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Leading Off (8/30/15)

| 50 mins ago

DPD Likely to Hire Additional Cops More Slowly. Chief David Brown initially wanted to hire 549 new cops next fiscal year. But that would cost $20.3 million. So it looks like the city manager will get him to more gradually add to his ranks.

Frisco Freaks Over School Tax Defeat. After voters last weekend shot down a 13-cent property tax hike to support Frisco ISD, the district will need to cut about $30 million from its budget. Measures under consideration: increasing class sizes, reducing staff, freezing salaries, and making students pay a $300 fee for extracurricular activities. I don’t get it. Why move to burbs for great schools and then not pay what it takes to keep them that way?

Mountain Lion on Brookhaven College. The school is warning students about a bloodthirsty, man-eating beast spotted on campus. It was last seen Saturday afternoon, but new tracks were found yesterday. (I might have embellished a bit.)

Bo Dallas Arrested at DFW Airport. Dallas, I gather, is a WWE wrestler. Over the weekend he was kicked off a flight for yelling at the crew and then subsequently arrested in the terminal for being stinking drunk

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Fair Park

The Two Most Interesting Things to Come Out of Today’s Fair Park Council Briefing

| 13 hours ago

After three-plus hours of questioning and pontificating from the horseshoe, the city council wrapped up its briefing on the proposal to turn the keys to Fair Park over to a new private non-profit foundation. Two big things stuck out.

The first was a question raised by council member Philip Kingston regarding the state law that allows for municipalities to enter into agreements like the one former Hunt Oil executive Walter Humann has brought to the table. The law provides an exception to the usual required bidding process if the proposed contract is for “management services provided by a nonprofit organization to a municipal museum, park, zoo, or other facility to which the organization has provided significant financial or other benefits.” Kingston pointed out that, unlike Klyde Warren Park, Humann’s non-profit was not approaching the city with pre-raised funds for the park. And so, what were the “other benefits” that the foundation was offering the city? 

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Victim’s Son Forgives Cullen Davis For Father’s Murder

| 21 hours ago
The portrait of Priscilla and Cullen Davis that hung in the couple's Fort Worth living room.
The portrait of Priscilla and Cullen Davis that hung in the couple’s Fort Worth living room.

Forty years ago, two people were killed at the Fort Worth mansion of estranged couple Cullen Davis. Two others were wounded, including Cullen’s estranged wife, Priscilla. The survivors identified Cullen as the killer, but he was later acquitted of the crimes.

The story was recounted in two of the 40 greatest stories ever to appear in the pages of D Magazine. On Friday, the Star-Telegram published an unusual update to the ongoing saga.

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Nature & Environment

Law Man Walking: Nature Treks With Bill Holston

| 22 hours ago
Photo of the author by Ben Sandifer
Photo of the author by Ben Sandifer

In beauty I will rest my heart
I beauty all will be in balance
I beauty all will be restored

I read this Navajo prayer this week while reading the Chester Nez book Code Talker, written by the last of the Code Talkers. The Code Talkers were Navajo Marines who confounded Japanese soldiers in the South Pacific during WWII because of a code developed based on the obscure Navajo language. The author recited this prayer as he dealt with the soul crushing rigors of combat on Guadalcanal. I certainly do not equate my life to the rigors of combat. However, my soul regularly needs restoring, and nothing does that better than a walk in the woods.

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Health & Medicine

Nominate Your Favorite Nurse for the Excellence in Nursing Awards

| 22 hours ago

A quick story. This comes from our 2015 Excellence in Nursing Awards.

When Jackie Cox found out she had Stage 3 colon cancer in January 2011, she made a choice. “I decided that cancer is one word, and it didn’t define me,” says Cox, director of emergency services at Lake Pointe Medical Center [Ed: now she’s director of clinical services for EMCARE]. After her diagnosis and throughout her 10 months of treatment, Cox — a single mother of two boys — missed just one day of work, and that was for surgery to remove the tumor.

She has long known the importance of simply being there. By the time she was 17, Cox had become the caretaker for her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, and her father, who was battling cancer. “So I’ve always included caregivers in the patient’s care,” she says, “and treated them with the same respect I was treating the patient.” 

Cox extends the same courtesy to her staff, which has grown from 35 to 115 since she took over the director role six years ago. In that time, she has helped Lake Pointe gain notable clinical certifications and overseen expansion projects that include an urgent-care center and two freestanding, fully functioning emergency departments.

If you know a nurse like Jackie Cox, someone who goes above and beyond, it’s time to nominate him or her for next year’s Excellence in Nursing Awards. The deadline is October 7, and we’ll announce the winners in the March issue of D Magazine. Here is the nomination form. 

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Local News

Leading Off (8/29/16)

| 1 day ago

Tony Romo Breaks Back, Again. Romo has an L1 compression fracture, which should leave him on the sidelines for six to 10 weeks (but maybe it should be for good — don’t be a hero, Tony). But Jason Garrett has refused to rule him out of the season opener, which, come on, my dude. Romo is in a back brace. He’s had tons of back problems before. He’s 36. It’s now or never for him and the team. Don’t act like he’s going to play, and for God’s sake, don’t actually play him. Let’s just get going with the Dak puns.

