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Leading Off (9/30/16)

| 16 mins ago

Arrest Made in Kaufman Cold Case. Police investigating a 1994 murder at a laundromat recently received a tip about the whereabouts of their prime suspect, Alvaro Iglesias Rodriguez, after running his photo in a local newspaper. Rodriguez was taken into custody in Wichita, Kansas, on Wednesday. It’s uncertain whether he’ll fight extradition back to Kaufman.

Caraway, Arnold Feud Over Deck Park. Dallas City Council District 4’s current and former representatives squared off at the Dallas Zoo on Thursday. Dwaine Caraway had called a press conference to talk about the city’s plan for a Southern Gateway Park that would top Interstate 35E by the zoo. Supporters hope to replicate the success of Klyde Warren Park in sparking new development in that corner of Oak Cliff. Arnold crashed Caraway’s event, wresting the microphone away to argue that the park would bring with it gentrification, pricing out residents and wrecking the nearby 10th Street Historic Freedman’s District neighborhood. Caraway told the media Arnold is intentionally sabotaging the project, which (if funding can be secured) would be part of a larger redo of that section of highway by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Bishop Farrell’s Last Day. It’s the Catholic prelate’s final Friday on the job before taking on a new gig in Rome next week. Pope Francis hasn’t named a replacement for Farrell yet. Until he does — if I’m remembering my catechism correctly — there will be a Purge-like period during which no actions or thoughts are counted as sins within the Diocese of Dallas.

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Politics & Government

Rumor: New City Attorney Is Killing Walt Humann’s Fair Park Carte Blanche

| 15 hours ago

Schutze wrote in the wee hours of this morning that the issue that City Councilman Philip Kingston brought up last month during the Dallas City Council’s briefing on Walt Humann’s proposal to privatize Fair Park may indeed lead to the demise of the deal.

Kingston had questioned whether turning over management of the city-owned asset to a private entity without putting the opportunity out for bid through a request for proposals was legal. He said he didn’t think so, but the city attorney’s came up with a kinda-sort-maybe-if-you-squint-and-tilt-your-head justification for allowing it. As our Peter Simek wrote at the time:

City attorneys scrambled for a few moments before providing an answer. The management services themselves were the benefit to the city, they said. It was a less than satisfying answer, and the question seemed to linger in the air. Could the contract be challenged further on those terms? Could a legal challenge blow the whole thing out of the water or force an open bidding process? Opening the future of Fair Park to an open bidding process could get, well, really interesting.

Well, you may have heard that the city recently hired a new city attorney. That, according to rumors relayed by Schutze, is changing the official opinion on the matter:

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Julie’s Real Granola is Real Big With Ryder Cup Golfers

| 21 hours ago

When you see the world’s best golfers grabbing a snack between holes at the Ryder Cup this week, chances are they’ll be munching on granola made by Dallas entrepreneur Julie Fox. At the PGA’s request, Fox and her husband, Mike, hauled a carload of her cinnamon-vanilla bean and cacao-coconut treats up to Hazeltine National Golf Club, in Chaska, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis, to stock the Team USA locker rooms, family room, team room, and hotel. It has been a dream come true for the Foxes, who are big-time golf fans. “When you find out all these guys you’re a fan of are fans of what you do, it’s the coolest thing,” Julie says.

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Leading Off

Leading Off (9/29/16)

| 23 hours ago

New Housing Standards for Landlords. Yesterday the City Council voted to overhaul the city’s housing standards and mandate code inspections for single-family rental homes. The new standards also entail stricter air-conditioning rules and more thorough contact information for landlords. “This is putting our money where our mouth is, which we don’t always do,” said council member Philip Kingston.

Another Loose Dog Attack in Southern Dallas. A neighbor’s loose pit bull bit through a gate and attacked Elizabeth Kilgore and her son, Cody, in their backyard yesterday afternoon. After the dog bit Cody, Elizabeth grabbed a knife and stabbed the dog, which ran off. Police officers tracked down the dog a few blocks away, and it died soon after. The owners of the dog have been put on notice about the bite.

Dez Bryant Has Lateral Hairline Fracture in His Knee. After missing a scheduled MRI Tuesday, the Cowboys’ wide receiver had an MRI yesterday that showed his tibial plateau in his right knee has a lateral hairline fracture. Bryant hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday’s game against San Francisco, but it’s not likely he will play. If he has to miss a few weeks, I’m sure his pet capuchin monkey, Dallas Bryant, will keep him company.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ Director Dies at 73. Suzanne Mitchell, who directed the cheerleading squad from 1976-1989, died Tuesday. She started the tradition of the cheerleaders making annual visits to U.S. military outposts around the world. Mitchell was “a pioneer in the world of professional sports,” according to Charlotte Anderson, Cowboys’ executive vice president. “Her impact on our home games remains to this day, and her inspiration will always have a presence within our organization.” RIP.

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My Favorite Complaints About the New Dallas Morning News Website

| 2 days ago

Firstly, yes, I live in a glass house. I’m the editor of, and we ourselves recently launched a new version of our own site that continues to have flaws and bugs that we’re working to correct. Websites are never actually “finished.”

But I couldn’t help taking delight in the comments that the Dallas Morning News has received about its relaunched Digital readers are a finicky bunch, and if you make changes that force them to update their bookmarks or click more often than they used to in order to find a story, they’re going to express their displeasure, some in more colorful language than others:

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Leading Off (9/28/16)

| 2 days ago

Rampage Starts in Dallas, Ends in Georgetown. A man in Dallas was fatally shot in his Hummer late Sunday night. Shortly after, two people in Cedar Hill were injured by gunshot wounds before a another man was shot dead during a carjacking at a nearby gas station. The suspect: Silvestre Franco-Luviano. He then drove south, causing mayhem along the way. Tactical teams finally tracked him down and tackled him outside a Georgetown apartment complex on Tuesday.

Houston Shooter’s Dallas Ties. More is emerging on Nathan DeSai, the lawyer who randomly shot at Houston drivers Monday morning, injuring nine before police took him out. The latest story reveals that he once worked as a prosecutor in the Dallas County DA’s office and played in the cover band “Brain Clouds” with a colleague.

DART Notes. You’ll see a lot of numbers in this recap of Tuesday’s DART board meeting. Money was allotted to D2 and the Cotton Belt, but it’s not clear whether board members are being realistic about the ability to complete both projects. I don’t know. But what I do know is that the Cotton Belt folks showed up wearing yellow tees with the words “Connect North Texas”—a direct rebuttal to the D2 supporter’s green “Can you dig it?” shirts. I mean, c’mon, surely there are better taglines out there. “Cinch the Cotton Belt” or “Buckle the Cotton Belt Up,” maybe?

One Last Link In the Black Eyed Pea Chain. The original Black Eyed Pea closed in January and now chicken-fried-steak diehards will have to drive all the way to Arlington to sample the restaurant’s Southern fare. It’s the only one of the thirteen Texas locations that survives; all the others were shuttered on Tuesday for failing to pay rent.

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