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Podcast: That Sports Girl, Gina Miller, Talks Josh Hamilton And Building Her Own Media Empire

Thursday afternoon former CBS 11/TXA 21 sports reporter Gina Miller — now proprietor of Gina Miller Media and Gina Miller’s Blog —  stopped by the Old Monk to talk about Josh Hamilton’s return, her new life as a lifestyle blogger, and why she was forced to endure years of living in Houston during the 1990s.

Also whom does Tim force Gina to call and confess her undying love for in the middle of the show? You’ll have to listen to find out.

First, a few clarifications and audio-visual aids for the episode:

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Lightning Round Via the Twitterverse

It’s been brought to my attention that a fair number of you, dear readers, are too lazy to type out an electronic missive and push a button to send it to me at ask@dmagazine.com. Even though I have a well-established track record of solving your problems — bringing hope and joy and irresistible animal magnetism to the most troubled of souls — some refuse to seek my help.

Go where the people are, the editors of this web blog have repeatedly enjoined. And so I finally had no choice but to accede to their wishes. Yesterday, shortly after 3 p.m., I took command of the @DMagazine Twitter handle to offer up insights in bite-size portions. Since it is exceedingly difficult to limit my wisdom to 140-character chunks, I’m offering bonus contest below, in this sampling of what transpired:

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Podcast: Carpetbagger Joe Tone of the Denver-Based Dallas Observer Talks About His Horsies-and-Drugs Book

Lame duck Dallas Observer editor Joe Tone stopped by the Old Monk yesterday afternoon to discuss his book deal and what the future holds for the alt-weekly newspaper he’s abandoning. Plus, he and Tim play an excruciating new game, and Eric Celeste makes a cameo appearance.

What else you need to know this week:

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Leading Off (5/20/15)

Storms Bring Floods and Tornadoes. There were dozens of reported tornadoes across North Texas and Oklahoma last night. At least one building in Mineral Wells collapsed. And there was “significant damage” reported in Runaway Bay.

Five Dead Bikers Were From North Texas. The dead men range in age from 19 to 47. It will likely be weeks before we know who may have been killed in the original fight and who may have been killed by police. You can see all 171 mug shots of the men arrested here. Zac will be along later with a list of his favorite biker nicknames. (My choice: “Gimmi Jimmy.”)

Former Birdville ISD Student Sues District Over Christian Prayers. Isaiah Smith, 20, claims he suffered years of bullying in the North Richland Hills school district, including anti-gay slurs and having baseballs thrown at him. He says it’s related to the Christian invocations used to start every school board meeting.

That Controversial Black Rhino Hunt Is Over. You’ll recall a few years ago the Dallas Safari Club auctioned off the chance to kill an endangered black rhino. The winner, Corey Knowlton, bid $350,000. (Stephen Colbert mocked the whole thing pretty viciously.) Well, Knowlton eventually got his rhino. And CNN’s Ed Lavandera was along for the trip.

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Grapevine Releases Dash Cam Video of Police Shooting

On February 20, Rubén García Villalpando was shot and killed on the side of Highway 121 by a Grapevine police officer named Robert Clark. For months, activists and family members of the dead man have asked that the dash cam video from that night be released to the public.

Now that a grand jury has declined to indict Clark, the video has been released. Sort of.

Grapevine police put together this video, with footage from the dash cam mixed with the Grapevine police chief explaining what happened, from the perspective of law enforcement. It appears that Villalpando drove away from the officer despite sirens and lights, including weaving through cars on the highway. Then once he did pull over, he disobeys the officer’s orders to stay in the car. He tells the officer, in English, to kill him. Then approaches the officer despite at least 20 orders to move back and stay by the car.

The actual shooting takes place just out of frame. It seems like non-lethal force could have been an option, and other officers have made news by not killing people in similar circumstances. But by most standards, this looks justified. When Villalpando started moving toward Clark, the officer was probably too far away to use a Taser and already had his gun drawn. When Villalpando got close enough, Clark fired twice.

