Another Student Is Suing SMU Over its Handling of an Alleged Sexual Assault

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Curt Teich & Co.
An SMU freshman who accused a well-known fraternity brother of sexually assaulted him is now suing the school, saying it violated Title IX by acting "deliberately indifferent" to his report of sexual assault and to prior sexual harassment by his alleged assailant, John David Mahaffey.

See also: Another SMU Student Has Been Arrested for Sexual Assault

The alleged incident happened in September 2012, when the student told police that Maheffey, a fourth-generation SMU student and prestigious Hunt scholar, coerced him into the oral sex by threatening him to block him from Sigma Phi Epsilon and with the loss of his own Hunt Leadership scholarship. The next day, SMU police recorded a phone conversation between the student and Mahaffey.

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Dallas Libraries Attempt to Raise Money the City Won't Give Them

Categories: City Hall

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James Joel
The city pays for library "buildings and bodies," but anything else the libraries need must be provided by donors.

If the city won't give money to Dallas libraries, maybe the community will. Thursday was North Texas Giving Day, which means Friends of the Dallas Public Libraries, along with other north Texas do-gooder groups, were busy rattling their tin cans for spare change to raise money that, in the library's case, the city should already be providing.

See also: Dallas' Libraries, Among the Nation's Worst Funded, May Actually Get Some More Money

Last month, city staff released the budget plan for the next fiscal year. After several rounds of negotiations, the city settled on an additional $3.8 million to go toward the library budget. The raise comes after years of cuts, steadily driving the annual budget from $32 million in 2008 to last year's budget of $22 million.

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Vonciel Hill's Loony Memo to Scott Griggs Versus the Facts on the Ground

Categories: Schutze

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Vonciel Hill can snap her fingers and make all this go away? What would that make her?

Here's a nice little moment when the truth comes home to roost: Yesterday Stephen Young shared with you here a memo sent to Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs by council member Vonciel Hill in which Hill basically called a Griggs a liar.

Hill accused Griggs of distorting the facts when Griggs complained that a city contractor had despoiled a pond in the Great Trinity Forest by draining it for cheap construction water. So one elected official calls another one a liar. Big so-what? The thing about a charge like that, however, is that it doesn't just paint Griggs as a liar but also the people who alerted Griggs to the destruction in the first place.

See also: Dallas Councilwoman Vonciel Hill Is Really Mad at Scott Griggs for Doing His Job


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Dallas Radio Yakker Wants Adrian Peterson to Play for the Cowboys

Categories: Media, Sports

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CBS DFW
Shan Shariff, the world's foremost expert on Texas.
It's been a banner week for the DFW sports media brain trust. First, the Star-Telegram's Mac Engel told us why we were stupid for thinking Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was a child abuser just because he gone a little too far. Now we have Shan Shariff, a radio host on 105.3 The Fan, who actually wrote a column for CBS DFW headlined "Why Adrian Peterson Needs A Star On His Helmet."

See also: Star-Telegram's Mac Engel Says Adrian Peterson Just Got a Little Carried Away

To be clear, he doesn't mean that Peterson needs to have a special sticker on his helmet to warn teammates, opponents and fans they shouldn't let their kids near him. Shariff means Peterson should, after his inevitable departure from the Vikings, be signed by the Cowboys.

Beyond salivating over the on-field possibilities, Shariff, who is from Maryland, writes that Peterson should come to the Cowboys because Texans are more apt to accept violence against children than those in other parts of the country.

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Losing Texas Lotto Players Who Want to Sue Are Following an American Tradition

Categories: Legal Battles

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Paul Sableman
Adults in Texas briefly thought they had won the lottery. Now they are struggling with disappointment, an unpleasant emotion. The Dallas Morning News reported about the plight of an Ellis County woman who felt "cautiously optimistic" that she was in possession of a winning ticket from the Fun 5's game. To confirm that it was actually a winner, she had to get it scanned at a gas station. The scanner had devastating news: She didn't win.

The woman's husband explained to the paper what happened in harrowing detail: "We were disappointed because the machine showed that it was not a winner, and we thought that it was a winner." Naturally, the couple has found a lawyer who thinks they have a good case.

