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Appellate Court Tosses $10.7 Million Ruling Because Of Ex-Dallas Judge’s Flub

Back in 2010, a North Dallas neurologist filed suit in the 101st Civil District Court alleging that his partners intentionally misled and withheld information from him about just how bad their two medical facilities were doing. Soon, they crashed and burned and Dr. Erwin Cruz says he lost millions, which could’ve been avoided had his partners not been negligent. So he sued.

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Leading Off (1/23/15)

High-Speed Rail Line Likened to Berlin Wall. Judging by the responses we’ve seen in the comments of previous articles about the possibility, Dallas residents seem generally excited about the prospect of a high-speed rail line being built that will mean Houston is just 90 minutes away by train. But WFAA spoke with several Ellis County landowners who are none too excited about their property being divided by the project.

Prime Prep to Merge With Another School. The struggling charter academy, co-founded by former NFL star Deion Sanders, will reportedly hook up with another Oak Cliff campus, Triple A Academy. It’s not clear whether Triple A’s recent 117-10 basketball win had anything to do with the decision.

Cowboys Fan Sues NFL For $88 Billion. Terry Hendrix is upset about the officials’ reversal of Dez Bryant’s catch during this year’s playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, claiming damages for the league’s “negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and also reckless disregard.” The hand-written lawsuit was filed on Wednesday. Also of note, Hendrix is incarcerated in a Colorado correctional institution.

Dogs Mysteriously Disappearing in Wise County. And there’s “not one shred of physical evidence that proves the dogs were taken.” Has the pet rapture begun?

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D Magazine Contest Winner Memorializes Young Wylie Soccer Player

Throughout 2014, D Magazine held a series of giveaways for some pretty great prizes. In December the contest was centered around the “Season of Giving.” The winner would get to choose a charity to which a $2,000 donation would be made via the Communities Foundation of Texas.

The folks at CFT — who work with the people raising money for many worthy causes — were so moved by the story of the winner of our contest that they suggested we tell you a little bit more about her and her family. So that’s what I’m going to do.

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Leading Off (1/22/15)

Barrett Brown To Learn His Sentence Today. Finally, after already spending more than two years in the joint, Brown will find out how much longer he has to remain behind bars. As entertaining as it has been to read his dispatches from various lockups, I agree with this guy: give him time served and send him home. Tim is, of course, at the courthouse, and will report back when it’s all over.

Mike Morath Has Some Hot Sports Opinions On Education In Dallas. First, read our Eric Celeste on the end of home rule. Okay, now you’re ready. Morath, the DISD trustee and driving force of the home rule initiative, told WFAA the following in a phone interview: “I think the real problem is, we as a city don’t actually care about our school system, and that is reflected in the people we elect to the board and the way that they behave.” Also: “You’ve got three or four people that are very seriously harming the decisions of the majority of the board.” Gonna be some fun board meetings coming up.

Bishop T.D. Jakes’ MegaFest Coming Back to Dallas In August. Jakes is bringing back his three-day faith/film/family festival, even though I recall the turnout being a bit of a disappointment the first time MegaFest was here, in 2013. And that was with Oprah Winfrey (Ohhh-pruhh WIN-freeeee) in town. But that was a test run. They expect 80,000 attendees because they have faith.

Mavs Hit 30 Wins. And it was easy. Rajon Rondo did this.

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Japan Meets Texas at Toyota Groundbreaking

At Toyota’s unconventional groundbreaking for its new HQ in Plano yesterday, six so-called “wish trees” were placed behind CEO Jim Lentz inside a big white installation spelling out the word “TOYOTA.” Each tree in the display—they were actually native Texan Yaupon Holly trees—was festooned with little red tags on which students from Plano ISD Academy High School had written their wishes, hopes and dreams. The tags, apparently part of a Japanese cultural tradition, said things like “I hope to be a better artist,” “I want to go to a good college,” and “My dream would be a cure for cancer.” Lentz said the notes would be placed in a time capsule and the holly trees would be planted permanently once the HQ opens in late 2016 or early ’17. “It’s clear,” he said, “that this is the right place to begin the next chapter in Toyota’s history.”

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Leading Off (1/21/15)

Four More Earthquakes Strike Unsuspecting Region I didn’t feel any of them. Go about your life until you’re told this is all just a viral marketing campaign for the Left Behind reboot. Yes, they remade the Left Behind adaptation! No, it’s probably not any better than the original starring Kirk Cameron! But it has Nicolas Cage, you say! I can’t keep these exclamatory sentences going so I’ll just rebut by saying have you even seen Joe?! It was pretty good and reminds you that Nic Cage probably doesn’t have to do Left Behind movies!

