Jim Schutze Was Right — Six Years Ago — About John Wiley Price

It is time to give Jim Schutze (aka Charles Schultz) his propers. In Sunday’s DMN, Steve Thompson wrote a story about the John Wiley Price indictment and the story it tells about the commissioner’s meddling with the inland port. Schutze wrote that story in 2008. Oh, maybe not that exact story. Though Schutze did mention the Perot family and how they might benefit from a stalled inland port, he didn’t ever use the word “Hillwood.” But, really, he had it. He said Price was running a shakedown, and he said it with the help of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. She deserves credit, too. “I see all of these different deals that he’s trying to do over the years, shaking people down and all that kind of stuff,” she told Schutze. Go back and read it. It’s worth your time.

Something else interesting about that Schutze story: he mentions that State Senator Royce West played a role in Price’s scheme. Why is that interesting? Because it is. Just something to think about.

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Leading Off (7/28/14)

John Wiley Price Still at Work after Indictment. After corruption charges alleging Price accepted nearly $1 million in gifts, cars, stacks of $100 bills, etc., were filed Friday, the Dallas County commissioner headed back to work. He’s expected to do so today as well, and fellow commissioners believe he will show up at the Commissioner Court’s next meeting Aug. 5. Whether his influence can continue among calls for his resignation remains to be seen, but that’s not to say others aren’t firmly in his corner. Price attended Friendship West Baptist Church Sunday, for instance, where Rev. Frederick Haynes III voiced support for Price during the service and said he was excited to see him there.

Fort Worth Doctor Being Treated for Ebola in West Africa. Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife were in the middle of a two-year medical mission fellowship, caring for people who have contracted the Ebola virus, when the 33-year-old doctor contracted it himself. He’s being treated at a hospital in West Africa. This year’s outbreak is the biggest in history, and aid workers are notoriously at risk of infection. Another American aid worker has reportedly contracted it, and a prominent doctor from Liberia died over the weekend.

Fertilizer Companies Placing Blame on West Following Explosion. The companies allege that volunteer firefighters and first responders weren’t properly trained, and that insufficient protocols were in place for handling the fire that led to the explosion. The majority of the 15 who died were those responding to the call for help. At no time did responders retreat, even as the fire grew in size, and the companies also blame West for the city’s zoning, which allowed a nursing home and schools to exist near the plant. El Dorado Chemical Co. and CF Industries are now pushing for West to be designated a “responsible third party.”

Eric Nadel Honored at National Baseball Hall of Fame. Our Nancy Nichols was there to celebrate with the voice of the Texas Rangers because she’s about as cool as they come. Photos and details here. She also sent me a picture with Ernie Banks last night, so I’m about as jealous as they come. Mr. Cub?! Well done, Nichols. And, of course, Nadel, too.

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Eric Nadel Honored at National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

Eric Nadel the voice of the Texas Rangers for the past 35 years, was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place this afternoon at Doubleday Field. Nadel was joined on stage by Roger Angell, the winner of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award. Joe Garagiola, winner of the 2014 Buck O’Neil Award, accepted his award by video.

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It Only Took 23 Years for the Feds To Catch Up With John Wiley Price

As we await the feds’ 11 o’clock press conference to talk about the arrest and indictment of John Wiley Price, you’ve got time to reread Laura Miller’s 1991 cover story about the man. The subhead ran: “Everyone’s heard the rumors about the money, the shady deals, the violence, the women. Sadly, the facts are even harder to comprehend.”

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Let’s Take Another Look at What’s on John Wiley Price’s Mind

In 2011, we commissioned Steve Brodner to create this illustration of John Wiley Price’s mind and what was going on inside it. Zac and I collaborated on the individual thoughts, which we sent to Brodner. Here’s the rough version I drew, before Brodner made it pretty. Looking back, and flipping through today’s indictment, I think we pretty much nailed it. Except for EdgeFest and philately. Still combing the indictment, but I don’t see either of those mentioned.

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Leading Off (7/25/14)

34th Person in Dallas County Exonerated by DNA Evidence. Michael Phillips served 12 years in prison for raping a 16-year-old girl in 1990. He didn’t do it. Good thing his wasn’t a death penalty case.

American Airlines Posts Record Profits. $864 million in the second quarter. Eight months ago the carrier was in bankruptcy. What a country!

Park Cities to Get AT&T Ultra-High-Speed Internet First.  The company hasn’t specified which Dallas-area neighborhoods will be able to get broadband speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second by the end of the summer. But they did say the initial launch would come in areas already served by AT&T U-verse, starting with parts of Highland Park and University Park and soon after that areas of Dallas,  Allen, Fairview, Irving, and McKinney. One gig per second allows you to download an HD movie in just 36 seconds. What a country!

Amon Carter Museum Pays $1M For Painting. It’s a picture of peaches and grapes. What a country!

