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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Leading Off (7/24/14)

A.C. Gonzalez Explains Why City Repaid More Than $810,000 To HUD, Kind Of. I don’t know, does this make any sense? “He stressed that the funds are not lost, but rather put back into the city’s line of credit for other HUD projects. Though general fund dollars were used to pay back the Project Reconnect money, the groups that ultimately use the funds are typically on the hook for the expenses, he said.”

Chandler Parsons to Bro Out Like Crazy Once He Gets To Dallas. According to this.

Steve Blow Has a Strong Take On Border Situation. Maybe? I mean, I really can’t tell. He’s sort of all over the road. But I can relay the following: there are a lot of paragraphs.

Rangers Trade Joakim Soria. Haven’t really been paying attention, but I gather Soria was the team’s closer. Anyway, since there’s no hope for the team this year, I think they should start having fun with it. Give Evan Grant a few at-bats. Bring back some legends and let them play a little. Raffle off an appearance in the pitching rotation. Whatever.

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Watch Robert Newhouse Run An Obstacle Course

As Michael mentioned this morning, during what I can only imagine was some sort of fugue state, Dallas Cowboys great Robert Newhouse lost a long battle with heart disease yesterday. I went looking for Robert Newhouse highlights on YouTube, but then found this: Newhouse running an obstacle course as part of the Superteams series, a Battle of the Network Stars-style, made-for-TV contest that pitted that year’s Super Bowl champs against the winner of the World Series. Except, in 1978, George Steinbrenner refused to let the New York Yankees participate, so the Cowboys faced the Kansas City Royals. (An aside: I would 100-percent watch the pants off this if it still existed, because I love stupid, made-up contests.)

The clip is almost 10 minutes long, but you only have to watch the first two, which includes Keith Jackson referring to Newhouse as “a stocky, block-busting, hard-running fellow from Houston,” which he absolutely was, but he was very clearly also — and Jackson could have at least mentioned it — the owner of a glorious head of hair.

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Leading Off (7/23/2014)

Brad had tickets to the Jay Z-Beyonce show last night. So he asked me to fill in for him this morning.

Plano Man Arrested for $56,000 In Unpaid Tolls. What’s 50 grand to Robert Walter Dupree? Can you please remind me? According to the NTTA, it’s more than 2,110 passes through a toll station without paying. First they had to find him. He was arrested for failing to use his signal in The Colony. No word on how hard he may have bawled.

Migrant Children Not Showing Up to Immigration Hearings. If you grew up with holes in your Zapatos, you’d be celebrating the minute you thought those days were behind you. Which might explain why 18 of the 20 children whose cases were scheduled yesterday in federal court missed their hearings. It’s also possible the children never received proper notice. What kinds of facts are those?

Plano Thanks Residents for Conserving Water…with Water. Calling it a “water holiday” is kind of a beautiful lie. Apparently it was mostly “stale” water the city needed to get rid of anyway. And only lawns with odd-numbered addresses got the extra watering. The other residents are finding that keeping all that green grass pretty hurts. But, as someone once said, perfection is a disease of a nation.

Cowboys Legend Dies. Robert Newhouse, Jr. played 12 seasons with the Cowboys, all in the Landry era. He was irreplaceable as a blocker for Tony Dorsett, but he was also the first running back to throw a touchdown in a Super Bowl. He died yesterday, after a long battle with heart disease. He was 64.

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Leading Off (7/21/14)

Dallas Bike Czar Originally Moved to Dallas to Work for TxDOT. Ashley Haire calls it the “ultimate irony” in this Dallas Morning News piece. The 36-year-old engineer relocated from Portland to work as a project manager on the reconstruction of I-30 and I-35E. Now, with her new position that she started in May, she’s planning new bike lanes, is pro bike-sharing programs, and supports the City Council’s decision repealing the helmet requirement. More biking news: Dallas may start counting the number of bikers on the streets with the help of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. And Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price hopped on her bike to lead the Tour de Fort Worth, an event the 64-year-old mayor created three years ago.

What’s Going on With these Civilian Police Officers? Ten are headed to the jail to wait with suspects before they’re booked. This is part of Chief David Brown’s effort to save money by hiring fewer officers in advance of a projected $14 million budget shortfall. But the president of the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police, Richard Todd, is saying this is really just a swap of manpower. Now the clerical work they were doing back at police headquarters, for instance, will have to be done by someone else. Also on the civilian public safety front, Steve Blow offers this take on the new inductees into the reserve police force.

Flower Mound Teen Dies in Go-Kart Accident. 14-year-old Kierstin Eaddy was participating in a racing event outside Texas Motor Speedway Sunday when her kart failed to stop after crossing the finish line. She crashed through a fence, and her helmet came off. Eaddy was airlifted to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. An investigation is underway.

Rangers 20 Games Below .500. The Rangers lost 9-6 to the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, dropping the struggling team to 20 below .500 for the first time since 2003. It’s only the sixth time in the history of the team that they’ve fallen 20 below in the first 100 games. Sunday’s game was No. 98. Next up: Yankees. Choice quote: “Texas has been really, really bad.”

