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A Daily Conversation
About Dallas

Local News

Leading Off (11/21/18)

| 48 mins ago

Up For Debate: Citizen Review Board’s Power Over Police Misconduct. Peter Simek wrote about reforming the police oversight board in September, the day activists ended up shutting down a city council meeting calling for change after the Botham Jean killing. Last week, T.C. Broadnax penned a memo summarizing the recommendations from community groups—giving the board a budget, the ability to subpoena officers, etc. Others think we should let the police chief handle the police. Catch up on the debate here.

Sewer Line Break Sends 151,000 Gallons of Wastewater into Carrollton Creek. Crews have already neutralized and deodorized the area and the officials say it shouldn’t impact drinking water.

Avoid Romaine. You’ve probably already heard by now that there’s yet another E. coli outbreak affecting Caesar Cardini’s preferred lettuce head, but I don’t want to be the one to not tell you, you know.

Avoid Running Over Stranded Travelers. State troopers are reminding Thanksgiving road warriors to slow down and get in the other lane to give cars on the side of the road some space—and they’re cracking down on jerks who don’t. This affects the Houston area in particular, but seems relevant for us North Texans after yesterday’s incident, in which a semi fatally swiped a tow truck driver and never even stopped.

Wanna Go Down a Dino Bone Rabbit Hole? You can read about this North Texas doc who really wants to keep his stolen Tyrannosaurus skull, and you can also read this related New Yorker story on the stolen dino bone trade, and you can also read this new book expanding on that New Yorker story about stolen dino bones.

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Local News

Dallas City Council Member Rickey Callahan Will Not Seek Re-Election

| 17 hours ago

City Council member Rickey Callahan, whose District 5 is set in Pleasant Grove, will not seek re-election this spring. He tells Robert Wilonsky at the Dallas Morning News that he will step back to focus on his job in real estate. He also notes that the Council needs more minorities and women, and that several folks in his district have talked to him about running.

Rickey Callahan, pictured here last December.

Callahan, a pro-business guy first elected in 2013, could’ve served one more term under Dallas’ four-term limit. He’ll be fondly remembered for comparing QuikTrip to Gucci, for chucking a “dramatic histrionics” accusation Scott Griggs’ way, and for some other stuff that Wilonsky gets into, like his ardent support of the Trinity Tollroad and keeping the Confederate statues up.

The Dallas City Council will look quite different come June. We’ll have a new mayor, for one—a handful of candidates are still mulling over a run there. Oak Cliff’s Scott Griggs and North Dallas’ Sandy Greyson will be term limited out. All that will come after a runoff next month for the seat vacated by Dwaine Caraway amid his pleading guilty to accepting kickbacks in return for his vote. That race is down to activist Keyaira Saunders and former Council member Carolyn King Arnold.

We’ve reached out to Callahan and will update this story when we hear from him.

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Local News

Adrian Beltre Retires

| 21 hours ago

Do I follow baseball? No, not usually, or not regularly. I have gone entire seasons — such as this most recent one — where I don’t see one inning. I like basketball and soccer and is walking a sport? I like walking. ANYWAY. I did always enjoy the work of Adrian Beltre, the Rangers third baseman who was great in the field and at the plate and an absolute goofball who hated having his head touched. And I guess I can relate to all of that. We are very similar, in many respects, Adrian and I — Hall of Fame-level athletes with odd personal quirks. Luckily for everyone, I haven’t retired.

Here is a fun thread collecting many of Beltre’s finest, weirdest moments.

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Urbanism

Dallas: The City That Hates Pedestrians, Pt. 17

| 22 hours ago

For the past couple editions of my favorite ongoing D Magazine Dot Com feature, we’ve been picking on the temporary failings of construction crews affiliated with the city and with developers. They deserve to be dinged, sure, but there are more permanent design flaws that we can’t forget about. An alert FrontBurnervian reminded me of this just this morning, when he sent over the following photographs from the 3100 block of Empire Drive in Lakewood.

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Sports & Leisure

Dirk Nowitzki to Receive Key to the City

| 22 hours ago

Tomorrow night, during halftime of the Mavs game with the Nets, Dirk will get a key to the city. I think we can all agree that he deserves not just his own key but a clothes drawer for the nights he sleeps over and also his own toothbrush. The city, apparently, has fixed its system for the bestowal of keys. And for that, I will take credit. My hard-hitting 2004 investigation into the city’s history of handing out keys willy-nilly has made Dallas an even better place. You’re welcome.

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Local News

Leading Off (11/20/18)

| 1 day ago

Huge Development Coming Near Mockingbird Station. A Chicago company has filed building permits that total $84 million for a mixed-used project called the Crossing. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up.

Mavs Lose to Grizzlies. From the Commercial Appeal: “Marc Gasol pounded the floor in jubilation as a crowd of 15,997 at FedexForum reached its noise apex. The Grizzlies had just forced a second Mavericks turnover in under 20 seconds late in the fourth quarter. Nevermind [sic] that Dallas entered on a four-game winning streak. This game was going the direction so many other Grizzlies games have gone this season. Memphis pounded the Mavericks into submission on Monday night, winning 98-88 and ascending to a tie for first place in the Western Conference standings.”

Dwaine Caraway Continues Thanksgiving Tradition. At the Gator Pit BBQ in Lancaster, Caraway gave out food, as he’s done for the past five years. This year, of course, things are a bit different. He awaits sentencing in February on a corruption conviction. When asked about that, he said, “The Lord has blessed me, and God has all of that in his hands. He and through the hands of the judge. So, we’ll deal with that at the proper time.” Going to prison seems like a strange blessing.

