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Making Dallas Even Better

Leading Off (11/25/15)

Parkland Workers Can’t Be Held Liable in Patient’s Death. In 2011, George Cornell died in restraints at the psych emergency room. It’s one of the incidents that brought about some of the recent changes at the hospital. A lower court initially ruled that the hospital executives and workers couldn’t claim immunity from a civil-rights lawsuit brought by his family. Now a federal appeals court decided otherwise, because it is almost impossible to hold government employees accountable when they screw up.

Attorney Owes Accident Victim $700,000. Diana Bernal was in a car accident in 2009 and won a settlement, but was never told about it. When she tried to contact her attorney, Richard Jaramillo, he didn’t respond. A judge recently ruled that Jaramillo owes Bernal $776,000. Bernal, still recovering from her injuries, says she doubts she’ll ever see the money.

North Texas Spends More on Christmas. We go out more, we shop more, we spend more on gifts. We also, according to this Deloitte survey, spend more on ourselves. Nearly half of the North Texans surveyed said they planned on buying themselves something.

Heavy Rain Expected on Thanksgiving. The weather psychics say we should expect a lot of bad weather over the holiday weekend. Please be safe.

Leading Off (11/19/15)

Yesterday was Homeless Youth Awareness Day in dallas. The mayor declared November 18 Homeless Youth Awareness Day. About 2,200 DISD students identify as homeless. The Communities Foundation of Texas highlighted these issues in an event yesterday. Promise House is organizing a Sleep Out tonight to raise money for its homeless youth shelter.

Bank robbery suspect who led police chase arrested. The suspect led a high-speed chase from Colleyville to Arlington yesterday before being arrested. At the Bank of America on Colleyville Blvd., he’d given a note to the clerk saying he was armed, although he did not show a gun before leaving in a black GMC Denali. Police eventually spiked the car’s tires in Arlington, where he was arrested.

Dallas’ top office real estate: McKinney Ave. in Uptown. At $43.81 per square foot, two times the overall average for North Texas, McKinney Ave. takes the cake as Dallas’ most expensive business address. But that’s nothing compared to New York’s Fifth Ave. at $119.27 per square foot. It’s all relative.

Leading Off (11/18/15)

Hillary Clinton Comes to Dallas. She attended a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser before a rally where she gave a speech that took swipes at both Bernie Sanders (on healthcare) and Greg Abbott (on a lot of things). On Texas taking in Syrian refugees, she said: “We can’t act as though we’re shutting the doors to people in need without undermining who we are as Americans.”

Zoo Wants 18 Elephants from Swaziland. The Dallas Zoo says the animals face “certain death” in Africa, and has applied for permits to bring them to the U.S. They say moving the elephants is vital to the survival of the nearly extinct black rhino.

Aryan Brother Kingpin Gets Life in Solitary Confinement. Tarrant County prosecutors were pushing to get James Byrd moved to a state prison — as opposed to federal prison — where policy allows for prisoners to be held in solitary confinement on the basis of gang affiliation. Prosecutors also say Byrd once stabbed a man 37 times in the face, and that isn’t even close to the most disturbing thing he’s accused of doing.

Police Looking for Woman Suspected of Robbing Two Banks. Both robberies happened within a week or so in October, and both banks are in Oak Cliff. She apparently has a scar on the right side of her face that begins at her lip and ends at her hair line, which will probably factor into a nickname if she robs more banks.

Jeff Banister is the AL Manager of the Year. It went down pretty much exactly as Jason predicted a week ago, for mostly the same reasons.

Hip-Hop, Snakebit, Janitor Work: New Dallas 500 Illuminates the City’s Most Powerful Businesspeople

The Mavs’ Mark Cuban is afraid of heights. Karen Katz of Neiman Marcus Group loves hip-hop music. Investor Kenny Troutt, who owns a Kentucky Derby-winning horse farm, is allergic to horse hair. Exxon Mobil’s Rex Tillerson worked in Oklahoma as a janitor. BBVA Compass bank’s Key Coker was bitten by a five-foot-long rattlesnake. (Which later became a rattlesnake belt.) And Mike Boone of the Haynes & Boone law firm once found himself standing buck naked on the deck of a coed swimming pool in a downtown gym.

