The panelists included moderator Eric Celeste, Alliance/AFT President Rena Honeja, DISD board member Mike Morath, and Commit’s chief strategy officer and Co-COO Tarik Ward. It’s 30 minutes long. But worth it.Full Story
That’s the case if you’re the Mesh Mask Bandit, anyway. Former immigrants rights activist Luis De la Garza, of Farmers Branch, pled guilty last November to robbing five banks with a BB pistol and a mask apparently made of mesh.
Now, according to the Morning News, prosecutors are asking that De la Garza be sentenced this Thursday to 20 years in prison, when the usual sentence for his crimes would be 8-10 years. Their justification is evidence that he showed no signs of giving up his bank-robbing ways at the time he was arrested:
They found inside his vehicle a pair of black gloves, two black ballcaps, a black neoprene mask, two women’s stockings (tan), a fake mustache and a “fat suit” to disguise his appearance, the motion said.
“The only way to curb his appetite for high-risk behavior and protect the public from further crimes of the defendant is to sentence him to an adequate term of imprisonment,” [prosecutor Keith] Robinson said in the motion.
Not long ago I requested and received White House Years, Henry Kissinger’s 1,500-page account of his stint in the Nixon Administration, the Ford Administration being covered in a later and no doubt less edifying volume. I was so excited that I wanted to share a bit of my joy with my cellmate, Tom. Tom is a bank robber who has the words “Game Over” tattooed on his knuckles, which is to say by implication that at some point in his life he happened to glance at his knuckles, noticed that the words “Game Over” were not to be found on them, and said to himself, “I’d better get that rectified.” When I was first assigned to his cell, I noticed that he was in possession of something called The Anger Management Workbook, which is rather a cliche thing for one’s new cellmate to have lying around. I like to think that before he came upon this textual remedy, he spent a great deal of his time pummeling people to death while shouting, “Game Over!”
“Tom,” I asked him now, “Would you like me to read to you from Henry Kissinger’s memoirs in Henry Kissinger’s voice?”Full Story
Stars Game Postponed After Player Collapses On Bench. Moments like this put professional sports in perspective. As it happens, when the news about Rich Peverley broke last night, I was having dinner with a surgeon who sometimes serves as the emergency physician at Stars games. Which means I got to hear elaborate explanations of the procedures Peverley likely went through in the offseason, when doctors discovered an irregular heartbeat, and some of the treatment he might have received in the emergency room last night. The latest reports say Peverley is conscious and in stable condition.
Details Emerging in Murder of Wylie Teen. Yesterday Cristina mentioned the two Wylie teenagers arrested after they told police they were “burying a body,” later identified as a fellow student at Wylie East High School. Today brings news that the victim was choked to death, that the crime may have planned for days, and that the motive could have had something to do with a romantic dispute. The DMN isn’t naming the two minors charged in the case, but WFAA is.
Dallas Bids for 2016 Republican Convention. After a snow delay, the city will make its presentation on March 21. The convention would bring at least 40,000 visitors and upwards of $200 million in economic impact, plus the guarantee of some solid Daily Show segments. We’re up against Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio. At some point, I expect Zac to produce something hilarious ranking each city’s strengths, possibly referencing the letters WKRP.Full Story
DISD Board trustee Mike Morath was featured in a Dallas Morning News Q&A over the weekend. You should read it. Morath also apparently feels the Q&A needs some clarification, which he has just issued via the miracle of e-mail. Read with your eyes:Full Story
Because a few local residents can’t or don’t want to dispose of their single-use plastic bags like everyone else, Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway wants to ban the bags outright. That’s a silly, knee-jerk “solution” to an exaggerated problem. And it deserves to be treated as such when the full council votes as expected on the issue this month.Full Story
Have you read the recent news about scans that suggest previously unappreciated similarities between dog and human brains? It’s more evidence for why these domesticated creatures are our species’ best friends.
It’s as good an excuse as any to launch a new monthly series on FrontBurner from Dallas Pets Alive!, an animal rescue group run entirely by volunteers, with all of the pets housed by foster families throughout North Texas. You’ve maybe seen the organization’s #muttbombing campaign on Instagram, featured recently on HuffPo, USA Today or CNN?Full Story
Unsurprisingly, it was the Dallas Stars’ long-time TV play-by-play man, the ever-eloquent Ralph Strangis, who summed up the finest night of Mike Modano’s long and celebrated hockey career.
“For all these people in the building today, we love you,” he said, sweeping his arms to encompass the sellout crowd of 19,000-plus gathered Saturday at the American Airlines Center. “Everybody here loves you.”
Roughly an hour later, Modano, the finest player in franchise history and almost assuredly a permanent installment on our city’s mythical Mount Rushmore of sports, watched his famed No. 9 jersey hoisted to the arena rafters, now retired in thanks for more than two decades of on- and off-ice excellence. It’s the highest honor the franchise can bestow, and he joins Bill Masterson (19), Bill Goldsworthy (8), and Neal Broten (7) as the only players in team history to receive it.
