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Making Dallas Even Better

Leading Off (6/23/16)

Valley view center will officially be torn down. Dallas City Council members voted yesterday to tear down the 43-year-old Valley View Center at LBJ and Preston around the end of the year. Only the Sears store will survive. The Dallas Midtown development will be built in place of the mall, which has been struggling to survive for quite some time. Dallas Midtown will include features like a new-and-improved AMC mulitplex, a park, office buildings, a 250-room hotel, and a grocery store.

there might be a deck park above I-35E by the dallas zoo. The City Council approved a resolution that would endorse a Klyde Warren-esque deck park near the zoo as part of the Southern Gateway project. Some council members liked the idea. Carolyn King Arnold called it “lipstick on a pig.”

North texas areas to be sprayed for west nile. Mosquito traps in Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Richardson, and Lancaster tested positive for the virus. Crews plan to spray overnight Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday in Lancaster; overnight Thursday, Friday, and Sunday in Cedar Hill and Duncanville; and overnight Thursday and Friday in Richardson. Use that insect repellent, people.

Thanksgiving tower bomb threat determined to be hoax. Yesterday around 6 p.m. police and fire crews responded to a bomb threat at Thanksgiving Tower downtown. A disgruntled client on the phone with someone who worked in the building threatened to set off a bomb. The entire building was evacuated. The threat was determined to be a bluff, but it’s still being investigated.

Southbound I-35E to close Friday night. From 10 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday, the southbound lanes of the highway by downtown will all be closed for construction. Heavy traffic will also affect Woodall Rodgers and I-30, but drivers on I-35E will still be able to get on westbound I-30. So if you’re planning to drive through this area during that time, you’ve been warned.

Is the New Rangers Ballpark a Terrible Deal For Arlington?

This report by WFAA’s Brett Shipp and Mark Smith suggests that, instead of a 50-50 deal, with Arlington kicking in $500 million and the Rangers doing the same, it’s actually more like 80-20 in favor of the team.

There are a lot of “coulds” in the piece, so I honestly don’t know — having read through the story once and not having read the stadium agreement — if Arlington residents are getting jobbed here or not. Other than by living in Arlington. And one of the reporters is noted Oakley spokesmodel and legacy hire Brett Shipp, who has been known to make a very large amount of ado about nothing from time to time.

Yes, I know, no matter what Arlington residents are getting the short end by paying anything for a new stadium. I’m just looking for the degree to which that is happening. Is it cackling-villain-twirling-mustache-as-he-leaves-you-tied-to-the-train-tracks bad or I-can’t-believe-Tim-Headington-left-me-a-5-percent-tip bad?

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Leading Off (6/22/16)

More Details Emerge on McKinney Double Murder. Kelley Eugene Bigham was charged with murder for the fatal shooting of his estranged wife, Karen Bigham, and her twin sister on Monday. The Bigham’s college-age daughter, Kylie, says in the affidavit that her mother told her father she was divorcing him last week and he threatened her with a gun. Karen asked Kylie to come over Monday while Kelley collected his belongings. Kylie was at the house and ran out with her young son as shots were fired. She told police that her father texted her “I’m sorry” after the murder.

Collin County Baby Dies in Hot Car. A father in Melissa was arrested and charged with manslaughter Tuesday in the death of his 6-month-old daughter. She was left in the family’s minivan for up to four hours until the police were called at 1:30 p.m. According a neighbor, the girl’s father, Michael Thedford, is a substitute teacher at Melissa High School and has two other young children.

Dirk Will Be a Free Agent Soon. After opting out of his contract Tuesday, Dirk Nowitzki will be a free agent as of July 1. In the DMN, point guard Devin Harris says there is even less than a “tiny shred of a chance” that Nowitzki is going anywhere. Still, the Golden State Warriors have made it clear that they’ve got eyes for the Big German.

Mark Cuban Has Some Choice Words for Trump. Tabloid show Extra aired an interview with the Mavs owner in which Cuban says of Trump, “It’s rare that you see someone get stupider before your eyes…” I know what you’re thinking. Is Donald Trump getting stupider or is Donald Trump getting more stupid? Because in elementary school, we’re all taught that Donald Trump is getting more stupid, right? But, according to every online dictionary out there, Cuban is completely in the right to say that Donald Trump is getting stupider. Grammatically speaking, of course.

Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: June 21

In the 1980s, a trio of teenagers in Mississippi spent seven years filming a shot-for-shot, line-for-line adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark, blustering their way through budgetary limitations and a level of public ridicule that would have ground down anyone less dogged. The film is far from a masterpiece, but its enthusiasm for moviemaking, friendship, and Indiana Jones is inspiring. In a pre-internet era, their reimagined take on Raiders gradually became something of a cult sensation, but the film remained unfinished — one scene involving an exploding airplane and a decapitating propellor proved too much to pull off on a shoestring budget.

