:cueless

Buzz hacks through the past in search of the cool cats and fools of the year that was

Home sweet home: Al Lipscomb begins serving his home-confinement sentence. Lipscomb announces that he plans to use the time productively, knitting car-seat cushions and G-strings for his many friends in the taxi and adult-entertainment industries.

May

Strike out: Hundreds of taxi drivers halt service at DFW Airport, seeking a long-overdue fare increase and protesting new regulations that include requirements that cabbies be proficient in English and map-reading. A planned rally at City Hall fizzles, however, when many drivers, through miscommunication and poor directions, wind up at the Hillsboro Kingdom Hall.

Jailhouse crock: A Dallas County sheriff's task force finds that security measures at county jails are adequate, despite escapes by six inmates in as many weeks.

Home, unsweet home: Al Lipscomb petitions a federal court to have his sentence of home confinement changed, seeking instead to serve his time at the Dallas County jail.

Scout's honor: The Dallas Morning News reveals that federal authorities are investigating allegations that the Boy Scouts of America Circle Ten Council inflated its membership rolls for fund-raising purposes. A Scout official defends the rolls, saying, "We may have added fake people, but at least none of them were gay."

June

True love ways: Perennial city council candidate Elijah McGrew announces plans to sponsor seminars to assist undocumented immigrants with the immigration process. McGrew tells Buzz--true story--that he came up with the idea in an effort to win back the heart of his Hispanic girlfriend, whom he slapped around in a fit of jealous rage during oral sex.

Squeak, squeak: As rumbling at DISD headquarters with the performance of Superintendent Bill Rojas grows, the district's No. 2 administrator, Bill Coleman, announces he will leave DISD to join an Internet firm. He is the second high-ranking school official to leave the district in as many months. Coleman, described as a longtime friend and colleague of Rojas, says he opted to enter the private sector "after a bad experience looking for work in DeSoto."

Skoal: The Starplex amphitheater is christened the Smirnoff Music Center after the vodka maker agrees to pay $6 million for naming rights, beating out contenders that included Mad Dog Music Hall, Marlboro Cough-a-torium, and Smack Center.

The fat lady clears her throat: A divided DISD board tables plans to discuss firing Bill Rojas, who insists that his status is "just fine and dandy" and that trustees will fire him "when pigs fly."

Birds of a feather: The Morning News reports that three city council members have nominated people with misdemeanor criminal records to city boards. The red-faced council members apologize, saying the appointees are new to city politics and have yet to undertake any felony crimes.

Higher ground: After months of debate, a unanimous city council adopts a revised city ethics code that limits nepotism, stiffens financial-reporting requirements for council members, and creates an ethics review panel to hear complaints against public officials. Though hailed as a step toward restoring trust in City Hall, critics--i.e., Laura Miller--complain that the new code is much watered down from one recommended by an ethics task force. "There will never be a day in this city in which it is OK to accept money or extort money from people in a public capacity," Mayor Ron Kirk tells the Morning News. Eight council members who tendered their resignations after hearing the mayor speak change their minds after being assured that he was just kidding.

Overqualified: White House sources reveal that President Clinton is considering nominating Elijah McGrew to a high-level post at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

July

Grounded: Former Dallas City Council member Paul Fielding, jailed in 1997 on fraud and conspiracy charges, is released from federal prison in Beaumont to serve the remaining few months of his sentence confined at home. Family members report that Fielding plans to spend the time relaxing, catching up on the soaps, and playing Quake Arena over the Internet with Al Lipscomb.

Overdue Bill: Dallas school trustees vote 7-1 to fire Superintendent Bill Rojas less than one year after he took office. Trustees cite poor communication with the board and the fact that Rojas "acted like a total jerkface" as reasons for the firing. Rojas, despite having tendered his resignation, threatens to sue when he learns that he will be fired instead and paid only $90,000 severance. Rojas complains that the trustees did not even give him enough time to filch district money to furnish his home and office.

Look out below: A chartered DC-9 makes an emergency landing at DFW after a midair collision with what a startled pilot describes as a "winged Poland China pig."

Scout's honor: Democratic House members urge President Clinton to resign as honorary head of the Boy Scouts of America because of the group's policy against gays. A puzzled Clinton responds that he was unaware that he was even listed on the rolls of the Scouts' Circle Ten Council.

He who steals my name...: Mark Cuban offers KTCK-AM radio jock Gordon Keith $125,000--with half going to charity--if Keith changes his name to Dallasmaverick for one year and has the team's logo tattooed on his body. Keith at first agrees, but later backs out when, he says, the deal makes him feel like a "whore." Al Lipscomb phones in to Keith's radio show and offers to change his name to Dallasmaverick "till the cows come home" for $6,500. For an extra $250, he'll "shake his moneymaker."

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