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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 (10/2/15)

Texas Rangers Clinch Playoff Spot. With a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, the team secured a spot in Major League Baseball’s postseason. They also sit three games ahead of Houston in the American League West standings, meaning with just one more win or a single Astros lost over the final three games of the regular season, they’ll claim their first division title since 2011. You remember what happened that year, right? The next stage in this remarkable, unexpected season for the Rangers is likely a visit to either Toronto or Kansas City for the first game of the Division Series next Thursday. If the Angels somehow take the final three games against the Rangers and the Astros win out, there’d be a tie atop the AL West. In that case, the Rangers would host a tiebreaker game in Arlington on Monday. The winner of that tiebreaker would advance to the Division Series, and the loser would get to play the Yankees in the Wild Card game.

Neiman Marcus Lays Off 500. The number of corporate and support positions eliminated by the luxury retailer represents 3 percent of its workforce of 16,000. CEO Karen Katz said the job cuts were made to save money that can be used to invest in future growth.

Arlington Family Accused of Faking Mental Illness. 55-year-old Doreen Mitchell, 29-year-old Michael Mitchell, 27-year-old Sonny Mitchell, and 58-year-old John Mitchell are charged with defrauding the Social Security Administration of $462,000 in benefits.

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Leading Off (10/1/15)

Susan Hawk to return to work today. Today´s the day that a lot of people have wondered about. Will Dallas County DA Susan Hawk be at her desk and ready to work? The past nine months have been troublesome for her and others—only time will tell if she regains her footing.

MACARTHUR high school bomb threat turns out to be hoax. Yesterday, Irving´s MacArthur High School was evacuated due to a bomb threat. After officers searched the building and came up empty-handed, they allowed the students to return. No word yet on who called in the threat. With the Ahmed saga, MacArthur High has had a month.

Police investigate possible kidnapping of teenage girl in Arlington. Yesterday evening, a teenage girl reported that men in a dark blue SUV had tried to kidnap her while she was jogging. Police are still investigating the whereabouts of these men.

National soccer hall of fame museum to come to frisco. The U.S. Soccer Federation and FC Dallas announced yesterday that Frisco will be home to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum by 2017. More details to come at a news conference on October 14. Soccer!

Larry Wilmore Gives Ahmed Mohamed an Apple Watch

The Ahmed Mohamed story is right in the wheelhouse of the sort of stories Larry Wilmore prefers to cover on his Comedy Central show. It’s no surprise then that Wilmore had Ahmed on for an interview last night. You can watch the clip above.

I didn’t notice any awkwardness from Ahmed in talking about what happened, which Mark Cuban had spoken about. Ahmed already seems pretty media savvy, for a scientifically-inclined 14-year-old. And he keeps raking in the gifts.

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Leading Off (9/24/15)

Ahmed’s family hires attorneys to investigate police treatment of the teen. The Irving story continues, with lawyers—Thomas Bowers and Reggie London—representing Ahmed. Says Bowers: “He may be smiling on the outside, but he’s having some issues.” Bowers’ previous clients include a former stripper who sued Jerry Jones. “I take the cases no one else will take,” Bowers says. Irving city officials did not comment on whether they would also be talking to attorneys.

McKinney police officer shoots and kills man who opened fire on officers. Last night at the Cliffs of Eldorado Apartment Homes, a McKinney police officer fatally shot a man who shot at officers. The man had apparently been holding a woman and child against their will. No officers were injured.

Rangers win, have largest division lead in two years. With a 10-3 win over Oakland last night, the Rangers now have a three-game lead over Houston, in second place in the American League West. This marks the Rangers biggest lead in the West since 2013. But unlike the 2013 season, which did not end well, this season will be different, the team vows. Don’t let us down, Andrus.

Dallas zoo surpasses 1 million visitors this year. Yesterday, the Dallas Zoo hit a major milestone: 1 million visitors in a fiscal year. This is the first time in the zoo’s 127 years that this has happened. What about the family who pushed the zoo past this marker? They got to feed the elephants, of course.

Dallas Neighborhood Guides: Now More Crime!

To be more precise, not actually more crime — more crime data.

We’ve added several more neighborhood guides to our collectionSouth Dallas-Fair Park, Bluffview, Devonshire, Greenway Parks, Lakewood Heights, Wilshire Heights, Hollywood Heights-Santa Monica, and Casa Linda.

