Where Do Saturday’s Elections Leave Hispanic Dallas City Council Representation? The answer, in short, is not in a good way. In a newly drawn district that is 74 percent Hispanic, incumbent Scott Griggs defeated Hispanic incumbent Delia Jasso. In another new district drawn to give Pleasant Grove single representation at the horseshoe (the neighborhood was previously split between multiple districts), candidate Jesse Diaz is headed to a runoff with white candidate Rick Callahan. If Callahan wins, then there will be one less Hispanic representative on the council than previously, whereas the redistricting was seemingly designed to add one Hispanic representative. In other news, Farmers Branch got its first Hispanic City Council member.
Arlington Man Throws Homemade Bomb at Neighbors: Michael Alex Johnson, 32, allegedly lit an eight-gallon bucket of gasoline on fire and threw it at two vehicles in a neighbor’s driveway. Luckily, another neighbor saw the incident and immediately called police. No one was hurt. Other bomb making materials were found in Johnson’s home, and Johnson’s mother described her son as “mentally ill.”
State Rep Wants to Build Bullion Depository: I don’t know why storing gold that belongs to the University of Texas Investment Management Co. out of state is a big deal, but apparently Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake is afraid the Yankee state may seize it when Texas declares its independence, or something like that. That’s why he wants the state to fund the construction of a Texas depository for the roughly $1 billion in gold bars. Rick Perry is, of course, on board: ““If we own it,” Perry said, “I will suggest to you that that’s not someone else’s determination whether we can take possession of it back or not.”
Worst Son In the World: Gonzalo Lopez: The night before Mother’s Day, Lopez killed his mother.
Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Arrested for DA Killings, Linked to Threatening Email: Eric Williams was arrested Saturday and charged with “terroristic threats,” after police searched his home and storage unit, found around 20 weapons, and connected him a threatening email sent to county officials. A charge of capital murder is expected to be filed this week. Williams is a former justice of the peace who was convicted of stealing computer equipment from a county building in March 2012.
Man Shoots Himself at NRA 500: A 42-year-old Saginaw man shot himself in the head in the infield campground Saturday night during the race that was renamed this year after the firearm advocacy group.
George W. Bush Is a Grandpa: Jenna Bush gave birth to a baby girl yesterday.
Dirk Shaves Beard: The Mavs finally reached .500. Whoopee do! At least you can watch Dirk shave, and shave, and shave, and . . .
Kaufman County DA and Wife Gunned Down: We’re only beginning to scratch the surface on this one. But some, such as Forney Mayor Darren Rozell, are already drawing connections between the killing of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, and the murder of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse two months ago on the day the U.S. Department of Justice released a statement saying Hasse was involved in a racketeering case against the Aryan Brotherhood.
DMN Lauds Don Williams’ Speech, Still Mum of Golf Course: Late last week, Glenn was quick to point out that Rudy Bush’s piece (paywall) on former Trammel Crow CEO Don Williams’ chiding of the Dallas elite at the Dallas Country Club was missing some choice words about plans to build a golf club in South Dallas (namely, that Williams at first thought the course was the “worst use of $12 million that the city could possibly spend” before taking a step back and saying that a golf course doesn’t equal jobs or development). Well, over the weekend, this Dallas Morning News editorial offered formal support to Williams’ tough talk, but still nothing about the golf course, which this DMN editorial endorsed back in November, saying that:
We know there will be naysayers and cynics. But when a corporation of AT&T’s size recognizes that it’s time to focus on southern Dallas — and then uses its substantial leadership powers to rally major backing — that’s a marker worth applauding. This golf course plan is a game changer.
So, DMN, tell us: Is Williams a naysayer or a cynic?
First Baptist Opens New $130 Million Campus For Easter: Those chewy, sugary gummy ducks in your kids’ Easter baskets? They weren’t the only tacky treats to arrive in Dallas yesterday morning.
