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Ghosts of Dallas

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

| 15 hours 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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101 Things To Do For Christmas in Dallas: the 2018 Edition

| 16 hours ago

It’s never too early to start celebrating the holidays – in fact, you better get going if you don’t want to miss out on all the fun festivities Dallas has to offer this year. The city has an array of seasonal plays and concerts coming up: dozens of parades are planned throughout North Texas, the museums are decking their halls, the malls are bringing out Santa, and Grapevine is being typically extra in fulfilling its role as the “The Christmas Capital of Texas.” (Who said you have to rely on Mother Nature for the gift of a white Christmas? Not Grapevine, which imports millions of pounds of ice and manufactures snow flurries each year.)

Here’s a healthy sampling of North Texas’ best holiday wonders. You don’t have to do all 101-ish items on this list – but we recommend shooting for 90 or so. Merry Christmas!

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Report: Police in Dallas, Arlington, Elsewhere Are Boosting Rape Clearance Stats Without Making Arrests

| 16 hours ago

Police departments in Dallas and Arlington, along with dozens of others across the country, are using a special kind of clearance for rape cases to make it appear as if they’re better at solving the crimes than they actually are, according to an investigation by ProPublica, Reveal, and Newsy.

About 15 percent of the rape cases cleared by the Dallas Police Department from 2014 to 2016 were “exceptionally cleared,” a designation that is supposed to be used sparingly—when “police have enough evidence to make an arrest and know who and where the suspect is, but can’t make an arrest for reasons outside their control,” according to the report. During the same time period, 41 percent of DPD rape cases resulted in arrest (sixth-best among the 64 police agencies that provided data).

The 15-percent exceptional clearance rate actually puts DPD in the lower third of the 64 police agencies that responded to requests for data. In Arlington, 20 percent of rape cases were exceptionally cleared while 21 percent ended in arrests. Austin exceptionally cleared 33 percent while making arrests in 17 percent. Meanwhile, Fort Worth exceptionally cleared just 4 percent of cases while making arrests in 23 percent.

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Local News

Read This Advocate Report About Redlining in East Dallas

| 17 hours ago

Redlining has shaped East Dallas. Over at The Advocate, the talented Will Maddox—who we have since poached to cover healthcare, our apologies!—put together this interesting feature that mapped the neighborhoods that the federal government steered mortgage loans to during the New Deal era. He then compared them to current housing prices, racial makeup, and poverty levels. What emerges is perhaps not terribly surprising. The parts of East Dallas that were deemed “best” or “still desirable” are whiter and the homes are more expensive.

Those designations were packed into federal law after the Great Depression as appraisals for the likelihood that mortgage loans would be paid back. In practice, these color-coded 250 American cities, and essentially muscled out areas that had concentrations of black or brown people. In areas deemed “hazardous,” lenders wouldn’t touch. Those areas were almost all minority communities.

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Roger Staubach Is Getting a Presidential Medal of Freedom Today

| 19 hours ago

Two-time Super Bowl champion and real estate mogul Roger Staubach is headed to the White House today to receive a Medal of Freedom. The faithful Dallasite will be awarded with the highest civilian honor for his 11-season, Hall of Fame career—delayed four years after college for active duty—as well as the commercial real estate and philanthropic efforts that have come since.

Staubach will be joined by Miriam Adelson, a doctor and humanitarian, Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the longest-serving U.S. Senators in history, and Alan Page, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who went on to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court. President Donald Trump is also awarding posthumous awards to Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth, and Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia passed away in 2016 following three decades on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dallas City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, Roger’s daughter, gave a statement to the Dallas Morning News:

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Local News

Leading Off (11/16/18)

| 22 hours ago

The Inmate Who Escaped Is Back in Jail. Raymondo Aguero, 28, scaled a fence last Friday night in the Dallas County jail’s south tower and hadn’t been seen since. I saw on Twitter yesterday that the county had offered a $5,000 reward for any information leading to his arrest, which I kind of shrugged at, but I guess it got the job done. He was found in Pleasant Grove. In addition to charges of resisting arrest, unlawful carrying of a weapon, driving while intoxicated, and drug possession, he’ll also be charged with escaping. He’s the third inmate to escape this year. 

WFAA Alleges UNT Botched Gang Rape Investigation. Last year, UNT police “found credible evidence” that two basketball players and the team manager sexually assaulted a freshman student. After the assault, she alleges one of them then called her and asked her to join an escort service. The RA apparently also heard the conversation. Though Denton County declined to indict, WFAA says the university had evidence that the manager had “made arrangements” for three other clients to pay for sex but didn’t pursue it.

Winter Is Stalling. Temperatures will jump this weekend above the average, but a cold front returns Sunday. Expect highs in the mid-to-upper 60s before we jolt back down to frigid. As I type this, it’s 43.