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Help Wanted: Dallas City Hall Reporter/Blogger For D Magazine’s FrontBurner

Recent public discussions about removing elevated-highway barriers that sharply divide neighborhoods and the alternative futures envisioned for the Trinity River floodplain signal that Dallas is on the verge of an important transformation. Whether new ideas or the old guard come out on top in these fights remains to be seen, but it’s clear already just how much is at stake.

Those are a couple of the headline issues, the arguments that have sucked up so much of the oxygen in council debates and municipal elections. But in the ninth-largest city in the United States there are thousands upon thousands of smaller actions taken every day by officials and government staff that have significant effects on the people who live and work here.

D Magazine aims to bring greater attention to all these matters — both those the size of potholes and as big as signature bridges — by hiring a blogger/reporter keen to make a name for himself or herself with thoughtful, data-driven coverage of Dallas City Hall. It’s got to be someone who can spot the opportunities for inquiry in every council or committee agenda, who knows that public meetings usually aren’t where the decisions get made and can find and follow the paper trail to prove it. It’s got to be someone just as comfortable requesting and sorting through reams of data as he or she is talking with sources. We want to move past the political jargon, past the false balance of he said/she said reporting, to get to the facts.

In addition, we want a writer capable of tracking the daily coverage of other news sources throughout the week and offering commentary and aggregation of the best of what our readers need to know. This is an ideal gig for a smart recent graduate who is hungry to become part of the civic conversation. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter (including salary requirement) to jason.heid@dmagazine.com.

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New D Magazine Podcast: The Vagina Dialogues With Dr. Seema Yasmin

On this week’s episode of EarBurner, Dr. Seema Yasmin — public health professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and reporter for the Dallas Morning News — discusses her recent article on vaginal rejuvenation, the public shaming of the two “normal, white women” at the Kessler Theater, and how a native Londoner ended up living in Rockwall.

After the show, Yasmin sampled the Old Monk‘s fish & chips for the first time. She pronounced them “pretty good,” which is pretty much a ringing endorsement from a proper Englishwoman.

What else you should know to better enjoy the show:

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Leading Off (5/14/15)

Head Shop Owners Arrested Over K2 Sales. Last summer DEA agents seized cash, cars, and synthetic marijuana from the Gas Pipe and its owners. Yesterday, those owners, Gerald “Jerry” Shults and his daughter, Amy Lynn Herrig, were arrested and charged with conspiring to sell the substance known as K2. Both Shults and Herrig are in federal custody and deny the allegations.

Van Mayor Criticized for Golfing. The city of Van was devastated by a tornado a few days ago. So people are pretty upset that mayor Dean Stone missed a scheduled press conference yesterday to play golf. Not a great look.

Some Places Have More Home Burglaries Than Others. The fine folks at our local CBS affiliate put together a map of the which zip codes in North Texas have the most home burglaries. Bad news for the people in East Fort Worth, Southeast Dallas, and East Plano.

District Attorney Will Hold Town Hall Meeting in Pleasant Grove. In anticipation of tonight’s forum, the Dallas Morning News put out a long-ish story rehashing the paper’s editorial complaints about Susan Hawk, which have more to do with her not answering the paper’s questions about her time in rehab than any specific policies or cases. There’s mention of what seems like a minor car accident and an unfiled financial report, and there are no fewer than 12 references (not counting the headline) to Hawk not answering questions or not commenting for the story. This is what it looks like when newspaper reporters don’t get the interview they were hoping for.

Oh Man I Miss Ron Washington. The former Texas Rangers manager, who resigned last Fall, has apparently been helping out with the University of New Orleans baseball team, in his hometown. Yesterday the 62-year-old Washington was spotted in the UNO dugout wearing a bright orange shirt that read MY BUCKET LIST: 1. Beer 2. Ice. In other news, the Rangers beat the Royals.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: You People Call That Mob Justice?

Lords and ladies, wildlings and free folk, knights and squires, bannermen and serving wenches alike, it has become necessary that I break from responding to your incessant onslaught of interrogatories to address a matter of the utmost cultural significance.

