Items of Interest, Far As You Know

A couple of random notes to keep you dry. First off, turns out we now have some idea why Justice Department official raided the offices of Dallas-based ice maker Reddy Ice earlier this month. Something to do with, oh, allegations of price-fixing, revealed late last week in a federal lawsuit filed in Minneapolis. And for those paying close attention, on Friday the company, which is HQ'd on N. Central Expressway, said in its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that "in March 2008, we and certain of our employees, including members of our management, received grand jury subpoenas issued from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan seeking information in connection with an investigation by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") into possible antitrust violations in the packaged ice industry."

Whilst peeking at Sports Illustrated's NCAA Tourney Blog, written by Luke Winn, I came across the following item of local interest: "The tourney playlist, curated by the folks at the peerless music blog Gorilla vs. Bear, rolls on, one free mp3 at a time." Sure enough.

And, after the jump, from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport comes a soggy update for the thousands of passengers stranded here and elsewhere due to today's drizzle. Key sentence: "Tonight DFW concessionaires will stay open throughout the night to assist passengers and the Airport will make available cots and other services to those forced to stay the night." --Robert Wilonsky

DFW International Airport Continues to Assist Thousands of Passengers During Vicious Spring Storm

Airport Monitoring Tarmac Time; supporting airlines across five terminals

(DFW International Airport - March 18, 2008 – 3:30 PM CDT) - DFW International Airport’s Emergency Operation Center will continue to operate throughout the night to assist thousands of passengers left stranded by powerful and ongoing spring thunderstorms that began early this morning. The strong weather pattern that currently stretches from South Texas to the Great Lakes has also left passengers stranded in dozens of cities across the U.S.

Airlines have canceled more than 550 flights at DFW and diverted more than 100 incoming flights to the Airport. The FAA lifted the ground stop at DFW this afternoon and approximately 30 aircraft per hour were able to depart. Ongoing lightning and strong winds may ground more flights this evening.

“This is one of the most vicious thunderstorms DFW has seen in quite some time, especially its ongoing intensity,” said Ken Capps, vice president of public affairs for DFW. “Add in two snow storms in the past two weeks and this has been one of the most unusual early spring weather patterns in years. We know it can be frustrating for passengers, but everyone’s top priority is their safety.”

DFW had been preparing for the storm for more than 24 hours and was ready with additional personnel and emergency plans to handle the storm. Tonight DFW concessionaires will stay open throughout the night to assist passengers and the Airport will make available cots and other services to those forced to stay the night.

The Airport has monitored tarmac time of all aircraft throughout the day and assisted airlines in returning some planes and passengers to terminals.

Earlier today, winds reported at 90 knots - or over 100 MPH - lashed the airfield. The Airport’s two FAA towers reported two funnel cloud sightings, causing brief evacuations. Passengers were also warned to stay away from windows as high winds and heavy lightning grounded most flights.

DFW is posting its weather alerts to and urging passengers to monitor the Web site’s Flight Tracker feature to check arrival and departure information though Wednesday morning.

The Airport will continue to monitor the weather situation and will provide updates as needed.

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