Thursday, March 23, 2023 Mar 23, 2023
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A Daily Conversation About Dallas

New Podcast: The Allure of the Western Snap Shirt

Tim Rogers
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Zac Crain grew up wearing snap shirts, but this is not Zac Crain.

A new Dallas company called Snaps Clothing is making Western shirts. They offered to send us two shirts. So Zac and I put on those shirts and talked about them in this episode of EarBurner. Does this mean we’ve become influencers? Yes, it does!

We also talked about why Zac’s parents made fun of him when he wore snap shirts as a kid, the 1978 movie that supposedly popularized snap shirts, and the intriguing magazine Zac recently encountered called Huntin’ Fool. By the way, that’s not a Snaps shirt pictured at the top of this post. That’s just a really hot stock image I found when I searched for “cowboy.” You’re welcome. Listen after the jump.

Nature & Environment

Resurrecting a Long-Lost David Dillon Story About White Rock Creek

Tim Rogers
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A section of the concrete flood channel near Forest Lane in 1979. Constructed in the late Sixties, the channel was so controversial that it sparked the development of a greenbelt along White Rock Creek. Gary McCoy

In the March issue of D Magazine, Laray Polk wrote a fine piece to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of a dumb idea: turning the Trinity River into a barge canal that would have run from Dallas to Galveston. You should take the time to read it.

A woman named Marilyn Prokup took the time. And she wrote us a letter that created some work for an intern. Here’s what Marilyn wrote:

“Being one of the fortunate Dallasites to have the East Prong of Dixon Branch running through our backyard, the 50-year history of the Trinity River was most interesting and informative. After reading about the perils that beset the Trinity River, our family is celebrating the brave people who fought back the barge canal. This article is only surpassed by the D Magazine October 1979 article ‘Time and a River,’ by David Dillon, which covered the legendary White Rock Creek from prehistory times to present. Please consider reprinting this article because it also shows the value of protecting the Trinity River and the  other creeks that are in our area.”

This is one of the reason’s I love my job. I’ve worked here more than 20 years and have read nearly every issue of the magazine, going back to its founding in 1974. But I’d somehow overlooked this Dillon story. Having readers so connected to the magazine that they know the archives better than I do is a joy. And a responsibility.


Frisco: The Giving City

Tim Rogers
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giving tree
Chloe Zola

Once there was a city called Frisco, and she loved a little boy. Every day the boy would come and play in her fields and creeks. He would pretend to be Roger Staubach slaying a fire-breathing dragon, or he would pretend to be Bob Lee Swagger, Mark Wahlberg’s character in the movie Shooter, taking into account humidity, temperature, wind, and the Coriolis effect before sending his lead downrange. 

And when the boy was tired after playing in the fields and creeks, he would sleep in the shade of the city’s trees. And the boy loved Frisco. And the city was happy.

But time went by. And the boy grew older. Then one day the boy came to the city, and Frisco said, “Come, boy, come and pretend to nail headshots from more than a mile away while you are inexplicably on a snow-covered mountain ridge where two helicopters have just landed, and be happy.”

“I am too big for that nonsense,” said the boy. “I want to buy things and have fun.”

And so the city gave her fields and creeks to Jerry Jones, who built The Star in Frisco, a 91-acre campus that included the Ford Center and Tostitos Championship Plaza and a Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop and a Mi Cocina and a Wahlburgers, as it turns out. 

Dallas Man Exonerated in 25-year-old Murder Case. Martin Santillan, who was wrongly convicted of murder 25 years ago in connection to a Deep Ellum nightclub shooting, was officially exonerated Wednesday. Santillan had been accused in the shooting death of Damond Wittman in 1997, despite having an alibi. DNA evidence re-tested in 2021 found no connection to Santillan but did lead police to a new suspect, who has been arrested.

Test-Drive Turns Deadly for Seller in Arlington. Arlington police are searching for two men accused in the shooting death of a man they allegedly met to test-drive a used car Tuesday night. Khudhair Hamdan, police said, agreed to go on a test drive with a potential buyer of a used car he was selling. While on the drive, one of the two men reportedly shot Hamdon and drove away, only to later abandon the car.

There Will Be 101 Fewer Places to Vote in May. Dallas County will cut 101 voting locations for the May election after the Commissioners Court voted to reduce the number of voting centers from 470 to 369. County Elections Administrator Michael Scarpello told the court that the move will shave off places with lower turnout and save the county almost $800,000. 

Alleged Serial Rapist Arrested While He’s Out on Bail. Dallas police arrested Christopher Michael Green Saturday in connection with a 2005 sexual assault and two days later re-arrested him in connection with at least 10 more previously unsolved rapes. He was out on bail at the time. Police said they were able to identify Green through DNA, and at least two victims picked him out of a photo lineup. Green was in Dallas County Jail as of Wednesday night.

More March Storms Predicted Overnight. The National Weather Service is predicting thunderstorms and showers overnight, with the potential for hail and wind gusts. The worst of it will probably be north of DFW, but you might want to consider taking your college flag in from the porch, even if your team does the improbable and beats UConn tonight in the Sweet 16.

