Gene Phillips isn't the type of homeowner the Texas Legislature had in mind when it passed a law in 1979 allowing senior citizens to indefinitely defer their property taxes. Think instead of an ailing grandmother, whose Social Security check wouldn't stretch quite far enough to cover groceries and p ... More >>
A line of people was snaking around the back of the office building by the time Catholic Charities staff rolled in at 7 on Saturday morning. Most were teenagers and young adults accompanied by their families. Several were alone, here to solve their substantial legal troubles on their own. Some clutc ... More >>
That Texas redistricting trial that started up yesterday in federal court in San Antonio? Watch that one. It could be third side of the magic triangle that turns Texas blue. The trial is not about whether the tea-tinged Republican-dominated Texas Legislature gerrymandered the vote maps in 2011. Ask ... More >>
House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor went down to ignominious defeat in his Republican primary in Virginia last night, becoming the first sitting majority leader to lose a party primary in the position's history. In the upset's aftermath, two North Texas representatives -- Pete Sessi ... More >>
Dallas has, for the most part, missed out on the North Texas population explosion that has taken place over the past dozen years or so. While the region as a whole grew by 22 percent between 2000 and 2012, and exurbs like Frisco and McKinney more than doubled in size, Dallas' population increased by ... More >>
How the U.S. Chamber of Commerce became the greatest (bumbling) enemy of America.
The debate about voting in Texas over the past several years has focused on the controversial voter ID law that passed in 2011 and finally took effect over the summer. It was a necessary step to prevent voter fraud, supporters said, while opponents countered that it erected illegal hurdles to voting ... More >>
Dallas' handling of JFK anniversary: an enigma wrapped in a big wad of dumb.
And why do Mexicans still bother with the United States?
This country is being hoodooed by the oldest magic show trick in the book -- misdirection. The fictional crisis of entitlement spending is just a new version of the stain on Monica Lewinsky's dress, the latest cheap trick by the super-rich to turn our attention away from the truth. For a glimpse of ... More >>
Editor's note: To spare you the suspense -- and possible expense -- we're just going let you know upfront: Gavin here is talking about North Main BBQ, 406 North Main St., Euless. So, please, no matter how often he asks -- and that will be often -- do not send him cash, checks, bank account informati ... More >>
The final part in what some are calling the Fort Worth Barbecue Trilogy, this is where I introduce characters that make no sense to the plot and kill off the leads. Either that, or it's the conclusion of my Fort Worth road trip. Please drive outside of Dallas and get some other barbecue. You'll have ... More >>
Earlier this month, I wrote a cover story so bizarre, I had to periodically check official documents just to be sure I had not wandered into the realm of magical realism. Yes, in fact, a sacred white buffalo was born to a Greenville rancher named Arby Little Soldier during a lightning storm in 2011. ... More >>
There must be easier ways to make a living than faking car accidents and submitting false insurance claims for those fake car accidents. It also sounds like a ton of work to set up fake chiropractic clinics to generate fraudulent medical records and bills to submit with those fake insurance claims. ... More >>
And why are Mexican Indians so poor?
Look, I'm not even the world's biggest fan of political conventions, because they make me feel like I'm trapped in a cubicle with a car salesman. What's to believe about an event where they hire a consultant to do the balloon drop? But with these two conventions freshly behind us, I don't think it ... More >>
While Texas awaits a panel of judges' decision as to whether a voter I.D. requirement would disenfranchise minorities, Pennsylvania provides a peek into the issues that arise after such a law is put in place. In the lawsuit filed against the Department of Justice by Texas Attorney General Greg Abb ... More >>
Dallas County's public hospital is using eminent domain to buy up real estate in hopes of flipping it for a profit. But one homeowner is holding out.
All right, I've got my lanyard whistle around my neck, and I'm set for a session here. Let's hustle up out there, Lawners. Time for today's knee-jerk calisthenics. Remember our interim motto: A knee-jerk reaction is better than not being able to feel your feet. (I'm working on shortening that.) I ... More >>
America is in a pissy, irascible, throw-the-bums-out, anti-incumbent kinda mood. Even, apparently, if it means unseating a longtime congressman with some serious seniority and a choice committee chair. According to Charlie Cook over at the National Journal, there are some 22 House Republican primar ... More >>
Stories in today's Dallas Morning News and New York Times report that American Airlines could try to ditch some or all of its pension plans during its trip through bankruptcy court. We should all hate that. Every time we allow another business to slash the throats of its own retirees, we ex ... More >>
For eight years Youlanda Rochelle Wright worked for Radio Shack as a customer service rep in its Fort Worth call center. Day after day she fielded complaint after complaint about a defective this and a busted that and how do I return an oversized item and what do you mean my 30-day money-back gua ... More >>
If you happen to own or rent a house and you enjoy exploiting the elderly and the mentally ill, the city of Dallas has a legal loophole made just for you. A representative from Mental Health America of Greater Dallas warned the city's Senior Affairs Commission yesterday that despite years of public ... More >>
Doubtless you've heard about Occupy Wall Street, the protests against corporate greed and Wall Street bailouts (among other things) that have been going on for the last three weeks in New York. The protesters call themselves "the other 99 percent" or just "The 99," and this morning in Pike Park o ... More >>
So what is all this anger among the old white people really all about? Why are old white people wearing odd costumes and hating the president all the time? We old white people all know exactly what it is. But nobody will say it out loud. It never comes out in the stories, even though it's right the ... More >>
Angela, I was there. I saw everything. I know what they're doing. I am on my way. One way or another, I will get there, and I will exert myself and do whatever it takes to rescue your husband, even if it means waking up the next morning with extreme muscle soreness. I will not let them get away with ... More >>
I've been on Rick Perry Watch for several weeks, working on a feature story about him. I think I'm going to be able to break the news that he's serious about running for president. Just kidding. I'll try to do better than that. But, man, everybody in American journalism is on this case. Just ... More >>
Are you listening, old people?
