DISD Superintendent to Overhaul UIL Athletic Committees: Coaches who currently sit on University Interscholastic League committees will be replaced with school principals and assistants. Those changes come as superintendent Mike Miles takes action after a WFAA report that revealed a lack of disciplinary action against coaches who violated UIL rules by recruiting players into the district.
Supreme Court To Tackle Texas Cases in New Term: The high court begins its new term today, and the cases it will hear include a fight over the University of Texas’ affirmative action policy and a case from Texas that may impact voter ID laws.
Earthquake Rattles Irving: Odd. I was actually in Irving Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. and I didn’t feel the 3.4 magnitude earthquake, followed a few minutes later by an after shock, that had its epicenter in the Dallas suburb.
Rangers Clinch Playoff Spot: Sure, it was kind of expected the Rangers would be playing ball deep into October, but at the very least, the team’s win in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Angels secured one of two wild card spots.
Al Sharpton To Campaign With, But Not Endorse, Domingo Garcia: Al Sharpton flew into town to join Domingo Garcia at an early vote rally this morning and will appear with the congressional candidate at two polling locations. So has Garcia managed to score the high profile African-American politician’s support, a vote of confidence in his hotly contested runoff with Mark Veasey? Not so, says a Sharpton spokesperson. Sharpton isn’t endorsing Garcia, just visiting “as part of a nonpartisan voter engagement tour.”
Water, Water Everywhere, But Nothing To Drink For Two Texas Subdivisons: Around 500 people live in the 170 homes that make up two subdivisions near Eagle Mountain Lake, and while lake levels are up, water from the area’s supply, an aquifer, has run brown or reeked of chlorine and is running dangerously low. Efforts to drill a new well stalled when the drill broke, and building a new pipeline to pump in water from other sources could take more than a year. The communities, however, have less than a six-month supply of water.
When Your Cellmate Is A Murderer, Burglary May Carry A Death Sentence: Mentally ill Johnathan Holden was arrested last March after spending a cold night in the front seat of a Honda Civic he didn’t own. He was thrown in Tarrant County Jail, where his cellmate turned out to be Steven Lawayne Nelson, a man suspected of suffocating an Arlington pastor. Holden would become Nelson’s next victim.
Three-Year-Old Left In Day Care Van During Triple-Digit Heat Dies: Benjamin Price may have been in the van parked outside Little T’s Tiny Tots for more than two hours before he died Friday afternoon. Then workers moved the boy’s body to hide their negligence. A worker at the day care has been taken into custody.
People Newspapers staff photographer Chris McGathey went out to Forney yesterday afternoon to take a look at the damage and the clean-up efforts. He returned with these photos:
Mother Nature is throwing a fit. A tornado just hit the Lancaster area tossing trailer rigs up in the air like toothpicks. Another tornado is hitting Tarrant County.
More bad weather is scheduled this afternoon. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Trinity River Project Backers Find New Ally in Sen. Cornyn: No matter who wins Sen. Kay Bay Hutchison’s senate seat, backers of the Trinity River Corridor Project will have Sen. John Cornyn stepping up to take her place as the project’s champion in Congress. Cornyn, clearly not speaking with Jim Schutze in mind, told the Dallas Regional Chamber Friday that “there is a lot we can do with the Corps of Engineers and with the regulatory part of this to help remove obstacles and help expedite the Trinity River Corridor Project.” I hope those “obstacles” don’t include the corps’ general opinion that building a toll road in the river bed is a really dumb idea.
Will Dallas ISD Teachers Follow Through With Sickout? This Wednesday is supposed to be the day when Dallas teachers bang-in sick en masse to protest the school board’s decision to extend the teachers’ workday. But will the educators keep their nerve? On the blog Teachers for Change, the anonymous organizer writes, “I am disappointed in how many of you are giving in to the fear.” It is illegal in Texas for employees to strike or organize work stoppages against school districts.
Animated Short Doesn’t Get Into USA Film Festival, Goes On To Win Oscar: Last night’s Oscar winners included Deep Ellum-based Reel FX’s co-founder (and Traveling Man co-designer) Brandon Oldenburg’s animated short, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” Curious fact: the Oscar winning short was rejected from the USA Film Festival.
And if you don’t care for that one, here, also from the talented Mavericks video guys, is Dirk getting the Honey Badger treatment.
So, true story: Last night (or early this morning, depending on your mindset), around midnight, I heard a noise in my kitchen. Loudish. I thought it was my dog, being a douche canoe, and I may have actually told him, “Hey, you, quit being so loud on a school night,” or something to that effect but with a lot more cursing.
This morning, I find that I probably owe my dog an apology, because there was an earthquake pretty much where I live-ish. Geologists say the epicenter of the 2.0 quake was around Northwest Highway and Inwood Road.
But you know what? The dog also gassed up the joint pretty bad last night, so I’m going to call this even. So where were you during the Great Quake of 2012*? I was Febreezing dog farts.
* unless, you know, we have another. Can that happen? Is this a thing now?
So we’re told that the last 11 months in Texas have been the driest since at least 1895. It’s so bad that ranchers are going to slaughter about 500,000 more beef cows this year than they normally would because they can’t afford to keep feeding them. That’s going to drive up beef prices to a record next year.
The Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration put together this map showing just how much rain we need to alleviate the drought conditions. Much of Texas needs more than 15 inches.
And the next 6-8 months don’t look promising.
I need a drink.
So, last time we wrote about former CBS 11 reporter Christina McLarty, she was dumping husband Joe Francis, he of “Girls Gone Wild” fame. We mourned the news.
Now, according to People.com, McLarty has been seen around Los Angeles with David Arquette, who is, of course, the ex of Courtney Cox.
