Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Things To Do In Dallas This Weekend: Feb. 5-7

If you have a time machine, like sandwiches, and want to win some Modest Mouse tickets, cruise into that wormhole and rewind to about 3:30 pm yesterday. You’re going to want to tune in to the live video edition of “Things To Do In Dallas,” which is a thing we did over on the D Magazine Facebook page with mostly minimal embarrassment. Listen closely for a trivia question. The answer is Blade Runner. Congratulations. You’re going to see Modest Mouse and eat $50 worth of sandwiches.

Spoiler Alert: The three best things to do in Dallas this weekend are the Mardi Gras parade in Oak Cliff, Teatro Dallas’ International Festival, and Super Bowl watch parties at the Granada Theater and the Bomb Factory. But that’s really just the tip of the Dallas events iceberg, and I’m about to steer this ocean liner of a blog directly at that sucker.

Read More

Leading Off (2/5/16)

Johnny Manziel Allegedly Assaulted Ex-Girlfriend. WFAA broke the news late Thursday afternoon that Fort Worth Police are investigating a complaint that the former Texas A&M and soon-to-be-former Cleveland Browns quarterback beat up Colleen Crowley on Jan. 30 after arguing with her at his Hotel ZaZa room in Uptown. According to the report, he forced her into a car and drove her to her apartment in Fort Worth. Once there, Crowley says she became fearful for her life and banged on a neighbor’s door asking for help. However, after police arrived, Crowley was uncooperative and refused to make a report. Manziel has told TMZ the incident didn’t happen. Manziel is expected to be released by the Browns in March, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has expressed interest in acquiring him as a backup for Tony Romo. It’s unknown whether this alleged incident will have an effect on that, or prompt disciplinary action by the NFL. However, as Dale Hansen noted when he went “unplugged” on the 10 p.m. newscast last night, the signing of Greg Hardy last year demonstrated the Cowboys are a team “that doesn’t care if you beat up women. It is a team that believes in as many chances as you need, as long as they think there’s a chance you can play.”

Students to Vote on Dropping Confederate Name. Dallas ISD’s John B. Hood Middle School in Pleasant Grove is named for a Southern general of the Civil War. Recently students raised concerns about honoring someone who fought to protect the institution of slavery, especially considering that Hood’s student body is majority Latino and African-American. So the principal is allowing the kids to cast ballots during lunch today. (It’s a non-binding referendum, since the school district’s board of trustees will have the ultimate say.)

Driver Pulls Gun on Biker. It happened outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, but a viral video of the road rage incident was all over North Texas newscasts because the fellow who was packing is from — you guessed it — Irving.

Read More

Fort Worth Zoo Bear Predicts Carolina Panthers Will Win Super Bowl 50

Boudreaux the bear at the Fort Worth Zoo agrees with Vegas: the Panthers are slight favorites to win Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.

Today the zoo suspended two papier mâché footballs stuffed with fruit, nuts, popcorn, and cheerios in his enclosure. After nosing around them for a bit, as you can see in the video, Boudreaux settled on Carolina. He was too busy going to town on his favorite treats to comment on whether he expects quarterback Cam Newton to walk away with the MVP award.

Meanwhile, over at the Dallas Zoo, two tortoises raced for cakes decorated in the colors of the NFC and AFC champs. The outcome of that contest suggests the Broncos will emerge victorious. But whoever heard of a tortoise who knew anything about football?

My money’s with Boudreaux.

Read More

Leading Off (2/2/16)

Joseph Randle Gambled on Sports. The former Cowboys running back was arrested Monday on a speeding warrant (making that his fourth arrest in 17 months), and the DMN is reporting that part of the reason the Cowboys released him last year was because he was betting on sports (though not, apparently, Cowboys games).

Dallas Landmark Commission Votes To Protect Big Spring. After so much bad news recently about city contractors bungling around in the Trinity Forest, it’s nice to hear this. The Landmark Commission has voted to protect Big Spring, one of the last artesian springs in North Texas. Surely the Plan Commission and the City Council will now do the right thing and approve the vote.

Meadows Building Might Get City Protection. Speaking of the Landmark Commission, it also voted yesterday to begin the lengthy process of giving the building on Greenville Avenue a historic designation (much to the new owner’s chagrin).

