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Leading Off (4/18/14)

Earthquake Rattles Northwest Dallas. The 2.5 on the Richter scale was centered near Northwest Highway and Interstate 35E. So what is it that the Pappas Bros have done to anger God? Or are the unholy goings-on at Ojos Locos to blame?

Mesh Mask Bandit Gets 20 Years. Former immigration activist Luis de la Garza had asked the judge for a shorter prison sentence, explaining that he’s eager to return to his community activism. “I want to be OK with my country, because this country has given me a lot of opportunities,” he said, wisely not mentioning that among those opportunities was the chance to commit 20 bank robberies.

Police Name Person of Interest in Deadly Hit-and-Run. Authorities are looking for 24-year-old Dagoberto Castanon in connection with the fatal crash that killed a 13-year-old boy in the M Streets on Tuesday. Castanon reportedly has an extensive criminal history and was even previously deported in October 2012.

UNT Misstated Finances by $23 Million. More money problems for the university, which has hired outside auditors to suss out the full extent of shortfalls that seem to have been hidden by questionable reporting.

Man Thrown From Bridge, Stuck in Mud. Dude gets kicked out of the car by his girlfriend along Interstate 30. A bunch of guys happen by in a van and offer him a lift. Then a little ways down the road, they pull over and throw him off a bridge. He falls the equivalent of two stories, can’t free himself from the mud, and has to call 911 to get him out. Dallas responders bring in the city of Wylie for assistance because Wylie has a hovercraft. Yes, I’ve buried the lede: Wylie has a hovercraft.

It’s Good Friday. One last round of Filet-O-Fish for all you Catholics.

UPDATE: You need to see Wylie’s hovercraft in action. (h/t @_paulknight)

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How Pleasant is Dallas Weather?

Via Wired, I learn of a designer and engineer in Atlanta who got wondering which places in the United States offer the greatest number of “pleasant” weather days each year. He crunched government weather data for the last 23 years and came up with this interactive map.

His definition of “pleasant” is a day with average temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees F, with a minimum temperature of 45 and a maximum of 85. Using those criteria North Texas has between 59 and 65 pleasant days a year, depending on where exactly you live.

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Leading Off (2/7/14)

It’s Still Messy Out There. Most of us won’t see more snow fall today (a 20 percent chance), but it’s still bone-chillingly cold, and the high temperature is expected to get only slightly above freezing. Roads refroze over night in many spots, making for icy conditions. Most schools are open, though many districts have delayed the beginning of classes this morning. Continue to be careful out there.

Jacksboro Residents Without Natural Gas. Not only did liquids in the distribution system result in service being cut for 1,200 customers in the town, meaning an extremely cold night last night for many, but it also forced one poor family to put up with Scott Gordon of NBC 5 doing a live shot from their living room.

Kelcy Warren is a Jackson Browne Superfan. He’s  the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, and he’s got so much money that he spent millions to name a park for his young son. His wealth also affords him the chance to live the dream of financing his own vanity entertainment project just because he feels like it. So what’s he do? He produces a 22-track tribute album of artists like Lyle Lovett, Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen, and Bonnie Raitt covering songs by Jackson Browne. Me, I’d have paid for the production of new episodes of Firefly or bought the Chicago Cubs. Pretty sure that means I’d make a better billionaire than Warren.

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Leading Off (1/22/14)

A.C. Gonzalez is Dallas’ Next City Manager. Tuesday’s vote was unanimous, though a couple of days ago it wasn’t, and now he’s ready for his new set of challenges. Congratulations, sir. And good luck.

Texas High School Juniors Failing Tests, Nearly 25 percent Might Not Graduate. Fifteen tests used to be required, but that number was dropped to just five this year. Still, some 338,000 students could potentially not graduate in 2015 because they aren’t passing the tests. These figures come amid complaints that funding issues remain throughout the state and that wealthier districts receive more money than their less-fortunate counterparts.

200 Laptops Missing from Prime Prep Academy. Last week, a mother claimed that the school wouldn’t allow her to withdraw her student. This week, Prime Prep, which once purported being on the cutting edge of technology, is missing 200 of its laptops. According to a News 8 report, a contractor hired by the school may have been instructed to sell them. And they were purchased with taxpayer dollars. So there’s that.

Zebra Mussels Continue to Invade Texas Lakes. Well crud. The invasive little buggers have made their way into Lavon Lake. But scientists aren’t panicking or particularly surprised. They think the mussels may have hitched a ride on a boat. However they came, they shouldn’t pose an immediate threat to the North Texas Municipal Water District, but water intake pipes could be affected down the line.

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Mother Nature Called. She Wants Her Creek Back.

Instead of assuming its natural ecological role, White Rock Creek is backed up, literally. The waters are stagnant thanks to a debris build-up that resembles a smorgasbord of mixed concrete and algae. Sounds picturesque, right? Well, for Dallas-based photographer Justin Terveen (a local favorite of D’s editorial staff), the creek has become a focal point […]

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Sneak Peek at New Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden (aka the Arboretum Expansion)

Yesterday a number of us got to tour the new $62 million, 8-acre Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden at the Arboretum. It will open September 21. We’re on deadline, so I don’t have time to gush too much about this place, but you need to know this: HUGE. With all due respect to the Perot, […]

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Canoe The Trinity With Audubon River Adventures

About a month ago, I got to take the maiden voyage of the Audubon River Adventures. I thought I was just joining Ben Jones, the enthusiastic director of the center, for a quick float. Then I got an email a few days before the trip confirming the other “intrepid explorers.” Joining us were Container Store […]

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The Trouble With the Trees at Klyde Warren Park

So far, at least, Klyde Warren Park has got to be considered a big success. The lunch lines at the food trucks there nearly any day of the week and the huge crowds of families that descend upon the place when the sun is shining on weekends attest to that fact. But every time I’m there, […]

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Leading Off (3/18/13)

Cruz In Control: Say what you want about Ted Cruz, the guy’s a freshman Senator getting presidential buzz in March, three years before the next presidential election. This guy is not going away anytime soon: Fracking Fuels Boom Towns: Gas production is driving the rebirth of tiny towns throughout rural Texas.  But don’t worry, fracking has […]

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Leading Off (2/4/13)

Dallas-Dwelling Navy Seal Sniper Killed at Erath County Gun Range: Ex-Navy SEAL, decorated veteran, and the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, Chris Kyle, took former Marine Eddie Ray Routh to a shooting range in Erath County Saturday, most likely as part of a mentoring program for soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Then, for some […]

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Someone Has Been Trolling the Perot Museum Online, Calling it ‘Fairytale Propaganda’

Jesse Morrell is a Christian, a Christian who recently visited the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. He lives in Lindale, 90 minutes east of Dallas off I-20, where he’s the head of a group called Open Air Outreach, which is “dedicated to taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to where it truly belongs — […]

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