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Zac Crain is a senior editor at D Magazine. He moved to Dallas in 1997, and since then, he's worked as an editor at the Dallas Observer and American Way, written for Esquire and Spin, ran for Dallas mayor, written a book, and served as "glue guy" for a handful of rec-league basketball squads. Scouting report: can't go right, but he's a creative passer, and semi-accurate set shooter.

Leading Off (3/26/15)

Levi Pettit Apologizes For Taking Part In Racist Chant. The Highland Park High graduate and — until recently — member of the SAE fraternity at the University of Oklahoma read from a prepared statement at Oklahoma City’s Fairview Baptist Church, while surrounded by some of the city’s black leaders. Apologizing for his appearance in the video where he and his fraternity brothers gleefully used racial epithets and chanted about lynching, Pettit, 20, said, “Some have wondered why I hadn’t spoken out publicly. The truth is I have had a mix of pain, shame, sorrow, and fear over the consequences of my actions.” I still don’t have much in the way of pity for him or anyone else involved, but it’s a start.

Suspect In Illegal Buttocks Injection Death Surrenders. Denise “Wewe” Ross was arrested for practicing medicine without a license following the death of Wykesha Reid. Ross’ alleged accomplice, Alicia “Jimmy Joe” Clarke, is still at large, I believe.

Your Weekly Steve Blow Facepalm Moment. “Can you stand one more word about Greg Hardy? More important, can you stand a positive word? Yeah, I know I’m late to the party. But I never dreamed the bash would go on this long. Or the bashing.” [Sighs so long that when it stops it is a century later and I now live in a place called New Texahoma where professional sports are played by sentient robots known as jerichos.] OK, look, Steve. I know you dig wordplay. That is your lane, and I get it. But maybe avoid using “bash” and “bashing” when you’re writing about giving a second chance to someone who has the stench of domestic violence coming off him so strong his jersey has Pigpen-like stink lines. And don’t compare Hardy to Josh Hamilton. Because that’s not even close to the same thing. It is like comparing apples to allegedly throwing a woman onto a futon full of automatic weapons. I mean, come on, my dude. I could go on and on about the smarmy glibness of the tone you strike in that column, but I’ve already given it way more thought than you did. Just stop trying to have a take on anything that remotely matters and write about some hokey thing that happened in Sunnyvale the other day that speaks to a larger point about no one cares.

Teacher At J.L. Long Middle School Somehow Showed Her Class a Nude Photo of Herself. Other than the fact it happened Monday, there isn’t a ton of other details here. I assume most of the kids are now preoccupied with Zayn Malik leaving One Direction, but that’s still pretty messed up.

Ted Cruz Already Missing Senate Votes Because Of His Presidential Run. Hello, bright side. I didn’t expect to see you so soon. Please, don’t hesitate to tell me what I can do to make your stay as long and as comfortable as possible.

Is H-E-B Preparing For Full-Blown Expansion Into North Texas? Maybe! For more on that story, I direct you to the fine staff at Shrug Monthly, who, frankly, own the guess-tigation beat.

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Leading Off (3/19/15)

SMU Plays First NCAA Tournament Game Since 1993 Today. The Poinies play UCLA in Louisville at 2:10 on truTV. They are trying to win in the tourney for the first time since 1988, when the Kato Armstrong-led squad beat Notre Dame. That same year, SMU coach Larry Brown won the national title with Danny Manning and Kansas.

Dale Hansen Rips Cowboys For Signing Greg Hardy. As he is wont to do, the WFAA Channel 8 sports anchor went off during his “Hansen Unplugged” segment following the Cowboys’ signing of Hardy, the defensive end who was accused of assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend. A sampling: “Is there no line you won’t cross? Is there no crime you won’t accept? Is there no behavior you will not tolerate? The Cowboys have decided players who use illegal drugs can play. You drive drunk and kill a teammate — putting everyone on that highway at risk — there’s a place on this team for you. You can rob a department store and play. And now you can beat a woman and play with a star on your helmet.”

Arrest Warrants Issued For Two Women in Illegal Buttocks-Injections Scheme. The two women are Jimmy Joe Clarke and Denise Rochelle Ross, also known as “Wee Wee.” They are wanted for practicing medicine without a license. Scamming (allegedly) women who desire to have larger hindquarters — because, thanks to Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, that is in fashion — is a crime no one would have even contemplated as recently as maybe five or six years ago. It’s shameful, but innovative. Jimmy Joe and Wee Wee should give a TED talk.

