Monkey Business

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Eat this: Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs announces a tough new school nutrition policy that limits portion sizes, caps the amount of fat and sugar that can be served to most public school children and phases out all deep-fried foods. Combs' plan would eliminate unhealthy items such as french fries, heavily sugared snacks and soft drinks, replacing them with more traditional, healthy school cafeteria fare such as mystery meat sloppy joes with mouse droppings, hormone-tainted chocolate milk and macaroni with Korean War-era surplus government cheese.

All choked up: Civil rights leaders angered over the December death of a drug suspect who was asphyxiated when a Dallas police officer applied a "lateral vascular neck restraint"--a.k.a. a choke hold--call for a ban on the maneuver. Police union leaders defend the use of the hold, saying it's effective in controlling violent suspects. "Besides," one union official says, "what's the fun of being a cop if you can't choke the shit out of someone who runs from you?" Use of the restraint is banned in Dallas in coming months, and officers are issued shovels to be used to smack resisting suspects.

Jabari, we hardly knew ye: Jabari, a 350-pound gorilla at the Dallas Zoo, makes what zoo officials call "the leap of his life" and escapes from his exhibit, going on a rampage that injures several visitors, including a toddler. Unfortunately, it turns out to be the last leap of his life, as Dallas police arrive and end the escape by applying a "lateral vascular neck restraint" to the ape, killing Jabari.

What's your damage?: Terrell Bolton files a federal lawsuit against the city, alleging he was wrongfully fired from his job as police chief. The suit claims that Bolton should have been demoted to his previous rank of sergeant rather than dismissed, and his attorney says that Bolton should be compensated at least $5 million for mental anguish he suffered as a result of the dismissal. "Five million bucks sounds like an awful lot of mental anguish for a $2 brain," Mayor Miller responds.

See ya: Like a swallow returning to San Juan Capistrano, Rangers MVP shortstop Alex Rodriguez joins the stream of other rich jerks heading to New York City, becoming a Yankee in a trade worth roughly the gross national product of Guatemala. Rodriguez tells ESPN The Magazine that his three losing seasons with the Rangers left him "overcome with a sense of depression" and that at times he felt the team consisted of him and "24 kids." In response, his former teammates egg Rodriguez's car, put Icy Hot in his jock strap and scrawl "A-Rod is a boogerhead" on his Rangers locker.

Love the sinners: Editors of The Baylor Lariat, Baylor University's student newspaper, are slammed by school administrators after they publish an editorial endorsing gay marriage. Robert Sloan, president of the world's largest Baptist university, complains the editorial is not in line with traditional Christian teachings. "What do those kids think this is, a Catholic seminary?" Sloan asks.


Scot-free: A judge dismisses a criminal indictment against Dallas County Sheriff Jim Bowles that accused him of converting $100,000 in campaign funds to personal use, ruling that Bowles' action was not a crime under Texas law. "Turns out there aren't any criminal laws concerning what Texas politicians do with money given to them," state District Judge Karen Greene rules. "Guess the Legislature just forgot to pass any. How odd."

He feels pretty: The campaign of Sam Walls, the leading GOP candidate for the state House District 58 seat in Johnson County, is dealt a setback when opponents circulate photos of the 64-year-old dressed in women's clothing. Walls remains in the race, contending that his cross-dressing is a personal matter that dates back to his days as a journalism student at Baylor University. Walls is later defeated in the GOP primary. "It's not that Johnson County voters are biased against transvestites per se," a local GOP political strategist says. "It's just that he makes such an ugly broad."

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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