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Making Dallas Even Better

New Fair Park Proposal Argues State Fair Sprawl Is Bad for Business

There have been a few new plans for Fair Park batted around since the effort began to consider moving the management of the city facility to a private non-profit organization. This latest one comes from a Dallas-based urban planning firm called Ash + Lime, and it makes a simple, but compelling argument. Yes, the State Fair of Texas is too big, the Ash+Lime study contends, but the people who should be most upset about the sprawling fair that gobbles up the park aren’t park or neighborhood advocates, but rather the State Fair itself. That’s because the size and layout of the State Fair is actually leaving money on the table.

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Poll: Is 2016 the Year the Texas Rangers Win It All?

Last fall, impressed by the Texas Rangers’ unexpected run to the Major League Baseball playoffs, we declared that year’s team (only half-kidding) the greatest in franchise history. I typed the piece and based the argument on how the club had so spectacularly overachieved both expectations and their underlying performance statistics to wind up atop the American League West standings.

Did we jump the gun? How far can the 2016 team go?

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Leading Off (6/24/16)

GRAND JURY CLEARS MCKINNEY OFFICER INVOLVED IN POOL PARTY INCIDENT, TEEN PLANS TO SUE. A Collin County grand jury on Thursday cleared McKinney police officer Cpl. Eric Casebolt of criminal charges relating to his involvement in breaking up a pool party last June, which garnered national attention. The interaction was captured in a seven-minute video that shows Casebolt slamming a teenage girl to the ground and drawing his gun on two other teens who tried to help her. There was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Casebolt, a 10-year veteran of the department. Given the verdict, the 16-year-old girl and her family plan to file civil rights and personal injury suits Monday.

SUPREME COURT IMMIGRATION DEADLOCK LEAVES DALLAS FAMILIES IN LIMBO. The Supreme Court’s 4-4 split leaves the families of Texas’ 1.5 million undocumented immigrants with uncertainty. The plan would have shielded millions from deportation. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton believes the ruling is a victory for those who believe in the separations of powers.

MAVS TAKE A.J. HAMMONS IN DRAFT. The Dallas Mavericks drafted Purdue’s A.J. Hammons on Thursday in the second round. The 7-foot center was the 46th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. The Mavs are hopeful for what Hammons, “a first-round talent,” could bring to the team.

7 MEN CHARGED WITH INDECENT EXPOSURE, PUBLIC LEWDNESS IN PUBLIC PARK. Between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, Fort Worth police arrested seven men on charges of indecent exposure and public lewdness. The arrests were made in Gateway Park, and police haven’t clarified if the offenses are related. The men range in age from 22 to 66. Maybe it was the result of an Old School-inspired rush challenge. I don’t know how these things work. In the meantime, here’s a peek at their mugshots.

SOUTHBOUND I-35E LANES THROUGH DOWNTOWN ARE CLOSING FOR 12 HOURS. As part of the Dallas Horseshoe Project, all southbound lanes of I-35E that pass through Downtown Dallas will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday through 10 a.m. Saturday. The exit to eastbound I-30 is part of the shutdown; however, the westbound exit will stay open. Only time will tell if we, as a city, can survive this shutdown.

Leading Off (6/22/16)

More Details Emerge on McKinney Double Murder. Kelley Eugene Bigham was charged with murder for the fatal shooting of his estranged wife, Karen Bigham, and her twin sister on Monday. The Bigham’s college-age daughter, Kylie, says in the affidavit that her mother told her father she was divorcing him last week and he threatened her with a gun. Karen asked Kylie to come over Monday while Kelley collected his belongings. Kylie was at the house and ran out with her young son as shots were fired. She told police that her father texted her “I’m sorry” after the murder.

Collin County Baby Dies in Hot Car. A father in Melissa was arrested and charged with manslaughter Tuesday in the death of his 6-month-old daughter. She was left in the family’s minivan for up to four hours until the police were called at 1:30 p.m. According a neighbor, the girl’s father, Michael Thedford, is a substitute teacher at Melissa High School and has two other young children.