Mavs Withstand Comeback By Magic. They lost most of a pretty big second-half lead but still had enough left to take down Orlando, a feisty young team better than its record, especially since immaculately coifed rookie Elfrid Payton (who had a triple double) has started coming on. And Rajon Rondo did this.

ICYMI: Dallas Chapter of American Institute of Architects Formally Opposes Trinity Toll Road. “Any highway similar to the Trinity Toll Road will divide our city and destroy the park’s unique potential and its recreational, economic, and environmental benefits,” said the group’s statement. That’s more than 300 firms and 2,000 people.

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Is Jane McGarry the Brian Williams of Local Morning News?

Confession: I don’t watch much morning television. I’m too busy either making breakfast for my son or crowing about being a good father to someone. I knew, of course, that Jane McGarry was headed back to TV to work for WFAA Channel 8, but because I’m essentially a Super Dad, I didn’t know exactly when. So I went to Jane’s Twitter feed and found out that she had already started. Nestled among 40 or 50 tweets about her one-on-one with Laura Bush, I found this:

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Rep. Jonathan Stickland Continues Run of Buffoonery

Jonathan Stickland (R-You Kidding) keeps making Bedford proud during this Lege session, coming off as the husky human embodiment of both the red 100 emoji and the #TCOT hashtag. Previously, he was putting up a sign referring to himself as a “Former Fetus.” Which, if you look like a baby that has somehow gone through puberty, is a bad idea. It’s like pulling the goalie in hockey. Aggressive, and leaves you open to being EASILY scored upon.

Now my dude is filing insane, pointless, time-wasting legislation. Like so.

Keep being you, champ.

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State Rep. Rafael Anchia Is Trying To Make It Impossible To Build The Trinity Toll Road

Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) filed two bills today. One would disallow TxDOT from funding projects like the Trinity Toll Toad. The other would require the toll road to undergo an environmental analysis by the state.

“I’ve told everyone that you should be able to act in the best interest of your district,” Anchia said. “My district hates the toll road.”

Even if you don’t think Anchia’s bills will pass, read the rest of that story. Here, I will link it again. Because it lays out the case for why this road is a terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible idea that is also terrible.

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DeMarco Murray Signs With Eagles; Who Should Replace Him?

DeMarco Murray — the league’s leading rusher as a member of Your Dallas Cowboys last season — has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for five years and $42 million, $21 million of which is guaranteed. I thought it was maybe just a bargaining ploy by Murray and his team, but I also think a lot of things that are wrong and stupid so I’m not terribly surprised that this happened.

So now the question becomes: what do the Cowboys do?

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What Has Mike Rawlings Done As Mayor?

This is the concluding paragraph in a press release announcing the co-chairs of Mayor Rawlings’ re-election campaign:

Over the past three and a half years, Rawlings has led on boosting basics while protecting taxpayers, improving our public schools and creating jobs and growth in Southern Dallas. He’s also helped re-shape Dallas’ image on the world stage with his leadership not only with the JFK 50th Anniversary and as host of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, but also during the Ebola crisis, and in tackling ugly issues like domestic violence.

Let’s break that down.

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Leading Off (3/12/15)

DeMarco Murray Headed To Philadelphia Today. The free agent running back will meet with the Eagles today, after he apparently called coach Chip Kelly yesterday and said he wanted to play with his good friend and former roommate Sam Bradford. This all may be posturing to get the Cowboys to pay him. Or maybe he’s always wanted to play in a city where he could be covered by former Observer sports columnist John Gonzalez.

Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund Board To Hear About Museum Tower Fix. According to mayor pro tem Tennell Atkins, the proposed solution to cutting down the glare coming from the building involves putting a film over the windows, which should cost more than $1 million. If this doesn’t work, they’ll move onto the backup plan: Operation Dark Storm.

Another Earthquake. I guess this just happens pretty much every day now.

Just Going To Leave This Here.Arlington Man Sets Crotch On Fire, Sues Vape Shop Over Exploding E-Cig Battery.”

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SMU Basketball Flashback: Kato Armstrong and What Could Have Been

Yesterday, SMU won its first regular season conference title since 1993. It was still a member of the old Southwest Conference back then, on the verge of being cast out into the margins of college sports, a two-decade walkabout from which it only recently returned. As American Athletic Conference champions, the team will go to its first NCAA tournament since that SWC-winning season. But SMU hasn’t actually won an NCAA tournament game since 1988, when it beat Notre Dame behind 29 points from its star point guard Kato Armstrong.

