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Leading Off (11/21/14)

Obama Announces Immigration Reform. It could mean thousands of people in Texas who otherwise might have been deported won’t be. Depending on whom you ask, this is either a great, humane thing for countless families or a tyrant seizing power to subvert democracy.

Local Family Moves to Oregon to Get Medical Marijuana for Infant. “Sure, we may have questioned the cannabis oil at first,” admits Chris Blanchett, whose 14-month-old daughter Ellanor has a rare seizure disorder called Aicardi Syndrome. “But that’s what we want to try now. And until you’re in our seat, you don’t understand what that decision means.”

The Story of Kent Brantley’s Survival. GQ’s Sean Flynn has a short oral history about the heroic Fort Worth doctor’s recovery from Ebola, from the perspective of the physicians who treated him. Worth checking out.

Glenn Beck: The Media Raped Bill Cosby. “Journalism is the most dishonorable, dishonest, callous, cynical, mean, stupid, stupid people and industry I’ve ever seen,” says Beck. Which reminds me: You can read my profile of Glenn Beck here.

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Leading Off (11/20/14)

Revenue Is Up For Downtown Dallas Hotels. That’s the thrust of this story, although mostly it’s just kind of a long run-up to the real point: man, we could be doing even better if we fixed up the convention center so we could get more medical and technology citywide conventions. And maybe so. But then the GM at the Sheraton, Mark Sanders, comes along with this: “Sanders said at this point he’s not counting on getting a huge boost from college football fans in town in January for the inaugural College Football Playoff game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. ‘Actually, we’re not sold out,’ he said. ‘We don’t think that’s going to be quite as big as everybody’s predicting.'” [Deep breath] OK. Mark — can I call you Mark? The College Football Playoff game is not the Super Bowl. College football is not the NFL. Who comes to town for the game will largely depend on who is playing in the game, and they have not decided who is even in the playoff yet, so of course you are not sold out yet because most of the people who will come to Dallas for the game do not know they are coming yet. And when they do come, you can overcharge them and everything will be awesome, OK? (Karen Robinson-Jacobs was a sweetheart for not pointing this out right when you said it.)

Mavs Round-Up. Dirk inspires in win over Wizards, coming back and hitting a big three-pointer after rolling his ankle (again). Cuban serves on jury. Former Mav Delonte West cut from his Shanghai team.

Producers Give Up Effort to Rescue Dallas. TNT canceled the show in October, and since then, Dallas‘ executive producers have tried to find a new home for it, aided by a #SaveDallas campaign on Twitter. They’ve finally given up. They probably should have never revived the show in the first place, but that’s a debate for another time.

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Million-dollar Lawsuit Rips Winstead Advice in NCPA Sex Scandal

In recent months, the National Center for Policy Analysis has worked hard to put a sex scandal involving its founder behind it. The free-market think tank fired the founder, John C. Goodman, hired a new leader (tea party star Allen B. West), and scheduled several high-profile speakers for its events. Now, however, the Dallas-based NCPA has filed a lawsuit against a prominent law firm and the firm’s chairman emeritus that revisits the sex scandal in detail. Among other things, the suit asserts that l’affaire Goodman caused the nonprofit organization to lose at least $2 million in fundraising—and nearly put it out of business.

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What That Trinity Toll Road Meeting Was Really About

This morning, Mayor Mike Rawlings called a meeting at Babb Bros BBQ, in Trinity Groves, to make an announcement. It was a strange event. I’m still trying to figure out what really just happened.

Outside, three people dressed as turkeys handed out anti-toll-road flyers. They read, in part: “There’s no question that the Trinity toll road is the single biggest turkey in Dallas. That’s why we’re so excited about Mayor Rawlings’ steadfast support of it. With former proponents jumping ship left and right, it’s getting harder to find advocates for such an expensive, unnecessary, and counterproductive initiative. Thank you for standing up for REAL turkeys like the toll road, Mayor Rawlings!”

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Leading Off (11/19/14)

TCU Out of College Football Playoff: At least according to the committee’s projections Tuesday night. Alabama hornfrogged the Leaped Frogs, and shot up from #5 to #1. Baylor fans are off somewhere, crying into their RGIII sympathy casts. Not even the cool poster to the left could save the two schools.

