Bowling for Morning Items

Some random notes with which to start your final day of winter vacay. Last night I briefly toyed with the idea of attending the final Cotton Bowl to be held at the actual Cotton Bowl, but an anticipated record crowd of 88,175 -- what you get when you combine a sell-out with expanded seating -- makes that highly unlikely. The only Cotton Bowl I ever had the chance to see played in person was the frigid 1983 affair: Pony Express 7, Dan Marino 3. Took a week to thaw out. Alas, Mayor Tom says not to worry about the Cotton's move to Arlington, as Fair Park'll get another New Year's bowl game soon enough. Like, oh, the Armed Forces? So not the same, but totally worth the $57 million...

We kept track of Dallas's drop in homicides during the '08 season. Now, ABC News takes note and makes mention in a piece about the nationwide trend; Dallas is so fashionable, as ever. Says Lt. Craig Miller, in charge of the DPD's homicide unit and noted morning talk-radio host, the drop from 200 murders in 2007 to 171 in '08 would have been even larger had December come and gone without two dramatic, high-profile cases. Says the homicide report being presented to the city council's Public Safety Committee on Monday, the numbers are slightly different: There were 197 murders in Dallas in '07, and 154 through December 15, 2008 ...

Dallas Morning News editor Bob Mong addresses his paper's decision to share content with former rival the Star-Telegram. Says it won't be easy, but it is what it is: inevitable. "When you've competed as aggressively as we have over the years," he tells Editor & Publisher, "you can't just march into something like this and not take that into account." ...

And Mark Freeman, money manager at Crescent Court-based Westwood Management Corp., confirms this morning that that there are only two sure bets in this topsy-turvy world: McDonald's and Wal-mart. Because folks are "looking for some visibility and clarity from an earnings standpoint." The future is now a cheap, mediocre burger. --Robert Wilonsky

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