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Leading Off (10/6/15)

Susan Hawk Offers To Rehire Fired Employee. Jeff Savage was an investigator in the DA’s office. He’d worked there 26 years and was 10 months from retirement when Susan Hawk fired him. Yesterday she apologized and offered him his job back. Good sign. While that was happening, James Rose of Fox Channel 4 came by the D Magazine offices to talk yesterday about how our story about Hawk came together.

More Details Emerge in Killing of Kendra Hatcher. The plot that led to the shooting death of the dentist in Uptown sounds like something from a bad direct-to-cable movie. Brenda Delgado, the jilted ex-girlfriend who masterminded it has been on the run since Friday.

Stephen King Shuts Down Dealey Plaza Today. James Franco stars in the miniseries based on King’s book 11/22/63. You can thank both men for the traffic problems today.

Ahmed Mohamed Inspires Halloween Costume. The “clock boy” getup includes handcuffs, an aluminum case, clock guts, glasses, and a NASA shirt. It costs $79.99.

Rangers Schedule Released. Get on the bandwagon! What’s your problem?! CLAW! ANTLERS! The first two games against the Blue Jays will be played early. The fun starts Thursday.

AA Pilot Dies In flight. A red-eye from Phoenix to Boston had to stop in Syracuse, N.Y., after the unnamed pilot died. Horrible.

Leading Off (9/29/15)

All Ahmed All the Time! Now he’s going to Qatar.

SMU Golf, Basketball Teams Learn About possible NCAA Sanctions Today. Pony up!

DMN Editorial Writer Doesn’t Like expensive stuff. Tod Robberson doesn’t like the high prices that Whole Foods charges. Also, he doesn’t like Whole Foods’ parking spots that are reserved for electric vehicles. And he doesn’t like that Whole Foods chooses to locate its stores where the company thinks they will have the best chance of succeeding. Tod Robberson is indignant. Presumably, he will next assail Neiman Marcus, Lululemon, and Apple, all retailers whose business model — charging a premium for high-end goods — deeply offends him.

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Leading Off (9/25/15)

THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS KICKS OFF TODAY. Brace yourselves (and leave your selfie sticks at home). Fair Park welcomes the 129th installment of the State Fair of Texas today. This year’s State Fair has much to live up to, as last year’s record-setting run garnered more than $42 million in coupon sales–despite the fear of Ebola. Nurse that selfie-stick separation anxiety you’re experiencing with chicken-fried lobster and a bacon margarita. Perhaps not in that exact order.

TWO DIE IN A PLANE CRASH AT GRANBURY MUNICIPAL AIRPORT. Two men were killed last night at Granbury Municipal Airport when their single-engine aircraft went down moments after takeoff, bursting into flames. The crash, which occurred around 7 p.m., was in close proximity of a high school football game taking place across the street at Granbury High School. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

NORTH OAK CLIFF HOMEOWNER FINDS POSSIBLE HUMAN REMAINS. While remodeling a home in the 700 block of North Winnetka Avenue, a homeowner discovered what appeared to be human remains. The revelation emerged when the homeowner broke apart a concrete slab in the property’s backyard. The Dallas County Medical Examiner is determining the finding’s authenticity.

RANGERS PAD THEIR AL WEST LEAD. With an 8-1 win yesterday, the Rangers swept Oakland. Notably, the win pushed their lead over Houston in the American League West to a season high of three and a half games. They’ll open a three-game series in Houston tonight.

Leading Off (9/24/15)

Ahmed’s family hires attorneys to investigate police treatment of the teen. The Irving story continues, with lawyers—Thomas Bowers and Reggie London—representing Ahmed. Says Bowers: “He may be smiling on the outside, but he’s having some issues.” Bowers’ previous clients include a former stripper who sued Jerry Jones. “I take the cases no one else will take,” Bowers says. Irving city officials did not comment on whether they would also be talking to attorneys.

McKinney police officer shoots and kills man who opened fire on officers. Last night at the Cliffs of Eldorado Apartment Homes, a McKinney police officer fatally shot a man who shot at officers. The man had apparently been holding a woman and child against their will. No officers were injured.

Rangers win, have largest division lead in two years. With a 10-3 win over Oakland last night, the Rangers now have a three-game lead over Houston, in second place in the American League West. This marks the Rangers biggest lead in the West since 2013. But unlike the 2013 season, which did not end well, this season will be different, the team vows. Don’t let us down, Andrus.

Dallas zoo surpasses 1 million visitors this year. Yesterday, the Dallas Zoo hit a major milestone: 1 million visitors in a fiscal year. This is the first time in the zoo’s 127 years that this has happened. What about the family who pushed the zoo past this marker? They got to feed the elephants, of course.

