Racist Fraternity Chant at OU Was Shared at a Frat "Leadership Cruise," University Says

Categories: News

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Muse Man Multimedia TV via Youtube
Parker Rice
The University of Oklahoma's president said Friday that the Parker Rice and Levi Pettit, the two locals seen on video leading their Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers in a chant about segregating and lynching black people, learned the chant as part of a process that began four years ago on a cruise ship filled with fraternity members.

Leaders of the OU fraternity chapter picked up the chant on a leadership cruise sponsored by the national SAE organization. The OU leaders brought the chant back to Norman and made it part of both the informal and formal pledge process, Boren said. (Rice, a freshman, and Pettit, a sophomore, were high school students at the time and didn't take part in the cruise itself.)

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Dallas Mayoral Candidate Arrested for Painting "666" on Local Buildings, Landmarks, Us

Categories: Crime

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Joe Tone
Richard Sheridan -- perennial gadfly candidate, profane voicemail leaver and word-salad chef extraordinaire -- has been arrested in connection with the June 2014 tagging of a number of Dallas buildings, including the Legacy of Love Monument in Oak Lawn, the Cathedral of Hope and the building where the Observer is located.

Sheridan, who's currently running against Mike Rawlings and Marcos Ronquillo for mayor, was picked up Friday afternoon after a grand jury indicted him for painting "666" on the monument and Cathedral of Hope, the two incidents for which Dallas police have the best case against Sheridan, the department said.

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Arlington's "Black Hoodie Bandit:" Prolific Bank Robber, Excellent Bookkeeper, Totally Screwed

Categories: Crime

The Black Hoodie Bandit at work.
Sometimes it's hard for prosecutors to get a conviction. The case of Arlington's "Black Hoodie Bandit," judging from evidence the FBI says it found, will not be one of those times.

Starting in November, the bureau says, Dana Campbell began robbing grocery-store bank branches -- specifically First Convenience Banks. She would walk up to the bank window, hand over a note demanding cash and take off with the for a waiting silver car or PT Cruiser. By February, when the FBI released photos of the woman they christened "The Black Hoodie Bandit" in hopes of generating some leads, she was suspected of nine robberies. A $10,000 reward was offered for her identification, arrest and indictment.

(We pause here to ask: "Black Hoodie Bandit?" Really? Did someone at the FBI miss a sensitivity training class or is Geraldo Rivera now a federal agent, God forbid? Maybe the fibbies are fans of the grammar book Eats, Shoots and Leaves.)

Back to the story: Posters of the robber were soon plastered up at FCB branches, showing the woman and her distinctive getup. On March 10, the FBI says, she robbed her 10th bank. An FCB teller in Arlington saw a woman, identified later as Campbell, approach another teller's station and noticed she was wearing a black hooded jacket, a beanie cap, dark sunglasses and black gloves. One of the teller's customers asked Campbell, after looking at one of the posters, "Are you the one who has been robbing all the banks?."

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Lawyer Who Refused to Give a Client a Refund Says He's Glad Texas State Bar Is Suing Him

Categories: Politics

In 2007, former television journalist and journalism professor Eric Gormly made history at the University of North Texas for suing one of his own students. In the suit, he accused two professors and the student of conspiring to give him a bad performance review that got him fired. School officials said it was the first time they had heard of a UNT professor suing a student. "The university is disappointed that a former faculty member would file a lawsuit against a student who trusted him to do his job and follow university policy with respect to initiating complaints," a UNT official said at the time.

In an interview now, Gormly downplays his lawsuit against a student. "I did not sue a student. My attorney at the time included a student as one of the defendants," he says.

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Dallas DA Spent Time in Drug Rehab, Claimed Assistant Broke into Her House, DMN Says

Categories: News

Susan Hawk for District Attorney
Susan Hawk
Susan Hawk, Dallas County's newly elected district attorney, spent a month in rehab for prescription painkiller abuse during her campaign and accused her former top assistant, Bill Wirskye, of breaking into her home, the Morning News reported this morning.

Friends and colleagues of Hawk told reporters Gromer Jeffers and Sarah Mervosh that Hawk went to an Arizona drug rehab facility to get treatment for hydrocodone and oxycontin addiction in October 2013, not long after she announced she was running for district attorney. At the time, she told the Morning News she was headed to the East Coast for back surgery and rehabilitation.