Dallas City Council To Discuss Bond Package. The Council is holding a retreat today. One of the topics they’ll discuss: putting off a $1 billion bond package till 2018. The mayor says he is concerned about the city’s financial stability. So enjoy your potholes, people.

Leading Off (1/27/16)

72-Year-Old Blind Woman Escapes Fire. Caroline Ware says she was asleep on the couch when fire alarms woke her up just after midnight. Ware, who is usually confined to a wheelchair, made it her electric scooter and drove out onto the front porch before calling for help. Ware’s daughter says she was gone from the house for only a few minutes when the fire started.

Video of Highland Park Chanel Store Robbery. Highland Park police released video from last Monday’s robbery. It shows a van crashing through the store window. Then a group of mask-wearing thieves gets out and starts collecting purses. The entire thing is over in seconds. (Seven people were arrested.)

Father Arrested for Taking Daughter’s Phone Found Not Guilty. It started when Ronald Jackson says he found a rude text message on his daughter’s phone in 2013, when is daughter was 12. Jackson confiscated the phone. Jackson’s ex-wife called the police to get it back. Jackson refused. He was charged with misdemeanor theft. He says he’d prefer police not tell him how to parent, and says justice has been served.

Report Says Texas Schools Are Worst in Nation. But it’s really hard to measure these things. By some standards, Texas is actually doing better than most states. Which is kind of the point of this story.

Mavs Beat Lakers. Dirk Nowitzki hit a beautiful jumper with two seconds left to help propel the 92-90 win in Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant didn’t play, but he and Dirk shared a nice moment in what is almost certainly their final matchup.

How Zaza Pachulia Almost Became An All-Star Starter

As Jason mentioned this morning, Zaza Pachulia came up just 14,000 votes short of being named a Western Conference All-Star starter. It would have been amazing and deserved and also kind of ridiculous and amazing again. (If he had made it, he would need to make an entrance, and I have five words for you: Zaza dances with the Jabbawockeez.) I know I’m not the only ZFFL out there. But even though he’s playing the best ball of his career, how exactly did that almost happen? Tim Cato has a good look at how a Vine star, seemingly at random, gave Zaza a last-minute push that almost worked.

Read More

Leading Off (1/22/16)

HOA, Developer Fight Over Falling Slope. The Woodward family of Frisco has watched as the empty land behind their house has continued to erode away ever since the heavy rains last May. No one disputes that repairs to the collapsed land are necessary, but the homeowners association says it has been unable to do anything because the empty lot is still owned by Shaddock Developers. Meanwhile Shaddock says the Lone Star Ranch HOA has maintained the property for years, making the fix the HOA’s responsibility. The two sides of the dispute have pledged to resolve the matter before someone falls into what’s becoming a gaping pit, but it may be time to call in Leslie Knope.

Garland Tornado Victims Sue Over Looting. Residents of the Landmark at Lake Village West apartments were forced out following a deadly Dec. 26 tornado. But many of them say that when they returned to their homes days after the storm, they’d been burglarized. About a dozen tenants have joined a lawsuit against the property management company and the security company that was hired to protect the complex after the storm.

Mavs Center Almost Voted an All-Star Starter. Zaza Pachulia, who is having a career year after Dallas traded for him following the DeAndre Jordan debacle, fell just 14,000 votes short of the final starting spot on this year’s Western Conference team for the NBA All-Star Game.

Stars Stop Skid. A 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers last night ended the team’s four-game losing streak.

Read More

Can President Obama Get SMU Into the NCAA March Madness Tournament?

No. No, he can’t. But that hasn’t stopped enthusiastic SMU basketball fans from filing a petition with the White House calling for the Mustangs to be allowed to participate in the NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament.

SMU’s team is undefeated this season and ranked 8th in the country, so they would be a shoe-in to be selected to participate in the tournament. Only thing is, the school was banned last fall from postseason play for academic fraud and ethical misconduct.

The White House has a policy stating that it must respond to any petition that collects at least 100,000 signatures. Right now the SMU effort still needs more than 97,000.

But, again, there’s nothing Obama is going to be able to do for the Ponies. Feel free to post in the comments below about how this situation would be different if we had an effective leader like Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office.