Leading Off (9/22/15)

Ahmed Pulls Out of Irving ISD. While Ahmed Mohamed’s dad was pulling his three kids out of Irving ISD, his famous clock-making son was hanging out in California, at the invitation of Google. I’ll just throw this out there: Mark Cuban has spoken with Ahmed. On Friday, taping an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, he said, “All [Ahmed] had to do was engage with the teacher, and he didn’t. That’s the point that was missing. It was wrong that he got arrested, but all that he had to do was talk to the teacher, but he didn’t.”

John Wiley Price Item GIVES ME EXCUSE TO CALL ATTENTION TO COOL NAME. This thing isn’t really big news. JWP wrote a strongly worded letter to the vice president of advocacy for the League of Women Voters of Dallas. Read more about it, if you’d like. What I’d like you to know is that the name of the vice president of advocacy for the League of Women Voters of Dallas is — Susybelle Gosslee. Put her name in the Pantheon. She joins the ranks of Shamoil Shipchandler and Bruce Sherbet (do your own googling, if you’re curious).

DMN Begins ‘Hawk Should Quit’ Drumbeat. Read this Jacquielynn Floyd column and tell me if — seeing how thin the column is on fist-hand observation or cited sources — you think it reads like someone suggested to J-Floyd, “You should write a column titled ‘Does Susan Hawk Even Like Being Dallas County DA?’ in which you engage in wild speculation and imply she should step down.” Meanwhile, Cindy Stormer, that recently fired prosecutor, is unloading both barrels, describing what the DA’s office was like when she worked there, and Hawk has said she won’t return to work till October 2 (which is a Friday).

Gene Simmons Comes to Dallas. Yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, Gene Simmons, the former Kiss frontman who will soon open a restaurant in The Colony, gave a pep talk at the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference. Read that sentence again. Go ahead. Really let it sink in.

Leading Off (9/17/15)

Memorial service for Ebby Halliday held today. Dallas real estate legend Ebby Halliday Acers will be celebrated and remembered today at the memorial service, taking place at 3p.m. at Park Cities Baptist Church, 3933 Northwest Parkway, Dallas, TX 75225.

Irving freshman going to the White House. Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving kid who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, has accepted an invitation to go to the White House after Obama tweeted to him. Clearly, a lot can change in a few days.

North Texas Giving Day sets fundraising goal of $26 million. Today is the seventh annual North Texas Giving Day, which aims to raise money for local nonprofit organizations. $26.3 million was raised last year. The Communities Foundation, which spawned the program, hopes to raise even more this year. There are more than 2,100 nonprofits to donate to, and locations for the event are spread throughout North Texas. Not a bad way to spend (pun intended) a Thursday.

Dallas police department has more surveillance cameras than ever. 90 new surveillance cameras will be installed at Dallas crime hotspots soon. This means that electronic surveillance of Dallas—there are 347 total cameras now—will be twice as extensive as it was just three years ago.

Leading Off (9/15/15)

Donald Trump Plays the AAC. The New York Times described it as a “characteristically meandering speech that lasted over an hour.” Speaking to a full arena, he attacked Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. He praised Ted Cruz. He said he’d get rid of the undocumented immigrants and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Also, he promised to make America great again.

Dez Bryant Has Surgery on His Foot. The operation went down yesterday evening. Using more periods that strictly needed, he tweeted: “I will keep the all Dallas Cowboys fans updated so don’t listen to all the craziness…. Surgery went great….. I can’t wait to get back.”

Hinojosa Likely To Be Named Permanent Super. DISD board president Eric Cowan says he expects Michael Hinojosa will be named today the sole finalist for the job.

Leading Off (9/8/15)

Stray Cat Avoids Capture at Love Field. For about a week, a stray cat has eluded authorities at the airport, as it takes its Tom Hanks obsession a bit too far.

Dallas Police Department Struggles To Recruit Hispanics. In Dallas, about 42 percent of the population is Hispanic, yet the department is only 19 percent Hispanic, and Hispanics account for only about 21 percent of job applications. Would you be surprised if I told you that the department recruits Hispanics from El Paso?

Dallas Couple Says Their Baby Was Switched a Birth. Rich Cushworth and Mercy Casanalles met at Christ for the Nations. She gave birth to their son in El Salvador. Now the doctor who delivered the baby is under investigation for running a baby-trafficking gang. (UPDATE: They got their kid back.)

Leading Off (9/3/15)

Tell the Mayor What You Think of the City Budget. Today at 5:30 you can tweet at the mayor about the budget in a “virtual town hall meeting.” Don’t expect the mayor to tweet back, though. He’ll respond via a live video broadcast that starts at 6. Sounds perfect. He wants to use social media—but not really. Enjoy yourselves.

