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The Best Story You Will Read This Week

Jamie Thompson is a contributing editor to D Magazine. You might remember the Susan Hawk cover story she did for us. She has written a piece for Texas Monthly that you need to read. It’s about 10,000 words long, so don’t pop over and think you can knock it out in a couple minutes. Find the time to read the whole thing.

When the River Rises” is the gripping tale of the Wimberley flood last year. This is the first time Jonathan McComb has told the story about the night he went floating down the swollen Blanco River in the middle of the night, in a house. Eight people in that house with him died that night, including his wife and two children. It’s hard to imagine what he went through. Jamie does a wonderful job of describing it. And there are important lessons to be learned about the lack of flood warning systems and how people build on the banks of the Blanco.

Craft Draft Night Offers a Golden Opportunity

Last night, Tim Rogers hosted D Magazine’s Craft Draft Night. More than 80 people squeezed elbow-to-elbow on Craft and Growler’s wooden benches and bar stools to hear panelists Brian Brown, Michael Peticolas, and Melissa Monosoff share their extensive beer knowledge.

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City Council Renames Bridge For Ron Kirk

The Dallas City Council just voted to rename the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge for former Mayor Ron Kirk.

Every council member expressed admiration for Kirk’s leadership in the city and acknowledged the appropriateness of renaming something to honor him. The disagreement was whether the bridge was fitting for that purpose, since Kirk is a supporter of building a toll road along the Trinity River that would require removing almost 10 percent of the very structure that will become his namesake.

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Generally Excellent D Magazine Wins Awards

D Magazine took home the biggest prize available at Monday evening’s City and Regional Magazine Association awards, which were handed out at a star-absent ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Denver.

“General Excellence” honors the top magazine of the year in each of three circulation classes (D Magazine is a middleweight). Our print product beat out the other finalists at our readership level: Cincinnati, Indianapolis Monthly, Portland Monthly, and Seattle Met. All excellent magazines themselves, which makes the prize all the sweeter and far from a sure thing headed into the ceremony.

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Chris Kyle Lied About His Military Record

Chris Kyle presents a complicated figure for us to interpret. Those who fought alongside him attest to bravery. After his service to his country, he worked hard to help other veterans who suffered physical and mental anguish. He was a good man, someone to be admired. On the other hand, he was a liar. He lied about punching Jesse Ventura. He lied about shooting two guys who tried to carjack him. He lied about climbing atop the Superdome to shoot looters in the chaos after Katrina. And now, worst of all, we know he lied about his military record. In his bestselling book, American Sniper, Kyle wrote that he was awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars, all for valor. As The Intercept tells us, that is not true. They’ve got documents showing that Kyle was awarded one Silver and three Bronzes. And he was told before he published the book that his claim was false. A former SEAL told The Intercept, “The SEAL leadership was aware of the embellishment, but didn’t want to correct the record because Kyle’s celebrity status reflected well on the command.” He also said, “Everybody went on a pilgrimage to his funeral at Cowboys Stadium, knowing full well his claims weren’t true.”

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Leading Off (5/25/16)

ARLINGTON CITY COUNCIL SIGNS OFF ON A NEW BALLPARK. The council approved the $1 billion plan that would give the Texas Rangers a new stadium. However, the next step is to convince voters to spend $500 million to keep the team in Arlington. Opponents have asked why the current stadium, which opened in 1994, needs to be replaced.

POLICE FIND AN ALLIGATOR BEHIND A SOUTH DALLAS MIDDLE SCHOOL. The nearly 7-foot-long reptile was captured near Steam Middle School around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. An officer, who was patrolling the area, stopped after spotting what he thought was a log. It’s possible the alligator came from one of the area’s nearby creeks.

THE BATHROOM SAGA CONTINUES. State Attorney General Ken Paxton may file a legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s directive that instructs schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. This could affect Fort Worth ISD’s newly established guidelines that would accommodate transgender students. Paxton has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference in Austin.

