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Leading Off (2/27/15)

Winter Is (Still) Coming. The forecast calls for snow this morning, freezing rain tomorrow.

Trustees Interrogate Dallas ISD Staff on Hiring. For more than three hours the board put questions to administrators over whether they told the truth about the purpose of $6.4 million approved in October for the hiring of teachers. Some believed the superintendent’s explanation, some did not.

And the Hits Keep Coming For DISD. The Morning News reports that Texas Education Agency investigators found 60 district employees had not been fingerprinted and that an additional 120 had been fingerprinted but not in the correct way. Proper fingerprinting is necessary to conduct criminal background checks. Furthermore, according to the TEA report, Superintendent Mike Miles submitted a statement saying that DISD was in compliance with fingerprinting requirements even though an internal district audit had indicated otherwise.

Lancaster Police Release Report on Dez Bryant Incident. Rumors of an incriminating video featuring the Dallas Cowboys receiver led to media requests for information about what happened in that Walmart parking lot in 2011. According to the cops, there was no offense committed, and they have no video of what occurred. Could there be any less news in this news?

Mockingbird Pedestrian Bridge May Finally Get Built. The project, providing a path for pedestrians and cyclists over the six-lane street, is a key link in the plan to extend the Katy Trail. City officials have said construction should begin this fall.

Congressman Pushes For Chris Kyle to Get Medal of Honor. Republican Roger Williams of Cleburne introduced a bill Thursday proposing the late American Sniper receive the prestigious award for his Iraq War exploits. He’s probably got a better shot at this than he did the Best Picture Oscar, anyway.

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Dirk Nowitzki Is an All-Star (Again)

Anthony Davis will sit out this weekend’s NBA All-Star Game in New York thanks to a bum shoulder, meaning Dirk Nowitzki will make his 13th ASG appearance. Dirk is just the 12th player in NBA history to play in that many. And it’s not just a lifetime achievement award. He is having a solid season, averaging more than 18 points and still doing all sorts of Dirk things. So, congratulatI SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN.

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A Guide To North Texas NBA Players

After tripping and falling down a rabbit hole of my own creation, I ended up making this: a (near as I can tell) comprehensive guide to NBA players from North Texas, past and present. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but if you click on each player you will be sent to their respective Basketball Reference sites. (UPDATE: I added the handful of ABA players to the map as well.)

I learned a few things — for instance, I did not realize Highland Park had produced an NBA player. What’s good, Bill Henry? Anyway, enjoy.

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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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Roy Tarpley, R.I.P.

The only reason Roy Tarpley is not given his proper due as the archetype of the modern NBA big man is that he was also one of the last prominent players taken down by cocaine. It was the scourge of the NBA in the 1970s and for part of the ’80s, physically damaging to its players and — just as important before Magic and Bird and then Michael Jordan came along — ruinous to the league’s image. A stricter drug policy helped mostly root it out, but not before it (and, yes, alcohol) killed Tarpley’s career.

You know all this. You either lived through it in the late ’80s and early ’90s, before the Mavs had to give up on Tarpley for good, or you heard about it over the weekend, when Tarpley died at age 50. I’m not here to talk about Roy Tarpley, the cautionary tale. It’s a damned tragedy, bu that’s for someone else. I’m here to talk about Roy Tarpley, the basketball player. Because apart from Dirk Nowitzki, Tarpley was the most talented player to ever suit up for the Mavericks, and it’s not particularly close. And people need to remember Roy Tarpley for more than his suspensions.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Jan. 12

Cowboys fans are mourning the end of another season, but there’s still football to be played in North Texas. Oregon will meet Ohio State at Jerry World tonight for the college football national championship, with the game itself accompanied by an onslaught of concerts, watch parties and ESPN talking heads. Here are a few ways to forget the pain of Dez Bryant’s catch-not-catch.

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A Very Short Recap of a High School Soccer Match That Very Few People Will Care About

Yesterday the men’s varsity side from Bishop Lynch traveled to play Jesuit on the Rangers’ home pitch. Regulation time ended with the match tied 2-2, after the Rangers got the equalizer on a penalty kick. Two scoreless overtime periods ensued, followed by a shootout. A good portion of the Jesuit student body was in the stands, blowing vuvuzelas. The horns fell silent, though, when the Friars of Bishop Lynch prevailed. This was the first time in school history that Bishop Lynch beat Jesuit. (Disclosure: my son plays junior varsity for the Friars, and this post was written pretty much just to gig a friend of mine whose name is all over the Jesuit soccer record books.)

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Dirk Now No. 7 On NBA’s All-Time Scoring List

Last night, in an overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets, Dirk Nowitzki passed Moses Malone to move into seventh place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, after passing Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes earlier in the season. He overtook Malone on a shot that actually mattered, a three-point dagger that closed the door on the Nets.

To put Nowitzki’s achievement into perspective, here is Mavs broadcaster Mark Followill:

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Check Out the First Trailer For Carter High

Everyone is at least passingly familiar with the 1988 Odessa Permian Panthers, the team immortalized in Buzz Bissinger’s book Friday Night Lights, which was later adapted into a film, which was later adapted into a fictionalized TV series, which was almost adapted into another film. The team and its story has been a pop-culture fixture for 25 years; in 2012, rapper Big K.R.I.T. released a song titled “Boobie Miles,” named after the team’s star-crossed running back.

The team that actually won the state title that year, and beat Odessa Permian in the process, is finally having its story told. The 1988 Carter High Cowboys is arguably one of the most talented high school football teams ever, and absolutely one of the most controversial. Later this year, writer-director Arthur Muhammad — a former Carter football player — will release Carter High, which stars Charles S. Dutton (Roc), Viveca A. Fox (Kill Bill), and rapper David Banner as young attorney Royce West. Former Dallas Cowboy Greg Ellis produced the film.

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