What Happened in West: The Dallas Morning News tackles the West, Texas explosion in detail, reconstructing the event and aftermath in this piece:
At that moment, West joined Aurora, Newtown, Katrina and other one-word symbols of tragedy. Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Bombings. Shootings. For now, the word “West” equals the word “explosion.”
As ‘Burbs Run Short on Water, They Turn to Dallas For Help: The North Texas Municipal Water District, which serves many of the northern Dallas suburbs, is already bracing for water use restrictions come June 1. Easing those restrictions is a new deal with Dallas Water Utilities that will direct upwards of 60 million gallons a day from the city’s reserves to the ‘burbs. That diverted usage won’t affect Dallas residents, DWU officials say. And the city is still fighting to create new reservoirs.
Cowboys Draft Was a Disaster: Actually, I have no idea if it was a disaster or not. Sports radio tells me that the Cowboys needed three or four starters out of this year’s draft, and it sounds like they picked up a bunch of projects.
Hey, you. Yeah, you. You like movies or the theater or going to concerts, yeah? Enjoy spectator sports? Sometimes watch TV, or listen to the radio? We thought so. Because of your unique qualifications, we’re inviting you to decide on the best arts and media and athletics in the Dallas area.
The balloting begins Monday, and as with our previous Best of Big D Readers’ Choice rounds, you can vote once per day (through May 12) from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile internet-connected device. We’ve assembled an elite list of nominees for each of our several categories, but you’ll be free to write in your favorites as well. The winners will be announced in the August issue of D Magazine.
Come to Dmagazine.com on Monday morning to get started. Meanwhile, jump to see the fabulous matters we’ll be asking you to judge.
12 West Firefighters Laid to Rest. The memorial service happened yesterday afternoon, and I’m sorry that we got so caught up in coverage of the Bush Center dedication that we didn’t take a moment to acknowledge the ceremony here on FrontBurner. Thousands gathered at Baylor University to honor the emergency workers who lost their lives in last week’s fertilizer plant explosion. President Obama was there, having flown down to Waco from Dallas on Marine One after attending the library opening in the morning. As the Star-Telegram reports, he said ”To the families and neighbors grappling with unbearable loss, we are here to say, ‘You are not alone. You are not forgotten. We may not all live here in Texas, but we’re neighbors, too. We’re Americans, too.” Senator John Cornyn, speaking on behalf of the Texas congressional delegation, praised the men’s bravery: “How does one find such love to be willing to lay down your life so that others may live? This will forever be the legacy of those who ran toward the fire last week.” Meanwhile, the Insurance Council of Texas estimates that the incident resulted in more than $100 million in damage. Let’s not forget that the residents of West are going to need our help to rebuild.
Lake Levels Prompt Tighter Water Restrictions. The North Texas Municipal Water District, which serves much of Collin County, Rockwall County, Kaufman County, Hunt County, and northeastern Dallas County, has announced it’s already imposing Stage 3 of its drought plan, effective June 1. Stage 3 limits lawn watering to once per week. Because we’ve had relatively little rain this year, the district’s primary reservoirs have seen their levels drop dangerously low. These problems are exacerbated by the fact that the district still can’t draw water from Lake Texoma, which normally would account for 28% of its raw water supply, because of the presence of zebra mussels. NTMWD had to implement Stage 3 in 2011 as well (you’ll remember sweating through that awful-hot summer), but didn’t need to do it that year until Sept. 28. Is it time for another gubernatorial proclamation of Days of Prayer For Rain?
Richardson Political Group Sends Controversial Mailer Bashing Mayoral Candidate. The candidate is Amir Omar, whose clashing with the city’s established powers was written about in our April issue. The mailer funded by the Richardson Coalition accuses Omar of being behind on paying his child support, and of having declared bankruptcy to get out of his student loans. Omar denies the allegations. His ex-wife backs up his story. The Morning News had the pertinent documents looked at by a divorce attorney, and the truth seems to depend on the meaning of the word “arrears.”
Dallas Cowboys Draft Wisconsin Center With First Pick. I’m not sure why (and neither are some experts), but the team gave up the No. 18 pick in yesterday’s first round of the NFL Draft in exchange for the 31st pick and a third-round selection. With that 31st pick, they took center Travis Frederick of the University of Wisconsin. They made Uncle Barky happy, at least.
Last night the Texas Rangers defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (yes, that’s their official, obnoxious name) by a score of 11-3. Yu Darvish again looked like a Cy Young candidate, striking out 11 in six shutout innings.
