By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
In one of the more creative Simpson-trial media excesses to date, the Arlington edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has selected a group of readers to watch the proceedings--from beginning to end--on TV.
Editor Jim Witt insists that it's not a shadow jury--just 10 folks who are willing to watch the trial and offer their man-on-the-street opinions on the case--including the verdict at the end. (Don't they have neighborhood bars--or cab drivers--in Arlington?)
The S-T Arlington unjury includes a composer, a computer programmer-turned-landlord who's also a "licensed minister," and an embalmer (who says that he has seen 30,000 to 40,000 bodies, slashes a latex Nicole Simpson dummy with knives in his spare time, and, for some reason, wouldn't divulge his marital status).
Explaining the Arlington 10's qualifications in his own paper, Witt said: "Technology makes it possible for virtually everyone in Tarrant County to watch the trial, but most of us would never have the time. These people do."
But what'd he get in gym?
As pumped up as he is, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price shouldn't count on any football scholarships any time soon: a recent report card gives him a dismal 1.4 grade point average.
Price (who will soon be the county's ranking Democrat) and fellow commissioners were graded on their work by the Local Political Candidate Society, founded by Dallas political activist Elijah McGrew.
The LPCS, which bills itself as a nonpartisan watchdog group, lists as members such familiar Dallas political names as Al Lipscomb, Marvin Crenshaw, and Rufus Higginbotham.
The group graded the commissioners on their voting records and how they served their constituency in 10 areas, from public works to job creation. (Sorry, no grades on conduct.)
Chris Semos (1.7 GPA) and Lee Jackson (1.8 GPA) did somewhat better on the report card--at least they didn't have any flunking grades; Price bombed in "Health Department/Hospital."
In explaining Price's low scores, McGrew says, "We weren't looking at his protesting. We were looking for results, not the hype."
Promotion on ice
The timing of a Miller Lite advertising campaign could have been better. Billboards have gone up around the area proclaiming Miller Lite the "Official beer of the Dallas Stars." Without a break in NHL negotiations, a six-pack of Miller Ice might be as close as Stars fans get to hockey this season.
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