STATE SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE WHO THINKS OBAMA IS A FORMER GAY PROSTITUTE LOSES. Thankfully, Mary Lou Bruner, a retired teacher who suggested Obama might have been a “gay prostitute” in his youth, lost the Republican nomination last night by more than 10,000 votes. Bruner drew national attention earlier this year for her Facebook commentary which included claims such as “Islam is not a religion” and that Noah’s ark carried baby dinosaurs. Lufkin school board President Keven Ellis won the nomination and will face Democratic candidate Amanda Rudolph in the fall.

DALLAS ZOO WELCOMES ELEPHANT CALF. The calf was born May 14 to one of the five Swaziland elephants that arrived in Dallas in March and is the first African elephant calf born in the United States in nearly two years. The 3-foot, 175-pound calf hasn’t been named yet but is bonding with his mother. In January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted the zoo a permit allowing the zoo to bring over the elephants from Swaziland–a move that was contested by animal advocacy groups. It’ll be a few months before the public can meet the calf so–until then– this video will have to suffice.

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The Real Housewives of Dallas Episode 7 Recap

Let me set the scene for you. Last night, as The Real Housewives of Dallas got underway, my dog began to retch. I don’t think this was a reaction to the show. My wife let her out into the backyard, where she began eating grass “like a cow,” according to my wife. A vigil was begun. My son was forced to stop shooting things on his Xbox and watch the dog to ensure that she didn’t try to eat her own vomit. All this commotion was happening mere feet away from me, as I was trying to watch the show and take notes on Episode 7, titled “Black and Blues.” Then a bunch of drunken colleagues at a magazine conference in Denver sent me about 56 texts. My point: if this recap seems like it was written by a distracted middle-aged man with a manageable case of plantar fibromatosis, that’s because it was.

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Leading Off (5/24/16)

Susan Hawk in Houston indefinitely. The Dallas County District Attorney, who returned to the Menninger Clinic in Houston due to severe depression, doesn’t have a return date set yet. She was treated there last year before resuming her work in Dallas. Messina Madson, Hawk’s top prosecutor, will deal with daily office goings-on in the meantime.

Loose dogs captured in Oak Cliff. The loose dog problem continued when two dogs allegedly bit a man in east Oak Cliff yesterday morning. Police and animal control officers ended up capturing the dogs after fending the dogs off themselves.

High-speed internet coming to southern dallas. AT&T is aiming to bring high-speed internet to southern Dallas neighborhoods, which will help residents and businesses become more connected. Executives from AT&T are announcing the plan at a press conference this morning at Dallas City Hall. Mayor Rawlings says this shows that major companies are now concentrating on southern Dallas.

Dallas bachelorette JoJo Fletcher begins her journey to find love. The 25-year-old’s season premiered last night. It entailed a man riding in on a horse dressed as a unicorn, a guy wearing a kilt, another guy dressed as Santa Claus, and, obviously, alcohol-fueled antics. Good luck, JoJo.

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The New Trinity Park Looks Great — But Never Will Be

As Jason mentioned on Friday. Mayor Rawlings unveiled the plan for a 285-acre, $285 million park between the Trinity River levees, Does it look and sound amazing? Absolutely. Hits all the right notes about fostering connectivity and all that business. The renderings, as always, are gorgeous.

But guess what? All those plans and pictures are garbage, because the park still has a dumb road running through it, try as they might to downplay it and camouflage it, and that road is straighter than any story anyone involved with this project has ever delivered. Will ever deliver. Guess what that straight road will turn into, and probably not even far enough into the future to be modified by “eventually”? A big, dumb, highway.

Forget that noise. As long as there is a road involved, any park between the levees is a median, nothing more.

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Leading Off (5/23/16)

Woman Stabbed Before Dallas Lutheran School Graduation. A 17-year-old man stabbed a 19-year-old woman before the graduation ceremony in Lake Highlands in what’s being called an “unprovoked attack.” The man then went outside and sat on the steps of the gym until officers arrived and took him into custody. The woman is OK and the ceremony eventually continued, and nothing ever makes sense anymore.

