parked cars. There have been at least 10 incidents in the last two weeks, and some of the damage is pretty expensive.

NBC’s Ben Russell had a report last night about the vandalism. And it started with a solid demonstration. (See above.)

It’s not clear who owns the window he shatters, or where he is when he does it, but I bet he was a little nervous before the live shot. Just think of how viral this video would be if he had missed, or if the glass didn’t break.

Read More

Leading Off (9/16/15)

Irving Freshman Arrested for Making a Clock. This story is in turns hilarious and infuriating. Ahmed Mohamed is the kind of kid who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart. On Monday, he built a clock and brought it to school. That’s when the trouble started. Despite the fact that Ahmed told his teachers — then administrators, then police — that it was a clock, the not-as-smart-as-a-ninth-grader adults responded badly. After being interrogated by four officers, Ahmed was taken out of school in handcuffs, an officer on each arm. He was taken to a juvenile detention center and finger printed, and suspended from school for three days. Because some adults in Irving didn’t understand why a high school freshman would make a clock. I have a feeling this will not be the last we hear of Ahmed’s story.

Homeland Security Agents Raid Trophy Club House. They arrested a 28-year-old man named Jayce Craft as part of an investigation into alleged child exploitation. Craft lives with his parents, who run a Montessori school in Southlake.

Fort Worth Girl Suffers Three Heart Attacks. Irma Rodriguez, a sixth grader, was rushed to the hospital last week after collapsing in school. She reportedly had three heart attacks at the hospital, where she is now on life support. The girl will need a heart transplant, but her family is having trouble finding a hospital that will perform the operation. In the words of Irma’s uncle: “It’s been very tough.”

Fatal Shooting in Downtown Garage. There are almost no details coming out about a fatal shooting at the corner of Harwood and Elm just before 9 p.m. last night. The DMN says it may have been a suicide.

Woman Attacked Outside Dallas World Aquarium. An actress visiting Dallas from Los Angeles says she was punched in the head by a man trying to steal her purse as she exited the aquarium yesterday. She got up and chased the man, and eventually he was arrested. This is further proof that the Dallas World Aquarium is a bad place and you shouldn’t go there.

Rangers Take Over First Place. A Mitch Moreland sacrifice fly gave the Rangers a 6-5 win over the Astros last night, and pushed the team into first place in the AL West. Since 1969, only five other teams have taken a division lead this late in the season.

Could Mark Cuban Get You to Vote for Donald Trump?

This is a fun thing that happens when elections are far away and nebulous. People like to mix and match ideas, putting together candidates and potential candidates and well, just famous people really — like they’re wine and dinner pairings. This Biden vintage no good by itself? How about we pair it with an Elizabeth Warren?

That’s what is happening right now with Donald Trump. While he’s doing well in utterly useless polls, clearly some people do not have a taste for the man. (He can be a bit strong and bitter at times.) So now political types are seeing who he pairs well with. Trump and Cruz? Trump and Carson? How about Jeb Bush, or John Kasich, or Marco Rubio? Or Oprah?

Well the newest suggested pairing is a local name: Mark Cuban. Matt Lattimer, a speechwriter for George W. Bush, suggests Cuban would be the perfect running mate for Trump. Politco mentioned it too. The DMN has a datelined story about the possibility.

Despite a relatively tumultuous history with each other — see Cuban’s comments on “torching” Trump from 2013 — they’ve been playing nice recently. Both men are brash public figures with pretty much zero political experience. Both men have owned sports franchises. And oh yeah, both men are in the three comma club. (A party of billionaires would have seemed like a parody just a few years ago.)

Of course Cuban would soften Trump’s image a bit. Though Cuban is no stranger to controversial statements, most of the time he’s nuanced and sensitive — not words anyone would use to describe Trump at the moment. Cuban’s fortune is also considerably more self-made than Trump’s. But of course none of it matters, because there is no chance Cuban would jump in the race. But thinking about things is fun.