Those are just a few of the insider tidbits to be found in a new publication called Dallas 500, which puts a spotlight on the 500 most powerful business leaders in North Texas. Compiled by the editors of D CEO magazine after months of research, including hundreds of interviews, the inaugural standalone edition features the top influencers in more than 60 categories, from aviation and banking to restaurants and technology. Someone said Dallas 500 is destined to become the area’s “business bible”—okay, it was Wick who said that—and our choices are sure to generate some controversy. Unless you’re a D CEO subscriber, you’ll have to buy a copy to see what we’re talking about. Purchase details can be found here.

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HP’s Meg Whitman: Companies Seeking Top Women Need to Look Hard, Not Wait

Companies aiming to hire more women for boards and other top positions have to work hard to find and recruit them, instead of waiting for candidates to come through the pipeline. That was the message Saturday from president and CEO Meg Whitman of Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise, whose tech industry is notoriously dominated […]

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Karl Rove, Jim Messina Agree: Donald Trump Won’t Be the GOP Nominee

Political gurus Jim Messina, a Democrat, and Karl Rove, a Republican, concur that next year’s presidential race will be close—and that candidate Donald Trump won’t be the GOP nominee. “Karl and I agree that neither one is going to be president,” Messina said Friday, referring to Trump and Ben Carson, another Republican “outsider” candidate. Messina, […]

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Charles Koch: GOP Presidential Candidates Too Mum on Corporate Welfare

Koch Industries chairman and CEO Charles G. Koch, who told USA Today this week that he’s unlikely to endorse a candidate in the Republican presidential primary, says he hasn’t heard “nearly enough” ideas from those candidates for reforming a political system he considers to be corrupt. “I don’t hear them talking about all this corporate […]

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Millennials, Rapid Technological Change On The Minds of CEOs at Business Forum

For Jennifer Morgan of SAP America, it’s “executing” in the face of rapid change. For Paul Grangaard of Allen Edmonds Corp., it’s the pace of change specifically in online retailing. And for Fedele Bauccio of Bon Appetit Management Co., it’s the “broken model” in agribusiness, which isn’t moving fast enough toward ecological sustainability. These are […]

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Akorbi CEO Claudia Mirza Honored as ‘Entrepreneurial Winning’ Woman

CEO Claudia Mirza, who grew up surrounded by violence in Medellin, Colombia, was recognized Thursday by EY for her Dallas-based company Akorbi, the fastest-growing language services provider in the world. Mirza was named one of 12 “EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women” at the EY Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, California. The program helps female entrepreneurs […]

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Dickey’s Barbecue Eyeing 2016 Growth in Japan, South Korea, Philippines

Dickey’s Barbecue CEO Roland Dickey Jr., who’s grown the nation’s biggest barbecue restaurant from 20 stores to 538, is cooking up plans to expand next year into Asia. After opening a projected 72 stores in 2015, the third-generation restaurateur has set his sights on Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, where he says there’s “absolutely” […]

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Leading Off (11/12/15)

Five finalists announced for Dallas Foundation’s good works under 40 award. These five finalists were picked from 75 people nominated for their volunteer work. The winner, along with a $10,000 grant for the nonprofit of his or her choosing, will be announced today. The finalists are Stephen Capuyan, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer; OJ DeSouza, who fund-raised for the Wilkinson Center; John Dickey, president of the Hope Cottage board of directors; Yat Yee “Eve” Fong, a volunteer with Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship; and Jenny Reynolds, president of Dallas CASA’s Children’s Council.

