Leading Off (12/5/12)

DISD Board President Recommends Pay Cut, Merit Plan. You know what school board meeting sounds like an interesting one? December 13’s. That’s when the board will discuss DISD board president Lew Blackburn’s idea of top executives taking a 25 percent pay cut and then earning the money back like the principals who will be part of Superintendent Mike Miles’ merit plan.

DA’s Office Discusses Creating Animal Abuse Unit. There have been 2,841 reports to the city about animal cruelty in Dallas. It’s believed that animal abuse is a gateway to abuse and crimes against humans. So some want to create a two-person unit that would investigate animal abuse. The unit would cost $200,000. Safer Dallas, Better Dallas is raising money to get such a group started. (I’m a fan of Ranch Hand Rescue, an animal rescue/sanctuary in Argyle. If you happen to be their Facebook friend, you know why such a unit is in need. I’ve never seen more disturbing images. The work these rescue groups do is truly outstanding.)

Couple, Both Burned in Separate Fires, Receives Dog To See. Stay with me for a minute. This story has a few layers. First, you’ve got the couple: Dallas Wiens and Jamie Nash. Wiens was burned in 2008, and in 2010, was the first person to receive a face transplant. Unfortunately, his eyesight could not be repaired. Remember that. I’ll be back to it in a minute. Then you’ve got Jamie Nash, who was burned in a car accident after texting while driving. The two met at a support group for burn victims. They’re getting married in March. Then you’ve got Charlie. Remember that Wiens can’t see? Well, the Southlake Lions Club raised money to get Wiens Charlie, a seeing-eye dog. Overall, amazing couple with an amazing dog.

850 Days After Being Born, Toddler Goes Home. Adalynn Willett was born with her intestines and liver outside her body, a death sentence for most babies. However, two years and three months later (or, if you prefer to measure in surgeries–28 surgeries later), Adalynn finally got to go home.