FrontBurner

A Daily Conversation About Dallas

Local News

Wedding Dress Found on Dallas North Tollway in Frisco

| 4 hours ago

Have you heard the one about the runaway wedding dress?

On Friday night, service crews picking up debris scattered on the Dallas North Tollway found a surprise: a wedding dress, which was recovered on the southbound side of the tollway near the Gaylord exit in Frisco. It was boxed up and in pretty good shape.

“It wasn’t Sally Field in the old Smokey and the Bandit movie,” says Michael Rey, media relations manager for the North Texas Tollway Authority.

Read More

Local News

Leading Off (7/28/21)

| 7 hours ago

As COVID Cases Surge, CDC Says Mask Up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that vaccinated individuals should begin wearing masks indoors again in areas with high community spread. North Texas meets that description as Dallas County reports 1,453 new cases in its latest 3-day totals. County Judge Clay Jenkins says most of the area’s hospital beds for COVID patients are mostly occupied by people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. UT Southwestern released a guide for speaking with friends and family members who are still reluctant to take the vaccine.

COVID Surge Threatens Hope for Normal School Reopening. The CDC and the Texas Teachers Association requested that Gov. Greg Abbott lift his ban on school districts requiring face coverings in schools, but the governor has refused. Some parents want to continue to have a virtual learning option, but state lawmakers haven’t funded virtual school for the upcoming year. Parents with children too young to be vaccinated and vulnerable family members at home are scared. “My husband has cancer,” Wallis Johnston told the Fort Worth ISD’s board. “I had to look at my 10-year-old with tears streaming down his face when he said, ‘Mommy what if I get COVID from someone at school and bring it home to dad.’”

Jake Ellzey Beats Trump-Backed Susan Wright in Congressional Runoff. Both candidates vying to replace Wright’s late-husband Ron Wright in the U.S. Congress have similar stances on many issues, but Donald Trump’s support of Susan Wright turned the race into a bellwether for the former president’s influence within GOP party politics.

UT, Oklahoma Officially Request SEC Membership. It’s all but a done deal. After the two Big 12 powers jump ship to the SEC, they might as well rename the conference the National U-22 Football League, pay players a salary, drop the requirement that athletes attend college classes, and stop pretending this isn’t just another pro sports league.

Read More

Local News

Dallas Justice Now: Fact or Fiction?

| 1 day ago

A letter mailed to Park Cities homes is causing a bit of a stir. It asks White Democrats to pledge not to send their children to Ivy League schools or any of the U.S. News & World Report top 50 colleges as a way to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and to give kids of color a better chance of attending a good school. The letter was sent by an organization called Dallas Justice Now.

I think this whole thing is a hoax. Call it astroturf. Call it trolling. Whatever you like. But this is not a real thing. Everyone needs to take a breath and relax.

First I’m going to quote from the letter. Then I’m going to give you the reasons I think it’s bogus. Here’s how the letter begins:

Read More

Sports & Leisure

FrontBurner Poll: Should SMU Join the Big 12?

| 1 day ago

Soon, D Magazine Dot Com will be home to “smart takes and winning stories about Dallas sports.” StrongSide, as the new sports section will be called, is going to be good.

In the meantime, here’s one dumb guy’s poorly considered take in response to the news that the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma will seek to flee the Big 12 conference for the SEC. Both SMU and Rice should join the Big 12, and so should the University of North Texas, because why not, it’d be fun, and no, I will not be defending this position any further.

But what do you think?

Read More

Local News

Leading Off (7/27/21)

| 1 day ago

COVID Update. The average number of new daily cases in Dallas County over the last two-week period is 345; the previous two-week period gave us an average of 141. It wasn’t that long ago that we’d dipped below 100. We are headed in the wrong direction, people. Encourage your family and friends to get vaccinated.

Dallas County Puts Civil Trials on Hold. Rising COVID numbers led the county to shut down all trials in the George Allen Civil Courthouse for a week. Civil Court Administrative Judge Maricela Moore said, “We cannot ask people, ‘Are you vaccinated?’ We cannot put that on a jury questionnaire. We are very sensitive to the fact that those who are vaccinated don’t want to necessarily serve alongside those that are not, and so that is a challenge.”

Arlington Suffers Spate of Gun Violence. Young people are shooting each other at a disturbing rate. There are have been 16 murders so far this year; 2019 saw 19. “We’re losing our babies,” said a mother whose 18-year-old son was gunned down. “It’s heartbreaking! I’m in disbelief. I really am.”

Read More

Coronavirus

The Delta Variant Is ‘Changing the Game’

| 2 days ago

Dallas County’s new COVID-19 cases are the highest they have been since March, and the number of people in the hospital due to coronavirus has tripled in the past month in North Texas. The Delta variant is driving the case growth, but vaccine immunity is holding strong.

On June 22, Trauma Service Area E, which includes several counties in North Texas, had 300 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. On July 23, that number was 1,035, including more than 20 percent of adult ICU patients. The majority of these patients are unvaccinated, according to DFW Hospital Council CEO and President Steve Love. “Vaccinations are absolutely helping protect people, and the unvaccinated are very much at risk with the increase in the Delta variant,” he says. 