Not only that, but these and all our existing guides have been further enhanced with neighborhood-specific maps of Dallas Police incidents from the last two weeks that will update as new crimes are reported.

Let us know what you think:

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Decluttering Mockingbird, the Ugliest Street in Dallas

Question: What the holy heck happened with those pendant lights on Mockingbird? A few years ago, Patrick Kennedy wrote about the eyesores. A few months later, most of the broken lights were fixed. But then they started going out again. And now most of the poles have been removed — but not all of them. So did the city just give up or what? — Joe C.

Whoa there, boy. I can read the barely disguised resentment hidden between the lines of your message. You’re right to feel angry, embarrassed, even a little ashamed, about how deeply hurt you were that last week I didn’t see fit to communicate with my public in this space as per usual.

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Ahmed Mohamed Maybe Didn’t Build a Clock

I don’t think it necessarily suggests — as the fellow in the video above believes — that Ahmed Mohamed brought his device to school last week specifically to provoke officials into just the sort of incident that elicited nationwide attention.

But Thomas Talbot does make a strong argument that what’s in that metal case is nothing but an old, disassembled clock, not anything that Mohamed invented. This blog even claims to identify the exact type that it was before its components were removed from the plastic casing — a Radio Shack model:

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Mark Cuban Blames Ahmed Mohamed’s Social Awkwardness For Arrest

Mark Cuban — billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, in case you’ve just awoken from a 20-year nap — was on the panel for Bill Maher’s HBO show on Friday night. Last week’s internet-breaking story about 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed arrested for taking a clock to school was among the topics discussed.

Cuban revealed that he’d spoken to Ahmed and to people who work for Irving ISD to learn more about the situation.

“The kid is a super-smart kid, a science geek. I talked to him about science. But when I’m talking to him on the phone, as I asked him a question — ‘Tell me what happened,’ because I’m curious, right? — his sister, over his shoulder, you could hear, listening to the question, giving him the answer,” Cuban said.

Maher soon cut off Cuban to say that though the boy is owed an apology, it’s not unreasonable for a teacher to have suspected a mess of wires and boards carried in a case by a Muslim teenager might be dangerous, considering how many young Muslim fanatics have blown things up around the world in recent decades. But Cuban was able to return to his own point later, explaining that he was told by someone connected to the school that it was Ahmed’s awkwardness when talking about anything other than science that heightened the situation.

“All the kid had to do was engage with his teacher, and he didn’t. That’s the part that was missing,” he said. “It was wrong that he got arrested, but all he had to do was talk to the teacher, and he didn’t.”

You can view the whole conversation in the clip above.

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Larry Wilmore on the Arrest of Clockmaker Ahmed Mohamed

Last night on his Comedy Central show, Larry Wilmore addressed the controversy over the arrest of 14-year-old Irving high school student Ahmed Mohamed for having brought a clock to school. His opener included a crack about how it’s another step in the ongoing effort to get education out of Texas schools.

Later he acknowledged that he could understand how a teacher might be a little suspicious of the mess of wires and boards that was Ahmed’s clock, but still: “Once they determined it wasn’t the kind of clock that counts down, how does he end up in handcuffs?”

He also ridiculed the Irving police chief’s comment that Mohamed was taken into custody because he “wasn’t forthcoming with other details” besides the fact that it was a clock.

“That’s because there were no other details!” Wilmore said. “It’s a clock!”

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Leading Off (9/17/15)

Memorial service for Ebby Halliday held today. Dallas real estate legend Ebby Halliday Acers will be celebrated and remembered today at the memorial service, taking place at 3p.m. at Park Cities Baptist Church, 3933 Northwest Parkway, Dallas, TX 75225.

Irving freshman going to the White House. Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving kid who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, has accepted an invitation to go to the White House after Obama tweeted to him. Clearly, a lot can change in a few days.

North Texas Giving Day sets fundraising goal of $26 million. Today is the seventh annual North Texas Giving Day, which aims to raise money for local nonprofit organizations. $26.3 million was raised last year. The Communities Foundation, which spawned the program, hopes to raise even more this year. There are more than 2,100 nonprofits to donate to, and locations for the event are spread throughout North Texas. Not a bad way to spend (pun intended) a Thursday.

Dallas police department has more surveillance cameras than ever. 90 new surveillance cameras will be installed at Dallas crime hotspots soon. This means that electronic surveillance of Dallas—there are 347 total cameras now—will be twice as extensive as it was just three years ago.

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.

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