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Morning News Names New Managing Editor

Her name is Robyn Tomlin. If you’d like to know all about her and about how excited she is to come to Dallas, you can read this Romenesko post. But here’s all you really need to know: her dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is named Boo Radley.

The paper’s editor, Mike Wilson, has a dog named Story. As Zac has noted (repeatedly), Story is a horrible name for a dog. Me, I think Boo Radley ain’t too bad, especially when shortened to Boo. I’d be curious to hear what Zac thinks.

UPDATE: Jason may have been first, but my dog point brought needed perspective and context to this story. So I’m leaving this post up.

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The DMN Screws DISD Yet Again

As I mentioned in Leading Off, there’s a story in the paper today about DISD. Two administrators at a school with 390 students were put on leave while the district investigates possible academic misconduct. Were the administrators cheating? Maybe. Maybe not. We don’t know. The Morning News doesn’t know. The paper doesn’t even know what the possible “academic misconduct” might have entailed. All it could report was that two administrators were on leave. It’s a pretty thin story. Yet it ran above the fold today on the front page. It’s such a non-story at this point that the reporter, Tawnell Hobbs, had to write one graph about all the people who wouldn’t comment and another two graphs about how the school in question got its name and how it partners with a local college.

This is a screw job.

Meanwhile, as Louisa Meyer pointed out in the comments to my earlier post, some very good news is coming out of the district.

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Leading Off (9/3/15)

Tell the Mayor What You Think of the City Budget. Today at 5:30 you can tweet at the mayor about the budget in a “virtual town hall meeting.” Don’t expect the mayor to tweet back, though. He’ll respond via a live video broadcast that starts at 6. Sounds perfect. He wants to use social media—but not really. Enjoy yourselves.

DISD Problem Gets Blown Up. I am writing this item without having seen the printed newspaper. But I’m going to make a prediction about how this news gets played. There are questions about “academic misconduct” at a school that has about 390 total students. An investigation is underway. Right now, though, there are only questions. We don’t know what did or did not happen. Prediction: this story will run above the fold, on the front page. (It should be a Metro brief.)

Christian Taylor Had a Hallucinogen in His System. The 19-year-old had a drug called N-Bomb in his system when an Arlington cop shot and killed him in what was ruled a homicide. The autopsy also found that Taylor had recently used marijuana.

Woman Murdered in Uptown. Details are scant. But the killing happened in the parking garage of the Gables Park 17 high-rise, on Cedar Springs.

Orlando Scandrick Cried Yesterday. The Cowboys’ top cornerback had season-ending surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament. At the team’s annual kickoff luncheon yesterday, he was named last year’s co-defensive MVP (with Jeremy Mincey). This might give you an idea of how it can suck to be a professional athlete.

Will Smith’s Concussion and Tony Dorsett

Watching the trailer for the upcoming Will Smith movie called Concussion, which is based on the real-life story about the doctor who discovered CTE, reminded me of Zac’s story from last year about Tony Dorsett. Watch the trailer, and then, if you haven’t already, read “Tony Dorsett Is Losing His Mind.”

In other news, the college football season starts tomorrow! No. 2 TCU v. Minnesota, baby!

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UT Dallas Prof Finds that NFL Players Get Arrested for Violent Crimes

A recent study out of UT Dallas finds that NFL players don’t get arrested all that often, when compared to their civilian peers. “There’s a perception that the NFL has this huge crime problem and that it’s longstanding. That’s what everybody believes,” Alex Piquero, the UT Dallas prof, said in a release. “The data show that it’s not true.” Aha! But the data do show that NFL players get arrested for violent crimes more than their civilian peers. Which led the Huffington Post to go with the clickbait headline “Why Aren’t We Talking About What This Study Discovered About NFL Violence?” We haven’t been talking about NFL players committing violent crimes? Kinda feels like we have.

The FIFA Scandal and Its Connection to Dallas

An alert FrontBurnervian has brought Aaron Davidson to my attention, and now I bring him to yours. The Miami New Times published a story today about Davidson, who has described himself as a “Tex-Mex-Costa Rican Jew.” He grew up in Dallas, went to Greenhill, got his law degree from SMU. Now he’s caught up in the FIFA corruption scandal. Here’s how New Times put it:

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Leading Off (9/1/15)

Death of Man in Dallas Jail Ruled Homicide. Joseph Hutcheson died August 1 after a struggle with deputies in the lobby. The medical examiner’s office determined the death was a homicide, but there were several factors in play, including “combined effects of cocaine and methamphetamine, compounded by hypertensive cardiovascular disease and physiologic stress associated with struggle and restraint.” The full autopsy report isn’t finished; everything is on hold until it is.