The gravity of the moment wasn’t lost on him; if anything, it overwhelmed him. When Modano, the most prolific American-born player in NHL history, finally stepped to the podium to speak after two hours of festivities, the resulting roar immediately swallowed him. It took a full minute and a half before the crowd stopped cheering, and even then, he could only manage a “Thank you” before the cascade started again.Full Story
Wylie Teens Found “Burying a Body.” Two 16-year-old Wylie East High School students were charged with first-degree murder Sunday in the killing of Ivan Mejia, a fellow Wylie classmate. Mejia was 17. Police claim the two juveniles killed Mejia Saturday and were found near the woods in Garland around 9:30 p.m. When asked what they were doing, they allegedly responded, “burying a body.” Police say the murder was planned, though no motive has been released.
Keller Man on Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight. Philip Wood, an IBM exec who was moving to Kuala Lumpur from Beijing, was one of 239 aboard the flight. He had recently visited family in North Texas. There is still little understanding of what happened to the plane, and according to the New York Times, the mysteries are multiplying.
Grand Prairie Park-and-Ride Lot Under Construction, No Public Transportation Nearby. Soon, Grand Prairie will unveil a $14.7 million facility for … carpoolers. Because, yes, in a city that loves its cars what everyone will want to do is commute together. There’s even talk of developing an app to connect complete strangers who would like to share their ride. That’s often called a bus. Or Lyft. But hey, best of luck!Full Story
There’s a scary, scary story in the paper today by Matthew Haag about the home-rule effort to reform DISD. Here’s what you need to know about it.Full Story
The paper is coming around. On Wednesday, James Ragland wrote a column that clearly took aim at the home-rule movement, saying its backers wanted to “blow up the district.” An accompanying news story about the signature-gathering efforts painted a picture of confusion. Now this.
The DMN just put up an editorial endorsing the home-rule movement, saying, “It’s clear to this newspaper, as it has been for some time, that this is the conversation we must have to reform and improve public education. If it takes signing this petition, you should. It beats running to the suburbs.” Tod Robberson, too, posted an item a few minutes ago that supports the movement. You know who made that happen? Rawlings. As Robberson writes, “It’s wonderful when a politician throws caution to the wind, abandons political niceties and tells it like it is.”
It’s too early to say for certain, but we might be watching the defining moment of Rawlings’ tenure.Full Story
I read the front-page DMN story today about the home-rule movement for DISD, and I thought, “Oh, man, they still don’t have their messaging together.” Here’s how the story in the paper wraps up:
Rawlings and the group said they did not have a grand vision for a DISD charter. When asked why the community would support a plan that hasn’t been outlined, some group members said the effort would give the public a blank page and lets them write the future of Dallas ISD.
“The power is the blank page,” Rawlings said. “The citizens for the first time get to decide what they want to do.”
What? They have no vision? The power is the blank page? No, no, NO. People are going to hate that. But then I watched this video.Full Story
Dallas to Launch Bike Sharing Experiment. The city’s Park and Recreation Board approved the idea of contributing $125,000 to start a program with 15-20 rental bicycles at two locations in Fair Park this summer. The measure still needs the approval of the Landmark Commission and the City Council. Proponents hope that, if successful, it’ll serve as a model to gain support for a citywide effort. The program will be shut down during the State Fair — you know, the one time of year most people actually visit Fair Park.
Police Lieutenant Caught Sleeping, Impaired on Duty. A fellow officer snapped a picture of Lt. Mike Magiera asleep while at work, and WFAA has video of him failing a sobriety test. Magiera says he was just napping during an unpaid break, and that he was on pain pills due to severe pain following an accident. Investigators are determining what discipline Magiera should face.
Dallas Stars to Retire Mike Modano’s Number Saturday. The highest-scoring American player in NHL history will be honored at the American Airlines Center before tomorrow night’s game against the Minnesota Wild. I’m sure I speak for all extremely casual bandwagon hockey fans when I say thanks, Mike, for icing all those memorable power plays. No one hat-tricked across the blue line better, or did a more professional job of keeping his nose out of the crease.Full Story
But also: #STAYWOKEFull Story
Today is D Academy’s education day. We’re holed up in a classroom at Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy. Students were telling me how they’re learning Chinese and might go to Japan. I would like to do both of those things, but no such luck. In any event, as part of the day, Eric Celeste was set to moderate a panel with Mike Morath, District 2 Dallas ISD board member; Rena Honea, Alliance AFT president; and Tarick Ward, who is literally a rocket scientist but now works at Commit! I’m sure this panel would have been perfectly interesting if it had occurred a few weeks ago. But holy hell, it got interesting in light of the current home-rule discussion. Video to come, but for now, here are some highlights.Full Story