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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Dallas Confirms Season’s First Positive West Nile Test

Not in a person — in a mosquito pool near the 6600 block of Brookshire Drive in North Dallas. The city is planning to spray insecticide tonight and tomorrow between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the area bounded by Azalea Lane on the north, Tulane Boulevard on the west, Airline Road on the east, and Walnut Hill Lane on the south. From the city’s release:

While the insecticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for treatment, residents in the above areas should avoid contact with the spray by staying indoors. Persons inside a vehicle while trucks are actively spraying should remain in their vehicles with the windows up and the air conditioner on until the trucks pass and the spray is no longer visible. Persons out during the scheduled spraying time should be alert for trucks and should not follow them. Residents who come in contact with the spray are advised to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. The spray breaks down quickly in the presence of sunlight and has no residual effect.

Zac’s mosquito source could not be reached for comment.

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What It Feels Like When You Shutter a Furr’s Fresh Buffet

Perhaps you heard about the Furr’s thing. There was a Furr’s Fresh Buffet off LBJ and S. Hampton. It closed. Councilman Dwaine Caraway is not happy about that. He said:

“That Furr’s was doing mega-business. Mega-business. And it closed out of nowhere. People showed up for work and didn’t know it was closed. And you know I am not happy about it. I am shocked, unhappy and disappointed. I am real ticked about it. We participate and patronized it, and overnight it’s taken away from us. It’s like giving a kid a special computer game for Christmas, and all of the sudden he comes home and it’s taken away from him.”

I feel his pain — but in a slightly different way. Depending on the season and my mood, when a Furr’s closes …

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Should There Be More Soccer Talk on Local Sports Radio?

Peter Welpton wasn’t sure what to do next. A two-decade-plus veteran of radio, Welpton had made a career change three years ago when he took a job a digital development the Dallas Morning News to help the paper improve its technology. But earlier this year he became a victim of his own success: To help pay for for some of the technology strategy and partnerships Welpton had pitched, he and others in his department were let go.

Oh, well. That’s business. And instead of wallowing in bitterness, Welpton asked himself, “What do I love?” He came up with two answers: soccer and The Ticket (Sports radio 1310AM/96.7FM). So he put together a proposal and took it to Ticket management: Let me put together a soccer show. The Ticket’s response: “HAHAHAHAHA who let you in, no, seriously, get out.” He revised his pitch: How about a World Cup show? The response: “Hey, Budweiser might sponsor that.”

Thus was born Bud Light’s World Cup Kick Around, which has run weekday evenings at 7 p.m. (and other times) during the World Cup. For soccer fans like me, it was wonderful to hear informative, insightful soccer talk. Now that the show is about to air for the last time (it will bracket Sunday’s 2 p.m. World Cup final, from 11-1 and 4-6), here’s a quick Q&A with Welpton — which is just a cover so I can make one last pitch to sports radio suits that if you want the next generation of sports fans, you need more soccer talk. [...]

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Leading Off (7/11/14)

How Soon Until Every Dallas Highway Is Tolled? Tomorrow new express lanes will open on Interstate 35E, allowing drivers to pay to bypass the usually congested interchange from I-35E to Interstate 635. Meanwhile some Collin County leaders are pushing back against a Texas Department of Transportation proposal to make the HOV lane on U.S. Highway 75 a managed toll lane. Their counterproposal is to get rid of the HOV lane entirely, opening it up for all traffic.

ACE Cash Express to Pay $10 Million For Illegal Tactics. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that the payday lender used false threats, intimidation, and harassing calls to bully borrowers. ACE also took on new loans to pay off old loans, purposefully driving customers even further into debt. The company’s training manual even had a graphic depicting how to keep the vicious cycle going.

Abducted Boy Reunited With Father.  At age 2, Drew Drees was taken by his mother, who didn’t have custodial rights after she and his father had divorced, to India. Eight years later, she returned with Drew and was promptly arrested at DFW Airport after arriving yesterday.

It’s July 11. Free slurpees, everybody.

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What Does Google Think of Dallas’ Best Suburbs?

By now you’ve surely been up and down and up again our ranking of the Best Dallas Suburbs. Our sortable chart allows you to reorder the 64 North Texas towns (Dallas is included for comparison’s sake) on the list by factors such as population, crime, education, or just the overall ambiance of the place.

So you know what our numbers say. But what does the all-knowing, all-seeing Google machine think of our cities? How does Google Maps present us to the world? To find out, I asked for directions from Dallas, Texas (unspecified address) to each of the suburbs (unspecified address). Wherever Google dropped its pin representing each, I took a look around via the magic of Street View.

That gives us the spot to which Google will direct travelers who don’t know exactly where they want to go in these towns, just that they want to get there. To my mind, that makes these locations the virtual entryway to each, the online face of these cities. I leave it to you to interpret whether there’s any deeper significance to where Google’s directions would take you and what it says about our suburbs.  (By the way, in Dallas, the location is Main Street downtown, right next to Plush nightclub)

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Leading Off (7/10/14)

President Obama Meets With Governor Perry, Local Officials. County Commissioner Elba Garcia called the meeting an “exchange of ideas.” President Obama said “Dallas has been incredibly compassionate.” This outstanding photo was taken.

Texas Rangers Now Dead Last In All Of MLB. The team is 38-53, they have lost 18 of their last 21 games, and they’re sitting on a .418 winning percentage. That’s a brutal way for the Rangers’ best stretch in franchise history to end. Let’s just hope it’s an injury-fueled aberration and they’re not on the verge of becoming the 1990s Dallas Mavericks.

DART’s Orange Line to DFW Airport Opens August 18. Awesome. Also would be great if there was a stop on any of the lines near my house, but whatever.

Fort Worth Woman Inadvertently Kills Coyote Pup. That’s what this story should say in the headline, or at least the first paragraph. But, no. You see the photo of the coyote pup. “Ah, that’s pretty cute. I’ll keep reading.” It says a woman found the little coyote behind a restaurant on the way to work and thought it was a dog, whom she named Taco. “Oh, ‘Taco’ — adorable. Let’s see what happens next.” After she took Taco to the animal hospital, two things were learned: 1) Taco was, in fact, a coyote. “Delightful misunderstanding. Could happen to anyone.” And 2) Taco had all the signs of having rabies. “Oh, but — oh, no. No. The only way to test for rabies is — dammit, not Taco!” The story ends, “The only way to test for rabies is to sample the brain tissue, so the coyote was euthanized and will be tested.” THANKS FOR NOTHING, FOX 4.

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