Making Dallas Even Better
Rangers Win Weird Game Against Yankees. The game in New York didn’t end till nearly 2 a.m. our time, because the umpires called for a questionable rain delay in the ninth inning, right as the Rangers were poised to make their comeback. When play resumed, the Rangers finished the job. Read Evan Grant’s account of the craziness. Poor guy is gonna be sleepy today.
Wild Weather Moves Through Town. How’d you like that, folks? Part of an Uptown garage collapsed. A billboard fell through a woman’s car. All sorts of craziness went down yesterday evening as a line of storms moved through town. “This is the only place where the weather can actually kill you,” Justin Kane, who recently moved here from Philly, told Channel 11. “On the East Coast, you may get some snow. The weather is bad here, it’s crazy.”
Ahmed Mohamed Returns to Irving. The clock boy, whose family moved to Qatar after he was arrested under kooky circumstances at MacArthur High, has returned to America [insert eagle screech] for the summer. He’s looking good.Full Story
A few weeks ago, the mayor hosted an event that unveiled a new, $250 million vision for the Trinity River Project. Before offering some reservations, Mark Lamster practically swooned over the initial designs, which, on the surface, seem to internalize some of the criticisms of previous incarnations of the plan. Like Lamster, when I looked at the latest Trinity River Project watercolors, I recognized what looks like a gesture towards compromise. The floodplain is depicted as a more dynamic, natural setting, designed to participate in — and not resist — the regular flooding events that are the heartbeat of the ecology of the river.
Now a website has been set up by the two nonprofits that have long been pushing forward the Trinity River Project, The Trinity Trust and the Trinity Commons Foundation. Reading the brief description of the new park on that site, I found the kind of language that should surround any attempt at re-imagining the Trinity River. I also saw some questionable assertions.
First, here’s the good:Full Story
Jamie Thompson is a contributing editor to D Magazine. You might remember the Susan Hawk cover story she did for us. She has written a piece for Texas Monthly that you need to read. It’s about 10,000 words long, so don’t pop over and think you can knock it out in a couple minutes. Find the time to read the whole thing.
“When the River Rises” is the gripping tale of the Wimberley flood last year. This is the first time Jonathan McComb has told the story about the night he went floating down the swollen Blanco River in the middle of the night, in a house. Eight people in that house with him died that night, including his wife and two children. It’s hard to imagine what he went through. Jamie does a wonderful job of describing it. And there are important lessons to be learned about the lack of flood warning systems and how people build on the banks of the Blanco.Full Story
A just-released University of Texas/SMU study has found that humans (specifically oil and gas industry activity) have been causing earthquakes in Texas since at least the 1920s. Some of this seismic activity is associated with the injection of fluids (usually wastewater) into the ground, while others involved oil and gas or fluid extraction. Say the scientists:
Altogether, for the 162 Texas earthquakes having magnitudes of 3 or greater and occurring between 1975 and 2015, we categorize 42 (26%) as almost certainly induced, 53 (33%) as probably induced, 45 (28%) as possibly induced, and the remaining 21 (13%) as tectonic
The study notes that analysis of the string of quakes centered near the old Texas Stadium site in Irving is not yet complete, but it does devote a section to discussing seismic activity at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport between 2008 and 2013:
We and others conclude that the DFW airport earthquakes were induced because of the absence of historical seismicity prior to injection, the proximity of the injection well to a known mapped fault, the onset of activity only six weeks after injection commenced in 2008, and the earthquake depths at and below the depth of injection.
What do the government regulators charged with monitoring the oil and gas industry have to say about these findings? A Railroad Commission spokesperson told the Morning News the study’s methods — admittedly based on somewhat subjective questions and drawing correlations from the data — are arbitrary.