And how can we keep them out otherwise?
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan CombsOn the other side is the full release sent by the Texas Comptroller's office in which Susan Combs reveals that personal info belonging to millions of Texans was "inadvertently disclosed" on a server easily accessed by ... well, anyone, really. Among ... More >>
Michael Manos in his latest booking photo from Dallas County.Just less than a year ago, The Paper Version of Unfair Park recounted the story of Michael Manos, an ex-con from Poughkeepsie who jumped parole and started a series of more glamorous new lives, under a series of unlikely assumed names, fro ... More >>
David Dennard sends along the sad news today: David Hill (pictured right), guitarist and singer in seminal Dallas new-wave band N.C.M., died at 4:30 this morning after a bout with liver cancer. Dennard has known Hill since the 1960s, when Dennard was in the Novas and Hill was playing in the competin ... More >>
Interesting how these things go. Yesterday I posted an item about DART. The comments thread turned into a discussion of DISD. Did people just get confused about the acronyms? I don’t think so. I think the school system is very much on people’s minds now, mainly for bad reasons. The discussion w ... More >>
The University of Texas at Dallas today put on its Web site this notice referring to a computer security breach that "could have resulted in the exposure of personally identifiable information of 9,100 individuals" -- including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses and telephon ... More >>
More than 4,200 defendants convicted in federal court in the Northern District of Texas owe their victims $1 billion, give or take. Which would make U.S. Attorney Richard Roper and his financial litigation unit the biggest debt collector in North Texas, give or take. Among Department of Justice Dist ... More >>
CNN James Lee Woodard, getting a driver's license after 27 years in prison Speaking of local news stories getting national attention this a.m., CNN follows in 60 Minutes' footsteps with a story about James Lee Woodard, who was released from prison on April 29 after serving 27 years for a murder he ... More >>
According to today's Wall Street Journal, Dallas-based Comerica will partner with the U.S. Treasury Department on a prepaid debit card for folks receiving Social Security benefits. The purpose of the so-called Direct Express card is to "provide safer and cheaper benefits payments" for Social Securit ... More >>
Local restaurant owners and other employers worried about being forced to fire large numbers of workers can rest easy, at least for the moment. A California judge yesterday granted a temporary injunction against the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to crack down on employers who have ille ... More >>
Tonight at 9, Dateline NBC airs an hour-long episode devoted entirely to ... Sandra Camille Bridewell, better known 'round these parts as the Black Widow. “A lot of it is based on the Observer articles,” says producer Esther Zucker. “We basically report on what people are whispering about.” ... More >>
Here's a lead that makes you want to keep on reading: Troy Aikman may not be happy about it, but the State of Texas has made his address and social security number available via the Internet. It comes from this story published today, which says that a fraud-prevention expert has discovered that the ... More >>
Sandra Bridewell's never been convicted of murder. But now she's got federal forgery charges pending, which makes her like, what, Al Capone? It's been, what, six days since our last item on the Black Widow; we're due an update, right? Especially when it turns out to be this interesting: Yesterday, f ... More >>
A couple of JFK-related item this a.m... First off, have you heard the one about Don McElroy, a funeral home worker who loaded President Kennedy's casket into a hearse at Parkland Hospital? He claims he has the original death certificate that was tossed after a few minor typos -- "600 Pennsylvania ... More >>
DFW Airport's Di Ann Sanchez says a propoed immigration-status screening system just won't work. According to an Associated Press story that just moved, 16,727 employers verify their workers' legal-immigration status through a system called the Electronic Employer Verification System. Immigration le ... More >>
For WaterTower Theatre it’s a case of elf preservation. Yesterday the Addison theater signed Dallas actor Nye Cooper to return to a role he loves: Crumpet the Elf in the annual Christmas season production of David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries. Cooper, 33, did the one-man show at WaterTower f ... More >>
Last month, Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services lost a computer disc containing confidential information about 2.9 million Georgians. And, by last Friday, it still hadn't been found, said the commissioner of Georgia's Department of Community Health. But it's not like the disc contains terribly ... More >>
See, illegal immigration is good for business. A fascinating piece out of Knight-Ridder's Washington bureau outlines how forgers are making tens of millions--"and possibly billions"--selling counterfeit versions of official documets (including Social Security cards and driver's licenses) to some 12 ... More >>
Dallas County has a great public records search page on its Web site that's fantastic for getting information on anything to do with the court system--or should I say, "used to have"? The court search function has been disabled because, according to an employee in the county's IT department, "a lot ... More >>
Spotless Rigatoni offers ample helpings of fresh Italian food