DISD Problem Gets Blown Up. I am writing this item without having seen the printed newspaper. But I’m going to make a prediction about how this news gets played. There are questions about “academic misconduct” at a school that has about 390 total students. An investigation is underway. Right now, though, there are only questions. We don’t know what did or did not happen. Prediction: this story will run above the fold, on the front page. (It should be a Metro brief.)

Christian Taylor Had a Hallucinogen in His System. The 19-year-old had a drug called N-Bomb in his system when an Arlington cop shot and killed him in what was ruled a homicide. The autopsy also found that Taylor had recently used marijuana.

Woman Murdered in Uptown. Details are scant. But the killing happened in the parking garage of the Gables Park 17 high-rise, on Cedar Springs.

Orlando Scandrick Cried Yesterday. The Cowboys’ top cornerback had season-ending surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament. At the team’s annual kickoff luncheon yesterday, he was named last year’s co-defensive MVP (with Jeremy Mincey). This might give you an idea of how it can suck to be a professional athlete.

Leading Off (8/25/15)

More Questions About Susan Hawk. I like the way the News is playing this story. It appears that every day that DA Susan Hawk isn’t at work, the paper is going to run a “Where is Susan Hawk?” story. It’s pretty bad when the two people speaking for you are a) a campaign consultant who no longer works for you and b) your mom. (USA Today has picked up on the story, too.)

DART Looks To Build Second Line Through Downtown. Yesterday AIA Dallas wrote a letter to the head of DART in support of Alignment B4, and the Transportation Committee unanimously recommended that alignment, with a little adjustment along Jackson Street to avoid a church and some town homes. DART’s planning committee will meet today to discuss the matter. The City Council is expected to vote on it September 9. You are to be commended for keeping abreast of this important civic issue.

Huge Pot Bust in Oak Cliff. Looks like all you unicycle-riding, bearded hipsters are going to have a hard time scoring weed. Cops busted a drug deal in the works, snagging 74 bricks of marijuana and $54,000 in cash. (Does anyone actually “score” weed? I’m so old.)

Collin County Cuts Estimate for Paxton Prosecution. Initially the estimate for the cost of prosecuting AG Ken Paxton was $2 million. The county lowered that figure to $285,000. Highlight of the story comes courtesy of Brian Wice, one of the special prosecutors in the case. Wice said, “I’m not sure where that came from, but it’s comical that we would submit a bill that’s in the area code of $2 million. That’s just absurd.”

Leading Off (8/20/15)

New Parkland Hospital is Open Today. Bright and early at 6am, the Rees-Jones Trauma Center, Emergency Department, Urgent Care Emergency Department and Labor & Delivery services in the new Parkland Memorial Hospital opened at the new location, 5200 Harry Hines Blvd. Other sections of the new hospital, including intensive care units and a burn center, will gain operation over a three-day period. All inpatient services will be transferred by Saturday’s end. I, for one, would not wish to be a patient during this transition. Chaos. But the new 2.1 million-square-foot facility does look pretty.

Burn Bans Spread Across DFW like wildfire. Denton and Tarrant counties have already set up burn bans, and Dallas County will likely do so next Tuesday, which would be in effect for 90 days. Funny how the burn bans are coming on the heels of yesterday’s rain, the first since July 8. And to think, not long ago we were all hoping the downpours would desist.

Cannabis-based Smoothies Coming to a Suburb Near You. I mean, Frisco. Who would have thought? As it turns out, the AmeriCanna Cafe, a cannabis-based smoothie shop, is indeed set to open in Frisco within the year. If the hair starts to stand up on the back of your neck while reading this, don’t worry. It’s perfectly legal. Apparently, the ingredients are derived from hemp seeds, while are allowed for consumption in the U.S. Smoothies will have at most only negligible traces of THC, so you will not need to worry about failing a drug test (at least not because of this smoothie).

Leading Off (8/13/15)

Dallas Love Field Vendors Win Right to Raise Prices by 10%. All you Love Field lovers, listen up. The airport is about to get pricier, and I don’t mean the cost of flights. Dallas City Council members signed off yesterday to let airport vendors — who agree to pay employees a minimum of $10.37/hour — raise prices by 10%. The issue was raised after certain vendors said they were struggling to make a profit. Other vendors, however, said there are many more passengers passing through Love Field as a result of the repeal of the Wright Amendment, and they’re doing just fine. Mayor Mike Rawlings was one of the opposing voters. Which side was more correct? We may never know.

7-Story Rolex Building Comes to Uptown. Harwood International broke ground Tuesday on a 136,857-square-foot building for Rolex at Moody Street and Harry Hines. This is not the first partnership for the two companies. Thirty years ago, Rolex and Harwood International built the first office in Uptown Dallas. The in-progress building brings something new to Uptown in that it will be architecturally unique and will feature gardens that has not yet been done elsewhere in the city. But, you’ll have to wait a while to see the project come to fruition as the building will open next year. This is a part of a continued Uptown resurgence, also evidenced by the opening of the new Whole Foods Market on Mckinney Avenue yesterday. All this boom in Uptown is great — but as more and more buildings shoot up, so will prices.