God bless Texas.Full Story
Urban farm coming to downtown. There’s a vacant lot located between Deep Ellum and the Dallas Farmers Market that will likely become an urban farm by next year. Yesterday, the City Council’s Economic Development Committee concurred that this is a good idea. The urban farm will help returning veterans learn how to work the land and will provide fresh produce that people can purchase.
Wrong apartment set on fire, woman dies. 58-year-old Debra Williams died at Parkland from fire-related burns at her southeast Dallas apartment. The fire was set as revenge for a gang-related shooting, except it was meant for someone else. The gunman in the shooting was Christopher Deon Shaw, and police sources believe that someone set the fire thinking one of Shaw’s friends lived at the apartment.
I-30 Cedars exit to be closed for months. Eastbound I-30’s exit for Lamar Street, which takes drivers to downtown and The Cedars neighborhood, will close this Friday evening and will be closed until the fall. This closure is part of the Horseshoe Project, which aims to revamp where I-30 and I-35E meet.
Hail expected today. It’s been a hail-heavy rainy season. Today’s storms could bring quarter-sized hail to North Texas. And of course, a whole lot of rain.Full Story
Last weekend, Ben, Scott, and I headed down to the Trinity Forest. All of the rains have flooded much of the area, so we were restricted in where we went. We chose Lemmon Lake. Some of you have asked, Where is Lemmon Lake? The best way to access it is the lovely park off of River Oaks. Take Loop 12 off of I-45, exit onto 310, and then turn left on River Oaks. There is a huge parking lot. It’s a beautiful and underutilized public park. It’s filled with large Post Oaks, and there are nice picnic pavilions. We hardly ever see a soul there, which is too bad because it’s lovely.Full Story
Insiders are scratching their heads this morning over the surprise resignation of Colleen Walker as CEO at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, less than two years after she took the post. While talk behind the scenes centers on a number of “issues” at the glitzy popular museum—it’s attracted more than 1 million visitors for three years straight—the chairman of the board of directors cited “different views” between Walker and top museum officials in a March 30 letter explaining her resignation, which will be effective June 30. We’ve asked Walker for comment, but in the meantime there are more details about the development here.
UPDATE: In a statement this morning, Walker said, “I am very proud of what we have accomplished and the impact we have had in North Texas during these last two years, and look forward to working collaboratively with both the Board and my wonderful staff over the next several months to keep critical projects moving forward and to ensure a smooth and seamless transition to new leadership.”Full Story
Dallas Zoo Reopens Monorail. The attraction, which carries visitors past portions of animal habitats not visible from elsewhere in the park, has been closed since August 2014 due to electrical troubles caused by rats chewing through power cables. After a $3 million overhaul, it’s back in service today.
Denton Minister Arrested For Protesting Execution. Pastor Jeff Hood drove to Huntsville to commit an act of civil disobedience as the state of Texas putting to death a murderer. “We’re sitting here in the middle of holy week — where Christians are celebrating beauty of the atonement of Jesus — and yet we are, still killing for the sake of atoning for evil, and that’s not very Christian,” Hood said. “How can we love our neighbor as yourself and kill them?”
Falcon Recovering in Hutchins. The rare bird was found injured at the corner of Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway after last week’s hail storm. A band on its leg led the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to learn that “Beatrix” is “something of a local celebrity” in Winnipeg, Canada, thanks to the Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. If Rogers can’t get the bird flying again within a few weeks, Beatrix may have to be returned to Canada via plane.
105-Year-Old to Throw Out Rangers First Pitch. Elizabeth Sullivan has been training for her big day, on April 6. “I’m thrilled to a peanut. Wouldn’t you be?” Sullivan said. I might be, yes.Full Story
First there was Jade Helm 15, the government conspiracy to use black helicopters to take all our guns away. Or something. Now there’s the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey — AND IT’S COMING TO COLLIN COUNTY! Operatives from the Centers for Disease Control will be knocking on doors and trying to inoculate your babies with a serum that will cause them to grow tails. Also, they want all your guns.