Dirk Will Be a Free Agent Soon. After opting out of his contract Tuesday, Dirk Nowitzki will be a free agent as of July 1. In the DMN, point guard Devin Harris says there is even less than a “tiny shred of a chance” that Nowitzki is going anywhere. Still, the Golden State Warriors have made it clear that they’ve got eyes for the Big German.

Mark Cuban Has Some Choice Words for Trump. Tabloid show Extra aired an interview with the Mavs owner in which Cuban says of Trump, “It’s rare that you see someone get stupider before your eyes…” I know what you’re thinking. Is Donald Trump getting stupider or is Donald Trump getting more stupid? Because in elementary school, we’re all taught that Donald Trump is getting more stupid, right? But, according to every online dictionary out there, Cuban is completely in the right to say that Donald Trump is getting stupider. Grammatically speaking, of course.

A Short Story About the Rangers’ Last No-Hitter

Yesterday, as Jason mentioned in Leading Off, Colby Lewis took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the A’s, ultimately settling for a two-hit complete game. Which is still pretty good. Did Tim jinx Lewis? Probably, verging on definitely. But, hey, guys — guys! — don’t get too mad at him. He gets excited, and we generally like to encourage that.

Anyway, I managed to catch the last inning or so. Not literally. Bobby Wilson was behind the plate all game. I mean, can you imagine? My knees are garbage and there is almost no chance I could get off the throw to second. Plus, I’m left-handed, and, as everyone knows, there hasn’t been a left-handed catcher since [surreptitiously googles] Benny Distefano for the Pirates in 1989 and that was just three games.

ANYWAY, when I was watching the last inning and change, they mentioned that Rangers pitchers had thrown five no-hitters in franchise history, and the last one was Kenny Rogers’ perfect game on July 28, 1994. I remember this very clearly, because I drove up from West to go to that game.

But I didn’t get to see it.

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Leading Off (6/18/16)

Donald Trump RallY at Gilley’s. Following a fundraiser at the Highland Hotel, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee spoke before a crowd of a few thousand downtown. Hundreds protested nearby, while a much smaller crowd gathered outside the Highland earlier in the day. Trump told his acolytes: “We have to stop people with hate in their heart from coming into our country.” Meaning he was calling for himself to be banned from entry into the United States? Unusual move. What a maverick. Just the sort to shake things up in Washington.

It’s Hot, and Heat Can Kill. North Texas is under a heat advisory — with expected high temperatures in the high 90s and a heat index of between 105 and 108 — through Saturday. On Thursday, Dallas County confirmed the county’s first heat-related death of the year.

Colby Lewis Takes No-Hitter to Ninth. The Texas Rangers pitcher lost his bid for a perfect game with no outs in the eighth inning but still hadn’t allowed a hit to the Oakland Athletics when Max Muncy came to bat to lead off the final frame. Muncy hit a ball to right field that the Rangers’ Nomar Mazara barely missed before it dropped in to break up the no-hitter. Lewis finished the 5-1 win having allowed two hits.

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Five Freaky At-Home Injuries to Make Darren McFadden Feel Better

Apparently Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden broke his elbow over Memorial Day weekend while trying to save his brand new iPhone S. Hopefully Zeke Elliott sent him some Tiff’s Treats. If that’s not enough to make him feel better, perhaps the fact that he’s not the first Dallas athlete to suffer a bizarre injury off the field will help ease the pain.

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Leading Off (6/10/16)

Man Kidnapped by Carjackers, Murdered. Investigators say the 42-year-old victim was likely targeted, followed to a gas station at DFW Airport on Thursday afternoon, where he went inside while thieves tried to make off with his rental car. When the victim saw the theft in progress, he rushed out to stop it, jumping into the vehicle’s driver’s side passenger door. He was later found dead at an apartment complex a few miles away.

