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Leading Off (7/3/15)

Hood County Threatened With Gay-Marriage Lawsuit. Two men in Granbury want to exercise the right to which the Supreme Court last week affirmed they are entitled, but the men so far have been denied. They’ve now moved towards taking legal action against the county government for not issuing them a license. Meanwhile dueling rallies converged upon the courthouse Thursday to express their support for, or opposition to, the county clerk’s refusal to comply with the law.

UNT, TCU to Partner on Medical School. It’d be only the second program in Dallas-Fort Worth to confer M.D. degrees. Though neither university has confirmed the news, sources told the Fort Worth Business Press that the board of trustees for the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth is expected to vote on the plan Monday. UNT already operates the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine there, and the school’s previously announced intention to add a medical school has been opposed in the past by osteopaths. TCU would provide much of the funding that the state has so far declined to contribute to the effort.

Murder Rate Up in June. Dallas saw 20 homicides during the month — the most since August 2013 — and police don’t have a solid explanation for the uptick.

Interim DISD Chief Supports Teacher Evaluation System. Dallas teachers who had hoped the departure of district superintendent Mike Miles would spell the end of a controversial means of determining which classroom educators are getting the job done may be disappointed to hear Miles’ temporary replacement, Michael Hinojosa tell WFAA, “We need to support the teachers but also they need to realize these initiatives are going to move forward.”

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Did Bass Pro Shops Steal a T-shirt Idea From The Lodge?

Michael Precker, the writer-in-residence (and manager) at The Lodge, sent me the two images you see here. One is a t-shirt that Bass Pro Shops sells. The other is a t-shirt The Lodge, one of our city’s most well-known gentleman’s clubs, has been selling for four or five years. Precker says his boss, Dawn Rizos, the generous owner of The Lodge, came up with the original concept and a bartender named Bryan drew it.

I called and emailed the media relations people at the Bass Pro Shops headquarters, in Springfield, Missouri, to ask when they started selling their version of the shirt. So far I haven’t heard back. The company website says it’s “new.” Here’s the description:

Is your wife or girlfriend nagging you again about your “honey do” list? We can help. Pick up our Bass Pro Shops® Problem Solved Fishing T-Shirt. This short-sleeve funny T-shirt sports front screen-printed graphics with a 2-panel story. In the first, a woman yells and shakes her finger at her man. In the second, the man sits in his boat, fishing and smiling. Problem solved!

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Leading Off (7/2/15)

Texas AG Ken Paxton Could Face Felony Securities Fraud Case. A special prosecutor is planning to present a first-degree securities fraud case to a Collin County grand jury within the new few weeks. Texas Rangers had been looking into allegations that Paxton had failed to register as an investment advisor with the state. Kent Schaffer, the prosecutor, said he will likely file that case, too, which is a third-degree felony. A first-degree felony conviction is punishable by up to life in prison, but I would sincerely doubt Paxton would get that. Now, if I could stop being Zac Crain the highly respected journalist at America’s No. 1 city magazine and be Zac Crain your gossipy pal, I would say — after Paxton urged county clerks not to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, ignoring the SCOTUS ruling — this is how I feel about Paxton’s current sitch.

Tyson Chandler Signs With Phoenix Suns. Chandler — only arguably the best big man in Dallas Mavericks history — didn’t wait around to see if the Mavs were able to sign DeAndre Jordan or not. So now the Mavs really, really need to sign Jordan. Because, as someone pointed out on Twitter yesterday, right now this guy is the Mavs’ starting center.

Dallas County Jail Population At An All-Time Low. Current number of inmates is 5,618, down 600 from this time last year. That means the jail has been able to close six pods — large rooms with bunk beds, a common area, and a direct supervisor — with potential savings of $3.2 million a year. You know why I think the population is so low? Batman.

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The Mysterious Plan for a Mayoral Compound

The Dallas Morning News’ Rudy Bush brought us surprising news yesterday that a new $180,000, by-invitation-only compound is being constructed for the Mayor and his staff. I use the word “surprising,” because I don’t recall the City Council ever having been briefed on this matter, much less approving the expenditure. Based on a review of the plan that Mr. Bush somehow dug up, it appears the Mayor Pro Tem, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem and their four assistants are being kicked out for parts unknown, their offices to be taken over by the Office of the Mayor.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: What’s the Right Way to Order an Old-Fashioned?