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Hey, the Kid Apologized. What Do You Want? Professional Grievers?

Categories: Schutze

Sean Bergin, the New Jersey TV reporter who did not apologize.

The kid from Highland Park who got caught singing a racist chant on a fraternity bus at Oklahoma University has apologized, but some of the twitterati aren't buying it.

See also: Highland Park Grad Who Sang Racist Chant at OU Fraternity Says He's Sorry

@GEEPENNIN tweeted: "Pettit's apology is rehearsed and almost robotic. He is only sorry his racist chant was videotaped. Nothing he says comes from the heart."

@TheLostOgle said, "I wonder which PR Firm coached Levi Pettit. Was it a local firm or a national one?"

Our own blog commenter, Sotiredofitall, said, "Next stop; MSNBC with Rev. Sharpton, then a book deal."

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Dallas City Council District 3 Race Heats Up Thanks to Cyber Pirates

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Mark Graham
She's on voncielhill.com, presumably.
District 3 might be the most important race in the upcoming Dallas City Council election. Incumbents Scott Griggs and Philip Kingston have taken the rare step of endorsing a candidate outside their own districts, giving their support to high school teacher Joe Tave. Vonciel Jones Hill, who represents District 3 and is term-limited, has endorsed Casey Thomas to be her successor. Wini Cannon, like Tave, is against the Trinity toll road and has been impressive so far in the campaign. The district is one of the easiest pivot points to spot in the insurgent battle to unseat the Dallas old guard. It's all very serious stuff.

The District 3-related web addresses poached by some enterprising anti-Hill/Thomas folks are not. Wednesday, thanks to a tweet from the Morning News' Elizabeth Findell, we were pointed to caseythomasfordallas.com, which features a big, grinning side-hug between Thomas and Hill along with a plea to vote for "anyone but Casey."

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New Fair Park Plan Would Kill State Fair of Texas, Fair President Says

Categories: News

State Fair of Texas
State Fair rendering of the Di Mambro Plan
There's a new plan for Dallas' Fair Park making the rounds this week, one that would relegate the State Fair itself to a 84-acre section of the 277-acre park and tear down Gexa Energy Pavilion, and it has the State Fair worried.

As things stand, the plan is just a radical re-imagining of potential Fair Park uses, designed by Boston architect Antonio Di Mambro and backed by former Trammel Crow CEO Don Williams. Williams ties the plan to D Magazine Publisher Wick Allison's Coalition for a New Dallas political action committee -- Williams sits on the PAC's steering committee. It wasn't designed under the auspices of the mayor, unlike the State Fair-supported 2014 plan that came from the Mike Rawlings-appointed Fair Park task force. That plan's biggest proposal would create a private nonprofit to oversee Fair Park, a change that hasn't yet been approved by the park board or Dallas City Council.

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Texas Hunter Who Paid $350k to Kill a Black Rhino in Namibia Gets a Permit to Bring it Back

Categories: Animal Welfare

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The trophy is coming back to North Texas. Corey Knowlton, the Royse City hunter who bought the right to kill a Namibian black rhino at a Dallas Safari Club auction in January 2014 , has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring his spoils back from Africa.

See also: The Dallas Safari Club Will Save the Endangered Black Rhino by Auctioning Off the Chance to Shoot One

"The future of Africa's wildlife is threatened by poaching and illegal wildlife trade, not responsible, scientifically managed sport hunting," USFWS Service Director Dan Ashe said in a statement. "We remain committed to combating heinous wildlife crimes while supporting activities that empower and encourage local communities to be a part of the solution."

The USFWS says that the hunting permit purchased by Knowlton and issued by the Namibian government helps preserve the endangered species:

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Texas' Looming Texting-While-Driving Ban Will Only Give Cops Another Excuse to Pull You Over

Lord Jim via Flickr
On Wednesday, the Texas House overwhelmingly approved a statewide ban on texting while driving, the third session in a row where this has happened. In 2013, the measure died in the Senate. In 2011, it was killed by Governor Rick Perry, who vetoed it on the grounds that it was a "government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults." With Greg Abbott now in the Governor's Mansion, it has at least a marginally better shot of being signed into law.

That's too bad, because Texas' proposed texting ban, which would impose up to a $200 fine on repeat offenders, is a mess.

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