Okay, relax. The CDC is town. Starting Friday they are conducting a survey in Collin County. You can learn more about it from the press release below. Bottom line: if they knock on your door, and if you have the time, you should participate. Thank you.Full Story
The Dallas City Council’s transportation committee just wound up its briefing on the now-vetted plans put forth by the mayor’s so-called “Dream Team” of urban designers to rethink the Trinity Toll Road. There’s much to sort through in the back-and-forth conversation that unfolded this morning between council members, city staff, and the members of an oversight committee that was appointed to review the early technical adaptations of the conceptual plans for the road. I won’t get into all of it in too much detail here, but here are the key takeaways from my perspective.Full Story
They are everywhere in North Texas. Are they here to suck your blood? Do they mean us harm? What’s the deal with mosquito hawks? I called an entomologist to find out. Mike Merchant is a professor and extension urban entomologist with Texas A&M. He lives here. He knows a thing or two about bugs, and he runs a bug blog that you might enjoy. Here’s the deal:Full Story
Third Zika virus case confirmed in Dallas. This was announced yesterday. The sample in this case was tested and confirmed positive by a local laboratory. The hope is that local testing for the Zika virus will help contain the disease. The Dallas woman who was confirmed to have Zika had shown symptoms after coming home from Honduras, where the outbreak is far worse. Four other Dallas County residents have had potential symptoms of Zika, and the CDC is currently testing samples. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Health experts say the major Zika outbreak in South America is not likely to happen in the U.S. but that Texas is one of the states more susceptible to minor Zika outbreaks because we’re, uh, well-acquainted with mosquitoes. Time to stock up on insect repellent.
Grass fire near Celina and McKinney destroys 50 Acres. Yesterday a grass fire was responsible for burning 50 acres of land north near the two Dallas suburbs. Several fire departments responded to the incident, which might have threatened a few homes. The fire was put out, and no injuries were sustained. The cause of the fire is not known yet.
Woman with cognitive impairment missing in Plano. 75-year-old Annamarie Doyle has been missing since yesterday afternoon. Because she has a cognitive impairment, her safety could be in jeopardy. Police say she was last seen driving a 2003 gold Jeep Liberty in Plano.Full Story
Dallas County Health and Human Services has confirmed a local case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus:
“The patient was infected with the virus after having sexual contact with an ill individual who returned from a country where Zika virus is present. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information,” the county said in a news release Tuesday. “There are currently no reports of Zika virus being locally-transmitted by mosquitoes in Dallas County. However, imported cases make local spread by mosquitoes possible because the mosquitoes that can transmit the virus are found locally. DCHHS advises recent travelers with Zika virus symptoms as well as individuals diagnosed with Zika virus protect themselves from further mosquito bites.”
“Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. “Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 people infected with the Zika virus become ill. Symptoms are usually mild, including fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis. Most people are fine after a week, though there is greater concern for the disease’s effect on pregnant women and their babies. Severe illness and deaths are rare.
I’m sure local TV stations will take a measured, not-at-all-alarmist approach to their reporting of this news.Full Story
Denver Broncos’ Aqib Talib Among Three Shot at Strip Club. The Broncos cornerback and Richardson native was shot in the leg at the V Live club on Empire Central early Sunday morning. He was treated at Medical City, after being driven there in his Rolls, and is OK, apparently.
Bad Idea Put Into Action. The Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, which will be partially demolished if/when a big, dumb road is put between the levees of the Trinity River, was officially renamed on Saturday for former Mayor Ron Kirk, who supports building the big, dumb road and so also, in effect, supports demolishing part of the bridge that now carries his name. This reporter will still be calling it the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.
Hackers Hit Another Construction Sign. After last week’s Trump business, this one, in Uptown, was changed to read “Gorilla Deserved It,” a reference to Harambe, the gorilla shot and killed after a kid got into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Weak. In related news, the Dallas Zoo is considering adding new safety barriers to prevent a similar incident here. I mean, I hope they put in enough safety barriers after Jabari hopped the fence.