It cannot be allowed to pass without my own assiduous commentary, for it exemplifies the fraying stitch-work that binds disparate elements of this, the greatest city God and I have ever given the history of the world. I am speaking, of course, of the remarkable videographic evidence presented to the audience of this very D Magazine web log not two full days ago.

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Election Excitement Peaks With Philip Kingston’s Return to D Magazine’s Podcast

The EarBurner audience has spoken: They just can’t get enough of city politics. That’s why we invited City Councilman Philip Kingston back on the show ahead of tomorrow’s municipal election. It’s pretty clear by the end of the episode that he’s angling to push Zac out to claim the co-hosting gig for himself.

A few notes to help you better comprehend the recorded nonsense:

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Dallas City Council Candidates Don’t Get Social Media

Remember when President Obama won in 2008 and the post-election analysis showed a significant emphasis on the social media connection by the Democratic campaign? Social media has never been stronger in its impact on the marketing of product and political candidates.

I started out thinking that I could do some analysis and projections of the upcoming Dallas City Council races based on each candidates’ social media presence. I don’t have the many commercially available tools available for social media analysis, such as HootSuite, nor do I have expensive and important polling tools. What I do have available is a bit of technical knowledge to scrape Facebook Likes, Twitter follows, and batch Google searches.

What I found is that the analysis is pretty much impossible. Why? Because the candidates and incumbents are, for the most part, completely disengaged from social media. These are the same folks who will guide millions of dollars into IT, who must read civil engineering documents, and who are completely clueless about such tools as Facebook and Twitter.

Swallow your morning coffee before you spit at your screen as I demonstrate the ineptness.

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Leading Off (5/6/15)

White House Investigating Possible ISIS Link in Garland Shooting. As Jason told you yesterday, ISIS is claiming credit for the attack this weekend in Garland. A White House spokesman said it was too early to say if the Islamic State was involved. Sen. Ted Cruz, ever the Obama fan, says federal officials should have intercepted the gunmen before they reached the anti-Muslim event in Garland. Meanwhile, the mother of one of the gunmen says she’s glad her son didn’t kill anyone. And a reporter remembers living next door to the same gunman.

Grand Jury Will Review Grapevine Police Shooting. In February Ruben Garcia Villalpando was shot and killed by a Grapevine police officer along the side of the road. The district attorney hasn’t released video of the shooting, saying it might compromise a criminal investigation. But the Lewisville police have released video from an arrest in December 2014, when Garcia Villalpando’s blood alcohol level was .30, nearly four times the legal limit to drive. Though clearly inebriated, he is also calm and cooperative. The CBS I-Team also looked into the background of Robert Clark, the officer who shot Garcia Villalpando. Clark was an officer at DFW for less than a year when he quit, and wasn’t hired at least one other force because of “deception and lack of moral turpitude.”

UNT Basketball Player Found Dead in Dorm. Eboniey Jeter was a 6’0 redshirt sophomore forward. She was discovered in her Mozart Hall dorm room yesterday morning. Her cause of death is still pending.

Carbon Monoxide Leak in South Oak Cliff. Several ambulances were deployed. At least five people were transported to the hospital, though officials believe the conditions are not life-threatening. The main suspect: a boiler room leak.

Domestic Abusers Must Turn Over Guns. Officials began confiscating firearms from convicted batterers yesterday in what is being called the most comprehensive program of its kind in the state — and possibly the country. So far, there doesn’t seem to be any opposition.

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New Podcast: Need’s Matt Alexander on Men’s Fashion and His Brief Pro Rollerblading Career

On Thursday, Matt Alexander, whom D CEO called one of the “New Faces of Dallas Tech” in its January-February issue, stopped by the Old Monk to talk about his online fashion ventures and to berate American youth for their lack of proper knowledge of English soccer. Alexander is an SMU grad who grew up in London, but he’s also an American citizen, so Zac decided to put that citizenship to the test. Listen to find out how.

First, a few notes on the episode:

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