So there you go. I feel itchy. Someone hold me.
As I type this dispatch from the cool confines of D Magazine headquarters, high atop St. Paul Place in downtown Dallas, droplets of sweat are still rolling down the small of my back. Yes, I went to the Mavericks parade. No, I didn’t stay long enough to see the Larry O’Brien Trophy pass by.
The plan was to come to work early, then head down to Victory Plaza (or thereabouts). Dropping off my daughter at her Arboretum summer camp, though, meant that I didn’t get to work till about 9:30. I texted Zac, who was already ensconced under the overpass at Houston and McKinney: “Is discretion the better part of valor, given my tardiness?” His reply: “Hm maybe. But also when will this happen again?” He was right! Into the fray I went.
Sweet Holy Mother of God, did I ever make the wrong call. I won’t bore you with a play-by-play account of each bad decision I made once I got down there, trying to navigate by texts from both Zac and Spider Monkey, our staff photographer, who claimed to be standing atop the 99.5 van with Gordon Keith. I wound up in a sea of perspiring humanity in front of Hooters, literally unable to walk because it was so crowded. Smoke from a Swisher Sweet filled my nostrils. A white guy with his shorts riding so low that they were essentially cinched at his knees dropped an N-bomb as he upbraided his associate, a black fellow wearing a gold grill, for not doing his part to empty the large plastic cup they were sharing. Judging from his slurred speech and general demeanor, I assumed the cup contained sterno that had been strained through cheesecloth (but that’s just a guess).
Long minutes passed. Still I was unable to move. Two lanes of people were moving through the crowd, one in each direction, but I became stuck behind — really, stuck against — a demure, obese white woman who was reluctant to press ahead, as forward progress would require pushing people aside with her estimable haunches. Ten minutes passed. We moved perhaps 6 feet. A loudspeaker from a K104 booth blared music directly into my left ear. Somehow, despite the crush of people, a Hispanic woman wearing short shorts and with her muffin-top midriff exposed, found space to do the booty-shake dance. You know: hands on knees, coyly looking over shoulder, derriere working up and down like it’s powered by compressed air.
More time passed. I sweated. I stood. And, then, as a loud cheer rose from about a block away, indicating that the head of the parade was approaching, I made a break for it. “Excuse me,” I said, leaving the single-file southbound lane still impeded by the obese woman. “Excuse me. Sorry. Excuse me. Sorry, sorry.” I pissed off one stranger after another until I got into open space. Head down, I aimed back to the office.
As I walked up Ross, people were still streaming toward the parade. I saw an entire family — mom, dad, couple of kids — ambling toward the parade at a pace that suggested they thought the thing might not start for another couple hours or so.
“Is it over yet?” the mom asked as we passed each other.
“No, I don’t think so,” I replied. “But it’s kinda crowded.”
“We thought it would be!” she called back, now 10 feet away from me.
And that was the last I ever saw of them.
Osama Bin Laden Killed — The Local Angles: After news broke that Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces, about a dozen people gathered at the North Dallas house of former President George W. Bush (here’s some video of the revelers). Bush called the death “a momentous achievement.” Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson reminded us that despite taking out al Qaeda’s number one, “the fight is not over.” True that, echoes this Dallas Morning News editorial, “but it is a victory nonetheless.”
Southwest Grows By 25 Percent Today: The almost 40-year old Southwest Airlines will complete its $1.4 billion purchase of AirTran Airways today, which puts AirTran’s presence at Dallas-Fort Worth International Aport in limbo. Per the Wright Amendment, AirTran will have to vacate the airport if Southwest doesn’t want to lose gates at Love Field. But a spokesperson for Southwest says the changes won’t happen immediately.
Fires Worsened By Landscape Changes: It turns out humanity can take some of the blame for the Texas wildfire destruction. The fires, which have burned 2 million acres since December 2011 2010, were made worse by a combination of poor land management, urban sprawl, and the introduction of new plant growth that has changed the face of the Texas landscape.
If you would like to support those fighting the overwhelming fires engulfing Possum Kingdom, Dallas Bar Association’s Executive Director Catherine Maher reports the DBA is collecting the following items at Belo Mansion’s second floor today and Grapevine Station #1 by April 26:
So, on your way to lunch, go by the grocery or drugstore, pick up some items and drop them off at Belo.
John Wiley Price Is Dallas’ Most Interesting Politician: No argument here, though if I wrote this Dallas Morning News headline, I might have put “interesting” in quotes.
Texas Burning! Wildfires ravage the state, turning it into the hell New Yorkers have always claimed it to be. The good news: the flames have slowed their spread near Possum Kingdom Lake. The bad news: The inferno is now in East Texas, where more than 3,000 acres are burning in Tyler and Hardin counties. In fact, all but two of the state’s 254 counties have been struck or threatened by the wildfires, prompting Gov. Perry to request President Barack Obama declare the state a major disaster area (I thought the budget shortfall already classified the state as such). But don’t worry: the wildfires are not linked to climate change (as far as we can tell). And in related news, all local bands are hereby required to add this to their live set lists, only replace “London” with “Texas.”
Welcome to Average-Ville, USA: Hurst, TX: While Dallas wrestles with anxiety about being “world-class,” the good people living in Hurst are perfectly happy with their completely average American city. According to the latest census data, the Northeast Tarrant County town’s demographics match many of the country’s averages. Hurst’s household size is 2.6 people, and the ratio of women to men is the same as the nation. Its per capita income is only $21 off the national average ($27,020), and, like the rest of the U.S.A., 27.4 percent of residents hold college degrees. When all is said and done, Ron Bachman is the most average guy in the most average city: “I’m a middle-of-the-road kind of guy, and it’s always fit me,” he tells the Star-Telegram. A true American hero.