Chewbacca, Chewbacca Mom Meet. Candace Payne, the Grand Prairie lady with the Chewbacca mask and the laugh, met Peter Mayhew, the famous Wookie who lives in North Texas, at the Fan Expo Dallas shindig. Good times.
Rangers Finish Off Sweep of Mariners. A clever bit of baserunning by Elvis Andrus was the difference in the team’s fourth three-game series sweep.
No More Rain. Finally.Full Story
Our office is closed today. I hope yours is, too. Thank you to everyone in the military, past or current, who has served our country. The only thing worth noting, in terms of news, is that Jordan Spieth is pretty amazing. For fun, here’s a picture I took last night at Fair Park, as thunderstorms were rolling through Dallas.Full Story
ARLINGTON CITY COUNCIL SIGNS OFF ON A NEW BALLPARK. The council approved the $1 billion plan that would give the Texas Rangers a new stadium. However, the next step is to convince voters to spend $500 million to keep the team in Arlington. Opponents have asked why the current stadium, which opened in 1994, needs to be replaced.
POLICE FIND AN ALLIGATOR BEHIND A SOUTH DALLAS MIDDLE SCHOOL. The nearly 7-foot-long reptile was captured near Steam Middle School around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. An officer, who was patrolling the area, stopped after spotting what he thought was a log. It’s possible the alligator came from one of the area’s nearby creeks.
THE BATHROOM SAGA CONTINUES. State Attorney General Ken Paxton may file a legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s directive that instructs schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. This could affect Fort Worth ISD’s newly established guidelines that would accommodate transgender students. Paxton has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference in Austin.
STATE SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE WHO THINKS OBAMA IS A FORMER GAY PROSTITUTE LOSES. Thankfully, Mary Lou Bruner, a retired teacher who suggested Obama might have been a “gay prostitute” in his youth, lost the Republican nomination last night by more than 10,000 votes. Bruner drew national attention earlier this year for her Facebook commentary which included claims such as “Islam is not a religion” and that Noah’s ark carried baby dinosaurs. Lufkin school board President Keven Ellis won the nomination and will face Democratic candidate Amanda Rudolph in the fall.
DALLAS ZOO WELCOMES ELEPHANT CALF. The calf was born May 14 to one of the five Swaziland elephants that arrived in Dallas in March and is the first African elephant calf born in the United States in nearly two years. The 3-foot, 175-pound calf hasn’t been named yet but is bonding with his mother. In January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted the zoo a permit allowing the zoo to bring over the elephants from Swaziland–a move that was contested by animal advocacy groups. It’ll be a few months before the public can meet the calf so–until then– this video will have to suffice.Full Story
I don’t know if your morning has been as miserable as mine has been so far, but if so, I suggest watching the above video of wallabies at the Dallas Zoo. I’m not the most animal-friendly of people, but I found it strangely soothing.
What’s happening in the video? From the zoo:
Our wallaby joey is no longer nameless! In mob-style fashion, we let our wallaby joey’s Australian mob pick his moniker by eating one of two labeled cakes. The choices: “Burnum” after Australian aboriginal activist, or “Pedy” for Coober Pedy in South Australia. The mob has spoken. And eaten and hopped… they really just hopped a lot. Here’s our sweet Pedy on his naming day!
Jury seated for Mexican drug cartel murder case. A jury in Fort Worth will hear opening statements today in a trial of the men charged in the murder of a Mexican drug cartel lawyer. Jesus Gerardo Ledezma Cepeda and Jose Luis Cepeda Cortes are on trial for gunning down Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa in 2013 in Southlake. They were charged with interstate stalking and conspiracy to commit murder for hire.
Johnny Manziel indicted, will plead “not guilty.” A Dallas County grand jury voted to indict Manziel on misdemeanor domestic violence charges. The indictment will become official today, and Manziel’s attorney, Bob Hinton, says that his client will plead “not guilty” to assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley.
