:cueless

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

Igor, fetch the salsa: Irving-based Mission Foods Corp. recalls a line of products after traces of bio-engineered corn are found in a taco shell manufactured by the company. The company was alerted to the possible contamination after an enraged guacamole tostada terrorized townspeople in Cuero, Texas, for three days before being shot from the bell tower of a local church.

Unnatural calling: Activists around Lower Greenville Avenue, angry over incontinent bar patrons whizzing in the neighborhood, began snapping photos of men who urinate in homeowners' yards and posting the pictures on the Web. Hustler magazine offers to buy the Barking Dogs Web site for an undisclosed sum.

It's from H.G. Wells: The Highland Park Town Council ends discussion of a proposal to build a 5-mile-long, $800 million tollway in a tunnel beneath Mockingbird Lane. "You let the masses tunnel beneath us, next thing you know you have a bunch of Morlocks eating our children," complains one opponent from the wealthy suburb. (Editor's note: For an explanation of this obscure literary reference, e-mail patrick.williams@dallasobserver.com.)

Al Lipscomb
Dorit Rabinovitch
Al Lipscomb

Parting the waters was easy: Mike Moses, a deputy chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, signs a five-year contract making him superintendent of Dallas schools. Moses, a man depressingly lacking any history of scandal, insanity, criminality, or particular meanness, vows to improve teacher morale, instill a culture of cooperation and civility at DISD headquarters, and "lead his people to the land of milk and honey." Moses will be paid a reported $280,000 annually--what is believed to be the highest salary of any U.S. public schools chief. Board President Roxan Staff justifies the high salary, saying, "He's gonna need it. Those vipers down at headquarters are gonna take this choirboy's lunch money."

November

You scratch his back: Belo Corp. sues Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, claiming that Cuban reneged on a promise to buy Belo's minority share of the team and American Airlines Center. Cuban backed out of the deal after the Belo-owned Morning News declined to increase its coverage of the team as much as he desired. Belo lawyers respond in court pleadings that the paper would be happy to print more Mavericks news if the team owner would agree to change his name to Mark :Cueban.

Exact change only, please: New projections suggest that the cost of a proposed tollway along the Trinity River will be in the range of $669 million, or $230 million more than original estimates, the Morning News reports. The city contends that the project is vital, though officials say millions in needed state funding are not likely to be available "until sometime after hell freezes over." City council members urge that work on the road forge ahead; the unfunded costs, they claim, can be made up by increasing tolls from the proposed 75 cents per car to $11,875.32.

December

Curse you, Red Baron: Just months after inaugurating flights from Love Field, fledgling Legend Airlines shuts down unexpectedly and announces it will file for bankruptcy protection while it seeks more investors to stay alive. President and chief executive T. Allan McArtor blames the airlines' troubles "on those damn macadamia nuts American decided to start serving."

Next comes graffiti: Dallas Area Rapid Transit opens the city's and Texas' first subway station under Cityplace north of downtown. The $50 million light-rail station is hailed as another step on Dallas' elusive journey to becoming a world-class city. The station's contribution to Dallas' world-classiness is affirmed when wino Harold J. Warren becomes the first vagrant to pee and shout random obscenities on the subway platform.

Mustard is extra: The Texas Rangers sign free-agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $252 million contract, the richest in the history of baseball. Rangers owner Tom Hicks announces that concession prices at the Ballpark in Arlington will rise to help cover the cost of the contract. A hot dog and 12-ounce cup of beer will now cost $14.75, an increase of 25 cents.

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