Allie Beth Allman & Associates Realtors bought by Warren Buffett. The investor is adding to his real estate empire with Allie Beth Allman & Associates, a top Dallas real estate firm founded in 2003. The firm was acquired by HomeServices of America Inc., an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. Allman said it was a “great honor” to be approached by Buffett’s company. The Dallas firm will retain its brand name and current management.

Woman in North richland hills stabbed by son’s girlfriend. 36 times, that is. 59-year-old Kathleen Olson was found dead in her apartment bathtub last week after being stabbed three dozen times by her son’s girlfriend, 37-year-old Julie Marie Peterson. Peterson was arrested and charged with capital murder soon after when detectives found Olson’s belongings in her purse. According to an affidavit, Peterson had moved in with Olson to escape verbal abuse from Olson’s son, James. But Peterson and Kathleen Olson had been arguing for several days. Police traced Peterson to a Haltom City hotel.

IPOs Sputtered in 2015 With Economic Volatility, Abundance of Private Capital

The U.S. market for initial public offerings this year was strong until August, when the market began sputtering over the global economy with the most volatility since 2008. That pushed many IPOs off at least until 2016, when still more “mediocre” economic growth is likely. That’s according to four experts addressing the outlook for IPOs […]

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Texas Instruments, Other Corporations, Habitat Team With United Way to Assist Military Veterans

At first blush, Darren Woodson and Breana Austin wouldn’t seem to have much in common. He’s a former Dallas Cowboys star safety from Phoenix, and she’s a Dallas native who’s served since 2010 as an administrative specialist with the Texas Army National Guard. Today, though, the pair’s paths will cross when the Cowboys’ newest Ring […]

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Leading Off (11/11/15)

Anachronistic Bandit Terrorizes Fort Worth Horse Riders. Fort Worth police are looking for a man who has been hiding along riding paths, then jumping out and sticking up riders at gunpoint. Police say the suspect has struck at least four times in the last two months. Two men have been shot during the robberies. “It sounds like he has no care for anybody,” said one of the victims.

Arlington Says No to New Fracking. The city council there voted last night to deny a new oil and gas lease to Vantage Energy, the company responsible for a spill in April that involved tens of thousands of gallons of fracking water leaked into local creeks and sewers. Council members were apparently most bothered by the fact that it took the company two hours to call 911 after the spill.

Charles Barkley Thinks You Should Give Greg Hardy a Chance. “I believe that there are way too many black men we’ve just thrown away,” the basketball legend wrote for Bleacher Report. “Shouldn’t we get him some help, instead of kicking him out of the NFL? Shouldn’t we do everything possible to prevent it from happening again?”

U.S. Soccer Association Wants to Ban Headers for Kids. Citing concussion risks, the Frisco-based organization wants to ban headers for kids 10 and under, and limit them through age 13. Experts say it’s not the heading, per se, that causes the danger, but rather the risk of two heads colliding. (Disclosure: I had two diagnosed concussions playing soccer as a teenager. I wouldn’t recommend it.)

Stars and Mavericks Both Lose to Terrible Teams. A late third-period goal gave the last-place Toronto Maple Leafs the win over the first-place Stars. The middling Mavericks were never really in the game against the previously winless New Orleans Pelicans. Not a great showing.

Dallas City Council Approves ‘Living Wage’ For Contractors

Jennifer Staubach Gates was the only member of the Dallas City Council to vote today against approving a $10.37 per hour “wage floor” (minimum wage) for employees of all city contractors and subcontractors. Her objection, understandably enough, was that the city shouldn’t set this standard without knowing how much it was going to cost. City staff only had rough estimates to consider, because it’s unknown how much many contractors pay their workers: somewhere between $3 million and $12 million.

But considering the council just this past summer didn’t have a problem writing a blank check to TXU worth up to hundreds of millions of dollars, and Gates voted for that deal, her concern rings a little hollow.

$10.37 is the “living wage” figure determined by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator for a single adult in Dallas County. It may not be enough to “live like a human” while also supporting a family, but it’s a considerable step above the federal mandate of only $7.25 an hour.

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