Dallas Police Want To Clamp Down on Camping on Public Property: Remember Occupy Dallas? Well, it turns out the movement’s legacy may have more to do with the legality of how you camp on public property, than any global economic situation. The camping messiness was a pain for Dallas Police (what with the underage sexual assault and all), so the department is leading the charge to tighten regulations on camping on public park properties.
“Here’s all you need to know,” [Bryant] said. “I’m done with domestic abuse.”
Dallas Stars Trade Captain Brenden Morrow: The Stars are, well, building. It’s all about 2015 out in Frisco. So I think dumping captain Brenden Morrow for Joe Morrow, a scoring defenseman and 2011 number 23 pick overall (plus some draft picks), is a lot better than letting the captain run out his contract and go into free agency over the summer. But still, if the Dallas Cowboys lost Tony Romo or the Texas Rangers lost Michael Young (oh wait), you would feel funny about it. Guy Carbonneau’s daughter Anne-Marie (aka Mrs. Morrow) tweeted this lonely shot of the bags packed after 14 years in Dallas.
Police Need Help Cracking Murder Case Involving Senior: A 79-year-old woman in East Dallas was found slain in her home Saturday, and police are turning to the public for help. There were signs of forced entry, but no word on whether the residence where the woman was found was burglarized. And Bernie Tiede’s locked up, so you can scratch him off the list of suspects.
Should UNT Dallas Open New Law School When Law Grads Can’t Find Jobs? That’s one of the questions put to Ellen Pryor, associate dean for academic affairs at the new UNT Dallas College of Law, which is set to open in the old Dallas City Hall in August 2014. Her answer? Well, yes, of course, but she adds that in the current economic and education environment, UNT Dallas is in a unique position to rethink the value and shape of legal education.
Trends: We Like Driving, Botox: The tranquility of the country and the distance between Dallas and Fort Worth contribute to the percentage of North Texans with “mega-commutes,” daily drives of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles. And all that driving makes the lunch hour one of the few times during the day to take care of little errands, you know, like face-lifts.
The trials of former Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown have been moved to September, after the Dallas resident’s public defender asked for a continuance earlier this week. The trials had been scheduled to begin in April. Both of the court’s decisions can be read here and here.
Brown is scheduled to stand trial for a slew of charges, including threats against an FBI agent, obstructing an investigation, and hacking-related charges. He’s been incarcerated since September.
Back in 2011, the city of Arlington dropped a little over $200,000 to purchase two battery-operated Leptron Avengers. The 11-pound dragonflies were equipped with cameras, and could zoom above the city at 40 miles per hour. Problem was, the city hadn’t received FAA approval to use the electric helicopters. Until late last month. From the Arlington Citizen-Journal:
[Police Chief Will] Johnson, who made the announcement at an annual awards banquet, called the “cutting-edge technology” a more affordable alternative to traditional police helicopters or airplanes. The drones could be useful in situations ranging from photographing car crashes or complex crime scenes to searching for missing people.
“We had a 77-year-old grandmother that left her front porch and was not seen again,” said Johnson, referring to Maria Arrocha, a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who died from exposure after wandering away from home Dec. 18.
“Despite your best efforts, searching for her 24 hours a day for weeks, we weren’t able to locate her. This technology … could help serve as a tool to return someone’s grandmother home safely.”
The department has been testing the craft for two years, but the FAA had restricted those training flights to secured city-owned land at the north end of Lake Arlington.
The approval makes Arlington the largest city in the country to receive such a go-ahead.
On Feb. 1, Texas reps filed a bill that would ban unmanned aircrafts from patrolling above private property; the bill has received widespread support and is making its way through the committee process. Privacy rights advocates are calling bull on Arlington’s “let’s help find grandma” line. They’ve posted YouTube videos and filed FOIA requests questioning the drones’ usage. And presumably spent some time watching Rand Paul’s filibuster.