Firstly, my humblest apologies for leaving you all — devoted readers — in the lurch last week whilst I skedaddled to obtain a measure of recreation and relaxation. One of the prime benefits of noncorporeal existence is that there’s no need to pay those blood-sucking fares that the airlines charge. Believe me, instantaneous quantum transport is the only way to fly!

But I return now to my Sisyphean duty: solving all of the world’s most pressing quandaries.

Question: With so many cocktail variations popping up every day — the rise of the mixologist is upon us! — it’s becoming more and more difficult to order a drink properly, without fumbling around with a barrage of follow-up questions and combinations to consider. Since you’re staggeringly old, can you tell me the proper way to order an Old Fashioned, so as to minimize the drama? — Travis S.

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Leading Off (7/1/15)

John Wiley Price’s Co-defendant Will Plead Guilty. Christian Lloyd Campbell filed court papers saying he will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, and he could testify against Price. In exchange, Campbell is looking at a recommended sentence of no more than three years in prison.

Another Controversial Video Involving the McKinney Police. Stop me if this sounds familiar: There’s a video of a police officer in McKinney drawing his gun and yelling at unarmed young black men. Some people think the officer was abusive, while other people (including his fellow officers) think he did a fine job.

Grapevine Volleyball Coach Charged With Drugging and Sexually Assaulting Teens. Damian Merrick owns the Grapevine Volleyball Club. He’s accused of giving teenage girls marijuana and assaults in a parking lot and a hotel room. It looks like Merrick has already been scrubbed from the club’s website.

Gay People Will Soon Be Able to Get Married in Granbury. Wonderful detail alert: The Hood County clerk who posted a statement explaining why she wouldn’t be issuing same-sex marriage certificates — and then another statement, later, explaining that yes, her office will actually issue them soon, even though she doesn’t like it — is named Katie Lang.

Rangers Activate Josh Hamilton. He joined the team in Baltimore for the first time since being sidelined with a strained hamstring and had two hits in last night’s win. The Rangers sent rookie sensation-turned-mortal Joey Gallo down to the minors, where he will likely distinguish himself like an eagle in a league of pelicans.

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Leading Off (6/30/15)

Mayor Rawlings Down With Lower Property Tax Rate, Maybe. Property values in Dallas and surrounding areas have shot up, prompting our Dream Team coach to suggest that we should consider a lower tax rate, so that everyone can relax a tad. Super. So long as Mockingbird and Garland roads become drivable sometime this decade.

The Next President of the Dallas Fed Won’t Be as Cool as Richard Fisher. Here’s a little ditty about the secretive search for the next head of the Dallas Fed. Here’s why you should miss Fisher.

North Texas Is Segregated. Spend some time with this Pew Research Center article. The gist: “Income segregation has increased over the past three decades in 27 of the largest 30 metropolitan areas across the U.S. … . In Dallas and many of the other metro areas we mapped, there were clear divisions between low-income neighborhoods and middle- and upper-income areas, as well as divisions along racial lines.” Said no one: “I am shocked.”

Flights out of Dallas Are Cheap! Mitch Schnurman looks at life post Wright Amendment and concludes, “[T]he Southwest effect is alive and well in Dallas and making this one of the country’s top markets for the flying public.” Good for us.

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D CEO Named Best Regional Business Magazine in U.S.—Again

The Alliance of Area Business Publishers is a national outfit that represents regional and local business magazines and newspapers with a combined circulation of more than 1.2 million. Every year the group puts on an editorial competition that recognizes excellence in journalism, photography, and design. This year the competition drew more than 620 entries, with judging by faculty members from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Among nine AABP awards for 2015 that D CEO picked up at the group’s conference Saturday night—compared to the seven it won last year and eight in 2013—D‘s business publication was named the best regional business magazine in America, for the third straight year. All the details are over on our business site, D Business Daily.

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D CEO Again Named Best Regional Business Magazine in U.S.