Collin County Commissioner Warns of “Illegal Immigrant Tsunami.” He makes it sound as deadly as a sharknado. Mark Reid introduced a resolution to the commissioners’ court’s upcoming agenda that would discourage the federal government from using Collin County to house any of the migrant children who have spurred the recent crisis on the border. Reid is concerned about the spread of “various communicable diseases” from the kids, despite having no evidence to support his claims. What a country!

DISD HR Executive Makes $140K a Year. This story is actually about how a Dallas ISD investigator who was put on leave last week (without being told why) was investigating his boss for having lied on her district job application. But I got hung up on how much that boss gets paid. What a country!  (Kids, don’t go into journalism.)

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Leading Off (7/23/2014)

Brad had tickets to the Jay Z-Beyonce show last night. So he asked me to fill in for him this morning.

Plano Man Arrested for $56,000 In Unpaid Tolls. What’s 50 grand to Robert Walter Dupree? Can you please remind me? According to the NTTA, it’s more than 2,110 passes through a toll station without paying. First they had to find him. He was arrested for failing to use his signal in The Colony. No word on how hard he may have bawled.

Migrant Children Not Showing Up to Immigration Hearings. If you grew up with holes in your Zapatos, you’d be celebrating the minute you thought those days were behind you. Which might explain why 18 of the 20 children whose cases were scheduled yesterday in federal court missed their hearings. It’s also possible the children never received proper notice. What kinds of facts are those?

Plano Thanks Residents for Conserving Water…with Water. Calling it a “water holiday” is kind of a beautiful lie. Apparently it was mostly “stale” water the city needed to get rid of anyway. And only lawns with odd-numbered addresses got the extra watering. The other residents are finding that keeping all that green grass pretty hurts. But, as someone once said, perfection is a disease of a nation.

Cowboys Legend Dies. Robert Newhouse, Jr. played 12 seasons with the Cowboys, all in the Landry era. He was irreplaceable as a blocker for Tony Dorsett, but he was also the first running back to throw a touchdown in a Super Bowl. He died yesterday, after a long battle with heart disease. He was 64.

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Leading Off (7/21/14)

Dallas Bike Czar Originally Moved to Dallas to Work for TxDOT. Ashley Haire calls it the “ultimate irony” in this Dallas Morning News piece. The 36-year-old engineer relocated from Portland to work as a project manager on the reconstruction of I-30 and I-35E. Now, with her new position that she started in May, she’s planning new bike lanes, is pro bike-sharing programs, and supports the City Council’s decision repealing the helmet requirement. More biking news: Dallas may start counting the number of bikers on the streets with the help of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. And Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price hopped on her bike to lead the Tour de Fort Worth, an event the 64-year-old mayor created three years ago.

What’s Going on With these Civilian Police Officers? Ten are headed to the jail to wait with suspects before they’re booked. This is part of Chief David Brown’s effort to save money by hiring fewer officers in advance of a projected $14 million budget shortfall. But the president of the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police, Richard Todd, is saying this is really just a swap of manpower. Now the clerical work they were doing back at police headquarters, for instance, will have to be done by someone else. Also on the civilian public safety front, Steve Blow offers this take on the new inductees into the reserve police force.

Flower Mound Teen Dies in Go-Kart Accident. 14-year-old Kierstin Eaddy was participating in a racing event outside Texas Motor Speedway Sunday when her kart failed to stop after crossing the finish line. She crashed through a fence, and her helmet came off. Eaddy was airlifted to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. An investigation is underway.

Rangers 20 Games Below .500. The Rangers lost 9-6 to the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, dropping the struggling team to 20 below .500 for the first time since 2003. It’s only the sixth time in the history of the team that they’ve fallen 20 below in the first 100 games. Sunday’s game was No. 98. Next up: Yankees. Choice quote: “Texas has been really, really bad.”

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Leading Off (7/11/14)

How Soon Until Every Dallas Highway Is Tolled? Tomorrow new express lanes will open on Interstate 35E, allowing drivers to pay to bypass the usually congested interchange from I-35E to Interstate 635. Meanwhile some Collin County leaders are pushing back against a Texas Department of Transportation proposal to make the HOV lane on U.S. Highway 75 a managed toll lane. Their counterproposal is to get rid of the HOV lane entirely, opening it up for all traffic.

ACE Cash Express to Pay $10 Million For Illegal Tactics. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that the payday lender used false threats, intimidation, and harassing calls to bully borrowers. ACE also took on new loans to pay off old loans, purposefully driving customers even further into debt. The company’s training manual even had a graphic depicting how to keep the vicious cycle going.

Abducted Boy Reunited With Father.  At age 2, Drew Drees was taken by his mother, who didn’t have custodial rights after she and his father had divorced, to India. Eight years later, she returned with Drew and was promptly arrested at DFW Airport after arriving yesterday.

It’s July 11. Free slurpees, everybody.