Dallas Police Chief Fires Officers Who Allegedly Planted Drugs During Investigation: Chief David Brown had a busy Friday, firing two officers who are now charged with fabricated and/or tampering with physical evidence and aggravated perjury related to a 2011 drug investigation. The chief also suspended or fired additional officers for drinking and driving, getting into fights with off duty officers, the misuse of city equipment, whipping their children with computer power cords, and, lest we forget, waving around guns in rap videos.
Are Nolan Ryan’s Days With the Rangers Numbered? Late Friday Texas Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels became the team’s president of baseball operations, and Rick George, the Rangers’ COO, became president of business operations. That quiet administrative switcheroo had more than a few commentators wondering if Nolan Ryan will soon leave the team.
Dignitaries On Hand to Lay Van Cliburn to Rest: George W. Bush and Rick Perry were among those who eulogized the late musical legend, and Russian president Vladimir Putin sent a statement that was read during the memorial service at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth.
Sequester Cuts Would Burn in Texas: If automatic cuts to federal spending kick in Friday, Texas stands to lose millions in funding to military bases, ports, pre-school services, tuition assistance, teachers, environmental programs, law enforcement, and more according to state-by-state cut details released by the White House Sunday.
Mayor’s Education Fix a Bore: The Dallas Morning News’ Tod Robberson has been tracking the progress of the education component of Mayor Rawlings’ GrowSouth initiative, and, as it turns out, students get bored and don’t pay attention during large assemblies hosted by local celebs high school kids have never heard of. Who would have thought?
Visitors Stranded on Zoo Monorail: Okay, forget those images of children dangling helplessly while a tiger paces below licking his chops. Sure, firefighters had to rescue about 100 people who were stuck on the Dallas Zoo’s monorail Saturday, but the monorail did not stall over any animal exhibits.
Four-Alarm Fire Takes Down Shooting Range: As it turns out, the reason why it is illegal to fire tracer rounds in a shooting range is a pretty good one.
Dallas-Dwelling Navy Seal Sniper Killed at Erath County Gun Range:Â 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 reason, Routh shot and killed Kyle.
Museum Tower Spoils Latest Nasher Exhibition: A new show by the artist Ken Price opens later this week at the Nasher Sculpture Center, and to prepare, the museum had to cover the glass ceilings of the galleries containing the loaned art work to protect it against Museum Tower’s intense reflective glare. Little progress has been made on finding a solution to the glare issue, and a lawsuit looks moreÂ likelyÂ after a lawyer for the pension fund that owns the condo tower suggested as much to the Texas attorney general last week.
Wetlands Construction Begins Along Trinity River: Remember the Trinity River Project? Dirt is flying on the thing — or at least part of it. Two hundred acres of trees are being cleared for the creation of a series of wetlands that will help ease flooding.
Texas Law Prevents Same-Sex Couples From Listing Both Parents’ Names on Children’s Birth Certificates: In 1997, Dallas representative Will Hartnett sponsored a bill in the Texas legislature that added gender specific language to the Texas Health and Safety Code. As a result, Texas birth certificates only have space for one male and one female name. State Representative Rafael Anchia wants to change that, saying the law only adversely affects the children of same-sex couples and makes it difficult when pursuing medical care, school enrollment, international travel, etc.
Accident on I-30 Leaves 12-Year-Old Dead: The car of a family headed westbound on I-30 stalled in the left lane Sunday afternoon. As they waited for roadside assistance, an F-150 truck slammed into the back of the car, killing a 12-year-old, and critically injuring the other siblings.
Arlington State Rep Still Worried President Obama Is a Foreigner: Speaking of birth certificates,Â Rep. Bill Zedler’s has introduced a bill in the state legislature that would require the Texas Secretary of State to certify birth certificates of candidates running for federal office before their names could be listed on a Texas ballot.