Arrest Made in Murder of Teen Cancer Patient: First of all, bravo WFAA. There’s no way someone’s going to see that headline and [CLICK]. Secondly, the story is incredibly sad. Police are still looking for additional suspects, but Tyler Wiley, 19, has been charged with capital murder.

Six Flags Settles Roller Coaster Death Case: The terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, but hopefully they included something along the lines of “STOP LETTING PEOPLE FALL OFF ROLLER COASTERS.” And money. Lots of money.

Texas OKs Prison Weddings: Kicker from this AP story: “Clark said word this week of mass murderer Charles Manson’s planned marriage in California was coincidental to the Texas agency’s plans.” So much prison wedding news!

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SOPS Presents Draft of a Charter to Home Rule Commission

Last night, Support Our Public Schools, the organization that began this home rule movement early this year, presented its proposed charter to the Home Rule Commission. It contains several things I’ve been talking about on Learning Curve, including moving trustee elections to November, adding a student trustee, and starting the school year earlier. I’ll have a dissection of it on Learning Curve in the next few days, but here it is for your perusal.

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Poll: The Greatest D Magazine Story in the History of Ever

By now you’ve had a chance, obviously, to read all 40 of the greatest stories ever published in the pages of D Magazine. In honor of our 40th anniversary, we revealed them over the course of 39 weeks between February and November. Now it’s time for a little scoreboarding.

Four writers landed two bylines apiece on the list: David Bauer (“The Sexiest Woman in Dallas” and “Akin vs. Dahl”), John Bloom (“Ole Anthony and the God Thing” and “Misty Crest: On the Frontier of the New American Dream”), Mike Shropshire (“Clayton Williams: Texas Crude” and “How Willie Nelson Saved Carl’s Corner — Again”), and Zac Crain (“Charley Pride Turns 70 and — Galdurnit — He’s Still Got Something” and “Love and Loss in a Small Texas Town.”)

One scribe boasts three — or two-and-a-half, depending on how you look at it. That’s Skip Hollandsworth (“Max Goldblatt’s Last Hurrah,” “The Fall of the House of Von Erich,” and “The Black Widow.”)

So one of those gents has got to be the greatest writer in the history of our humble publication, but we’re not here to debate that. We’re here to ask you to vote on the single-greatest story ever in D. The nominees are listed below. Write-ins accepted in the comments.

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Leading Off (11/18/14)

Dallas Woman Wins $202 Million Powerball Jackpot. Marilyn Boldon, give me a call. I have an idea. You’ll love it.

Big German! He was seen last night when he scored his 27,000th NBA point. The only other players to do that with a single franchise? Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan. None of those guys is German, though.

Kidd’s Kids Going Strong. Kidd died far too young. But his legacy lives on. This year, 61 sick kids will get an experience they never would have had without Kidd’s work.

Tom Joyner No Longer on Dallas Airwaves. Yesterday, we mentioned the two radio stations that switched formats over the weekend. So did the Observer. You know what neither of us realized? With the format switch at 94.5, Tom Joyner lost his Dallas station.

Did Ken Paxton Swipe a $1,000 Pen? The incident happened a year ago at a Collin County courthouse. A spokesman for the new attorney general said it was a simple mistake. Maybe so. Christy Hoppe’s story strikes the right tone.

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Leading Off (11/17/2014)

What Was That White Stuff, It’s Not Even Thanksgiving. It snowed, as per a particularly on-the-ball weather report, but it did not stick. More important, here is a photo of Delkus, conducting the flurries.

Temperature Drop Means More Rescued Cats. Aw. Even though my recent brush with cat ownership was like tugging impatiently at the devil’s coattails, this absolutely does not mean that these kitties are not deserving of warm homes. $15 adoptions will hopefully help.

Top Perry Advisor Has Three Alcohol-Related Offenses. Governor Perry’s office says it knew about Wayne Roberts’ record, which includes DWIs in 1990 and 2006, as well as a public intoxication charge in 2000. This is all the more relevant, however, since Perry is facing charges after attempting to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her 2013 DWI arrest.