Leading Off (9/9/15)

Second Woman Questioned in Murder of Uptown Dentist. An ex-girlfriend of Dr. Kendra Hatcher’s boyfriend apparently tracked the dentist using an iPhone, then paid a man $500 to bring her Hatcher’s drivers license. Most of this comes from Crystal Cortes, who claims to have driven this unnamed man to the crime scene.

Authorities Looking for Drivers Involved in Highway Newlywed Video. A couple from Irving got married last weekend, then had their first dance on I-30. Video from the event shows traffic completely halted as members of a local Camaro club circled the couple, burning rubber. Now police are looking for the drivers who shut down the freeway. Ah, romance.

Business Leaders Argue Over New Downtown Light-rail Route. The City Council’s transportation committee unanimously voted on where to put a proposed new light-rail route. Now downtown businesses are asking the council to keep its options open, proposing a resolution that would prevent the city and DART from taking any private property. The problem with that: it would potentially kill the entire project.

Argentina Draws Mexico in Arlington. Lionel Messi, perhaps the most famous athlete on the planet, scored late in last night’s international friendly, hosted at Jerry World, to cap a two-goal comeback and salvage a draw. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored for Mexico on a penalty kick in the first half. Final score: 2-2.

Read More

Rick Carlisle Believes He Can Fly

Rick Carlisle, the coach of the Dallas Mavericks, apparently owns a pretty sweet 26-foot-long Cirrus SR22 turbo plane, which generally starts at about $360,000. And the coach has been learning how to fly. According to this ESPN story, from Tim MacMahon, Carlisle has logged around 180 hours of flying time — all in the offseason and during breaks. He’s preparing for his next ratings test.

Most of the ESPN story is about all the safety precautions the coach takes, from his pre-takeoff checklist to the people he hired to train him to the rocket-propelled parachute attached to the entire plane (it has reportedly saved over 100 lives already). One other precaution he takes: he won’t fly with his wife and daughter.

“In due time, they’ll come up,” Carlisle says, “but I’m going to make sure I do all the work and have the appropriate ratings. It’ll happen when it happens. Donna and Abby are looking forward to doing it at the right time. I haven’t determined that it’s the right time yet.”

Leading Off (9/2/15)

“Frontier Disney” Fraudster Sentenced to 17 Years. You’ll recall the story of Thomas W. Lucas Jr., the Plano man convicted of fraud after he forged documents and misled investors — who thought they were getting insider tips about plans for a Walt Disney theme park in North Texas. (Zac once compared Lucas to Uncle Buck.) Well, yesterday Lucas, 35, was sentenced for his crimes: 17 years.

Another City Honors Santos Rodriguez. In 1973, a Dallas police officer investigating the theft of coins from a vending machine forced a 12-year-old boy named Santos Rodriguez to play Russian roulette — until the boy lost. The city has had a hard time addressing this terrible injustice over the years. Now, from the DMN, this fiery burn:

“Just this week, we learned of Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park, so named ‘to remind us all of the importance to respect, love, care for, and protect all of the children of the world.’ About $350,000 in city parks funding helped redevelop it into a welcoming open space next to El Centro de la Raza.

Please stop by the next time you’re in Seattle.”

City Worker Does Terrible Thing to Dallas Children. From our local CBS affiliate: “Ripped apart and tossed into a nearby creek, kids in an East Dallas youth soccer league are unable to play their matches after a city worker was seen destroying the goalposts the league owns.” It’s no wonder those East Dallas kids weren’t able to play, after being ripped apart and tossed into a creek. Hope everyone recovers quickly.

No More Betting at Lonestar Park. Races were suspended yesterday, as the legislature debates the future of the Texas Racing Commission. Looks like racing will resume soon, though.

Read More

Leading Off (8/26/15)

Why Hasn’t the Sheriff’s Department Released Tape of Jail Death?
It never ever looks good when someone dies in police custody, and the moment is captured on camera, and the police don’t swiftly release the video. It always looks like a cover-up. A combination of sympathetic strangers and Joseph Hutchinson’s family are asking Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez why they still haven’t seen video of Hutchinson’s death — after he ran into the jail asking officers for help — despite the fact that it was reportedly caught on seven cameras.

