Surveillance Video Shows Longview Police Killing Mentally Ill Teen Inside Police Station

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Screengrab/YouTube
One week after Longview Police Department officers shot and killed a mentally ill teenager in the lobby of their own police station, the department has released a surveillance video that captures the teenager's death. It does little to clear things up.

The police say Kristiana Coignard charged at officer Glenn Derr "in a threatening manner" while holding a butcher knife. But in the footage that the department released, it's impossible to tell whether or not the teen was, in fact, armed. The surveillance camera appears to have been placed at the opposite side of the lobby from where the incident occurred, and the hands and faces of the teenager and the officers are small and out-of-focus. There is also no sound. Here's the video:

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A Plan for Fixing the Trinity River: Do Nothing

Categories: Schutze

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William Murphy/Flickr
Ireland's River Dodder in Dublin. Say, that looks like a great spot to put a toll road.

In this town, if you say you don't think we should build a highway practically on top of the Trinity River through downtown, the people who want to build a highway on top of the river through downtown always say, "Well, what's your idea instead?"

As if that's the perfect squelch. And if you don't have an idea what to do with the river instead, it's taken as proof that you're an idiot and a dawdler. But what if you don't have an idea because you don't want to have an idea? What if your idea is nothing?

In fact it occurs to me every once in a while that our most magnificent challenge in this town is nothing. Leaving something -- anything, just one thing -- alone. Just to show we can do it. Nothing is the one thing we seem unable to imagine.

If there's a river at our feet, we argue all day long about what it needs to be instead -- a shipping canal, a highway, an amusement park. What if it were just a river? What about leaving it the hell alone?

Anybody can dig canals, build highways or put up Ferris wheels. Who can make a river?


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Veteran Dallas Cop Arrested For DWI Is Surprisingly Bad At Taking Sobriety Tests

Categories: Crime

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Screen grab/Cedar Hill PD
In a region with poor public transit but plenty of available parking at the bar, it's no longer surprising to learn that someone in law enforcement was arrested for driving drunk. That doesn't make it OK that a longtime Dallas Police Department officer allegedly drove while under the influence in Cedar Hill last Saturday. But it is hard to muster outrage at Senior Corporal Doreen Sotelo-Celedon for an offense that so many people here commit without consequence. What is inexcusable, however, is her remarkably poor performance on her sobriety tests. Don't cops get extra practice at those things?

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John Wiley Price Withdraws Request for Court-Appointed Attorney

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Alex Scott
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, acting through his attorney Billy Ravkind, has pulled his application for a taxpayer-paid lawyer. Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn reset a hearing to evaluate Price's claims of indigence after Price didn't show up to court -- apparently with Ravkind's blessing. Lynn was aggravated, demanded Price show up next Tuesday and resolve a series of questions she still had about his apparent poverty.

Among other things, Lynn asked Price to give the court the values of his residence and rental property on East Fifth Street near Lake Cliff, to detail his monthly income including his vehicle allowance and to explain what happened to the $11,000 in cash Price had on him at the time of his arrest.

Lynn also wanted to know about the monthly mineral rights checks Price gets, a trio properties deeded, by Price, to Ravkind in addition to a detailed listing of all the cars owned by Price and why he was unable to sell them or use them as collateral for a loan.

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The Wheels Keep Spinning for the Last of Dallas' Bike Messengers

Categories: Cover Story

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Can Turkyilmaz
Bike courier Christina Jones

In the elevator of a sleek Dallas office building indistinguishable from any other downtown or uptown, an elderly businesswoman with a head of teased blond hair stares at Christina Jones. Dressed in jeans, with her hair pulled back in a no-frills ponytail and a bicycle helmet in hand, Jones looks like an athlete who took a wrong turn into the stuffy corporate building. "Are y'all on bikes?" the woman asks. Jones has been riding around in the misty cold since 8 a.m., first commuting to get her morning coffee and then making 13 stops in a three-hour stretch. The rides started relatively short, a mile or less, but long elevator trips, searches for the right employee for delivery or pickup, and even locking and unlocking her bike, soak up time. By 1 p.m. she still hasn't eaten lunch.

"You're crazy," the woman in the elevator says, before paying Jones what sounds like a compliment: At least the cycling is keeping her fit. Jones thanks her and says that she looks trim, too. The woman says nothing, so Jones repeats herself. The woman still says nothing.

