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About Dallas

Local News

Leading Off (7/20/17)

| 1 hour ago

City Manager T.C. Broadnax Hires a Police Chief. Ulysha Renee Hall, deputy chief for the Detroit Police Department and soon to be Dallas’ first female police chief, starts Sept. 5. She has her work cut out for her. With District Attorney Faith Johnson and Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the three top law enforcement jobs in Dallas County will be filled by women.

Police Suspend Investigation Into Incident Involving Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys running back, at least responsible for being in the wrong place Sunday night at the Uptown bar Clutch, was never named as a suspect in an altercation that resulted in one broken nose. The man whose face reportedly sports that broken nose, a local DJ called D Train, has not cooperated with police, and witnesses are scarce. Elliott may still feel the consequences of an investigation by the Cowboys (OK, sure) or the NFL. For those keeping score at home, that’s the second Cowboy this week bailed out of a bad situation by a North Texas musician working under a stage name.

Picky Diners Record Video of Mice in West End Chipotle. The mice got their burritos to go, and it’s probably nothing to worry about.

A New Push To Remove Confederate Monuments in Town. The mayor doesn’t sound opposed to the idea.

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Urban Design

Why Dallas Keeps Getting Uglier

| 18 hours ago

The many cranes and construction sites around town are often seen as a harbinger of a bolder and brighter future for Dallas. But is all the building really making this city better, or is it turning Dallas’ streetscapes into a glut of uninspiring, cookie-cutter, cheaply thrown together crap?

If you’ve ever driven around Uptown, or near Fitzhugh, or any of the parts of town that have seen rapid development of new apartment blocks, you know what I’m talking about. They’ve been called the most Dallas-y apartments, or contemporary Soviet-style, which is an insult to much of the Soviet-era brutalism I admire. In fact, I believe Soviet-style apartment blocks would be an improvement over Dallas’ version of homogenization, whose very insipidness is rooted to the many failed attempts at meaningless variation — some bricks here, a splash of yellow there, an out-of-place historical accent plopped on a facade that is as bland as a sheet of copy paper.

How come Dallas developers build so much of this stuff?

Well, lots of reasons.

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Local News

Dallas Has a New Police Chief: Meet the City’s First Female Top Cop

| 19 hours ago

The city of Dallas has hired its first female police chief. Ulysha Renee Hall, a deputy chief with the Detroit Police Department, beat out six other contenders for top cop. She’s a near-lifer with Detroit, joining the force in 1999 at the age of 29. Which means she’s worked through that city’s collapsing pension and bankruptcy mess while working for a department that saw officers flee for safer suburban jobs at the expense of the city. She’s overseen community policing in a city with rampant homelessness and loose dogs. Sound familiar?

Dallas, of course, is not Detroit. The Texas Legislature plugged the pension hole before the money was gone and well before bankruptcy became a possibility instead of a bargaining chip. But each of the candidates, in interviews with community leaders and city officials, highlighted leading the department through those challenges. Most significantly, in a city of 1.3 million, how do you hire another 1,400 cops to reach the national average rate of 3.4 per 1,000 residents? How do you stave off officers who are leaving for safer, better-paying surrounding towns? She’ll have to take these on.

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Restaurants

Cool New Fountain in Front of Javier’s

| 19 hours ago

Noted author and appraiser of commercial properties Harry Hunsicker shot this video of a water main break in front of Javier’s. He called it an infrastructure fail.

Au contraire! You know how the Cane Rosso in East Dallas had a water feature so that kids could play in it while their parents ignored them, until Jay Jerrier had to the tear the thing out because one day he found a dirty diaper in it? This right here is just like that. While Dad is inside enjoying a postprandial cigar, Junior can frolic out front in this new fountain. Genius!

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Crime

Roy Oliver’s Account of the Night of Jordan Edwards’ Murder Doesn’t Make Sense

| 20 hours ago

Holland linked this morning in Leading Off to former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver’s 22-page response to a wrongful death suit filed against him by Jordan Edwards’ parents. It made me angry because 1) it doesn’t really add up, and 2) it will probably be enough to get him acquitted. It uses all the right words.