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I Christen Thee ‘The Stank Bandit’

Plano Police are looking for a guy who robbed a bank on West Parker Road on Monday. The description:

The suspect is described as a white man between the ages of 18 and 22. He was between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-6 and had a heavy build. He had curly red or brown hair, wore glasses and had acne. Witnesses say he had a nervous demeanor and a strong body odor. He wore a dark-blue patterned polo-style shirt, dark pants, white shoes and a brown and green baseball hat with some type of logo.

They haven’t tagged this guy with a code name or anything yet, so I’ve done it for them: The Stank Bandit. Always will accept: The Garbage Pail Kid Bandit.

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: The Backyard Yacht of Highland Park

The 4000 block of Miramar Avenue looks pretty normal — if “normal” can ever appropriately be used to describe a row of homes in Highland Park. It sits just off Lakeside Drive, with easy access to sickeningly picturesque Lakeside Park and Exall Lake. It’s a block away from Beverly Drive and Dallas Country Club as well.

The homes are a mix of traditional and modern designs, most valued in the $3 million-$4 million range. On the corner, technically on Lakeside, sits the 60th most expensive home in Dallas. At 4004 Miramar, you’ll find one of D Home‘s 10 Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas for 2014. Across from that, at 4005, is a fairly unremarkable (by Highland Park standards) that’s valued at more than $3.1 million, with $2.5 million of that assessed for the land alone.

That lot looked very different 50 years ago.

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Prince Fielder Gets Nekkid on Cover of ESPN The Magazine

“The Body Issue” of ESPN The Magazine hits newsstands Friday with six different covers. Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder strikes a pose for one of them. Awesome. That’s what I thought when I saw it. His body is a marvel. It seems odd that he’s using it to play baseball rather than middle linebacker. Also check out this behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot. (h/t Evan Grant)

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Here Is Why I Will Not Attend the ‘Best of Big D’ Jackopierce Concert

After a year-long hiatus, this year we are once again hosting a “Best of Big D” party. It’ll be at the Rustic July 23. You can buy tickets here. For $50, you get adult beverages and food from some of the best restaurants in town. DJ Sober will feed your ears. For another $15, though, you get to stick around for a Jackopierce concert, which starts at 9:30. Me, I will be gone by then. “Why is that?” you ask? Because I have been boycotting Jackopierce since June 1996. Here is a column I wrote for the dearly departed Met on that month:

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Leading Off (7/7/14)

Dallas City Council Approved $2 Million for Floundering Bexar Street Project, Without Much Questioning. Part of a $29 million revitalization effort for the southern Dallas street sits Hailu Ejigu’s two-story, mixed-use building. The story goes something like this. An original cost of $700,000 doubles to $1.3 million when Ejigu changes the scope of the project, setting out to construct a building nearly twice the size. The city plays along, beginning the pattern of cutting him checks. By the end, that number reaches $2 million. Along the way, Ejigu is expected to produce some 75 percent of financing through equity of his own and a bank loan. When the loan doesn’t come through, he goes back to the city, which produces a loan. The city also reimburses Ejigu for all kinds of expenses, lawyer fees and the like. A dollar store opens in the building but is unsuccessful. Tenants, both residential and commercial, are hard to come by. Oh, and a second phase of the project remains. For the full story, read the Dallas Morning News’ two-part series here and here.

Grand Prairie Coming Around to Housing Undocumented Children. County Judge Clay Jenkins met with Grand Prairie city leaders Sunday after they voiced concerns about the former Lamar Alternative Education Center being considered as a housing option for some of the 2,000 children that have crossed into Texas from Mexico alone. D.A. Hulcy Middle School and a Parkland Memorial Hospital warehouse are also being considered. Grand Prairie may be more “at ease” with the idea, but strong opposition remains.

Chris Kyle Defamation Trial Starts Tomorrow. As we’ve reported before, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has been suing the Navy sniper since 2012 for defamation over an account in Kyle’s autobiography detailing a fight with a guy named “Scruff Face.” That guy was Ventura, and Ventura says the fight never happened. As a result of the book, Ventura says job offers stopped coming in. Kyle was killed in 2013. His widow, Tara Kyle, is the defendant in the suit, which is finally headed to court. For more on the legacy of Chris Kyle, read Michael J. Mooney’s story here.

Columbus Short Arrested in Dallas. So I’ve never seen Scandal, and I don’t know who Short is, but apparently he was on this television show. And apparently he’s also having a rough go of it these days. The actor was arrested around 2 a.m. Saturday at the Katy Trail Ice House for public intoxication. In March, he was accused of punching someone at a West Los Angeles restaurant, and in April, his wife said Short threatened to kill her. No word on why Short was in Dallas and why no one is mentioning that he also choreographed a Britney Spears tour.

Devin Harris Close to Signing 3-Year Contract with Mavericks. Sure, he sat much of last year with a toe injury, but he showed up in the playoffs, and he’s a Wisconsin Badger, and I have an embarrassing college picture with him in a box somewhere. Anyway, I’m totally on board with this.

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