Memorial Held For Thomas Eric Duncan. The service, held Saturday evening, was private, and took place more than a month after Duncan died of Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

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The New York Times Visits Dallas

In an article posted today and headlined “Texas, 3 Ways,” Robert Draper (himself a Texas native) writes of recent sojourns to Houston, Dallas, and El Paso. He spends a Saturday observing yoga in Klyde Warren Park and lunching at Lark on the Park:

chatted with the owner, the longtime Dallas restaurateur Shannon Wynne. When he commented, “Dallas has matured more in the last five years than in the past 25,” I asked him why this was. He guffawed in reply, “Well, it certainly can’t be the locals.” He added that the city had benefited greatly from new blood, and that they in turn had emboldened establishment Dallasites to reconsider the city’s possibilities.

While Mr. Wynne talked, I looked over his shoulder at the restaurant’s walls, which were covered with intricate chalk drawings that rotate quarterly: one by a local tattoo artist, another by a medical illustrator, a third depicting the University of Texas at Dallas’s top-ranked chess team. Meanwhile, outside, dozens of residents were tossing Frisbees, or ice skating. It occurred to me that while Dallas has always exhibited the capacity to surprise others, it had now succeeded in surprising itself.

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Leading Off (11/14/14)

Feds Auditing DA’s Use of Forfeiture Funds. Craig Watkins may be on his way out, after suffering a defeat in last week’s election, but he’s still facing a federal investigation. Authorities stopped sending forfeiture money to the DA’s office in August after an auditor had a call with Watkins. “It was a contentious phone call during election season in which Mr. Watkins believed the inquiry was being driven by his opponent,” said Dallas County prosecutor Lincoln Monroe. “Craig thought it was a setup. It was not a good conversation that Craig had.” He added that the federal audit was prompted by a mix-up that will soon be rectified.

Frisco Homeowners Want Power Lines Buried. Brazos Electric is proposing a 2- to 4-mile stretch of overhead lines to increase capacity in the fast-growing city, but neighborhood residents are concerned about the impact on their home values. They want the lines placed underground, which Brazos says would cost $31.5 million, compared to $3.5 million for putting them overhead. Brazos plans to apply to the Public Utility Commission for its expansion in December, and the city and a homeowners’ group plan to challenge it.

Felony Lane Gang Strikes Again. Coppell police are looking into whether an organized group of professional thieves is responsible for a series of smash-and-grab car break-ins. The gang is known for cashing victims’ checks in the outside teller lane at various banks — which I guess is the “felony lane?”

Clayton Kershaw Hogging Baseball Awards. After winning his third Cy Young Award as the National League’s best pitcher on Wednesday, the Highland Park High School graduate and Los Angeles Dodgers hurler received Most Valuable Player honors on Thursday. He’s the first NL pitcher to take the MVP since 1968.

Mavs Score Most Lopsided Win in Team History. Dallas got off to a 45-10 lead in the first 15 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers and finished with a 123-70 win. It’s their largest margin of victory ever.

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D Magazine Staffers on Councilman Philip Kingston’s Toll Road ‘Nice’ List

Rudy Bush has posted City Councilman Philip Kingston’s Trinity Toll Road “Naughty and Nice” list, identifying those he considers on the wrong (pro-) and right (anti-) side of the debate over building a highway between the levees.

Among those on the “nice” side of the ledger are our own Tim Rogers and contributors Eric Celeste and Patrick Kennedy. Plus, Wick Allison, who even charts a pull quote:

“I learned from the Trinity mistake. Maybe the biggest prejudice of all human beings is presentism. That is to say, what is has always been and will always be.”

Top of the naughty list: Mayor Mike Rawlings and former city manager Mary Suhm. So, yeah, no surprises. For whatever it’s worth, via the DMN:

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You Want Better Public Transit? Let DART Know What You Want.

A few days ago I wrote about how DART needs to follow the lead of other cities, such as Houston, and reroute their bus system. Well, DART officials say that’s exactly what they may do as part of the 10 Year Service Plan the transit organization is beginning to develop. Public meetings began this week to solicit feedback from riders about how the bus system can evolve to best suit their needs. There’s also an online survey you can fill out to offer feedback on what you believe DART’s priorities should be. (Here’s a cheat sheet for one of the questions: Frequent “to you” means buses every 10-15 minutes, no matter who “you” are.)

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