D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Bowling For Dollars

There used to be a TV game show on which people — ordinary human beings like you and me — would hurl balls at pins in the hopes of winning cash. It was called, in the parlance of the day, Bowling For Dollars. Meanwhile, other human beings — also, presumably, like you and me — would have sent in postcards with their names on them in the hopes of sharing in the winnings if some lucky amateur bowler managed two strikes in a row.

I was going to write about the oddity of this format sustaining a daily program, but then I remembered that we live in an age of televised naked daters and naked survivalists, so who are we to judge? (After all, I know what you’re thinking at this moment: Why hasn’t naked bowling reached the airwaves yet?)

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Watch Miss Texas’ Wild-Ass First Pitch

Connoisseurs of horrible first pitches will perhaps argue that Mr. 50 Cent threw out the all-time worst first pitch. But as Deadspin put it, Monique Evans belongs in the conversation. If Evan Grant were inclined to go longform on this, write 3,000 words about how Evans did or did not prepare for the pitch, about the pitch itself (at least 1,000 words on that alone), about the aftermath of the pitch (what was the horse thinking?), then I’d read it. In fact, I may launch a Kickstarter to make that happen. Anyway, watch for yourself:

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Leading Off (8/15/14)

DA’s Office Paid Secret Settlement Following Car Crash. In February 2013, Dallas County district attorney Craig Watkins was driving up the Dallas North Tollway “reading information” on his cell phone when he ran into the back of a truck. Watkins was in a county-owned vehicle at the time but failed to follow the proper reporting procedures. Eventually the DA’s office paid the man that Watkins hit more than $50,000 and had him sign a settlement stating that he would not talk to the press. The settlement money also came from asset forfeiture funds, which seems to be questionable legally, especially since the spending never went before the county commissioners court for approval.

DA’s Office to Investigate Police Shootings. In the wake of the recent string of officer-involved incidents in Dallas, and the events playing out in Ferguson, Mo., this week, Craig Watkins announced his plan to create an investigative unit to look into any shootings involving cops. “I think it would be somewhat irresponsible if we didn’t address the fact that there is a lack of trust with the police,” Watkins said.

Cheating School’s Test Scores Plunge. An investigation last fall determined that students at Dallas ISD’s Umphrey Lee Elementary were being fed exam answers. So what happened after five teachers and an instructional coach were forced out? STAAR passing rates fell significantly during the last school year.

Cowboys Erect Party Tent Outside Stadium. The Corral, which was a feature at Texas Stadium back in the team’s 1990s heyday, is being resurrected starting with this weekend’s preseason game. Because JerryWorld isn’t big enough, I guess.

Corinth Doesn’t Want Beaver Nuggets. A crowd packed the Corinth City Council meeting last night before a hearing on granting incentives to bring a Buc-ee’s truck stop to Interstate 35E. Neighbors were concerned by the amount of traffic it would attract. At about 1 a.m. this morning, the council voted against Buc-ee’s.

Future Serial Killer in Lewisville. Hard not to reach that conclusion after reading this creepy story about 20 rabbits found killed in a “ritualistic” manner in the Castle Hills neighborhood.

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Leading Off (8/14/14)

Wild About Harry’s Tribute Today. You probably heard that Harry Coley died yesterday. Well, today from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., folks are invited to drop by the Knox Street custard store and pay their respects.

Yu Darvish Put on Disabled List. When I see the printed version of the newspaper when I get to work, the “Yu, Too” headline had best have the comma in it. I’m serious about this. Anyway, more bad news for the Rangers.

Upscale Keller Neighborhood Has Problem With Beavers. Offered without comment.

Irving Kid Nearly Drowns. Just read the story. Notice how it is told. I wish the Morning News would let its reporters take more chances like this. Well done.

AT&T Launches GigaBit Today. The fastest AT&T internet connection will initially only be available in the Park Cities. Though other parts of North Texas will get upgraded speeds. Here’s the ad for the service.

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Poll: Which is the ‘Coolest’ Dallas Suburb?

Last week, as Peter noted, Forbes released its ranking of America’s “coolest” cities. Dallas came in 10th, falling from 4th the year before. Never mind that their criteria seems bogus, given that Houston once against was higher up the list than Dallas. That’s not what I’m here about.

Forbes‘ list got me thinking about our own recent comparative list of the finest places to live (other than Dallas) in North Texas: the best Dallas suburbs. One criteria we used was something we termed “ambiance” score. You can read our explanation of it here, but I think I’m perfectly within my rights to conflate our notion of “ambiance” with Forbes‘ notion of “cool.”