From those events, a user on SB Nation’s Rangers site, Lone Star Ball, created the glorious .gif you see here, which actually layers five different images to allow you to watch all of the pitches with which Yu embarrassed the Angels’ vaunted lineup. It’s apparently been making the Internet rounds, deservedly, this morning.
I don’t know if it’ll catch on, but this video is pretty funny. But I might be partial because FC Dallas is currently my second-favorite team in town.
My sincerest apologies. I did not conduct due diligence before my post this morning. Leaving out this .gif was a major oversight.
If I didn’t know this occurred over the weekend at the Ballpark, I’d say it was a pitch-perfect representation of how the 2012 season went for the Texas Rangers. Let us hope it doesn’t prove prophetic of 2013.
(H/T SB Nation)
Your Texas Rangers are in first place after completing a weekend sweep of the Seattle Mariners at the Ballpark. I was lucky enough to be there Friday night, when the team paid tribute to last week’s tragedy in Boston by having the crowd sing along with “Sweet Caroline” (a tradition at Red Sox home games) and Yu Darvish pitched pretty, pretty, pretty good.
So everything is as it should be in the baseball world, you say? Well, as Jonah Keri of Grantland writes today in his weekly rankings of all 30 MLB teams, the Rangers (ranked No. 2) have benefited from a relatively weak early schedule, and mounting injuries (most significantly Matt Harrison’s herniated disc) are going to make matters more challenging once the team faces more talented competition.
The schedule gets tougher in May, which creates something of a race against baseball’s nonexistent clock. When Harrison’s injury got downgraded from a 15-day DL stint to “you might not see the guy till August,” a few nervous Rangers fans wondered aloud if a trade might be in order. Problem is, you can count the number of major deals consummated before June 1 during the past decade on one hand. So if, say, a Jurickson Profar–for–Oscar Taveras trade sometime in the next four weeks is highly unlikely, a deal that packages Profar and others for, say, David Price is ostensibly impossible. Same goes for an Ian Kinsler–for–front-line starting pitcher trade, or really any kind of move that would bag a notable starting pitcher.
So the mantra for now is, hold on. Colby Lewis is making steady progress in his rehab after flexor tendon surgery, throwing on the side for now, then slated for an extended spring training start or two before month’s end, with the hope of going for a rehab assignment soon afterward and ideally returning at some point in May. There’s no timetable for Perez’s return, but he’s at least slated to start throwing live batting practice in the next few days. Swingman Kyle McClellan could pitch some meaningful innings once he’s healthy too.
Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch has a Q&A with longtime broadcaster Verne Lundquist. Around here, you may remember him from his days at WFAA. If you watch college football, you likely think of him as your kindly Uncle Verne. Here is how he met Nancy, his wife of 30 years:
We met in a bar — and I hasten to add it was an upscale bar in Dallas. It was a place called Arthur’s. I walked in after I did the 10 o’clock news (at WFAA-TV in Dallas) and I just didn’t want to go home. Nancy and her date were at the bar and her date recognized me from local television and invited me over to have a drink. He introduced me to his date and her name was Nancy Miller. It was their first date, a blind date. So we sat and chatted and her date, Raymond Willie, said to me, “Listen, I know you are single. I’m going to fix you up with a friend of mind and we can all go to dinner.” He looked at Nancy and asked her, “What are you doing Thursday night?” She said, “Nothing.” He said, “Good, you’ll be my date and we’ll fix Verne up with this schoolteacher friend of mine and we’ll go to dinner.” Meanwhile, I’m looking at Nancy thinking she is the prettiest thing I have ever seen in my life. So, Raymond finally left to take care of his business and I asked Nancy, “So, how involved are you with Raymond? She said, “Oh, this is our first date and it’s a blind date.” So I said, “Well forget what he is talking about on Thursday night. What are you doing on Saturday night?” She said, “I think I am doing whatever you are doing.”
Unrelated: I just accepted an internship with Lundquist and will be leaving D immediately. You guys have been great.
I’ve put it after the jump, because it’s a Vine video, and you don’t need that noise every single time you pull up FrontBurner. Before we get there, a few things:
1) With Saturday night’s win, FC Dallas is comfortably atop the table in MLS’ Western Conference, with a 5-1-1 record and 16 points. Winning is fun.
2) I can’t recommend the FC Dallas experience enough. I’ve been to two matches so far this season, both wins, and it’s a great (and pretty cheap) time. Except for the parking situation which, while free, is an insane riddle of unparalleled horribleness, or maybe I just parked in the wrong spot.
3) Seriously. Go see FC Dallas play. OK, now the missed PK.