Mavs done in playoffs. A 118-104 loss to Oklahoma City yesterday means that the Mavs have stopped short of the second playoff round for the fifth year in a row. The combined injuries on the team added up, and their efforts just weren’t enough to surpass the Thunder. But I’ll always be hopeful for the coming year.
This afternoon brings severe weather threat. Storms are expected later today throughout North Texas with the possibility of hail and tornadoes. Stay safe out there.Full Story
Flash Flood Warning In Effect Until Tuesday Morning. It feels like we just did this. Yesterday morning, I took my son to breakfast and almost got caught in high water on Garland Road. I went to McKinney in the afternoon and saw approximately a dozen wrecks on the way, so please be careful out there. People in Wylie can’t get a dang break. Also of note: the Trinity is expected to crest around 35.9 feet midday today.
Undercover Officer, Robber Exchange Gunfire. An officer in an unmarked car was approached by a robber early Saturday morning near a supermarket on Columbia Avenue. Guns were drawn. The officer wasn’t hurt. The suspect fled on foot.
World’s Largest Diamond Retailer Moving To Dallas. Signet Jewelers is developing a 250,000-square-foot campus at Cypress Waters.
Stars Up 2-0. And they could go up 3-0 tonight in Minnesota. I won’t act like I watched, but I can’t swear I won’t bandwagon the pants off this thing if they keep going like this. No one bandwagons like Zac Crain, and you can take that to the bank.
Mavs Fold Like a Pair of Pants. I will link to no highlights or recap, only this. The Mavs playoff opener against the Thunder was brutal start to finish, and it theoretically could get worse: J.J. Barea is out tonight after aggravating his groin injury, Deron Williams is doubtful with a sports hernia, David Lee is still out, so is Chandler Parsons, no one other than Dirk can shoot right now, and OKC is not getting worse I don’t think. They did good getting this far, but I don’t see any more wins coming.
FC Dallas Stays Unbeaten at Home. After giving up a first half goal to visiting Sporting Kansas City on a corner, Michael Barrios leveled on a feed from Maxi Urruti, and then sub Mauro Rosales put them ahead with a beautiful free kick. Mauro Diaz missed his fourth straight with a hamstring injury, but other than that, it’s been a fantastic start for FCD, now sitting on top of the league tableFull Story
Now that we’ve gotten the fear-inducing headline out of the way, let’s dial things back by noting that even though the United States Geological Survey says that the risk of earthquake damage in North Texas is 10 times greater than it was in 2014, that risk remains only between 2 and 5 percent.
Which, true enough, is the same risk people is some parts of California are facing, according the forecast the USGS has released. But thank your stars that you don’t live in Oklahoma:Full Story
Richardson high school grad injured in Brussels terror attack. Sophie Wauters and her mother were in the Brussels airport when the explosions hit. Both survived but suffered injuries from pieces of falling ceiling and broken glass. The Wauters family is from Belgium; after graduating from Richardson, Sophie moved there for school.
Hail and strong winds move through North Texas last night. Apparently there were piles of quarter-sized hail in Plano, and even larger hail in Flower Mound. And a lightning storm in Southlake. Even a tornado warning for northern Tarrant County. For now, the storms seem to have passed but could resurface later this weekend. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was kept awake by the ridiculously loud wind.
DISD janitor is top 10 finalist in contest. J. L. Long Middle School’s Enrique Mendez is considered one of the top 10 janitors in the nation right now. The Janitor of the Year contest, hosted by Cintas Corp., provides $5,000 cash and a $5,000 school makeover to the winner. You can vote through April 15.