Toyota Breaks Ground on New Plano Headquarters Plano, not Dallas. I know that’s hard to differentiate for some mayors.

DISD Officer Involved in Shooting So many questions, but I’ll just leave it at “Why did a DISD officer try and intervene in a traffic infraction off-campus and why did this suspect try to run and what was that altercation about and why did a DISD officer shoot at (but not hit) this suspect?” Very straight-forward.

Fort Worth Undertakers Slapped With Additional Charges… The mortuary owners were tagged with felony theft charges yesterday, in addition to the multiple “abuse of corpse” counts from last year.

...and the Undertaker May Slap Some Fools in Arlington Because Wrestlemania is coming to Jerry World. (That link is for WrestleZone.com, which I intend to use in every Leading Off henceforth.)

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Poll: Should Dallas Put Fluoride in Its Water?

It’s tough sometimes to know which “experts” we’re supposed to believe, especially when scientific consensus also has a way of changing its collective mind as researchers learn more. It can be confusing to mere lay-folk like you (most of you, anyway) and me.

For years we’ve heard that fluoride in our drinking water is an absolute good and has promoted dental health for decades. But now, as Tim noted last week, scientists have concerns about the chemical’s neurotoxic effects. These concerns have been raised to the Dallas City Council, which will vote Jan. 28 on a contract to continue fluoridating the city’s water supply. Should they continue the practice?

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Leading Off (1/20/15)

DeMarco Murray Gets Engaged. Murray and his fianceé, Heidi Mueller, have had some issues with social media and naked pictures and so forth. Who hasn’t?! But it looks like they’ve gotten everything worked out. They’re engaged. There remains only one question: Mueller is 32 years old. That’s old for a fianceé in today’s league. Will she put up the numbers she did last season? Will DeMarco regret giving her a lifetime contract? I guess that’s actually two questions. We shall see.

Balcony Club Lives To Fight Another Day. Actually it lives to pour drinks for another year — depending. But the longtime overrated bar was scheduled to close yesterday, and it didn’t. All in all, that’s a good thing.

Meth Lab Inside Addison Hotel? The Crowne Plaza Hotel is just down the street from Greenhill. Employees there found what looked like a meth operation in a room yesterday. Said it before. Say it again: suburbs are dangerous, yo. Science!

Mavs Beat Grizzlies 103-95. With two minutes to play, the Grizzlies were ahead. Then: I see you, Big German!

WrestleMania 32 Coming to Death Star. Early this morning, WWE announced that it will bring its big show to AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2016. That sound you just heard was me letting out a little squeal of excitement. Can’t wait. You think they’ll make this the Undertaker’s retirement match? Maybe the Great Kabuki will make a surprising return. So pumped.

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Leading Off (1/19/2015)

Muslim Conference In Garland Draws Protesters. The conference, held at a facility operated by Garland ISD, was put on by Sound Vision, a Chicago-based Islamic organization. Per NBC, it was met by thousands of protesters and counter-protesters. The title of the conference was “Stand With the Prophet Against Terror and Hate.” Meanwhile, the prize for Most Predictable Use of Craft Supplies went to the white lady in the hideous sweater with the “Go Home and Take Obama With You” sign.

Dallas Safari Club Will No Longer Auction Off The Chance To Kill An African Elephant. The donor of the hunt withdrew the gift to the club, and therefore, murdering one of this planet’s largest animals for fun is off the table. However! You can still try for the chance to spend 14 expensive days in Mozambique attempting to kill an adult male leopard.

A Painful Cinematic Pun Happened In The Headline Of This Article. Also, the Lakewood Theater might become an Alamo Drafthouse. Alamo Drafthouses in Dallas are basically useless to me unless Rob Thomas promises to bring the cast of his next TV project, whatever that is, to one, so I have no opinion on this tidbit.

Another Earthquake in Irving. Speaking of places with an Alamo Drafthouse, there was one of those little earth wigglers on Saturday. A 2.2. How cute.

American Sniper Is Breaking MLK Weekend Box Office Records. The movie, which is based on Texas sniper Chris Kyle’s memoir and has inspired mostly ambivalent-to-blistering reviews, has made more than $90 million in its first weekend in wide release. That’s a lot for an R-rated drama, and a lot for a movie set in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s also a lot for a Clint Eastwood film, believe it or not. I haven’t seen it, but I have read Michael Mooney’s story about the man. Anyway, happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everybody. I think I’ll go see Selma.