DFW’s First All-Recliner Movie Theater Opens. Today, Cinemark opens its first all-recliner movie theater in Roanoke; it will serve Southlake, Keller, Trophy Club, and Roanoke. Every single seat will recline and have adjustable foot rests, so go ahead and get comfortable because watching a movie just got even more relaxing.

Leading Off (8/11/15)

Cabbies Sue DFW Airport Board Over Uber Policy. A week after DFW Airport began to allow UberX and Lyft to pick up passengers, the Dallas-based Association of Taxicab Operators USA has sued the airport to stop the practice. Their argument: “This technology is good. People want to use it. But we like the old, inefficient way of doing things because that’s how we make money. Our outmoded way of doing business should be protected.” I am summarizing, of course.

FBI Declines To Investigate Fatal Shooting. Nineteen-year-old Christian Taylor was unarmed when he was shot and killed by an Arlington cop responding to a burglary call at a car dealership early Friday morning. Earlier reports indicated the FBI would help investigate the shooting, but now the feds say, “[T]he Dallas FBI has full confidence in the ability of the Arlington Police Department and Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office to conduct a thorough investigation of this matter.” There will be a “National Protest Day for Christian Taylor” at 7:30 tonight at Arlington Police Headquarters.

Deep Ellum Restaurateur Makes Ill-Advised Bill Cosby Joke. On a chalkboard surface outside Twenty Seven, chef David Anthony Temple wrote: “Only Mr. Bill Cosby knows how to knock out Ronda Rousey.” Some folks are not amused. Not only is it not funny, but it’s also not original. Temple needs to talk to the folks at Zoli’s about how to write jokes.

More Fun With the Trinity. Tomorrow the City Council will consider diverting $36.4 million earmarked for the Trinity toll road and $11.3 million for new lakes to flood control. Council members Philip Kingston, Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano, Mark Clayton, and Carolyn King Arnold requested the vote. Is this their sneaky, backdoor way of trying to kill the toll road? I’m not going to say it is. But I’m also not going to say it isn’t.

Leading Off (7/27/2015)

Popular Park Cities Personal Trainer Killed By Car. Michele Albanese was crossing the street at Travis and Armstrong, near the gym where she worked, around 12:30 pm Friday afternoon, when she was struck by a car going north on Travis Street. Police say Albanese was not at a crosswalk, failed to look both ways, and was talking on her phone when she was killed. The police have not released details about the driver of the vehicle. Very sad.

Dallas Makes Garth Brooks Feel Our Love. We’ve missed him in the two decades since the country singer last stopped by. It’s going to take seven shows at the American Airlines Center to accommodate the demand for tickets.

Boy Scouts End Ban On Gay Leaders Today. That’s the good news from the Irving-based organization, which will also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation for its paid positions. The bad news is that the new policy will still “allow church-run units to pick leaders who agree with their moral precepts,” according to the Morning News.

You Can All Officially Complain About The Heat Now. Dallas-Fort Worth achieved its first 100 degree day of the season over the weekend.

So Long. And thanks for all the fish. This is my last Leading Off, and after many years, my last day with D is this Friday. The September issue will be my last as the magazine’s managing editor. It’s been a fun and instructive ride, and I will remember you all with fondness. Mostly. It’s likely you’ll still see my byline here and there, so nobody worry too much.

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Leading Off (7/20/2015)

Jordan Spieth Enters Final Round of The Open. There are only three players ahead of him. Nancy’s brother, Bill Nichols at the Dallas Morning News, can explain his positioning much better than I can. So just read this. And make sure your TV is properly tuned in by 8:20 am, when Spieth tees off.

Bernie Sanders Talks Progressive Issues In Dallas. Sanders, a Vermont independent running for president as a Democrat, brought out an estimated crowd of 7,000 for a rally on Sunday around topics like a $15 minimum wage and tax increases for the wealthy. According to the Texas Tribune, “the event appeared to be the largest held by any presidential candidate in Texas so far this election cycle.” Sanders also did some damage control, speaking out against police brutality after he stumbled in response to the “Black Lives Matter” protesters who overtook his Netroots Nation event with the former governor of Maryland on Saturday.

To Catch A Puppy Thief. A Siberian Husky puppy worth $2,850 (this is nuts) was stolen from a pet shop in North Dallas. A man walked out with the adorable little puppy Saturday night and jumped in a getaway car, but was caught fairly quickly.  The puppy was returned to the store. Stealing and reselling a puppy? Terrible. That puppy stuck in a pet shop? Also not a great feeling.