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Dallas Mavs’ Ivan Johnson Has a Potty Mouth

A longtime FrontBurnervian points us to video posted on Deadspin of a summer league contest between the Mavs and Hornets. Ivan Johnson falls down, goes boom, then has a pretty salty question for the ref. At this point, I’m going to need about 2,000 words from Zac about Johnson, his background, his scouting report, and whether I should care about his clumsiness and vulgar language.

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Dirk Nowitzki Takes Even Bigger Discount, Is The Best

When Dirk Nowitzki agreed — no surprise — to re-sign with the Mavericks, the terms were pegged at three years, $30 million. The “hometown discount,” they call it. Considering that the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers were willing to make him a max offer (which would have been somewhere north of $20 million a year), that was a HUGE bargain. Today, Nowitzki officially signed his contract and the deal is even better: three years, $25 million. He lopped off another $5 million to help facilitate Chandler Parsons’ new deal. He’s the fourth-highest-paid player on the team. The fourth. Do I even have to say it? Okay, why not: I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN.

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Poll: Which Dallas Sports Team Will Win a Championship Next?

The Texas Rangers were expected by many baseball experts to contend for the American League West division crown. Instead, they’ve been beset by injuries and have limped into the All-Star Break having lost eight in a row and 22 of their last 25. It’s the worst such stretch for the club since 1972, the first year that the team played in Arlington (having relocated from Washington, D.C., where they were the Senators.) That team finished with 100 losses. This year’s team owns the worst record in Major League Baseball. It’s time — after cheering on Yu Darvish and Adrian Beltre in the All-Star Game tonight — to start thinking about next year.

Meanwhile the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks were both impressive, if unsuccessful, in their first-round playoff match-ups this spring. And each of those teams has made major additions to their rosters that raise hopes for next season.

So, we asked a version of this question back in May, but given what’s changed since then, it seems like an appropriate moment to ask again.

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Top Recruit Emmanuel Mudiay Not Coming to SMU After All

Emmanuel Mudiay, who played at the embattled Prime Prep Academy (now its official name), was going to be the player that propelled SMU from on-the-rise program to legit national title contenders. OK, maybe that’s dreaming big. But that certainly was on the table, or at least near it. Not gonna happen now, since Mudiay has decided to skip college and play ball overseas. His statement:

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Chandler Parsons: A Brief Primer

As you no doubt have heard, unless you skipped Leading Off and/or avoided pretty much every other local media outlet, Chandler Parsons is now officially on the Mavericks. To get you up to speed: here is some context of how it all went down. Here is what coach Rick Carlisle thinks about Parsons’ potential. Here is an example of what the women on my Twitter timeline think about the signing for non-basketball reasons. Also: I wish Parsons would not wear No. 25 with the Mavs, because it reminds of the last/only other time they actually signed a free agent, Erick “Panhands” Dampier.

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Leading Off (7/14/14)

Clay Jenkins Standing By Obama. Again. The Dallas County Judge has a long history of working with the Obama Administration. In 2007, he donated $1,000 to the then-senator’s presidential campaign. He also contributed pro bono legal work to the campaign, has worked with the administration to keep a mail processing plant in Dallas open, has helped challenge the voter ID law in Texas, and has joined Obama’s push for a “living wage.” Now there’s the plan to house 2,000 migrant children in Dallas, which Jenkins presented a week after meeting with four White House officials during the U.S. Conference of Mayors. However, reports say Jenkins asked the officials what Dallas could do to help with the children detained in South Texas. More than 57,000 have been detained, though most have been transferred out of those facilities, since October. In other news, experts say there’s little risk of a public health problem emerging related to these children.

Chandler Parsons Headed to the Mavericks. The Houston Rockets had until 11 p.m. last night to match the Mavs’ three-year $46 million offer, but no dice. Around 6 p.m., the Rockets said they wouldn’t make the move. Favorite part of this story: Mark Cuban commenting via his Cyber Dust messaging app, which sounds like Snapchat, no? Are the kids still using these things? Anyway. Welcome to Dallas, Parsons!

Police Chief David Brown Pushing for Unions to Desegregate. There are four – Dallas Latino Peace Officers Association, the Dallas Police Association, the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police, and the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas — and two of them are fighting over a police training academy and claims that black recruits are failing out at a greater rate than their white counterparts. Brown says the fight has proven to be a distraction and has made him play referee. Only problem is that a) the grievances were statistically true and b) some believe Brown favors the BPA, of which he is a member.

$2.7 Million in “Technology” Purchased, Unnecessary in Fort Worth School District. What does this even mean? Someone purchased “technology,” then ordered up maintenance for said “technology,” now the bill is $2.7 million, only discovered through an audit? Sounds like they were trying to manage payroll and grades and attendance records and vendor payments out of the same system. And that system didn’t work. But then there are double payments and maintenance on services not even being used in the mix? Goodness.

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