Read More

Leading Off (1/20/16)

Police Find Underground Pot Farm in Arlington. Apparently DPS officers were looking for stolen cargo equipment when they discovered 100 pot plants growing under a backyard deck. Here’s what should probably happen: because weed is legal in most states and really shouldn’t be illegal here either, the two people arrested should possibly get their plants back and talk to the police about this stolen cargo stuff. Also, someone should possibly give them jobs, because this set up sounds pretty ingenious. Here’s what probably will happen: felony charges and prison.

The Latest on Ethan Couch. His probation hearing was delayed, and his lawyers say he may have been “forced” to go to Mexico. No word whether he was also forced to dye his facial hair or go to that strip club with the sign “Boobies and Booties Galore!”

Mother Snaps Photo of Sleeping Day Care Worker. The mother is described here as “outraged.” The day care worker in the photo, who was the only adult in charge of a half dozen or so kids, is described as “asleep, curled up on a table.” Seems like accurate reporting.

Investigation Into Yu Darvish After Brother’s Arrest. Yu’s brother, Sho Darvish, was arrested in October, charged with running an illegal gambling ring in Osaka, Japan. There’s no evidence Yu had anything to do with it, but the league is investigating just to be safe. My friend John Blake, Texas Rangers’ spokesman, says this is “standard operating procedure.”

Read More

Leading Off (1/13/16)

Amber Hagerman Disappeared 20 Years Ago. The 9-year-old girl for whom our “Amber Alert” system is named disappeared 20 years today. The case is still open. Yesterday, detectives and Amber’s mother had a press conference. “Her killer is still out there,” the mother said.

Gas Leak in North Dallas. About 100 people were forced from their homes last night as a precautionary measure after worries that gas may have entered the sewer line.

Mixed Reactions to Obama’s Final State of the Union. It turns out, not every Texas politician loves everything the President says and does.

Mavs Lose in OT. When I last checked on the game, Dallas was up by 10. In the end, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won their eighth straight.

You Will Not Win the Lottery Tonight. But if you do, I’d love to chat about it. I’ve got some good ideas on how to double that first billion.

Emmitt Smith to Appear on CSI: Cyber This Sunday

The best part of this behind-the-scenes video of Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith’s appearance on the CBS procedural CSI: Cyber is that it saves Cowboys superfans the trouble of actually watching an episode of the CBS procedural CSI: Cyber when it airs at 9 p.m. Sunday.

You can see the entirety of Smith’s cameo, in which he plays himself and admires the “hoverboard” one of the show’s cast members is riding.

Read More

Leading Off (1/6/16)

Two of Susan Hawk’s Former Top Employees Join Effort to Oust DA. The legal effort to oust Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk got a boost yesterday when two of her former top lawyers filed sworn affidavits that outlined her “bizarre behavior” and characterized her tenure as “paranoid and erratic.” The affidavits say the two lawyers even considered contacting the governor about their boss, a public official whose pupils sometimes “did not respond to light.”

Wyly Family Head to Court Today For Mega Bankruptcy Trial. Now that he has unloaded his personal art collection in a record-breaking sale, billionaire entrepreneur Sam Wyly and his sister-in-law Dee Wyly head to court today to begin what is shaping up to be one epic bankruptcy proceeding. Besides the high stakes – the Wylys are accused of owing $2 billion in back taxes, penalties and interest for hiding income in offshore trusts in the Isle of Man – the trial is expected to be incredibly long for a bankruptcy case (the judge has set aside four weeks). The IRS will introduce 1,270 exhibits in their effort to prove that Sam and his late-brother Charles masterminded one of the largest tax frauds in U.S. history.

Obama’s Gun Sale Surge. The president’s executive action on gun control has prompted a rush on gun stores, which have been selling weapons and ammunition like hot cakes according to a store owner in Garland.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Dallas Sports. Deron Williams hit a buzzer beater in the second overtime to push the Mavs over the Kings, and slumping superstars Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn were benched for the last 12 minutes of the skidding Dallas Stars’ loss to the New York Rangers. And here’s the latest solution to end the Cowboys’ misery from Jerry Jones, perhaps the greatest mind in the history of professional football general managers: “We need to draft another Troy Aikman.”