Fried Jell-O, Cookie Fries Take Top Honors at Big Tex Choice Awards. Fried Jell-O won Best Taste, while Cookie Fries came away with Most Creative. If any TV news station needs someone to do a “how do they come up with stuff???” face, I do a pretty good one. It has more to do with your nose than you’d think. Don’t forget the nose when you’re making a face. It’s like the offensive tackle — it makes everything else work.

Rangers, FC Dallas Stay On Top. In better sports news: behind a strong performance from Derek Holland, the Rangers took down the Indians 2-1 to win the series between the division leaders. And after falling behind early in Houston, FC Dallas had a flurry of second-half goals (one on this insane 60-yard pass from Maynor Figueroa to Michael Barrios) to win 3-1 and pull five points clear of their rivals for the Supporters’ Shield.

TWU Volleyball Coach Resigns After Eight Players Hospitalized. Last weekend, eight Texas Women’s University volleyball players had to be admitted to a hospital with rhabdomyolysis, a muscular condition that causes harmful proteins to enter the bloodstream. Late Friday, while the rhabdomyolysis cases were being investigated, coach Shelly Barberee resigned. But Barberee said it “is in no way related to student-athletes’ hospitalization,” adding that she was “working diligently to address matters in my personal life.” That type of statement, in my experience, raises more questions than it answers. If you told me two weeks ago that TWU volleyball would be one of the most interesting sports stories in North Texas, I would have said, “Finally you guys are catching up. I’ve been following TWU volleyball for years. Welcome to the party.”

Frisco ISD Voters Reject 13-Cent Tax Hike. Fifty-eight percent voted no on a tax increase that would have paid for more teachers and more competitive salaries. I guess I don’t really get it. I figure most people — and yeah, I’m speaking broadly — move up to Frisco for the good schools, so I’m surprised voters were so strongly against keeping the good schools good. A little help, Mayor Maher Maso?

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Sports & Leisure

Why I Sort of Hope Tony Romo Is (Not Seriously, But Definitely) Injured

| 4 days ago
Photo by MC Glasgow via Wikicommons
Photo by MC Glasgow via Wikicommons

Last night, in the first quarter of the Cowboys’ preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Tony Romo hurt his back while trying to slide after a scramble but instead kind of falling awkwardly and getting folded up by the Seahawks’ Cliff Avril. Cowboys fans freaked out. I guess it looked worse than it was, because Romo wanted to go back in but the team (smartly, somehow) wouldn’t let him. After relieving Romo, rookie QB Dak Prescott once again looked pretty solid.

I thought about it last night, and I thought about it some more this morning, and I suppose the best way to put my feelings about Romo getting injured is “delighted.” Because now — oh, yes — the dire wolf of chaos is knocking on our door. [fans self so intensely I briefly levitate] YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Let us, in fact, do this.

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Dallas Metro Ranks Eighth in Regional Olympic Medal Count

| 4 days ago

If you are an aspiring Olympic athlete training  in the Dallas area, you may considering moving to California — or maybe Colorado Springs. That’s because when you break down the Olympic spoils from the United States’ recent world-topping athletic romp in Rio by metro area, Dallas ranks eighth among American cities — and a lowly 35th in medal count-per-resident — according to a new study. Topping the list of Olympian cities: Los Angeles and San Francisco. In fact, if LA were a country, it would have won more medals that either Canada or South Korea. San Francisco would have tied with Brazil.

But it’s that second data set in the analysis — medal count-per-resident — that I believe tells a more interesting story about athletics and regions. The cities and towns that top that list tend to be smaller university towns or places that boast specialized training facilities designed to churn out world class athletes. It seems to suggest that it’s not the place that generates the athletes, but the facilities that draw athletes to the place. In other words, if regional boosters want to boost the [email protected]’s medal count rankings, they may not have to worry about improving DFW’s abysmally low health and fitness rating. Perhaps they could find some incentives to lure Colorado Springs’ U.S. Olympic Complex to Frisco.

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Fair Park

Why Should We Trust a Fair Park Plan the City Won’t Let the Public See?

| 4 days ago

Ellen Williams, a member of the board of trustees of the Foundation for Community Empowerment, has a powerful column in the Dallas Morning News that minces few words about the public process — or rather, lack there of — that has defined Fair Park privatization plan.

At the center of her suspicion is a simple fact that even after the park board had to fight with their chair just for the opportunity to properly vet the contract brought to the city by former Hunt Oil executive Walt Humann, the city now won’t release the amended contract until the day of the council budget meeting. To Williams, that’s evidence of something worse than any bad terms or broken promises that may or may not be contained in the contract. It suggests that this latest effort, for all of its promises of a new day for Fair Park, represents more of the same old Fair Park history:

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