Of course he does. Who hasn't considered suing the lottery? This is America. Two men in New York accidentally threw away their winning ticket and say it's the lottery's fault in a federal lawsuit they filed in June. A man in Delaware sued the lottery after his ticket was destroyed in the washing machine.

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State Board Proves Unwavering Loyalty to Biased TEKS Standards Twice This Week

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David Shankbone
"We just flunked the AP U.S. History test! What, Moses wasn't a founding father?"
It's been a rough week for State Board of Education members, who have upheld their loyalty to TEKS social studies requirements despite bipartisan opposition (although for different reasons, of course).

On Tuesday, the board heard public commentary against proposed social studies textbooks. The publishers, required to conform outrageously biased state social studies standards in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills curriculum, produced products with historical and scientific inaccuracies that angered both left- and right-wing advocates.

See also: SMU Academics Speak Out Against Political and Religious Bias in Texas Social Studies Textbooks

Undaunted, on Wednesday, the board voted 12-3 to emphasize TEKS standards in AP U.S. History classes over College Board material. Almost no one was opposed to the idea of incorporating, or even emphasizing, state curriculum over a national test. But the problem, say insiders, is that the state social studies curriculum is just plain bad.


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Vice Went Undercover at a Dallas Crisis Pregnancy Center

Categories: Healthcare

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Youtube via Vice News
This is not an abortion clinic.
Vice magazine posted a video expose of crisis pregnancy centers to its YouTube channel earlier this week. Beyond the standard stuff -- like anti-abortion activists admitting that the best crisis centers are ones that women think are abortion clinics -- the video includes undercover footage from White Rose Women's Center.

The center is on Routh Street, separated from the Routh Street Women's Health Clinic -- an actual abortion provider -- by a fence. As seen in Vice's report, women calling the center asking about abortion are misled. Prices and services provided can only be discussed, a White Rose employee says, if a woman visits White Rose in person.

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Trinity Toll Road is One of Nation's Biggest "Highway Boondoggles," Says New Report

Categories: Transportation

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Opposition to the Trinity Toll Road hasn't quite reached the torrential flood that will be needed to sweep it into oblivion, but there's at least a decent-sized stream that's been growing, drop by drop as former supporters realize it's a terrible idea.

This morning, the Texas Public Interest Research Group adds another drop with the release of its report, "Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America's Transportation Future." The Trinity Parkway, according to the group, is one of the 11 stupidest highway projects in the U.S.

The specific arguments against the project -- that it will irreparably mar the planned riverside park, that it will hamstring a resurgent Downtown that is already ringed by freeways, that it won't really relieve congestion, etc. -- are well-established by now.

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Dallas Plan Commission Told to Shut Up, Mind its Own Business on Trinity Tree Massacre

Categories: News

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Eric Nicholson
You say you can't see the forest for the trees? City Hall can fix that.
There were several points on Thursday when City Plan Commission members came dangerously close to debating whether City Hall should be allowed to get away with eviscerating several dozen acres of post-oak savanna, in violation of its own zoning rules, so rich people can go golfing.

Luckily for the city's embattled Trinity Watershed Management Department, any substantive discussion of the issue was promptly and summarily strangled by city legal and planning staff.

District 14 Commissioner Paul Ridley was the first to give it a shot.

See also: Dallas Broke Its Own Rules to Get Dirt for Its Golf Course. Now, It Wants a Free Pass.

"Does zoning for Subarea 1 permit strip-mining?" he asked after listening to city planner Neva Dean rattle off the list of the things allowed in the horse-park portion of Planned Development District 883, which includes a hotel and restaurants but not, as you can see from the ordinance, a strip-mine.

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Dallas Councilwoman Vonciel Hill Is Really Mad at Scott Griggs for Doing His Job

Categories: City Hall

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How dare you say things that make sense, good sir.
Rather than, you know, enunciating her concerns at the city council briefing both she and Scott Griggs attended on Wednesday, Vonciel Jones Hill fired off a memo Wednesday morning chastising her fellow council member for his "inaccurate, incomplete and insulting" writing.

The rest of Hill's memo is less alliterative, but just as biting.


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