Evan Gattis wasn’t expected to play in Major League Baseball this season. The 26-year-old catcher was a “non-roster invitee” to the Atlanta Braves spring training and was slated to spend 2013 back in A-ball, maybe Double-A.
I knew this before watching the Saturday afternoon game on Fox between the Braves and the Washington Nationals. Gattis, who’d made an ugly error on an easy pop-up on Friday night more than redeemed himself on Saturday with a two-run blast off the Nats’ Stephen Strasburg (who is among the best pitchers on the planet). That’s when the broadcasters got talking about Gattis’ story.
He’s from Forney. According to the Braves media guide, that’s still where he resides, and he attended Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas. He was supposed to go to Texas A&M to play ball, but as this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article recounts, he chose the road far less traveled. He took to a semi-itinerant life working as a ski lift operator and a housekeeper at a hostel, among other jobs. A few years ago he was a janitor for Datamatic, which is in Plano. Eventually he decided he wanted to return to baseball, even though he’d been away from the game for several years.
Gattis made the team largely because the Braves’ usual starter is on the disabled list. Meanwhile, with Gattis behind the plate, the Braves have the best record in baseball through the first two weeks, 11-1. And Gattis has found himself hitting fourth (the “clean-up” position) in their lineup because he’s off to such a hot start, boasting a .324 batting average, and 1.120 OPS (that’s very good) with 4 homers in 9 games played. Standing 6-foot, 4-inches with 230 pounds on his frame, sporting a beard, and swinging his bat without the use of batting gloves, it’s easy to see why some of his teammates refer to him as a “lumberjack.” He had an even better name playing the the Venezuelan Winter League: El Oso Blanco (“The White Bear”).
Hope he keeps playing like a star. His Twitter avatar, a picture of his photo ID from his time as a janitor, is a reminder of where he’s been.
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 . . .
Check it out here. A few more after the jump.
No $20 Million Severance For American Airlines CEO. As part of an order approving the airline’s merger with US Airways, a judge has disallowed the payment that the bankrupt airline planned to give Tom Horton, who will step down as the company’s CEO once the merger is complete. The $19,875,000 Horton was slated to receive is more than 10 times the average severance paid to outgoing AMR employees during the bankruptcy. According to the judge, the proposed payment exceeds what’s allowed under federal bankruptcy code. But maybe this meddling judge just doesn’t understand the way that big corporations have to operate, huh? I mean, how’s American Airlines ever going to attract top talent to lead it into bankruptcy again if Horton gets only a piddly $9 million or $10 million severance check?
Second Fatal Accident For Driver. Loyd Rieve, 65, was the bus driver in yesterday’s accident in Irving that left two women dead and injured 42 others. In 1998 he drove a tour bus that ran over a good Samaritan helping at an accident scene. A grand jury declined to indict him then. There’s been no official determination of the cause of yesterday’s incident.
Jasso, Griggs Spar Over Trinity Toll Road, Gas Drilling. Due to redrawn Dallas City Council districts, incumbent council members Scott Griggs and Delia Jasso are running against each other for the District 1 seat. At last night’s debate, Griggs was working hard to draw a contrast between them, arguing that he’s the only candidate to oppose all natural gas drilling in urban areas. (Jasso indicated she’s not a big fan of the drilling but that the city may be legally obligated to allow it because of a lease it granted five years ago.) Griggs also was adamant about his opposition to building a toll road between the Trinity River levees. (Jasso said other options for the toll road should be looked at, but that the citizens of Dallas have asked for the road through a referendum, and so the city should do what the voters want.)
High School Coach Sues Cowboys Stadium Over Runaway Golf Cart. Willie Amendola, the football coach at Spring’s Dekaney High School, filed suit earlier this week. In 2011, while he was being interviewed after his team won the state title, an unmanned golf cart plowed into him from behind. He flew back into the cart’s seat and had to roll out when he couldn’t get it under control himself. He’s asking for $1 million in damages due to personal injury and “great personal anguish and embarrassment.” Look for his embarrassment in the video above.
We found another video of Jacqueline Buckingham that her son Chase made. Enjoy. (Don’t bail before Allen Iverson makes his appearance, at the 45-second mark.)
Yu Darvish, pitcher for your Texas Rangers, is from Japan. Leonys Martin, outfielder for your Texas Rangers, is from Cuba. Neither is a proficient speaker of English.
But from the looks of this tweet last night after the Rangers’ win over the Angels (passed along by a helpful FrontBurnervian), Yu’s doing what he can to encourage his teammate’s enthusiastic use of exclamation points:
Good English bro!! RT @leonys27martin Great win tonite!!!!Everydaywill be better good night to everyone !!!!!!!
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) April 8, 2013