Dallas Wings Win Home Opener. Pro basketball returned to Dallas (ish) and Skylar Diggins returned to the court (more or less) for the first time in 11 months as the Wings beat the San Antonio Stars. Diggins played 12 minutes and scored a point. The team was led by Irving’s Odyssey Sims with 23 and they’re now 3-1.

Grand Prairie Woman In Chewbacca Mask Has Most Viewed Facebook Live Video Ever. It’s been watched 130 million times. Perhaps you’ve seen it.

Yu Darvish Looks Good in Final Rehab Start. He threw six scoreless innings in Frisco and looks ready for a turn in the Rangers’ rotation for the first time since 2014. The Rangers finished a sweep of the Astros yesterday.

LGBT Center Opens Near Love Field. At the ribbon cutting of the new 20,000-square-foot Resource Center, CEO Cece Cox invited Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to come by, saying, “And if Mr. Patrick and his boss, Greg Abbott, want to come by here and use our restroom, have a chat, have a cup of coffee, we welcome that. They might even learn something.”

Mark Cuban Says He Would Be Either Clinton or Trump’s Running Mate, Maybe Would Run For President in 2020. Sure, OK, fine. You know, maybe we should just stop asking people questions.

FC Dallas Hand New England First Home Loss. After a wild first half that saw both sides net two goals, FCD took control in the second with Fabian Castillo scoring for the first time in a while and Tesho Akindele getting his second of the match. The win briefly gave the squad the lead in the Western Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings, but they’re now just one point back in both. #DTID

Byron Nelson Report: Real Housewives of Dallas Edition

For most people at the AT&T Byron Nelson, the action is on the course. But for a lucky few, the real fun happens in the homes that line the TPC Four Seasons. Saturday is always the biggest house-party day, and yesterday was no exception. The best parties are in homes that look out at holes 3, 16, and 17. This year, though, the mansion off 17 that typically hosts the tournament’s biggest bash was silent. A “for sale” sign stood out front.

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Business Journalism Conference Had Winners and Losers

That big phallus-looking thing in the photo above is Washington, D.C.’s Washington Monument, as seen from the hotel where the Society of American Business Editors and Writers just hours ago wrapped up its 53rd annual conference. The three-day get-together was held partly to recognize the best U.S. business journalism done in 2015, and North Texas figured in the meeting in a few ways.

Thomas E. Perez, the labor secretary under President Barack Obama, gave a keynote talk and praised Dallas’ Southwest Airlines—in contrast to its competitors—for what it pays some of its workers. Irving-based ExxonMobil didn’t fare as well. A news outfit called InsideClimate News was a finalist in SABEW’s Best in Business competition for its series about Exxon’s “shift from a champion of climate science to climate-change denier.”

And—oh yeah—yours truly accepted D CEO ‘s General Excellence award for magazines with circulations up to 100,000. (Bloomberg Businessweek snagged the other top mag award, for circulations over 100,000.) The recognition was a major shout-out to the 2015 D CEO staff—including Christine Perez, Hilary Lau, Matt Goodman, Lauren DeLozier, and Hamilton Hedrick—who all worked their rears off to make it happen. Now, if I hadn’t sworn off booze in 1982, I’d head over toward the big monument to get drunk and celebrate.

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Byron Nelson Report: Day 2—Training Jordan Spieth

The Pavilion at the AT&T Byron Nelson is always live. But the more exclusive action is poolside at the Four Seasons Las Colinas. During the day, the gold-diggers work on their tans; at night, guests and Four Seasons members and PGA-credentialed partiers come out to play. Last night was no exception, with South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen holding court, consoling himself after missing the cut. (Still, things didn’t get as intense as they did last year, when Johnny Manziel had a dust-up with an annoying fan.)

This morning, day two of the tournament, it was back to business. I had a chance to talk with trainer Damon Goddard, after he held fitness sessions with two of his clients, Kelly Kraft and Jordan Spieth.

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