Local News

A Day After Shooting, Staff at Thomas Jefferson High Prepare to Reassure Students

Bethany Erickson
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Dallas ISD police and Dallas police responded to a shooting in the parking lot at Thomas Jefferson High School on March 21, 2023. One student was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Bethany Erickson

This story was originally published at 2:23 p.m., and was updated at 4:42 p.m. to include the names of the Thomas Jefferson High School staff members that responded to the shooting and clarify how much the district gets from the state per pupil for school safety.

Staff at Thomas Jefferson High School, near Bachman Lake in northwest Dallas, has trained for the worst and often has had to put it into practice. A tornado destroyed their campus in 2019 and they had to help their traumatized students relocate 20 minutes away to Edison Middle School. Months later, the pandemic shuttered schools, making it difficult to offer those students the same ongoing support.

But despite all of that, or maybe because of it, the staff was ready for Tuesday afternoon. Shots rang out not long after dismissal in the parking lot of the new campus, which welcomed students and teachers a little over two months ago. Raul Velazquez, an athletic trainer, immediately rendered first aid to the injured student, who had been shot in the arm. Bob Romano, the band director called 911 within seconds. Assistant athletic director Brandi Elder called principal Ben Jones to alert him. Jones called Dallas ISD leadership, who arrived on the scene within 10 minutes of getting the call.

Dallas Fire-Rescue, Dallas ISD police, and Dallas police were at TJ within minutes, Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said Wednesday morning. DFR said Tuesday that it arrived on the campus by 4:41 p.m.

There were about 300 students still on campus; the total student body is about 1,400. Other staff members rushed to get the kids back inside the building. The campus was locked down within two minutes after the shooting. It lasted until law enforcement determined the threat was over. 

The investigation is ongoing, but the district said three individuals were involved in the shooting. Two suspects were in a car that “drove up,” allegedly shot the victim, and then drove away. The male victim was a student at the school. He was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. At least one of the suspects is also enrolled at Thomas Jefferson. No one has been arrested, but Elizalde said there was no evidence to indicate a fight or altercation preceded the shooting.

The superintendent also said she is “confident” that the event was an isolated incident. 


Get Well Soon, Eric Nadel

Mike Piellucci
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Ranger baseball won't feel the same without Eric Nadel. Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Few North Texas sports figures matter as much as Eric Nadel. Even fewer are more beloved.

That comes with the territory for a National Baseball Hall of Famer heading into his 45th season with the Rangers, 29 of which have come on the radio as their lead broadcast voice. Same goes for someone who has long used his platform to advocate for mental health awareness. (One example of many: his annual birthday benefit for the Grant Halliburton Foundation, which provides resources and education programs promoting mental health and suicide prevention for young adults in North Texas.)

So you can expect a deserved groundswell of support in light of Nadel announcing he’ll miss the start of the MLB season as he undergoes treatment for anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The Fan’s Matt Hicks and Jared Sandler will fill in during his absence.

Here’s Nadel’s full statement, courtesy of’s Kennedi Landry:

Local News

Leading Off (3/22/23)

Matt Goodman
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Two School Shootings in Two Days in North Texas. Yesterday afternoon, a Dallas ISD student was shot in the arm in the parking lot of Thomas Jefferson High School. The shooting happened 10 minutes after school was dismissed. The student has not been identified, but is recovering at a hospital. In Arlington, family members and the medical examiner identified 16-year-old Ja’Shawn Poirier as the teenager who was shot and killed outside Lamar High on Tuesday. Poirier was “sitting near the steps” of the high school when the shooting occurred.

Nebraska Investor Scoops Much of Trinity Groves Development. West Dallas Investments has sold about 90 of its properties in West Dallas to the Nebraska-based investment company Goldenrod Cos. The 35 or so acres are mostly just south of Singleton Boulevard, but do include some spaces inside Trinity Groves—and the controversial lot where the developers failed to change the zoning to accommodate a 400-foot tall tower.

Fort Worth Stockyards Bans Confederate Flag. The Sons of Confederate Veterans waved the flag during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade through the Stockyards, prompting the business district to ban the object during future events.

Woman Killed in Suspected Road Rage Shooting on I-30. Nancy Aguilar, 30, crashed into a retaining wall near a gas station at Winslow Avenue and Interstate 30 after someone opened fire in the car next to her. Police said the two were in an argument before Aguilar was found killed. The suspects remain at large.

It’s been nearly 23 years since Texas went a day without a traffic fatality. Less than four months into 2023, 36 people have died following vehicular accidents in Dallas. On Monday, the City Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard from the Texas Department of Transportation on how the two entities might work together to reduce that number.

Last year, the city adopted its Vision Zero plan, which has a goal to reduce deaths from crashes to zero by 2030. It also wants to see a 50 percent reduction in severe injuries. TxDOT has a similar plan to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2050, and by half by 2035. 

To help with those efforts, TxDOT plans on spending at least $24 million on 51 safety projects over the next three years in the city of Dallas. Another 34 projects with a price tag of at least $15 million are being reviewed for 2026.