First off, Oliver lied in the immediate aftermath of his shooting of the unarmed 15-year-old Edwards, saying the car Edwards was in was backing aggressively toward him and another officer, Tyler Gross. Bodycam footage showed otherwise — the exact opposite, in fact. So let’s just say his credibility is shaky.

But even if you absolutely believe Oliver on every point, it doesn’t make a ton of sense. A few observations and questions:

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Local News

Leading Off (7/19/17)

| 1 day ago

Roy Oliver Gives His Side of the Story. Roy Oliver, the Balch Springs officer indicted for killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, filed a 22-page statement, giving a detailed account and defending his actions. Among his justifications, he says one of the kids in the car had ties to gangs and that the boys had a gun in the vehicle. The Edwards family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, denies the gang and gun claims, and said, “It’s been over 40 years in the state of Texas that an officer has been convicted because of an inherent acceptance of claims by law enforcement officers, even when they are unsubstantiated.”

Stepdaughter of Disgraced Doctor Found Dead. A body found in a South Dallas creek on Sunday has been identified as Mikayla Mitchell, the 17-year-old stepdaughter of a Sherman doctor who was arrested last month for writing unnecessary pain-med scripts that led to seven deaths. Authorities say Mikayla’s death was a homicide, but gave no further detail.

Local Men Part of a Terrible Diamond Heist Story. Don’t get too excited when you read this headline about a “$6.4 million diamond scheme.” There’s no Italian sports cars or ski boats or yacht parties with bikini clad ladies here. In fact, there’s not a single boat in this story, and no jewels were even heisted—at least, not that we know of right now. There’s just three dudes from Texas who accepted investments to buy and resell diamonds, realized they weren’t turning a profit, and then just kept pocketing the investors’ cash anyway. 

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Urbanism

A Tiny Neighborhood Group took on Wal-Mart and Dallas City Hall and Won

| 2 days ago

Remember when all we could talk about was how the city somehow allowed a developer to build a Sam’s Club in Uptown, adjacent to Central Expressway, directly across the street from the West Village and one of the densest, most valuable areas of Dallas? Remember when we all went on and on about how dumb that was, how business as usual at city hall meant the city shooting itself in the foot, how public officials — from city staff to plan commissioners to the City Council — dropped the ball and made a major mistake that would take decades, perhaps a generation, to undo?

Conventional wisdom, or at least a reading of this city’s history, said the Sam’s Club was all but a done deal, and the little neighborhood group that formed to oppose didn’t have a chance. Well, conventional wisdom was wrong. Today comes news that the Uptown Sam’s Club is officially dead.

How did it happen?

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News

North Texas Mayors Politely Ask Abbott to Back Off

| 2 days ago

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price are among those calling for a detente in Gov. Greg Abbott’s war against local control, joining 16 other municipal leaders in asking to discuss the conservative governor’s “specific concerns with Texas cities” ahead of a special legislative session in Austin. The mayors of Arlington, Denton, Frisco, Irving, McKinney, and Plano also signed the letter requesting a meeting with Abbott.

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Local News

Leading Off (7/18/17)

| 2 days ago

Plano Man Accused of Killing His Father, Storing Body in Freezer. Shades of Bernie in this one. Kennth Alleman Midgley II was arrested in April, but he was just indicted yesterday. Cops say he bludgeoned his father, then wrapped the body in a tarp, and stuck it in a freezer. Follow the link for a classic Collin County towel mugshot.

Details Emerge on (Yet Another) Zeke Elliott Incident. He might have punched a guy named DTrain at Clutch Bar, or he might not have. Meanwhile, we are now learning that he is appealing a conviction for ticket he got earlier this year for doing 100 mph on the Tollway. It is at this point that I have to say, “Kathy! Get your fellow Buckeye under control!”

We Might Get a Pro Cricket Team. And that team would bring its own stadium, possibly as soon as 2020. Okay, people, we’re going to need a team name and a mascot. Suggestions welcomed.

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