Real estate firm is suing 93-year-old with Alzheimer’s. Dallas real estate firm Henry S. Miller Brokerage has sued Ruth Sanders, 93, over a failed deal to construct a 7-Eleven where her house currently sits in Uptown—one of the last historic black homes in the area and one that has been in her family since the early 1900s. Sanders also has Alzheimer’s disease, so that makes it difficult for her to keep track of the situation. It would be a shame to see this piece of history be removed, but it would not be surprising.Full Story
Sunday morning dawned clear and cool. I packed my day pack with a thermos of coffee and headed up to Spring Creek Nature Preserve in Garland. Jill and I had afternoon plans, which prevented us from attending church, so that freed time to hike early on Palm Sunday.
The sun was out as I hit the parking lot on Holford. I was happy to have worn a fleece, as the morning air was still cool.Full Story
Van Cliburn Winner’s Daughters Killed. A 5-year-old girl and 1-year-old girl were found dead, and their mother found stabbed several times, at a home in Benbrook on Thursday. The children’s father is Vadym Kholodenko, who won the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013. As of late last night, police were still waiting to speak with the mother, who was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where she underwent surgery. Kholodenko and wife Sofia Tsygankova were in the process of divorcing and had not lived together as a couple since August. Kholodenko was scheduled to perform three shows with the Fort Worth Symphony this weekend. Police said they have not yet determined a suspect and that there were no signs of forced entry to the home.
McKinney to Vote on 12,000-Seat Stadium. The McKinney ISD board approved a $220 million bond proposition that will appear on the ballot May 7. The big-ticket item ($50.3 million) is a new football venue and events center near Central Expressway and State Highway 121.
Phil Romano, Emmitt Smith Lose Money in Bankrupt Company. The Dallas restaurateur and Dallas Cowboys legend are reportedly among the investors holding soon-to-be worthless shares of medical device company Palmaz Scientific, which hasn’t commercialized any of its technology.
Hail Kills 8 Birds at Fort Worth Zoo. Thursday morning’s storms claimed the lives of five flamingos, a pelican, an ibis and a swan chick.Full Story
Elephants Arrive in Dallas. Just 17 pachyderms will be coming to America from Swaziland. Dallas Zoo officials revealed that one of the original 18 died in December of an acute gastrointestinal condition. The death means that only five of the animals, which got to North Texas a little after midnight this morning, will stay in Dallas while the others are headed to Omaha, Nebraska, or Wichita, Kansas.
Trinity East Dispute in Court Today. Lawyers for Dallas will argue that the lawsuit filed by the energy company should be tossed because the city has immunity from the suit. For its part, Trinity East charges the city with breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud in denying the company access to land near the Elm Fork Golf Course for which it had hoped to obtain gas leases.
Captain America Robs Beauty Store. Plano Police say a man in a superhero sweatshirt — and his partner in an unimaginative black hoodie — may be connected to the burglaries of several ULTA cosmetics stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Dallas Police to Investigate Racist Facebook Post. Lt. Thomas Glover said the Black Police Association asked the DPD to investigate after at least two officers made comments indicating their support of the posting of a picture reportedly snapped at an office party in Russia.Full Story
The city of Dallas has a permit problem. Standing Wave (aka the Dallas Wave), the AT&T Trail, and the Joppa Connector Trail are all under scrutiny for compliance problems with permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But I recently discovered that there’s a much larger problem with all this work being done in the Trinity floodplain. The USACE isn’t just looking askance at the individual projects; it has yet to approve the city’s whole damn Balanced Vision Plan, filed back in 2014.Full Story
Texas Monthly writes about a competition hosted at Texas A&M University over the weekend in which teams from around the country compared their designs for a pod that could travel at 760 mph in a tube based on air-hockey technology.
The event was inspired by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s 2012 proposal for the new form of transportation. Building a network or tubes across the country to allow incredibly fast travel between cities is a ways off, but smart people are working on it and the federal government has signaled interest in funding it.
Now, go ahead and fantasize about how quickly you, your children, and grandchildren might flit about the state:Full Story