D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Are There Any Decent Men in Dallas?

You might also consider this post an early plug for our 10 Most Eligible Men in Dallas contest, which will begin in the middle of next month. Sarah Hepola’s funny, thoughtful piece about her adventures in dating men she met online appeared in the February 2013 issue of D Magazine, and it is one of the 40 greatest stories we’ve ever published.

Spoiler Alert: Sarah hasn’t found her Mr. Right by the end of the article, so I asked her how things have been going in that realm since. She replied:

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Leading Off (7/22/14)

Mike Miles Gets Contract Extension. DISD trustees met for more than nine hours before deciding early this morning to give their superintendent a two-year extension. Miles won’t get a raise, but he could earn $200,000 if he meets certain goals. Also, he’ll get to do eight days of outside consulting, but he’ll have to take vacation to do it. All in all, seems like a fair deal. But nine hours? That’s the biggest indication of what’s broken with the system.

Architects Come Out Against Trinity Toll Road. Huge op-ed in the paper today against the Trinity toll road. HUGE. It is signed by Betsy del Monte, Tip Housewright, and Bryce Weigand, all fellows of the American Institute of Architects. It carries the support of Myriam E. Camargo, Duncan Fulton III, Larry Good, Robert Meckfessel, Marcel Quimby, Craig Reynolds, and Dennis Stacy. They suggest we do two things: “First, abandon the Trinity Tollway as a poorly located, inappropriate measure from earlier times. Second, move ahead with the repairs necessary to keep I-345 safe and usable for the next few years, and no more.”

Will Lancaster Road Be Renamed for Nelson Mandela? That’s what Councilman Dwaine Caraway wants to do. Great idea. It has my full support. One minor tweak, though: instead of Nelson Mandela, let’s call it Riverview Road.

Cops Need Your Help. Early on the morning of July 16, several men dropped 16-year-old Eric Romero at Baylor. He had a gunshot wound to the head and did not survive. See if you can help.

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Morning News Says Mike Rawlings Should Run Again Because Mary Suhm

The DMN ran an editorial over the weekend that said Mike Rawlings should run for another term. My take: Sure, why not? He can’t build a coalition on the council, but he is onboard with school reform. I’m for the latter more than the former.

The paper’s reasons Mayor Mike should run again? (Other than because he’s “a salesman with a soul,” of course.)

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The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: There Was a Bad Mutha Who Lived in an SHU

In the last edition of this column, I noted that the powers that be here at the Seagoville Correctional Institution had seen fit to place me in the SHU, also known as “the hole,” without actually accusing me of any particular infraction punishable by time in the hole. Three weeks later, I’m still sitting in what I like to think of as jail-jail, waiting for the internal prison security agency known as SIS to charge me with something or let me go or beat me with a stick or whatever it is that they do here. Incidentally, I’m unclear as to what “SIS” stands for, but I do feel obligated to point out, just for the record, that it’s just one letter shy of ISIS. I’m just saying, is all.

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Leading Off (7/18/14)

Dallas ISD Investigator Placed on Leave. Jeremy Liebbe managed the Professional Standards Office, a investigative unit of the school district’s human resources department. He recently led the probe into the sports recruiting scandal that led to the firing of 15 employees and had previously made a name for himself as a DISD police officer by uncovering the “cheese” heroin epidemic. On Thursday he was placed on paid leave and escorted out of his office by district police. The district declined to comment on the reason for the move but did say it’s unrelated to the recruiting scandal.

Ellis County Judge Paid For Work She Didn’t Do. The state of Texas pays county judges — whose primary responsibility is presiding the commissioners court that oversees county government — an extra $15,000 a year if they devote 40 percent of their job to judicial cases. Carol Bush filed a request for that payment for the last couple years even though she didn’t hear any cases. The money, more than $22,000, has been repaid, but Bush is under investigation to determine if she committed any crimes.

Mortuary Gives Woman Wrong Ashes. It’s the same place in Fort Worth where, on Tuesday, eight bodies were found after the mortuary’s operators had been evicted. Michelle Jones-McElhanon told Fox 4 that her mother, who died three months ago, was supposed to have been cremated but was instead among the bodies found. Jones-McElhanon had already been given what was supposed to have been her mother’s ashes.

Enjoy the Cool Weather. Yesterday the temperature only got up to 79. That was a record-low high for the day. Today’s forecast calls for a high of 83. It is July 18. So much for global warming, amiright?

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Dallas Weather Forecast: DUCK!

Nothing much happening in downtown Dallas right now, except for a bunch of clouds. But — holy hell — up north in Denton and Cooke counties today’s heavy rains have already arrived and it sounds like chaos, with highways shut down and roads flooded.

WFAA says we’re going to several rounds of rain through tomorrow. So a downpour is coming your way later today, if it hasn’t reached you already.

Be careful out there.

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Leading Off (7/17/14)

Here Is Pretty Much All You Need to Know Regarding How This Prime Prep Mess Happened. “Members of the State Board of Education, the elected panel charged with authorizing charters, were captivated by [Deion] Sanders’ involvement when Prime Prep came up for approval in fall 2011. Some members asked him to pose for photos and sign autographs before the charter was approved.” Solid hustle, guys.

Funeral Home Director Under Investigation Arrested For Failure To Pay Child Support. On Monday, eight bodies in various states of decomposition were found in the building from which Dondre Johnson and his Johnson Family Mortuary had recently been evicted. Yesterday, Johnson was arrested for failing to pay child support. Good news: he has a few days to salvage this week. Bad news: it still could get worse.