Not So Sweet Sixteen: A 16-year-old’s birthday party in Grapevine didn’t quite go as planned Saturday night. Towards the end of the evening, the girl’s father got in an argument with her mother, shot the woman in the doorway to their house, and then killed himself on the front lawn.
Gun Buyback Event Turns Into Gun Auction: First Presbyterian Church of Dallas and The Stewpot want to do their part to help take guns off the street, so on Saturday they hosted a gun buyback event in downtown Dallas, just as they have for years. But this year, isn’t like other years. A protest group set up across the street from the church and began selling guns from the back of a truck.
With Second “Calatrava” Bridge, Dallas Reaffirms Superficiality: Writing about the revised design for the new I-30 bridge, critic Scott Cantrell argues we are not getting a second Santiago Calatrava, more Â like a TxDOT bridge with Calatrava “decals.” That’s typical of a city that likes to drop big bucks on name brands not just because they offer quality, he says, but because they offer bragging rights:
Calatrava is a Rolex watch among Seikos. The Seikos keep time just as well, and can be quite handsome, but the Rolex has snob appeal. Dallas loves snob appeal, especially with a foreign accent.
Rich People in Dallas Today Are Boring: This piece by Alan Peppard points out that today’s Dallas wealthy are much wealthier than the money-flinging showboats that built Dallas’ reputation as a strut-and-spit capital for the callously nouveau riche. But they are also less interesting. Gone are the days of the pumpkin-colored “Fat Albert” 747 waiting at Lovefield ready to whisk people better than you off to Acapulco.
Kennedy Is a Conspiracy Theorist: Speaking at the Winspear Opera House Friday, RFK Jr. told Charlie Rose that the Warren Commission was a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship,” and he doesn’t buy the lone gunman theory.
Bush Not Beating Around the Bush About Political Ambition: “‘We for sure are running, the question is the office,’ [George P.] Bush told The Associated Press during the first interview about his political future since filing paperwork in November to seek elected office in Texas.”
TCU Quarterback Kicks Rehab Habit, Back on Team: Casey Pachall disenrolled from TCU after being arrested for a DUI in October (which was after 15 TCU students, including Pachall’s roommate, were arrested in last summer’s drug sting). But now he’s back, because top-recruited college quarterbacks get more chances in life than you do.
Southlake Carroll Students Dead After Night of Drugs, Alcohol: Two Southlake Carroll students may have survived Friday night had Cullen Marino, a 22-year-old who found them unconscious after drinking and taking drugs, sought immediate assistance. Instead he moved the boy’s bodies from the living room of his house to the bedroom, where they were found dead the following morning by Marino’s father.
Families Settle Suit Over Violent, Explicit Highland Park Fiction: Remember that seventh grade kid who wrote the book about all his classmates involved in all sorts of nefarious activities (drugs, rape, and the rest)? It’s all been put to rest with a quiet settlement. In short, you’re never going to see that book.
Cleburne Pastor Admits Prior Life as Porn Star: That was the startling revelation New Heart Family Worship Center’s Senior Pastor Claude Gilliland III told his congregation Sunday.
There are bleak jobs: coroner, executioner, middle-school janitor. Then there is the work being done by the person who runs the Twitter handle @gundeaths, which attempts to chronicle and archive every gun death in America. An anonymous soul, @gundeaths scours the news wires, then posts articles about each death. The handle’s mantra: “Tweeting every gun death in North America regardless of cause and without comment. Help us tell the story behind the statistics.”
In similar fashion:
Since Dec. 14, the day of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, at least 440 people have been killed by guns in the United States, through Jan. 1. Of those, 30 were killed in the state of Texas, and six in the city of Dallas. Of those killed in Texas, one was a 13-year-old in Houston, and another was a 13-year-old in Lamar County. The Houston girl – Dekalah Jones – was shot by her mother’s ex-boyfriend,Â while the Lamar County boy was killed by a 9-year-old, who tripped and fell while hunting, discharging his .22 rifle.