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Grand Jury Declines to Indict Homeless Man Charged With Murder

| 22 hours ago

Downtown residents and workers may have in the last week or so noticed the return of a familiar face on the city’s sidewalks. Leonard Rose, whose snowy white beard gives him more than a passing resemblance to Santa Claus, is a homeless man often seen selling the STREETzine paper near the 7-Eleven around Main and Akard.

Last year, in the span of a few months, Rose made the news for two very different reasons. In September, he was a hero, lauded for acting to help two women attacked near a downtown apartment building. In late October, he was arrested and charged with murder for stabbing Anthony Michael Bailes, another homeless man who had reportedly been verbally and physically harassing Rose.

What apparently hasn’t made the news yet is that a grand jury declined to indict Rose for the killing, handing out a “no bill” in December. Attorney J. Daniel Oliphant, the public defender appointed to represent Rose, said Friday that the grand jury agreed his client had acted in self-defense.

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Bring On the Electric Share Scooters

| 1 day ago

When the city deferred on coming up with any regulations for bike share until at least this fall, officials said it was partly to see how things played out in the warmer months, when people would be more likely to use some of the 20,000 dockless bikes in town.

Now we’ll also have time to see how people use shareable electric scooters, which LimeBike is rolling out this April. Electric bikes, introduced elsewhere last year, will come in May. City transportation planners are probably more interested in their value as first and last-mile connectors to a broader mobility system, but some jokers have already devised another use: motorized LimeBike jousting.

The scooters and electric bikes will replace, rather than add to, some of the bikes in LimeBike’s 10,000-strong fleet, which should come as a relief to those concerned about share bike overkill. They’ll cost $1 to rent, plus 15 cents for every minute they’re in use. Riders will use the same app and system in place for the bikes they’re already familiar with. Both the electric bikes and scooters can go close to 15 miles per hour.

Shareable electric scooters have already been introduced in southern California, where LimeBike followed the lead of Bird, a company that applied the bikeshare model first and primarily to electric scooters. According tot the review on, these scooters have had a controversial debut in California, where it is illegal to ride on sidewalks and without helmets. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the city of Santa Monica sued Bird after “a number of accidents, including a severe head injury and a broken arm,” involving the scooters, and the company agreed to pay $300,000 for operating without a business license.

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Local News

Erin Brockovich Thinks the Water in Plano Stinks

| 1 day ago

Erin Brockovich made her name fighting a utility company responsible for contaminated drinking water in a California town. It was a name good enough to be the title of the 2000 movie starring Julia Roberts, which told the story of the environmental activist’s ultimately successful legal battle with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Now, Brockovich has turned her attention to North Texas. In a couple of Facebook posts, the most recent on Wednesday, she has taken the city of Plano and the North Texas Municipal Water District to task for a chlorine maintenance process that she says could result in “toxic and dangerous” drinking water.

The water district didn’t return my messages, but on Thursday, probably sick of getting calls from reporters about the “Brockovich situation,” it put out out a press release to “assure the public that the processes used to treat and maintain the safety and quality of the district’s drinking meet federal and state standards.”

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Leading Off

Leading Off (3/16/18)

| 1 day ago

Judge Dismisses Pension Lawsuit. Good news for the once endangered Police and Fire Pension System, now “on track for full funding in roughly four decades or so.”

Fort Worth Cop Indicted for Allegedly Attacking Man, Covering It Up. Bad news for Officer Jon Romer Jr., booked into the Tarrant County Jail on Thursday evening “on charges of official oppression and perjury.”

$50,000 Prize Awarded to Center Helping Homeless Young People. Great news for the people who will find some relief at the old Fannie C. Harris Elementary School near Fair Park, which “will soon be transformed into a drop-in center for Dallas’ homeless youth, thanks to a partnership among the school district, local nonprofits CitySquare and Promise House and the philanthropist group Social Venture Partners Dallas.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Good and bad news for anybody approaching Greenville Avenue this Saturday.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
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The Wealthiest ZIP Codes in Dallas Are Exactly Where You Think They Are

| 2 days ago

The real estate research blog Property Shark, in an effort to get other websites to link to its website, has ranked the 100 wealthiest ZIP codes in the U.S., using Census data measuring median household incomes.

The two wealthiest ZIP codes in Dallas are, unsurprisingly, not really in Dallas at all, with the Park Cities accounting for most of 75225 and 75205. (Take the ZIP code dilution out of the equation, and the Park Cities are even richer: a Bloomberg analysis puts Highland Park as the 9th richest place in the country, with University Park in 17th.)

Here’s 75225, whose median household income of $218,669 makes it the 26th wealthiest ZIP code in the country.

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St. Patrick's Day

Poll Results: Dallas Loves and Hates the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

| 2 days ago

Earlier this week, we asked how you felt about the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Greenville Avenue, which is this Saturday. Here are the results of that extremely unscientific and easily manipulated online poll, in pie chart form, because yesterday was National Pi Day, and we have fun here.

As we can see from these results, Dallas both loves and hates the parade. Glad that’s settled. Until, of course, it’s not: the poll is still open.

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Leading Off

Leading Off (3/15/18)

| 2 days ago

Dallas Patrol Officers Receive More Protective Gear. Asking for years for better gear to keep in their squad cars in case of emergency, like the July 2016 ambush, has finally paid off. Yesterday the Dallas Police Department issued better body armor to help protect from high-caliber weapons.

“Clock Boy” Lawsuit Against Irving Dismissed. Ahmed Mohamed’s father had filed a lawsuit against Irving ISD and the city of Irving that said his son’s civil rights were violated when he was arrested after bringing a homemade clock, that was mistaken for a bomb, to school. U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay dismissed the suit Tuesday.

Three Baylor Football Players Suspended for Sexual Assault Allegations. Coach Matt Rhule confirmed the suspension at a press conference yesterday and said Baylor is finally handling sexual assault claims the right way. Let’s hope that’s the case because it hasn’t been a good track record.

FBI Looking for Dallas Bank Robber. Nicknamed the “Navigation Bandit,” the serial robber has hit five Dallas-area Compass banks in a little over a month. If you can identify the guy, call the police or FBI.

RIP Stephen Hawking. The British theoretical physicist, who had battled Lou Gehrig’s disease for more than 50 years, has died at age 76.

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Video Games

Arlington Is Turning Its Convention Center Into an Esports Stadium

| 3 days ago

Considering it’s an enterprise that exists largely in a simulated environment, one might have hoped that a stadium for esports would be a little more digital. You know, like TronNeuromancer. That Ready Player One movie about to be released.

But while you can run and jump and fly endlessly in the competitive video games set to make esports a $1 billion industry, we remain tethered to the real world and all the fleshy limitations of the human body. The first esports stadiums of the 21st century will be built out of concrete and steel.

In this case, much of the cement’s already been poured. The city of Arlington announced today that its convention center will be transformed into what officials there are calling “the largest and most flexible esports stadium in the country.” The city, Esports Venues LLC, and the architecture firm Populous, which is behind a number of IRL sports stadiums, are putting about $10 million into the extensive renovations. The Esports Stadium Arlington, corporate-sponsored name change potentially pending, is expected to open this fall.

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