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Media

WFAA Names a Replacement for John McCaa

| 2 days ago

In August, long-running WFAA evening news co-anchor John McCaa announced that he is retiring. He’ll leave the station on March 1. On Monday, the station announced the replacement: a veteran anchor from Washington D.C.’s NBC affiliate. Chris Lawrence starts in January.

WFAA says Lawrence will read the news alongside Cynthia Izaguirre during the evenings and field anchor during major events.

He brings in some serious reporting chops: He was a national security correspondent for CNN for a decade, and has reported from Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Israel. He reported on Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and the Boston Marathon bombing. A little more from WFAA:

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Police

Fort Worth Has an Opening for a Police Chief

| 2 days ago

Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald is leaving to be the police commissioner in Baltimore. Fitzgerald arrived in Fort Worth in 2015 after previous chief stints in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Missouri City, just outside Houston. Now, he’ll take over a department that needs a lot of help.

BPD has been looking for its next police commissioner since May, when Darryl De Sousa stepped down amid a federal investigation into his spending habits. He’d lasted only a couple of months; previous commissioner Kevin Davis was fired in January.

I like the Baltimore Sun’s lead:

In a flourish of bureaucratic understatement, the ad seeking candidates to become Baltimore’s next police commissioner described the job as “a challenging position.”

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Podcasts

New EarBurner: Vernon Wells, Arlington Native and Retired MLB Player

| 2 days ago

Vernon Wells—Major League Baseball journeyman, Arlington native, winery owner—now lives in Westlake, near Herschel Walker. His life sounds pretty normal, or at least as normal as it can be when you call Herschel Walker a neighbor. Wells makes his kids lunch. He coaches their football and basketball teams. He takes walks around his neighborhood. He doesn’t travel as much as he’d like, particularly to the vineyard he bought in Napa Valley with his partner, former teammate Chris Iannetta. All of this sounds theoretically familiar, if elevated a bit.

Tim interviewed Vernon for the January issue of the magazine, ostensibly about JACK Winery, which now has four wines available for sale on its website. (If you’re wondering why I keep capitalizing JACK, it’s because it is an acronym for their respective children: Jayce, Ashlyn, Christian, and Kylie.) It’s been well received. Robert Parker Wine Advocate magazine rates the wines in the mid-to-high 90s. Wine Spectator has given them solid marks too, all high 80s and low 90s, but it looks like they haven’t tried the newer releases that Parker liked so much. This second act for Wells began after he retired from the league; he and Iannetta bonded over wine when sidelined with injuries, and both decided to get into the game to make something that would be at home in a steakhouse.

Wells, whose $126 million contract with the Blue Jays in 2006 was the 13th $100 million contract in major league history, retired in 2013 with 270 career home runs and nearly 1,000 RBIs. And he still thinks baseball is too slow. Show notes after the jump.

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Local News

Leading Off (11/19/18)

| 2 days ago

DA Elect John Creuzot Says Amber Guyger Should be Charged With Murder. Not manslaughter, which is what the former Dallas Police officer was arrested on in the shooting death of Botham Jean.

Cowboys Outlast Falcons. In what I’ve just decided to think about as battle between myself and my siblings, who both live or lived in Atlanta, the Cowboys won on a last-second field goal by their insanely average (at best) kicker, whose blown extra point necessitated the game-winning field goal. They’re now 5-5 which — siren emoji HOT TAKE ALERT three flame emojis siren emoji — I believe is the actual most signature Cowboys record in the Jason Garrett Era. I don’t know why exactly, it just feels more average than 8-8. OK, wait, let’s power rank mediocre records super fast. For me, it goes like this:

  1. 5-5
  2. 6-6
  3. 8-8
  4. 7-7
  5. 7-9

UNT Dallas Student Shot on Campus. The 41-year-old was shot Saturday night over what police say was a child custody issue. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition. The suspect (not a student) fled in a vehicle which he subsequently crashed and was arrested.

Erica Richardson Will Be in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Carter High cheerleader will represent Dallas ISD.

Mavs Beat Defending Champion Warriors. OK, the Dubs were without Steph Curry and Draymond Green, but they still had Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, not to mention Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. Luka Doncic came through the game winner and the defense came up very big. Your Mavericks are now on a three-game win streak, which includes a 50-point defenestration of the Jazz on Wednesday. Mavs eighth seed question mark?

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Ghosts of Dallas

Obsessed with ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ We Chat Up Dallas Ghost Hunters: Part 3

| 5 days ago

Anyone keeping up with this ghost hunter mini-series (read Part 1 and Part 2) may have noticed there was a bit of a gap since I posted the last interview. A person reason: my husband was out of town and I could not bring myself to even think about, much less edit the story of, J.J. Jensen’s bone-chilling paranormal encounter that occurred when she was home alone with her son—an incident that drove her family out of their 1800s Victorian house. Jensen now helps people find peace in their homes with TexPart Paranormal, a team of paranormal investigators. Her group also leads ghost walks around the McKinney town square, which they have studied extensively. You’ll find that Jensen has a bit of a different take on the paranormal than others. In her experience, family dysfunction breeds spiritual mayhem.

D Magazine: So what did you think of The Haunting on Hill House?

J.J. Jensen: I think that in some ways it represents a haunting fairly well, of course, from a more theatrical perspective. But about 95 percent of our cases, people come in and say, “Yeah, I’ve got a haunting. I’m scared. I need your help.” What’s happened is, okay, they had something occur. And then they tried to self-diagnose. Got themselves scared, escalated the situation because now you have a lot of fear. Well, I used sage and I used this, and they’re trying to fix it themselves, and it’s just a mess. And then you’ve got the ones that are skeptical and don’t really believe that anything at all is going on, that makes the others mad. And what ends up happening is you’ve got more of a family haunting than a real haunting.

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