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Get To Know Rajon Rondo a Little Bit Better

Following the dustup between Rajon Rondo and Rick Carlisle that ended up with the engimatic point guard serving a 1-game suspension, most Mavs fans likely had two thoughts: 1) this team is doomed and/or 2) that’s it for Rondo in Dallas. I am constitutionally unable to agree with No. 1, but I couldn’t help but think that, yeah, Rondo probably would not re-sign with the team in the offseason after that mess. But this really good interview with him, conducted by Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears, has me reconsidering that position.

Q: What do you think about the perception that you want to depart from Dallas?

Rondo: First of all, I’m misunderstood in general. I don’t mind because I’m very quiet and I stay to myself. People are going to say what they want to say. I don’t talk, so I don’t know why they would say that. I don’t think I play as if I don’t want to be here. I give it all when I’m out there on the court.

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Check Out Sai Selvarajan’s Latest Short Film, Sugarless Tea

SAI
I met Sai Selvarajan a few years ago when he worked on a promo video for FrontRow that I can’t find right now. (That’s my standard introduction of Sai to the FrontBurner community.) Anyway, Sai is a big basketball fan and talented filmmaker. Here is a trailer his latest, titled Sugarless Tea, built around drawings and paintings by his wife, Amanda. It debuts at SXSW next week, and left me sitting at my desk, staring into the middle distance, pretending it didn’t suddenly get dusty in my general vicinity.

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Terry Dorsey, R.I.P.

I’m not going to pretend I listened to Terry Dorsey more than a handful of times over the years. That may be overestimating it. But I always liked him, based on commercials like this one. He had a goofball energy that I appreciated. Dorsey was already missed by his fans and colleagues after his retirement last year. I’m sure they’d just started to get over it when this happened.

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The Unraveling of Mookie Blaylock

I was aware that, a couple of years ago, Mookie Blaylock had been the driver in a fatal car accident near Atlanta. And I knew that Blaylock, who grew up in Garland, had been convicted of vehicular homicide. But I didn’t realize what a disaster his life had been even prior to that. This Sports Illustrated feature by Greg Hanlon goes deep on Blaylock and the mountain of bad choices he made. A sample:

It was both a blessing and a curse that Blaylock saved so much money from his playing career. He and his children never wanted financially, and he was able to live out the country boy’s dream by moving to a six-acre property in rural Pike County, 50 miles south of downtown Atlanta, and playing all the golf he wanted. Yet it also left him without structure, allowing his addictions free reign.

Six of his seven DUIs came after he retired. Between September 2010 and February 2012, he did three stints in jail for driving offenses, totaling more than four months. According to Solomon, he was going to the strip club “sometimes five times a week” during this time. In 2009, cops came to his house for a domestic disturbance after his girlfriend called them, though nobody was arrested, according to police reports.

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Leading Off (3/6/15)

Go to Work. Winter is over.

Students Allowed Back at Lakewood Elementary. They’ve been out since the school was evacuated on Tuesday because of a carbon monoxide leak. The situation has highlighted the poor condition of the aging school, and Lakewood parents are pushing for the district to approve $12.6 million in fixes. The board says Casa View Elementary is a bigger priority, since it has almost 30 portables. In my experience, Lakewood residents are pretty quiet and keep to themselves, so I’m sure this is the last we’ll hear of it.

Skyline Girls Make First State Tournament. The team made an unlikely run to the state tournament with its best player — Alexandra Gulley, who’s signed to Baylor — on the bench after she tore her Achilles tendon in November.

Dallas PD’s Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Fail Annual Test. The unit that works Love Field will have to undergo extensive retraining before it can work again. And one dog has been dropped from the pack entirely. In the meantime, dogs from other agencies will fill in, and I would definitely watch a movie about a ragtag group of dogs that has to come together to work as a team and save the day. Or I would watch a movie about a disgraced group of dogs that has to find its way again. I don’t know. Either way.

Mavericks Lose to Blazers, Take On Warriors Tonight. That is a bad back-to-back matchup for a team that is struggling right now. As noted here, the Mavs have been held under 100 points in nine of their last 11 games. And it’ll be hard to rely on their defense going against Stephen Curry. All that said, like every year, I’ll still secretly believe they’ll win a championship until they have no more games on the schedule.

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