Some Dallas Cops Get Body Cameras Today. The rollout across the entire force will take years. But if you get arrested today in the Central Patrol Division — downtown, Uptown, Deep Ellum, Old East Dallas, The Cedars — smile!

Garland Superintendent Apologizes (Kinda) for Bad Joke. This happened at the Garland ISD’s convocation, which was held in the Curtis Culwell Center, where police killed two Muslim men in May as they tried to launch an assault an anti-Islamic event. A trustee who had recently visited Africa wore a costume onstage with a fake beard and a traditional Arab headdress. Superintendent Bob Morrison took the mic and said, “With the Garland PD here, he’s lucky dressed like that [that] bad things didn’t happen to him out in the parking lot, is all I can tell him.” Really, really bad judgment on his part. Though the remark reportedly got a good laugh from the audience. Morrison did the whole “I apologize IF I offended anyone” thing. So that’s nice.

An Object Lesson on Jumping to Conclusions During a Breaking News Story

Here is a hypothetical: a man shoots and kills a reporter and a cameraman on live morning television. You are an editorial writer for a major metropolitan daily newspaper. You wonder if Donald Trump’s antipathy toward the press led to the shooting. Should you A) go get a cup of coffee and wait a bit to see what develops, or B) put up a blog post wondering if Donald Trump is partly to blame for the two deaths? Tod Robberson at the DMN went with option B. Let’s see how that turned out.

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Brint Ryan Shows How To Handle a Crisis

Sean Weaver is a young guy who until not long ago worked for the Dallas firm Ryan, which handles corporate tax matters. Weaver worked out of a Fairfax, Virginia, office, where he ran a $20 million scam that got him in trouble. Here’s the FBI’s press release from last week. Late last night, Ryan chairman and CEO Brint Ryan sent out his own release explaining what happened and assuring everyone that Weaver acted alone and that Ryan (the firm and the man) cooperated with authorities to bust the guy. That’s just solid damage control, right there. Kudos to Ryan (the firm and the man). I especially like that he ends his note thusly: “I sincerely thank you for your business and your continued trust and confidence in Ryan. If you have any questions at all, please call me at 972.725.0481.” I called the number, just to see if it actually rang Ryan’s office (the man). It does. Fran answered the phone. I asked my question: “How many folks have called with questions?” Fran’s answer: “You’re the first one.”

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Leading Off (8/25/15)

More Questions About Susan Hawk. I like the way the News is playing this story. It appears that every day that DA Susan Hawk isn’t at work, the paper is going to run a “Where is Susan Hawk?” story. It’s pretty bad when the two people speaking for you are a) a campaign consultant who no longer works for you and b) your mom. (USA Today has picked up on the story, too.)

DART Looks To Build Second Line Through Downtown. Yesterday AIA Dallas wrote a letter to the head of DART in support of Alignment B4, and the Transportation Committee unanimously recommended that alignment, with a little adjustment along Jackson Street to avoid a church and some town homes. DART’s planning committee will meet today to discuss the matter. The City Council is expected to vote on it September 9. You are to be commended for keeping abreast of this important civic issue.

Huge Pot Bust in Oak Cliff. Looks like all you unicycle-riding, bearded hipsters are going to have a hard time scoring weed. Cops busted a drug deal in the works, snagging 74 bricks of marijuana and $54,000 in cash. (Does anyone actually “score” weed? I’m so old.)

Collin County Cuts Estimate for Paxton Prosecution. Initially the estimate for the cost of prosecuting AG Ken Paxton was $2 million. The county lowered that figure to $285,000. Highlight of the story comes courtesy of Brian Wice, one of the special prosecutors in the case. Wice said, “I’m not sure where that came from, but it’s comical that we would submit a bill that’s in the area code of $2 million. That’s just absurd.”

Barrett Brown’s Latest Dispatch From Prison

I know, I know. You are still upset that Barrett Brown is no longer writing his prison diaries for FrontBurner. You consider him a total sellout for leaving to write for Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept. Please, I urge you, let the anger go. Be happy for Barrett. Well, except for the fact that he’s still in the hole and was recently given another 30 days there, in addition to the 30 he’s already done, plus three months of phone, commissary, visiting, and email restriction. You’ll learn all that and more if you read his column that just went up on The Intercept. My favorite part, though, was the following description of his new cellmate. I’m sure Greenwald will forgive the length of this excerpt:

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