Home Prices Went Up, Again. This time it was 8.2 percent in June. Only Denver and San Francisco had bigger numbers. Luckily, all markets are always stable all the time.

Orlando Scandrick Might Be Out for the Season. He’s been the best defensive back the Cowboys have had over the last few seasons. Yesterday in practice he planted, heard a pop, then fell to the ground screaming that he’d torn his ACL. Not good. Let’s hope he feels better soon, too.

Leading Off (8/12/15)

Arlington Officer Fired. Brad Miller, the officer who shot and killed Christian Taylor, was fired yesterday for what the police chief there called “troubling” behavior, which led to “cascading consequences” and ultimately Taylor’s death. Cpl. Dale Wiggins, Miller’s training officer, entered the building after Miller that night and thought, when he heard a pop, that Miller must have been using a Taser. Then this: “Upon hearing the pop, Wiggins deployed his Taser. After Taylor was hit with the Taser, Miller shot the suspect three more times.”

Former Arlington Officer Brad Miller Facing Criminal Investigation Arlington Chief Will Johnson also addressed the community, and he says getting fired may be just the start of Miller’s troubles. Because that’s generally what should happen in cases like this: a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, a lot of people are watching

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Tombstone Is Back in North Texas. It was in a roadside museum in Roscoe, Illinois, which seemed weird. But then I saw some of the other things in that same museum: a Bonnie and Clyde car, the car from Ghostbusters, one of the cars from the National Lampoon’s Vacation series, and the limo that was behind Kennedy’s on the day of the assassination. Whatever. Now the grave marker is back here, “where it belongs.”

Homeowner Shoots Intruder. Kendrick Dickson heard something while he was napping yesterday morning. “I was kind of scared at first,” he said. “I got my 8-month-old little boy here.” Dickson grabbed a rifle and shot the would-be intruder, who left a trail of blood on the way to a nearby convenience store. If there’s a criminal investigation of the shooter here, it probably won’t last long.

Dallas Woman sues Uber and Driver for More than $1 million. The woman who says she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver a few weeks ago is suing for more than $1 million in medical expenses and damages from Uber, the driver, and the driver’s separate limousine company. The ride-share company says it “mistakenly” issued driver’s privileges to the accused man.

Leading Off (8/5/15)

Farmersville Residents Say More Terrible Things About Muslims. A town hall meeting meant to ease tensions surrounding a proposed Muslim cemetery turned into another opportunity for local residents to say not-great things in front of television cameras. “People don’t trust Muslims,” said one woman, after the two-hour meeting. “Their goal is to populate the United States and take it over.”

Suspect in Butt-Injection Death Investigated in Another Fatality. A death in St. Louis may be linked to the Dallas incident earlier this year, when a woman died shortly after receiving a “buttocks-enhancing procedure.” Investigators in Missouri contacted Dallas police about the possible involvement of Denise “Wee Wee” Ross, who is out on bail.

Murder Mystery in Garland. Last week, 38-year-old Jamhal Henderson was found inside his home, shot in the back of the head. Police believe the killer locked the door on the way out of the house.

Police Searching for Escaped Sex Offender. Brent Allen Jozefkowicz apparently cut off the electronic monitor he’s required to wear and walked out of a Fort Worth halfway house yesterday. He was last seen walking west on 199, wearing bluejeans, a red t-shirt, and a green poncho.

It’s Going to Be Hot. Really hot. Probably too hot to walk around. Possibly too hot to drive. Certainly too hot to even consider leaving a child or pet alone in the car for even a minute. Stay hydrated.

Leading Off (7/29/15)

Dallas Zoo’s Baby Giraffe Died. Kipenzi was born in April, with millions of people watching. She died yesterday, after running into something in the exhibit as the zookeepers were shifting the herd into the barn for the night. “It’s never easy to lose an animal that you know and have worked with,” said Harrison Edell, the zoo’s senior director of living collections. “It’s especially difficult when it’s an unexpected death and it is very much like losing a family member. It’s a rough day.” Katie, Kipenzi’s mother, stood guard over the calf’s body. Damn.