For the third straight year, D CEO was named the country’s best regional business magazine in The Alliance of Area Business Publishers’ annual Editorial Excellence awards. The “gold” or first-place award for Best Magazine was one of D CEO’s nine awards in the annual competition, which honors excellence in journalism, photography, and design. In all […]

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SAGA Pod: Exit Interview with Former DISD Supe Mike Miles

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. On his way out of town, former DISD superintendent Mike Miles stopped by the SAGA Pod world headquarters to discuss all things education: teacher evaluations, pre-K, bonds — you know, the sexy stuff. Also, I tell him he’s “stubborn as hell” — so that was fun. Remember, the iTunes link is here if you wanna subscribe. As always, please listen with your ears.

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Leading Off (6/29/2015)

Two Small Earthquakes In Irving This Weekend. They were tiny (a 2.3 early Saturday morning, a 2.1 early Sunday morning), so you will be forgiven if you did not feel them. In case you were wondering, I could not be more thrilled that my hometown has been officially dubbed “earthquake country.”

Texas AG Ken Paxton Says State County Clerks Who Have “Religious Objections” Can Refuse To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples. S-i-g-h.

Lewisville’s Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Racks Up Second DWI. Greg Tierney was arrested after driving eastbound on I-35.

Jogger Finds Body in Oak Cliff Alley. The body appears to be of a teenage boy, dead of an apparent gunshot wound. A jogger found him on West Brooklyn Avenue around 7:30 am. He has not yet been identified.

Cowboys May Have Used Drones Illegally. Whoops. Apparently, the team might not have gotten the correct FAA waiver to film practices via drone. It’s cool, though. The Cowboys probably won’t have to pay a fine.

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DISD Trustees Plan to Name Michael Hinojosa Interim Superintendent

After days of negotiation, a majority of Dallas ISD trustees plan to vote tonight to name Mike Miles’ predecessor, Michael Hinojosa, as the interim superintendent, according to multiple administration and board sources.

Hinojosa left the district in 2011, went to Georgia to run a suburban Atlanta district, then quit in 2014 to return to his family in Texas and work for an education company. The reason trustees see him as the best possible interim superintendent: he won’t want the job full-time, he has credibility with many disparate stakeholders in the DISD community (Bill Betzen loves him!), and yet he will gladly sign on to promote the district’s (likely) bond package (he sold the last bond package) and protect Miles’ key reform initiatives. That’s because Hinojosa was seen as sort of a “pre-reformer” — laying the groundwork for teacher evaluation, bringing in TFA, etc.

The key quality trustees feel that he brings: stability. He’s likely to keep the cabinet in place, and gives hope that the full-time successor will do so as well.

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After SCOTUS Decision, Jack Evans and George Harris Go Get Their Marriage License

If you recall, we wrote about Jack Evans and George Harris, a wonderful couple in their 80s who have been fighting for marriage equality in Dallas and beyond since the early ’60s, in our 40th anniversary issue. They founded what would become the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and started The Dallas Way, a project aimed at presenting the history of the GLBT community in Dallas. They were married in March of last year, but the marriage wasn’t recognized here. Evans and Harris have been together for some 55 years.

Minutes ago, to my utter delight, I saw their photo come across Twitter as they joined a growing line for marriage licenses at the Dallas Records Building, hours after the SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

Congratulations to Jack and George, congratulations to all.

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Podcast: Dwaine Caraway on His Commissioners Court Run And Why He’d Always Rather Be Fishing

With apologies to the other wonderful guests that EarBurner has hosted during its first few months of delivering auditory goodness to your favorite podcatcher on a weekly (sorry about last week) basis, now-former Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway shot to the top of the power rankings when he stopped by the Old Monk yesterday.

You may come to listen to him talk about his run for the Dallas County Commissioners Court, but it’s his plans to host a televised fishing show called Come Go Fishin’ With Dwaine that will have you insisting to all of your friends that they need to subscribe to the D Magazine podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or through their favorite podcatcher.

I’ve got to bypass the show notes today, I’m afraid. If you don’t already know anything (or even if you know a lot) about Dwaine Caraway, you should read Zac’s great profile from last year. Then, seriously, just get listening:

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