The pattern in Texas mimics that around the country, where cases are heading up in all 50 states. Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Nevada are seeing the largest increases at almost double the national rate. Despite the increase in cases, Dallas County’s vaccination rates haven’t ticked up, says Steve Miff, CEO of the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation. “In other southern states where you have a disproportionate increase in cases, they have started to see more people getting vaccinated. We’re not seeing that yet here.”

The number of cases per 100,000 people fell precipitously until June when they steadied as the Delta variant became more common. But as the Delta variant became the most prominent version of the virus, cases have shot back up. “We were beginning to have a strong level of immunity, but then Delta happened in June and completely changed the game,” Miff says. 

Read More

Weather

Did Y’all See That Fireball Over Dallas Last Night?

| 2 days ago

I didn’t, so I’m trying to catch up this morning and watch some videos of the fireball seen in the skies above Dallas around 9 p.m. Sunday night. Dallas Texas TV is on the case, as usual, aggregating the footage.

Despite that caption, it’s probably not a UFO, although we do get our fair share of unexplained visions around these parts. What NASA refers to as the “best meteor shower of the year” is underway, and what some folks saw last night was more likely a flash from the Perseid shower. NASA Meteor Watch and the American Meteor Society are tracking and mapping last night’s reported sightings:

Read More

Local News

Leading Off (07/26/2021)

| 2 days ago

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia Apologizes to Santos Rodriguez’s Mother. Santos was murdered by a Dallas police officer in 1973, when he was only 12, with his 13-year-old brother in the car. Garcia apologized to Santos’ mother, Bessie, at a memorial at Oakland Cemetery, commemorating the 48th anniversary of the killing.

Luka Doncic Scores 48 Points in Olympic Debut. It was also the first ever Olympic appearance by Slovenia. Luka made the most of it, with 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks (!), and, of course, one technical to go with his 48 in just 31 minutes of an eye-opening win over Argentina.

Yesterday Was the First 100-Degree Day of the Year. I celebrated the Triple D hitting triple digits by reading a book and then starting another. The second book is just insanely poorly copy-edited and I find it hard, as a professional editor, to shut off my brain and not see all of the mistakes. Anyway. It’s not going to be the last 100 degree day of the year or even of this week. It’s hot. Just get used to being sweaty, or “glistening,” as I prefer to say.

Man Shot and Killed at Homeless Camp. Police were called to the scene at 8:45 a.m. Sunday morning.

Ricardo Pepi Becomes Youngest Player in MLS History to Score at Hat Trick. Pepi’s three goals were part of a 4-0 home win over LA Galaxy. The young forward, at 18 years and 196 days breaking a record set by Kekuta Manneh in 2013, dedicated his special night to his grandfather, who died exactly a year earlier.

Read More

Transportation

How Traffic Studies Perpetuate a Traffic Congestion Obsession

| 5 days ago

A few weeks ago, Texas A&M’s Texas Transportation Institute released its annual Urban Mobility Report. Every year since 1987, TTI has compiled what it refers to as the “definitive measure of traffic congestion in America,” a document that is intended to help inform transportation decision-makers and elected officials throughout the country on how to plan transportation improvements.

The release of the report, which is co-sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation and the National Institute for Congestion Reduction, is usually covered by media outlets around the country. This year, the headlines reported that traffic congestion dropped in half in 2020 due to the pandemic, but it was steadily rising back. In other words, sorry folks, congestion isn’t going anywhere.

Solving this looming congestion problem, the report argues, is going to require a variety of solutions. But in reviewing the list of proposals in the report, they all tend to hover around a critical core assumption: reducing traffic congestion means coming up with ways to speed-up cars. That’s not a surprising conclusion. Over the past 30-plus years, studies and analyses of this type have tended to view reducing traffic congestion as the No. 1 transportation challenge facing urban regions.

But over on Planetizin, Todd Litman, the founder and executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, argues that this is one of a number of misleading assumptions baked into the Urban Mobility Report.

Read More

Podcasts

EarBurner Podcast: Introducing Mike Piellucci, Our New Sports Editor

| 5 days ago

Are you ready for some stuff to go down? Seriously. This is about to happen.

In the next few weeks — OK, maybe a month — D Magazine will launch a new sports thing called StrongSide. It’ll be just like FrontBurner and SideDish and FrontRow. Only it will be totally different and focused on sports in North Texas. Its tagline, until we decide to change it, is: “Smart takes and winning stories about Dallas sports.” And the guy who will call the shots is named Mike Piellucci. In this episode of EarBurner, Mike introduces himself, and Zac insults my bottom. And we discuss competitive collegiate meat judging.

Quick links to stuff that comes up in our conversation: the D story Mike wrote about the first professional bridge team; the Sports Illustrated story he wrote about meat judging; the Athletic story about the discord within the Mavericks organization that Mike edited; and the D story Matt wrote about Dr. Death that NBC won’t even send him a thank-you coozie for.

You’ll find the podcast player below. Or you can subscribe through whichever podcatching app you prefer. Also below, you’ll find a letter of introduction from Mike himself that ran in the August issue of D.

Read More