By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Let it snow: A bevy of hip-hop moguls, basketball stars and other assorted celebrities and their entourages flock to Dallas as Arlington's Cowboys Stadium hosts the region's first NBA All Star Game. Just days before the big game, Dallas is blanketed by a record layer of powdery white stuff. It also snows heavily.
Now she can't wear white: About 700 adults who enjoy dressing in animal costumes gather at an Addison hotel for the second annual Furry Fiesta. Among the "furries" are 200 or so "full fursuiters" who dress head to toe as various animals—a habit its practitioners insist is harmless good fun. Harmless fun turns tragic, however, as a group of fur-wearing conventioneers take a side-tour of the Dallas Zoo just a week after 19-year-old gorilla Tufani briefly escaped. Confused zookeepers plug a 47-year-old CPA from Venice, California, with a tranquilizer dart and mistakenly toss him into an animal enclosure for three hours. The accountant requires two more rounds of darts before keepers are able to break his embrace on a weeping and shaken Tufani.
Nobody rides for free: In what City Manager Mary Suhm describes as a session of "speed dating," city officials attend a reception and dinner at the Trinity River Audubon Center where they conduct rapid-fire interviews with six finalists vying to replace retiring police Chief David Kunkle. The session ends on an embarrassing note, unfortunately, as the city's credit card is rejected, sticking the job candidates with the dinner bill and forcing city council members to draw straws to determine which of them will have to "put out."
Through the looking glass: Outrage erupts after singer Erykah Badu strips naked for a stroll down Dealey Plaza and tapes the stunt for the video accompanying her single "Window Seat." Despite her claim that she merely removed her clothing upon becoming overheated while waiting for the No. 60 DART bus, Badu is fined $500 for disorderly conduct. The fine fails to put the controversy to rest, however, as conspiracy theorists, after repeatedly viewing digitally enhanced images of Badu's backside, allege she is not the woman shown in the video. Proponents of the so-called "Magic Booty" theory believe the video depicts as many as three women approaching the site of the Kennedy assassination from the grassy knoll, the former school book depository and a fence south of the plaza.
Sometimes flowers aren't enough: Despite a pending massive budget shortfall, layoffs and drastic cuts in city services, Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins calls for pay raises and longer terms for council members. Atkins suggests salaries should be increased from the current $37,500 annually to $80,000-$100,000 and terms extended from two to four years. "Listen, if you think that's a lot of money, let's see how you feel about it when you draw the damn short straw," an angry Atkins tells reporters.
Kaboom: Thousands of fans gather to say farewell to Texas Stadium as engineers with A&R Demolition set off explosives that collapse the Cowboys' former home in a cloud of dust and incredibly obvious metaphors.
No, really?: In a rare touch of pessimism concerning the future of the Trinity River project, Mayor Tom Leppert admits that some parts of project may be "just a teensy weensy bit delayed." He blames rising costs, the need for massive levee repairs and the dawning realization among government officials other than himself that building a toll road along the river's banks "is a really boneheaded idea." In late April, a cash-strapped city council agrees to shift $150 million toward levee repairs. Leppert insists, however, that the planned road, riverside parks and lakes will be completed "sometime between now and when hell freezes over, if the good Lord's willing and the creeks don't rise. Of course, if the creeks rise, we're screwed."
Ay ay ay: Lamar Cooper, interim president of Criswell College, apologizes after he uses the term "wetbacks" during a radio broadcast of a Sunday morning Bible studies class at Dallas' First Baptist Church. Officials from the church and the small, Christian college insist the contrite Cooper is not a racist but merely intended the term as a sign of Christian fellowship. "I mean, any good Baptist, technically speaking, has a wet back, right?" a church spokesman says. "Ya know, if you really think about it, Jesus was a wetback. No? Not buying it? Goddamn it."
Why can't we be friends?: Via a posting on Facebook, City Manager Mary Suhm announces her selection of Dallas Police Department veteran David Brown as Dallas' new police chief. "david made gr8 impression at our speed date," Suhm writes. "unlike SOMEONE (looking at you, Loserville) who was all blah blah blah about his OLD police department...OMG...don't you hate that?!! and this ONE GUY—definitely no names, 'kay—asked me about fur suits!!! :-p LMAO! anyway, tennell said david's super sweet, so we'll definitely friend him."
You betcha: Organizers of a benefit for the Uptown Women's Center ban media members from attending a dinner featuring former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The speakers bureau that books Palin asked that reporters be excluded for fear that they would "record what she said, report it accurately and act like it means something."