Exoneree Working To Help Exonerate Others. Charlie Scott started House of Renewed Hope in 2010, with fellow exoneree Johnnie Lindsey; Scott served 13 years for a murder he didn’t commit, and Lindsey served 26. They investigate cases, pay for DNA testing, polygraphs, attorney’s fees, and help in whatever other ways they can. Mooney: this is my official dibs on the screenplay rights to this awesome story.

Beagles Rescued From Scientific Experimentation! Their names are Chip and Dale! Look!

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Clayton Williams Runs For Governor

I sort of remember Bill Clements vs. Mark White in 1986, but the first Texas gubernatorial election to which I paid any measurable attention was state treasurer Ann Richards’ victory over West Texas oilman Clayton Williams in 1990. The GOP wasn’t yet the wholly dominant party in our state, but neither did the Democrats still hold the iron grip they’d maintained politically since Reconstruction.

My memory of the election centers on Williams’ TV ad in which he explained his plan to put drug offenders to work busting rocks in hard-labor boot camps rather than lounging around in luxurious prison cells. Behind him is shown a group of college students who were dressed up as convicts, swinging pick axes and shovels. I was in junior high school and not terribly political at the time, but I remember thinking that this guy was laying on the tough-on-crime schtick a little thick.

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Leading Off (7/16/14)

Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Faces Closure: According to the TEA, the school may be shut down due to four reasons. Surprisingly, none of them are “Prime Prep was founded by a football player who has no idea how to run a school.” It’s also fun to read these two (one, two) Deion tweets from the past two days, and wonder how one reconciles with the other.

Formerly Conjoined Twins Spend First Birthday at Home: The Ezell twins celebrated their first birthday together, 11 months after being separated and one month after leaving the hospital. This drew a collective “Cot damn, these kids are cute” when we saw the party photos.

Dead Bodies Found Inside Vacant Funeral Home: “I have some embalmed bodies back there, which ya’ll had seen them bring out,” said former funeral home owner Dondre’ Johnson. ”They were already in the casket; already had a funeral [and] one was ready to go to Nairobi.” First rule of fibbing: make up something so specific that it has to be true. Nairobi? Perfect!

Cowboys to Release Kyle Orton: Frankly, I was worried about how he’d continue to balance his commitments to both the Cowboys and Workaholics, so this seems like a solid move for all parties involved.


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10 Reasons You Should Attend Best of Big D Live

1. You’ll get a sneak peek at some of this year’s winners in our annual Best of Big D issue.

2. Guests will enjoy complimentary beer, wine, cocktails, and same menu items from some of the best bars and restaurants in town.

3. DJ Sober and singer Sam Lao will perform.

4. The Rustic is a swell place to spend an evening eating and imbibing outdoors.

5. There’s a Jackopierce concert right after the party.

6. You can get 20% off an UBER ride to and from the event with the promo code ‘BOBDAL.’

7. Tickets are only $50

8. Tickets are only $65 if you want to attend the Jackopierce show too.

9. It’s an opportunity to swear at Tim Rogers to his face. (NOTE: Offer not valid after the Jackopierce show has begun.)

10. You know you don’t have any better plans for 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, July 23.

So get your ticket now. While they’re still available.

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Poll: Which Dallas Sports Team Will Win a Championship Next?

The Texas Rangers were expected by many baseball experts to contend for the American League West division crown. Instead, they’ve been beset by injuries and have limped into the All-Star Break having lost eight in a row and 22 of their last 25. It’s the worst such stretch for the club since 1972, the first year that the team played in Arlington (having relocated from Washington, D.C., where they were the Senators.) That team finished with 100 losses. This year’s team owns the worst record in Major League Baseball. It’s time — after cheering on Yu Darvish and Adrian Beltre in the All-Star Game tonight — to start thinking about next year.

Meanwhile the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks were both impressive, if unsuccessful, in their first-round playoff match-ups this spring. And each of those teams has made major additions to their rosters that raise hopes for next season.

So, we asked a version of this question back in May, but given what’s changed since then, it seems like an appropriate moment to ask again.

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Leading Off (7/15/14)

Storms Hit North Texas. That front that moved through yesterday surprised meteorologists with its intensity. Winds hit 60 mph in places, bringing down power lines and snapping utility poles. A house in McKinney caught fire after being struck by lightning. As of 6:40 this morning, Oncor indicates that it has 4,835 Dallas County customers without power.

Brother Testifies Against Brother in Murder Case. Fascinating story about a murder that happened way back in 1986. Here’s Naheed Rajwani’s lead: “Face-to-face for the first time in 27 years, Kenneth and Lonnie Thomas didn’t exchange a single word. They didn’t embrace. They didn’t smile. The brothers shared a home for years. On Monday, they shared a courtroom.”

Fight Between Rev. Robert Jeffress and Rev. Frederick Haynes III. Jeffress is the pastor of First Baptist Dallas. Haynes is pastor of Friendship West Baptist. The former says God establishes borders, and we shouldn’t allow the migrant children into our country. The latter says: “‘Reverend Downtown’ says, ‘Turn them back.’ I don’t know what Jesus you know; I don’t know what Jesus you know.” Advantage Haynes, if for no other reason than he came up with the nickname Reverend Downtown.

Will Central Expressway Be Tolled? Not if Collin County Judge Keith Self has anything to say about it. He has come up with the notion of “toll fatigue.” In related news, I would like to state for the record that I have “mowing the yard fatigue,” “explanation of benefits fatigue,” and “fatigue fatigue.”

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