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Leading Off (1/16/15)

South Dallas Residents Don’t Want New Toll Lanes. Wait, I thought opposing the construction of new pay-to-play roads was classist and racist and that folks south of Interstate 30 are clamoring for the opportunity to pay to drive their cars to points north? Then why were those who showed up to a Tuesday meeting at Methodist Dallas Medical Center to discuss the proposed Southern Gateway project — redoing Interstate 35E south of Colorado Boulevard — so upset about the idea to include managed toll lanes in the plans? Listen to this:

“We don’t want this. We don’t want these tollways here. Not in Oak Cliff,” said Juanita Lozano, drawing an “amen” and applause from the crowd.

And this:

“You’re creating a system where people with means can zip from one end of this area to the other while they wave at the rest of us on the sidelines,” said Michael Amonett.

And how about this?

“Where will you get the additional land you need?” asked Alicia Quintans, who lives near I-35E and observes its daily traffic flow.

“There’s maybe two hours of the day when traffic is jumbled up on I-35,” she said, “and I don’t understand why we’re building these toll lanes for two hours of the day.”

Oil Boom Headed For Bust? We’re all still enjoying the cheap gasoline, but as prices have dropped, drilling budgets have been slashed and industry layoffs have begun. Concern of a sustained downturn is growing.

Hipster Wedding Chapel Denied by City. The owners of the Bows and Arrows floral shop were fixing up an East Dallas mansion to host weddings, but their request to rezone the home for that purpose was denied last week by the Plan Commission.

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Leading Off (1/15/15)

Embattled Prime Prep Academy Continues To Find Reasons To Stay Embattled. The latest? “Prime Prep Academy employees unknowingly lost their health insurance late last year after school administrators failed to pay premiums” and the “school didn’t make payments to the state teacher retirement system for months, issued its most recent paychecks late and was briefly locked out of the Fort Worth campus by its landlord during Christmas break.”

New DA Susan Hawk Expanding Animal Cruelty Unit. To highlight that, yesterday she visited the SPCA, allowing reporter Jenny Doren to double down: “The new ‘top dog’ in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office has literally gone to the dogs.” Can’t say I would have played it any differently, though I feel there was room for “dog days” and “doggedly” somewhere in there.

Scott Linehan Reportedly Agrees To New Contract. The Cowboys’ de facto offensive coordinator was a key reason the team surpassed expectations. Next up for the team: bringing back Dez Bryant and Demarco Murray, and get Stephen Jones to start working on his core.

Another Earthquake Hits Irving. This one was a 2.3. Feels like there is going to be a bigger one at some point, no?

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Where Should We Build a Giant Tire Fire? Probably Sunnyvale

I hate this — being forced to play the sensible adult, I mean.

You know: Rotate your tires, fund your 401(k), and, speaking of tires, build the biggest tire fire the world has ever seen in the middle of Sunnyvale.

Listen, I’m sick of the whole subject and bet you are, too. This thing has dragged on way too long.

The opponents conjure up all sorts of conspiracy theories to explain why it hasn’t gone away — the evil tire-burning lobby, tire-burning fat cats, selfish Sunnyvalians like Steve Blow.

But one other possibility is that it survives because it’s the smartest answer to a serious need: burning a stack of old tires higher than Larry “Doc” Sportello.

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Pickens: Oil to Hit $90 Again, But Not Before Some Pain in Texas

Here’s an explanation by T. Boone Pickens of the current crude-oil market, in four sentences: Prices are down from their $100-plus highs not because of OPEC but because, thanks to advances in fracking and horizontal drilling, the U.S. has oversupplied the market. However, the price will bounce back from below $50 per barrel into the $90-$100 range again in 12 to 18 months. The reason: excess oil inventories will hit all-time highs in 2015’s first quarter, leading many of the country’s 1,500 oil-drilling rigs to shut down. That in turn will crimp production, spurring the price turnaround by the third quarter.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Let’s All Give Steve Blow a Wide Berth, Shall We?

Lee Kleinman is the most courageous member of the Dallas City Council. I am pleased to announce that he is the first — thus far the only — member of that quasi-august body to accept my challenge. He has agreed to face off against me, mano e mano, over heaping bowls of dal makhani at Mughlai. I’ve asked my people to reach out to his people to work out the details. I shall keep you informed as to the progress of this endeavor.

Now, to today’s business.

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