Mayor Rawlings “Deeply Concerned” About Upcoming Sex Expo. He said he is worried “that our playing host to this convention might send regarding our city’s position on the sexual exploitation of women.” That would be the same city where started. (By the way, I wrote about the 2008 Exxxotica expo in Miami. It gets pretty crazy, and concern is warranted.)

Video of Reporter Confronting Woman Who Stole His Identity Goes Viral. Fox 4’s Steve Noviello, the station’s consumer reporter, got the chance to confront a woman who used his credit card number to book a hotel room. It’s delightfully awkward. Now the video is working its way around the internet.

Grand Jury Hearing Case Against Ken Paxton. Special prosecutors allege that the state attorney general violated securities laws. Those prosecutors have apparently been presenting that case to a Collin County grand jury this week.

Plano Teen Still Missing. The car Jeorgina Gonzalez was last seen in was found abandoned yesterday in Garland, but there is no trace of the teenager. She was last seen with a couple: Saul Cenobio Lopez and Nohemi Lemus Guerrero (aka Nohemi Lopez).

Read More

Leading Off (7/22/15)

Dallas Police Officer Fired After Sexual Assault Arrest. Chief David Brown fired Senior Corporal Ryan Ramirez yesterday after Ramirez was charged in Kaufman County with aggravated sexual assault of an 8 year old.

Armed Civilians Guard Military Recruiters in Cleburne. Most of the men and women carrying guns, gear, and flags identify themselves as veterans. They say they are there to protect the active service members from an incident like last week’s shooting in Chattanooga. Apparently there are 15 to 20 groups like this organized around the country.

Addison Woman Arrested for Killing Newborn. Police in Addison arrested Luz Aurora Granadosreyes, 25, and charged with capital murder of child under the age of 6.

Jordan Spieth Flew Home with Zach Johnson, Drank from Cup. Really though, everything he does is great. Look at these pictures. Say you don’t love him.

Tony Romo Sues NFL. He’s part owner of “The Fan Expo,” which organized a fantasy football event at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Players scheduled to attend included: Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Odell Beckham Jr., and Rob Gronkowski, The NFL somehow canceled the event, and Romo’s group wants more than a million dollars.

Read More

Leading Off (7/15/15)

Farmersville Residents Do Not Want a Muslim Cemetery. This story basically sounds like a Daily Show bit waiting to happen. A choice quote: “We used to grow onions here. We sure enough don’t want to be growing bodies.” And this, from the same story: “Some are threatening to dump pigs blood and put pigs heads on a post so Muslims won’t buy the land.”

Australian Man Accused of Stalking, Raping Woman He Met in Uptown. The details of this case are pretty nightmarish. A woman says a man she met in an Uptown bar “started making unwanted advances,” then jumped into her Lyft ride before assaulting her. Police found him “unconscious” in her bed.

Local Parents Lose Custody After Waco Biker Incident. After he was arrested at Twin Peaks, Rob Bucy and his wife, Marilyn, lost custody of the 5-year-old girl they were in the process of adopting. Marilyn was ordered to pack the girl’s bags and toys and stuffed animals and deliver her to a stranger at the airport — and they are forbidden from contacting the girl. All because he was a member of a biker club that was involved in a massive shootout that left nine people dead.

Deron Williams Signs with the Mavs. No, he’s not a giant center that led the league in rebounding. But he’s from here, and he was really good not long ago, and he isn’t costing the team much. So there’s that.

Dez Bryant Says He’ll Hold Out If There’s No Deal Today. The reported offer is more than $12.8 million per year. Bryant is reportedly asking for a long-term deal worth closer to $16 million per year. He says that if a deal isn’t done by this afternoon, he could miss training camp and possibly regular season games, and the player’s association might file collusion charges. Apparently the Cowboys are skeptical.