This is a weekly feature produced by my friend Ginger. Let us know what you think.
This week in Dallas news: The DPD evidence scandal grows, more about Marvin Lowe, water cremations, winter weather, Star Wars, and finally some good news at the Dallas Zoo.
I complain a lot about the Dallas Morning News, but they’ve done a good job covering the Dallas PD evidence scandal. Here are the two most recent stories about what the investigation into missing evidence is finding: Murder cases could be in jeopardy as Dallas police review 450 cases for missing evidence [Archive link] and What we know about Dallas police search for missing video evidence in murder cases [Archive link]. 13 homicide convictions are in jeopardy and now they’re going through violent crime cases. One does wonder whether this is a problem with DPD or whether review of other law enforcement agencies would show the same kinds of negligence in evidence handling. Meanwhile, I hope the last line of this DMN story about official reactions to the missing evidence [Archive link is correct and someone is going to be held responsible for these screwups.
- Following up on last week’s big story: Frisco ISD discusses discipline of trustee Marvin Lowe [Archive link]. The board couldn’t get a second to the motion to investigate Lowe; he claims it’s all a ploy to suppress votes in the May election. It’s unsurprising but still disappointing that he’s going to brazen his way through this. I hope voters in Frisco ISD will remember this when he’s up for re-election in 2025.
- Tarrant County commissioners recall appraisal district board chair. This is all about who picks her successor: the district board or the local governments. This kind of deep-in-the-weeds local politics is important but often overlooked, especially since voters only get a very indirect say in who’s on the appraisal district board.
- Also deep in the weeds: New Bill from Local Senator Seeks To Legalize Water Cremations in Texas. Apparently this method is used for medical cadavers and pets but is questionably legal for regular human remains. The bill would clarify this point of law. I’d never heard of water cremations until I read this article, but I’m now interested in them, possibly for myself when the time comes. This is my state Senator’s bill and his comments on this bill demonstrate some of the things I like about him.
- Tarrant County accepts more than $2 million from latest round of opioid settlements. They’ve already gotten a half-million from a previous suit and have one more to go. The state got $1.17 billion from the same lawsuit. No word on where the money will go.
- In “who’s a Texan?” news: Herschel Walker told Tarrant County office he doesn’t live in Texas anymore, report says [Archive link]. In the Florida v Texas sweepstakes, they can keep Walker.
- Dallas had one of its warmest winters on record. I’ve been coming to Dallas for Christmas for family reasons since the mid 90s even before I moved here in 2018, and this data confirms my instinct that winters here are warmer than they used to be even as the weather gets wilder overall.
- Roe v. Wade Archive Sells at Auction for More Than $600,000. As mentioned last week. It went to an anonymous buyer whom I really hope gives it to an academic archive.
- In entertainment news: After 45 Years, Richardson Documentarian Brings the ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ Back to Life. I love Star Wars but some dead things are better left undisturbed.
- SXSW says it’s going to reevaluate low wages paid to musicians. Artists say that’s long overdue. Good. The pay is basically a wristband, which is a ripoff.
- Could a Grand Prairie Restaurant Be the Next Big Barbecue Chain Out of Texas? Eater Dallas looks at a new BBQ spot owned by Larry Lavine, the Dallas restaurateur who founded Chili’s. I haven’t yet tried Ten 50, the other Lavine BBQ investment mentioned in this article, but it’s now moving up on my list.
- Dallas Zoo Welcomes (Really, Really Big) Baby Elephant. He was born on February 26 and his name will be announced next week.