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The State Fair Made Errol McKoy Rich. Now He Plans To Make Even More Money.

Errol McKoy used to run the State Fair of Texas. He retired last year. In 2010, when he was making about $760,000 (when directors of comparably sized fairs were making about $200,000), we published a story that basically asked: WTF? I bring this up so you have context for the story that Cheryl Hall wrote McKoy’s next venture, a magnetic-powered jet boat amusement ride that will cost about $15 million to build and that McKoy projects will earn him up to $1.5 million a piece in royalties. Here’s the line in Hall’s story that caught my eye:

For the last decade, McKoy has worked with engineers to refine his propulsion system.

So McKoy was doing all this work on the weekends? I mean, I know for the past decade he was working for the Fair. And, judging from his salary, he was working hard. Maybe the jet boat development was just after hours? Or when he took vacation time?

Asking for a friend.

Things To Do In Dallas This Weekend: Oct. 2-4

Everyone should take a moment of their day to fully appreciate this photo (above) that Jason Janik took at the fair the other day. I’ve spent at least 30 minutes exploring it, and continue to be amazed. I’m convinced it’s a masterpiece. It’s perfectly composed. Those people — Are they a couple? Relatives? Two strangers sharing a moment? — are eating the heck out of those corn dogs. Big Tex looks like he’s giving one of those “what can you do” shrugs. I think I see a fanny pack.

After that, start planning your weekend. I hope it brings you all the joy of a corn dog eaten under the watchful gaze of Big Tex. With the State Fair of Texas in town — along with some new plays, barbecue festivals, and Ricky Martin — it can be done.

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A Pretty Fantastic, Unofficial, Redesigned Mavs Logo

Addison Foote gave himself a challenge: redesign all 30 NBA team logos in 30 days. The result is here, and his reworked and updated takes on the logos are almost all really good (I’m not crazy about the Atlanta one), most with subtle shapes that represent something iconic about the city without screaming and pointing. I really like his throwback Mavs logo, because I’ve always loved the original and have never fallen in love with what the team uses now. “I used both old and new Mavs logos as inspiration for this,” Foote writes. “I based it mainly off the old logo where the ‘M’ is wearing a cowboy hat. I updated it a bit and used negative space to showcase a horses ears and head.”

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Leading Off (10/2/15)

Texas Rangers Clinch Playoff Spot. With a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, the team secured a spot in Major League Baseball’s postseason. They also sit three games ahead of Houston in the American League West standings, meaning with just one more win or a single Astros lost over the final three games of the regular season, they’ll claim their first division title since 2011. You remember what happened that year, right? The next stage in this remarkable, unexpected season for the Rangers is likely a visit to either Toronto or Kansas City for the first game of the Division Series next Thursday. If the Angels somehow take the final three games against the Rangers and the Astros win out, there’d be a tie atop the AL West. In that case, the Rangers would host a tiebreaker game in Arlington on Monday. The winner of that tiebreaker would advance to the Division Series, and the loser would get to play the Yankees in the Wild Card game.

Neiman Marcus Lays Off 500. The number of corporate and support positions eliminated by the luxury retailer represents 3 percent of its workforce of 16,000. CEO Karen Katz said the job cuts were made to save money that can be used to invest in future growth.

Arlington Family Accused of Faking Mental Illness. 55-year-old Doreen Mitchell, 29-year-old Michael Mitchell, 27-year-old Sonny Mitchell, and 58-year-old John Mitchell are charged with defrauding the Social Security Administration of $462,000 in benefits.

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Bachelor Host Chris Harrison Hates ‘Bitter’ D Magazine Article

The Advocate has a Q&A with Lake Highlands native Chris Harrison, host of TV’s The Bachelor. He’s not too happy about an article in the July issue of our print product:

It’s sad that some of the worst stuff comes from my own hometown. D Magazine did an article about a book signing I did, and it was the most bitter, poorly written article I’ve seen in a long time. There’s been horrible things said about me over the years and I have a thick skin, but this one hit a cord with me. And I actually gave my time to this reporter during this event — and I typically like D Magazine and its writers — but not that one.

Mr. Harrison, we’ve taken your criticism under advisement. The writer, Laura Kostelny, no longer works at D Magazine.

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Downtown Plano Wins National Award

StreetSmart has more on the honor from the American Planning Association:

Downtown Plano, as a leader in suburban downtown revitalization, represents a shifting tide where downtowns are no longer single purpose CBDs or simply for quaint antique shopping.  Instead, as the award suggests, downtowns are for living again.  Where old and new fit together seamlessly and cooperatively towards making for a better place for residents, workers, and experience for visitors.

Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Oct. 1

It’s a new month, which means 25 new things you must do. It’s (almost) a new week at the State Fair of Texas, which means a new weekly guide to all the food and fun out at Fair Park. And it’s a new day, which means there are new things to do in Dallas tonight.

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Susan Hawk Returns to Work, Outlets Scramble To Publish Stories

On her first day back at the DA’s office after two months of treatment for depression, Susan Hawk held a brief press conference, said she was excited to be back and stronger than ever, and then took no questions. Last night, Texas Monthly put online a 4,500-word Hawk story written by Skip Hollandsworth. He got some good quotes, some of them anonymous. If you’ve been following the story from the start, there isn’t much new. What is new is the take from the Texas Observer. Headline of a 1,200-word post by Amy McCarthy: “Sexism, Stigma and Susan Hawk: Let’s Find a New Way to Talk About the Dallas DA.” The first sentence tells you pretty much everything you need to know about this thing: “There was no hotter topic in the Dallas political gossip mill this summer than the ‘disappearance’ of Susan Hawk, Dallas’ newly-elected district attorney.” If you’ll allow me, I’d like to examine the quotes around the word “disappearance.”

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Leading Off (10/1/15)

Susan Hawk to return to work today. Today´s the day that a lot of people have wondered about. Will Dallas County DA Susan Hawk be at her desk and ready to work? The past nine months have been troublesome for her and others—only time will tell if she regains her footing.

MACARTHUR high school bomb threat turns out to be hoax. Yesterday, Irving´s MacArthur High School was evacuated due to a bomb threat. After officers searched the building and came up empty-handed, they allowed the students to return. No word yet on who called in the threat. With the Ahmed saga, MacArthur High has had a month.

Police investigate possible kidnapping of teenage girl in Arlington. Yesterday evening, a teenage girl reported that men in a dark blue SUV had tried to kidnap her while she was jogging. Police are still investigating the whereabouts of these men.

National soccer hall of fame museum to come to frisco. The U.S. Soccer Federation and FC Dallas announced yesterday that Frisco will be home to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum by 2017. More details to come at a news conference on October 14. Soccer!

Would a Downtown Dallas Rangers Stadium Just Be Another Boondoggle?

Here’s one thing we learned yesterday: mixing sports with urban planning sure gets people’s attention. There was a huge response to my post that argued that slagging attendance at Globe Life Park in Arlington should push Dallas city officials to woo the team to a new downtown Dallas. Why? Well, because that’s the way baseball go.

The conversation in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter brought up a number of interesting points and counterpoints, and I wanted to touch on a few of them.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: September 30

In this September-closing edition of “Things To Do In Dallas Tonight,” we continue to besmirch a British psychedelic act that just won’t die, ponder the post-Bush Administration career of Condoleezza Rice, and recommend an MLK play showing upstairs at the Wyly. There is also some talk of fried cheeseburgers.

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