To that end, I’m asking you today to pick the coolest Dallas suburb. Your options come from the 10 suburbs to which we gave higher ambiance scores than Dallas (which got an 84 out of 100). Highland Park was tops with a 96, but does that make it the coolest?

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Leading Off (8/11/14)

Fatal Shooting in Oak Cliff Involves Off-Duty Officer. A man, believed to be unarmed, was shot by an off-duty Dallas police officer at West Twelfth Street and South Rosemont Avenue on Sunday evening. The officer, wearing a uniform and driving a marked vehicle, responded to a 911 call about the man, who had been harassing women on the street, as part of the DPD’s Extended Neighborhood Patrol program. According to police, the officer shot the man after he refused to comply with orders and moved toward the officer in a “dangerous” manner.

Rangers Win. A bearded player named Nick Martinez appears to have had a good game on Sunday. It would also appear that this win ended a seven-game losing streak to the Houston Astros. By now, you can tell that I am a baseball expert and I can stop typing.

Supermoon Mutes Meteor Showers. Unless the people you follow on Instagram really let you down, you know that the full moon was 30 percent brighter and 14 percent bigger last night. In addition to making Remus Lupin 14 percent more testy than usual, that brightness upstaged the Perseid meteor shower.

It Rained Yesterday. And it might very well rain today.

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Jones Boys Maybe Need To Sit Out a Few Plays

Jerral Jones and his son Stephen are having quite a week. First embarrassing pictures of Jerry taken five years surface. Lesson No. 1: if you’re going to party with strippers, ban all photography. Just to be safe, ban courtroom sketching, too. Then Stephen is caught on video using one of the Cowboys buses to make a beer run, only instead of beer, he picked up a bunch of navel-baring club strumpets. Lesson No. 2: if you’re going on a strumpet run, have the bus pull around back for load in. Gene (Jerry’s wife), Charlotte (Jerry’s daughter), and Karen (Stephen’s wife) must be none too pleased with their men. Here’s the thing about that Cowboys bus:

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Leading Off (8/8/14)

Why Businesses Aren’t Charged With Bribing John Wiley Price.  News 8′s Brett Shipp investigated why the companies named in the indictment of the county commissioner aren’t themselves having to facing possible punishment for their parts in the alleged crimes. And it turns out, well, maybe the federal prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to charge the companies? Or maybe they just focused on the bigger target, a government official? Or somehow Bradley Cooper fouled the whole thing up by falling hard for one of his informants? Hard to say.

Cowboys Lose Meaningless Game. Quarterback Tony Romo didn’t play, so feel free to blame him for the 27-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers in the team’s preseason opener.

Family Sues DirecTV For Sending Sex Offender to Their Home. Wahren Scott Massey didn’t work for DirecTV, nor for the subcontractor sent to respond to a service call at a home in Murphy. But he did tag along with an installer in August 2012 and was caught taking photos of the family’s 12-year-old daughter while she was stretching. Massey has been a registered sex offender since 1998. The family believes DirecTV should be held accountable, while the company denies responsibility since Massey didn’t work for them and should never have been along on the call with the installer.

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Shawn Marion, Other NBA Players To Be On Terrible Rap Album

I missed this on Friday, and now I kind of wish I had remained in the dark. Erstwhile Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion is collaborating on a rap album with Big Baby Davis, Stephen Jackson, Carlos Boozer, and Juwan Howard, because those are the exact five people I would name if someone asked me which five current/former NBA players were working on a rap album. Judging from the snippets in the teaser video, it, well, it does appear to be a rap album.

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Kendall Jenner Makes Strong Move to the Hoop on Chandler Parsons

Zac is our resident NBA analyst, so I will leave it to him to explain why so many Mavericks date Kardashians (Jenners, same thing). It appears that Chandler Parsons is digging the chili of Kendall Jenner. A Google image search for the latter has me thinking that Parsons deserves a high-five, but, like I said, I’m no expert. Zac, I’ll hang up and listen.

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Josh Malone, Super Genius, Invents Way To Make 100 Water Balloons in a Minute

Josh Malone is a 41-year-old dude who lives in Plano and has eight kids. So he’s clearly insane. Speaking from experience, a vasectomy is a pretty simple procedure. But Malone is also a super genius. Any parent who has ever made a mess of water balloons will appreciate Malone’s invention, which is called Bunch o Balloons. Check out the video. It’s amazing. He launched a Kickstarter on July 22, with a $10,000 goal. The campaign goes till August 21, but he’s already got $635,000 pledged. Probably didn’t hurt that he was on the Today show this morning.

Josh Malone, you are my hero.

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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 Today

Eric Nadel, the voice of the Texas Rangers for the past 35 years, is in Cooperstown getting ready for his close up. This afternoon at 4:30PM EST, Nadel will be honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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