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute is helping other cities launch teams that can respond to mental health crises and divert individuals experiencing psychiatric episodes from jail. The Dallas-based mental health policy nonprofit is in the process of providing data and training to cities like Galveston to change the way municipalities think about responding to 911 calls.

The programs around the state are being modeled after a program started in Dallas. In 2018, Dallas launched a pilot of the Rapid Integrated Group Health Team, or RIGHT Care, which paired social workers with police during 911 calls that involved a mental health emergency. The team includes a police officer, a licensed clinical social worker, a paramedic, and off-site clinicians and responds to nonviolent mental health crises reported to 911.

The team is able to divert patients from the county jail by sending professionals with more experience and knowledge of resources for those with mental health issues. Prior to the launch of RIGHT Care, residents who needed care would often end up in the county jail, the county’s largest mental health provider.


Big Guts, Bigger Hearts: My Exhilarating Dance With the Mavs ManiAACs

Brian Dameris
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The author, in all his ManiAAC glory. Photo courtesy of Abby Jones.

“There is no way I can pull this off.”

This is what I mutter as I leave rehearsal at the American Airlines Center practice court on February 16, just 10 days before I am to perform on court with the Mavs ManiAACs during a nationally televised showdown between the Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers. How did I get here?  

Over the past 21 seasons, as I have watched the ManiAACs perform, I have become increasingly intrigued with this unique group of guys. They ooze confidence and appeal. I wanted to know more about them, who they really are, what they mean to the fabric of Mavs fandom. I decided the only way to do that was to become one of them. That’s why I am standing on the practice court on a Thursday night listening to the leader of the group, Rob “Big Rob” Maiden (every ManiAAC has a stage name), scream, “Show me the sexy!” as 11 guys massage their generous bellies. My indoctrination into the world of the ManiAACs had begun.

Local News

Leading Off (3/21/23)

Tim Rogers
By |

Mavs Choke. Against the Grizzlies last night, the team scored only 12 points in the fourth quarter, with Kyrie Irving going 0 for 8. From the Memphis Commercial Appeal: “The Memphis Grizzlies were down 16 late in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks before responding with an 11-0 run. A packed-out FedExForum was loud as the Grizzlies worked themselves back into the game for an exciting closing stretch. Jaren Jackson Jr. sat for more than 12 minutes of game action between the third and fourth quarter due to foul trouble, but he made his return to the floor count. The Grizzlies were upthree in the final minute of the fourth quarter when Jackson finished over the Dallas frontcourt to give the Grizzlies a five-pint lead with 17.3 seconds left.” I watched the entire game. Those five pints were cloudy IPAs with 7.5 ABV. The Mavericks could not overcome them, and Kyrie left the arena in a walking boot to protect an injured toe.

There’s a Grandy’s in Bank of America Plaza. That’s what I learned from this DMN story about downtown’s tallest building trying to shore up its lower-level retail space, a quarter of which is vacant. Might I suggest trying to lure a Cracker Barrel or a Golden Corral?

City Council Seeks More Info on I-345 Options. Here’s a lengthy story from Everton Bailey Jr. about the Dallas City Council seeking more public input and more study of the options for dealing with the elevated highway that separates downtown from Deep Ellum. The Council is trying to get all this done in time for a possible June vote on the matter.

Dallas Zoo Has New Baby Warthog. “Warthog” is a funny word, but baby warthogs are pretty cute.

Local News

Next Week, Dallas Makes a Case To Get Federal Money for 17 Projects

Bethany Erickson
By |
The city of Dallas will ask its six congressional delegates to consider several community projects as the House begins crafting its appropriations bills. Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Next week, staff and council members from the city of Dallas will travel to Washington D.C. to make a case to receive federal funding for 17 city projects ranging from crime and public safety initiatives to traffic improvements to the dredging of White Rock Lake.

In a memo to the Dallas City Council last week, Carrie Rogers, the city’s director of government affairs, explained that each member of the Dallas delegation of the House of Representatives has up to 15 requests they can submit for fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills. Between U.S. Reps. Jasmine Crockett, Marc Veasey, Beth Van Duyne, Colin Allred, Jake Ellzey, and Keith Self, there is potential for 90 community projects to receive funding.

“Legislative Chairman Tennell Atkins, Dallas city council members, and City Manager T.C. Broadnax will be in D.C. next week meeting with Dallas Congressional members to underscore the importance of these projects and making sure funds paid in by the taxpayers of Dallas come back to our communities,” Rogers said Monday. “We know that House rules limit how many requests can be submitted each year, and we appreciate the delegation’s consideration of these Dallas priorities.”

Obviously, those representatives will be getting requests from multiple entities, which still means that the 17 projects the city prioritized could be selected in their entirety, or only a few might be picked. The process, Rogers said in the memo, is competitive—each house member’s 15 requests “must cover every local government, transit agency, public agency, college, university, and nonprofit in their district.”

Among the 17 projects the city submitted to the delegation are:

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