"I have a health issue," the businesswoman finally responds, coldly, breaking an awkward silence as the elevator doors open.

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Dallas to Continue Adding Fluoride to Its Water

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dogsagainstfluoridation.com
Sheffie Kadane's quest to get the city to stop fluoridating its drinking water is over. For months, the Dallas City Council member, aided by the likes of DogsAgainstFluoridation.com, has warned of the dangers of continuing to do something that Dallas dentists say has strengthened local kids teeth for almost 50 years.

"It would be a tremendous disservice to the citizens of Dallas, especially our children, if we stop this public health service," Lawrence Wolinsky, the dean of Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, said at Wednesday's council meeting.

Another dentist, who described his family's more than 150 years in the teeth business, spoke about the differences he saw in kids mouths after the city introduced fluoride into the water supply in the 1960s

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Texas Set to Kill Intellectually Disabled Man on Thursday

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Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Texas' lethal injection gurney.
Barring any last minute action by the United States Supreme Court, Robert Ladd will be executed Thursday night by the state of Texas. Ladd, convicted for the 1996 murder of Vicki Ann Garner, will be the second inmate on Texas' death row killed in 2015.

Texas' highest criminal court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, denied Ladd's final request for a stay of execution Tuesday, despite his long-documented history of intellectual disability. In a 2005 U.S. District Court hearing held to determine whether Ladd met Texas' statutory definition of "mentally retarded," a defense expert testified that Ladd's IQ was 67 and that Ladd had significant functional deficits in areas like work, money, social and communication skills. The state's expert at the hearing agreed with the defense about Ladd's functional problems, but blamed them on an anti-social personality disorder rather than an intellectual disability.

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Teddy Bear, Dallas' Talking Porcupine, Is America's Best Super Bowl Pundit

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YouTube screenshot

By the ordinary laws of Internet fame, the universe should have long ago forgotten Teddy Bear the talking porcupine. It's been three years his emergence as a viral celebrity, roughly 8.6 billion years in Internet time. Adorable though he may be, with his vaguely anthropomorphic squeaks and amusing dietary quirks, he should have been supplanted by a flatulent gerbil or trombone-playing ferret or something.

And Teddy Bear would indeed be irrelevant were it not for one highly lucrative skill: He can correctly pick the winner of the Super Bowl. Since 2012, when he first thrust his snout into football punditry, Teddy Bear is a perfect 3-0, accurately forecasting that the Giants, Ravens and Seahawks would win Super Bowls XLVI, XLVII and XLVIII, respectively.

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Rogue Fort Worth Funeral Home Owner Committed Food Stamp Fraud, Paid Cash for Luxury Cars

Categories: Crime

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Tarrant County
Rachel Hardy Johnson
Rachel Hardy Johnson is nothing if not audacious. The 35-year-old Mansfield woman currently facing corpse abuse and theft charges in Tarrant County, stemming from decomposed and desiccated bodies found in her funeral home, has now pleaded guilty to stealing food stamps.

See also: Multiple Bodies Found Inside Abandoned Funeral Home

Johnson married her husband, Dondre Johnson, in Las Vegas in February 2010. In April 2010, saying she was an unemployed single mother, Johnson applied for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. She was approved and began receiving the assistance money. In December 2010, she registered her first business with Tarrant County, "Mighty Dollar Tax" in Arlington.

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Belo Foundation Buys Up Land Intended for Downtown Dallas Park

Categories: Preservation

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Belo Foundation
Much to the benefit of downtown dogs and their owners, Harwood Park, one of the primary fixtures of the city of Dallas' downtown park plan is one step closer to actually happening.

The Belo Foundation, stepping in for a city it said doesn't have the money to buy the properties proposed for the park, announced that it's acquired 1.57 of the 2.32 acres of privately owned property needed to build the park.

"With the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department's tight budget and a current absence of available bond funds to acquire the land for Harwood Park, The Belo Foundation trustees were concerned that the site would be purchased by developers attracted by the rapid growth and progress in the expansion of the Farmers Market District. Land prices in the area are on the rise, and the Foundation trustees worried that the City might have found itself priced out of the market by the time bond funds become available for land acquisition," the foundation said in a press release.

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