So, in their 40s, the men behind the “greatest fan film ever made” resolved to finish what they had started. Documentary filmmakers followed along to record the greatest fan film about the greatest fan film ever made. That documentary, Raiders!, is screening tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson, and while I’m not saying that you should download the adaptation itself on a BitTorrent site of ill repute, I am saying that you could. We’re already in pretty murky waters here regarding intellectual property theft and copyright law.

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Leading Off (6/21/16)

Double Murder in McKinney. Police say 50-year-old Kelley Eugene Bigham shot his estranged wife, Karen Bigham, and her twin, Kathy Boobar. The Binghams’ college-age daughter saw the murders. Early this morning, Kelley got to wear the towel for his mugshot at the Collin County jail.

Rangers! The lead to the Baltimore Sun’s story about last night’s game here at Globe Life: “The Orioles’ 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Monday night seemed to sting a little more than most defeats …”

James Ragland Says Susan Hawk Should Step Down. It pained him. He didn’t want to do it. The DMN columnist is much more comfortable operating in a wishy-washy world where there’s always something on one hand and another on the other. But even Ragland came out and said that the DA should resign.

Kroger Reveals ClickList Stores. You order online. You pick up your groceries curbside. And now you know which stores will offer the service. My assessment of the locations: Kroger likes the northern burbs.

PediaQ Raises $4.5M for Expansion of On-Demand Healthcare Service

Dallas home healthcare startup PediaQ has raised $4.5 million in bridge round of funding that will help expand its footprint and the services within its mobile application.

With the new funding, all of which came from Texas investors, the company plans to make its on-demand pediatric house calls available to communities including Rockwall, Heath, and Mansfield. In fall, it plans to launch in Austin, which will mark the company’s third market. It entered Houston earlier this year. The funding also will help fuel PediaQ’s video consultation services, which launched across DFW and Houston this month.

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Yes, Susan Hawk Needs To Step Down. But Not Immediately.

My colleague Zac Crain, having heard the news that DA Susan Hawk has yet again checked herself into an in-patient treatment facility, called for her to resign immediately. Zac is a hot-blooded man of Czech extraction from the town of West, Texas. He can be forgiven his impetuousness. No, no, no. Hawk need not resign immediately.

She needs to do it before Friday, August 26.

Here’s what happens when she steps down:

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I Hope Susan Hawk Is OK, And I Also Hope She Immediately Resigns

I haven’t always been incredibly sympathetic toward district attorney Susan Hawk. In my defense, and it’s not much of one, that was before it was revealed she was struggling with depression and mental illness. Now that all of that is out in the open, I am regretful of previous digs at her, and I truly hope she comes out healthy on the other side of this.

I also sincerely hope she does the right thing and resigns her post as district attorney, now that she is headed to an Arizona inpatient facility to continue her battle with depression.

It is her third hospital stay since taking office. And she just got back from the Menninger Clinic in Houston, where she was a patient near the end of last year, dealing with serious issues. Hawk has been out of the office since the beginning of May. Who knows when she’ll be back? And who knows if she’ll be able to stay in office when/if she does come back?

Messina Madson, Hawk’s first assistant, who’s been running the DA’s office in her stead, may be doing fine. I don’t know. But I do know she wasn’t elected.

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Chewbacca Mom Gets an Action Figure

The Grand Prairie woman whose Facebook Live video went viral hasn’t seen the end of her 15 minutes yet. Hasbro turned her into a toy:

The figurine is all Chewbacca from the neck down, but feature’s Payne’s famously smiling face and a tiny little version of her favorite mask. A Hasbro spokesperson told CNN the talking toy is loaded with 13 quotes from Payne’s video, including a version of her laugh and the now-iconic line “I’m such a happy Chewbacca!”

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The Mysterious Hope Hicks, Donald Trump’s Right-Hand Woman

Hope Hicks graduated from SMU six years ago. Now she’s Donald Trump’s press secretary. How, with so little experience, she wound up in that job is a bit of a mystery. This GQ story about that mystery is worth reading, if only for the opening scene:

I wanted Hicks to help me understand just how all this had come to pass, how a person who’d never worked in politics had nonetheless become the most improbably important operative in this election. But she declined my request to talk. Instead, she arranged something more surreal: I could talk about her with Donald Trump, in front of her.

I’ll say this for her: she’s got a great name.