Muslim Says He Was Nearly Run Off Road Driving. A white pickup truck aggressively followed Omair Siddiqi after he stopped to put gas in his car on Wednesday afternoon. Siddiqi was listening to a recording of the Quran when the white, middle-aged driver of the truck pulled alongside, rolled down his window and started screaming at him, “Take your rag ass back to your country. I’m gonna [expletive] kill you.” The truck then allegedly tried to run Siddiqi’s vehicle off the road. Police traced the license plate number that Siddiqi provided to an address in Garland. Siddiqi works as an outreach coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Dallas Fort-Worth chapter

DISD Looks to Reduce Suspensions of Youngest Students. There’s disagreement among trustees about whether an all-out ban of imposing out-of-school suspensions on children in pre-kindergarten through second grade is the right move, but they want to do something at least to reduce the practice, which disproportionately affects black boys and can put them at a disadvantage for attaining future academic success. The board asked for more input in discussing alternatives.

Judge Forbids Slumlord From Evicting Tenants. The order is in place until the city’s lawsuit against Dennis Topletz is heard. Topletz is accused of renting 190 properties that violate many city codes to low-income residents. Topletz had sent a letter to his tenants threatening to evict them or raise their rent if they cooperate with the city’s action.

1 in 10 Dallas County Jail Inmates There Solely Because of Mental Illness. So says research of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, which presented a plan Thursday aiming to keep the mentally ill who aren’t dangerous out of the jail. It would involve embedding social workers with police units responding to mental crises and be funded by $7 million in private grants.

Rangers Draft Pitcher. With their first pick of this year’s MLB first-year player draft, Texas took Cole Ragans, a high-school leftie from Tallahassee, Florida. Remember that in baseball the draft is pretty much a crap shoot, so even though he was the 30th overall player taken, who knows if he’ll ever make it to the Show.

Mark Cuban Wants You to Be Able to Afford Mavericks Games

A New York Times article contrasts how ticket prices are surging for the Golden State Warriors games following the team’s dominant play of the last two NBA seasons with what your Dallas Mavericks have done:

Another plan would be to increase ticket prices only on the wealthy. Mr. Williams, a lifelong fan of the Dallas Mavericks, pointed out that when Mark Cuban, another tech billionaire, purchased and revitalized that team, he went out of his way to keep ticket prices low.

“One year my season tickets cost $24 a ticket, and I got my renewal package and they had dropped the price to $14,” Mr. Williams said. “It turned out what Mark was doing was jacking up the price on the lower bowl, where he knew the purchases were corporations, and reducing the price on the real fans upstairs.”

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Leading Off (6/7/16)

Christopher Colbert, accused of killing ronald shumway, is back in Dallas. Remember The Mystery of the Oak Cliff Corpse? Christopher Colbert, who was accused of killing DART driver Ronald Shumway and pretending to be him in order to sell his Winnetka Avenue house, is back in town after spending months in Los Angeles in jail. Colbert was in L.A. while prosecutors in Dallas worked to secure charges of murder, money laundering, and forgery. He was booked into the county jail over the weekend.

Lab tests returned in Midlothian murder. Midlothian fitness instructor Missy Bevers was found dead on April 18. Her father-in-law had dropped off a bloodied women’s long-sleeved shirt at Dry Clean Super Center four days after that. Yesterday, test results from the UNT Health Science Center Laboratory showed that it wasn’t human blood. The family had said it was animal blood from breaking up a fight with their dogs. There is still a reward out for information leading to an arrest of the person responsible for her death.

Tesla coming to Plano’s Legacy West. The luxury car manufacturer plans to set up a showroom at Legacy West Urban Village on Windrose Avenue.

Rangers win with a walkoff double. Rougned Odor took the Rangers to a 6-5 win over the Astros last night to make it their seventh straight win over Houston. Here’s a video of Odor celebrating the hit with lots of Gatorade and a busted lip.

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