Dallas Officer’s Foot Run Over During Arrest. The officer was off-duty at her apartment at Ross and Routh at the edge of downtown when she saw three people breaking into a vehicle. She confronted them, but two of the suspects got in a car and sped off. They drove right over her foot. The third tried to run, but she was able to catch him. The rest remain at large. 

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The Lost FrontBurner Movie Has Been Found!

| 2 days ago

Way back in 2007, the staff of D Magazine put together a little behind-the-scenes look at how the office functioned. Long story as to the genesis of the idea. Our staff photographer, Elizabeth Lavin, told us that we had to make the video for our company Christmas party. Strict orders from Wick. Naturally, she was wrong. We were actually invited to participate in karaoke. Or something like that. Anyway, doesn’t matter. We ditched work for an entire day and made this video for the company. Then we decided to put it on FrontBurner. Then, after a couple CMS changes and whatnot, the video went missing — until now! Special thanks to our own Baker Ousley for finding this on an old hard drive. Enjoy:

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Tales From the Dallas History Archives: Old Mayors, Magic, And A New Tollway

| 2 days ago

Halloween may have come and gone, but magic can always found if you know where to look. The history of Dallas is no exception.

The below photograph, titled The Magic of North Dallas, was taken on August 3, 1982 by Butch Hale Photography. It is one of several images taken as part of the cover design by Unigraphics, Incorporated for the inaugural issue of the North Dallas-focused Parkway Magazine, which was published in October of 1982.

The Magic of North Dallas, August 3, 1982. PA82-5/01, from the Parkway Magazine Collection, Dallas Public Library.

Featured in the photograph series are former Dallas mayors: from left, Bob Folsom, Jack Evans, J. Erik Jonsson, and Wes Wise. Jack Evans was serving as mayor when these photos were taken.

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Local News

Despite Objections, QuikTrip Gets Council’s OK to Build a Lot on Park Ground

| 2 days ago

QuikTrip got the city’s permission to put a 21-space parking lot on park land near Bachman Lake, which will serve both as convenience store parking and a jumping off point for the hard-to-get-to trail behind the property. In the culmination of an issue that first appeared on a City Council agenda two years ago, Council voted on Wednesday to let QT pave the city-owned park land—in exchange for landscaping, lighting, and upkeep of the dilapidated trail—and use it over 20 years.

It was a split decision. Council member Omar Narvaez, who represents neighbors of the project, argued that the parking lot would increase accidents at an already dangerous intersection, that there’s no need for another station when there are five others within a mile, that it would be bad for the patio at a nearby Mexican restaurant and the area more generally, and that this was another example of the city neglecting Northwest Dallas while downtown receives tens of millions of dollars toward parks.

Asking where a trailhead for the tough-to-access project ranked on park priorities, Narvaez was told it didn’t make the list of needs. “That’s a shame,” he said. “The residents in Northwest Dallas, we’re getting the leftovers.”

Other council members asserted that allowing a private business to develop on park land could set a precedent the city will regret. Five—Narvaez, Adam Medrano, Kevin Felder, Philip Kingston, and Scott Griggs—voted against the measure. It passed with the other nine votes in favor.

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Another Remembrance of Caroline Rose Hunt, Who Turned a Used Car Lot Into The Crescent

| 2 days ago

Caroline Rose Hunt, daughter of legendary oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, is being remembered today. According to the Associated Press, Dallas’ hotel- and restaurant-founding queen, died on Monday, after suffering a stroke on Oct. 31. Even as obituaries proclaim the lifetime achievements of Stan Lee, another legend who died at 95, Dallas is called to contemplate almost a century of its embodied history.

The woman who would at her height command a net worth of $1 billion, bought the Sheppard King estate—with Italianate Renaissance-style architecture and the first private elevator in the city—to create, in 1981, The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. (The company she founded to run it, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, was established in 1979.) Some of the city’s most high-profile, influential chefs, Dean Fearing, John Tesar, and Bruno Davaillon, trained others in their kitchen and sent sumptuous dishes out to a converted library and Spanish-tiled patio Garden Room.

To found The Crescent, Hunt bought a piece of land in Uptown, and on what used to be a car lot arose the bones of a Philip Johnson building whose architecture is now just as iconic.

One angle many may not be familiar with but also speaks to deep Texas roots came out recently. In a feature we published this year on butchers in Dallas, we highlighted The Meat Shop, the direct, sunny retail source for Rosewood Ranches in Ennis, which raises Wagyu beef and supports wetlands restoration and is owned by the Hunt family.

Hunt’s Rosewood Hotels & Resorts was sold to New World Hospitality (now Rosewood Hotel Group) in 2011.

Hunt is survived by five children, 19 grandchildren, and 23 grandchildren.

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