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Leading Off (4/29/15)

Southwest Cancels Flights to Baltimore. As of this writing, things seem calm in Charm City. But the airline canceled at least 10 flights before last night’s curfew even went into effect, amid fears of rioting.

Independent Investigator Clears Richardson Mayor. Last month, there were calls for Laura Maczka’s resignation over accusations that a relationship with a developer affected her vote on zoning. Last night, a parade of citizens remarked on the relationship at the city council meeting. An investigator cleared Maczka on the ethics violations, but said she may have violated the Texas Freedom of Information Act when she didn’t turn over emails between her and the developer in question.

Video of Assistant DA’s DWI Arrest. The footage of Justin Moore, who was at the time a 27-year-old prosecutor with the Dallas DA’s office, serves as a lesson of what not to do on the off chance you’re ever pulled over after drinking. A quick list: 1) You shouldn’t try to speed away at over 100 mph. 2) You shouldn’t threaten to have the officers fired. 3) You shouldn’t ask the officers if they’re in the Ku Klux Klan. 4) You definitely shouldn’t call anyone an “Uncle Tom.” 5) You shouldn’t suggest that you hope you get fired. Because Justin Moore was.

Mavs Wish Rockets Well in Future Endeavors. The Houston Rockets beat the Mavericks last night, 103-94, clinching the series. Before the game was over, the Rockets team Twitter account posted a gun emoji next to a horse emoji and the words: “Shhhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon.” The Mavs responded gracefully, and the Rockets eventually apologized.

Dallas Cowboys Reveal Plans for Tomorrow Night’s Draft. There aren’t really any revelations here, but that’s how this story is billed. On a personal note, I’ve declared myself eligible for both the NFL and NBA drafts every year since I graduated high school. I feel like, despite my perceived lack of athletic prowess and my controversial statements about giraffes, I could really help the right organization. So far though, we haven’t found a GM gutsy enough to pull the trigger. Here’s hoping tomorrow night is the lucky night.

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Let’s Send Crime-Fighter Richard Jefferson of the Dallas Mavericks Undercover

TMZ broke the story that Dallas Mavericks forward Richard Jefferson, at the behest of the FBI, recorded a phone conversation between himself and his business manager Ted Kritza, in which Kritza allegedly admits to having withdrawn $2 million on Jefferson’s bank credit line. The matter is still under investigation.

Now that we know Jefferson isn’t afraid to go undercover to fight crime, what other local Dallas notables should we maybe have him give a ring?

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Leading Off (12/19/14)

Mavs Acquire Rajon Rondo. In a move that signals the 19-8 Dallas Mavericks are planning a serious run at the NBA title this season, the team traded three players and draft picks to the Boston Celtics to get the point guard. Rondo is set become a free agent after this season.

Pilot Dead After Small Plane Crash. He was attempting to land his aircraft at Mesquite Airport just after 6 p.m. last night when he struck two homes in Seagoville about 9 miles south of the airport and landed in an open field. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Cow Thefts on the Rise. Just two or three cows are now worth $4,000 to $5,000 thanks to our insatiable appetite for beef, so the number of incidents of cattle rustling at North Texas ranches is up. As this great recent Planet Money podcast episode explains, the crime is fairly easy to get away with.

UT-Dallas Graduates Its Youngest Ph.D. Ever. Austin Howard started college at age 13 and earned his bachelor’s degree before he was 16. Now, at 22, he’s got a doctorate in physics. Yeah, so what have you done with your life, slacker?

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Poll: The Most Beloved Head Coach in Dallas History?

A recent Grantland piece about the abrupt resignation of Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington referred to him as “the most beloved head coach in the history of North Texas sports not named Tom Landry.” Which got me thinking “Really?” And then “Hey, yeah, I guess so, maybe.”

Followed by, since we’re now 25 years on from Landry’s dismissal by Jerry Jones and that first 1-15 season under Jimmy Johnson, “Does St. Landry still mean much to today’s whippersnappers?”

So let’s take a poll. Nominees are the two most successful coaches in each of Dallas’ pro sports teams’ histories, based on overall record and championships.

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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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Recalling a More Exciting NBA Trade Deadline

I woke up this morning to the news that the NBA trade deadline had passed without the Mavericks making a move. This immediately took my still-sleepy brain a dozen years into the past, to a more memorable trade deadline.

In February 2002 — during the Mavs’ first season in the American Airlines Center, and their first without their cowboy hat logo — the team acquired Nick Van Exel, Raef LaFrentz, Avery Johnson, and Tariq Abdul Wahad from the Nuggets. The first game featuring these new players was a home tilt on a Saturday afternoon against Chris Webber and the Kings. Both teams were at the top of their respective divisions, so the game was a pretty big deal — a war of leaders, if you will.

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Lamar Odom Doesn’t Feel Guilty At All About His Time With the Mavericks

Lamar Odom returned to Dallas last night for the first time since his unremarkable, nay, crapmessy season with the Mavericks. ESPN Dallas caught up with Odom to ask him about his time in Dallas. Quick reminder: came to the team out of shape, shot 35 percent for the season, sweated heavily despite little effort, left the […]

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Former Maverick Adrian Dantley Is Now a Crossing Guard in Suburban Washington

From Deadspin: The greatest 6-foot-5 post player in the history of the NBA now pulls morning and afternoon shifts at a busy intersection outside Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md. The job, which he took at the beginning of this school year, earns him $14,685.50 a year, according to Montgomery County civil service records. “He […]

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