The Designer Drug "N-Bomb" Has Been Linked to the Death of a Frisco Teen

Categories: Drugs, The 'Burbs

Bath salts haven't gone away. Just this week, a California smoke shop owner was arrested with half a ton of the stuff. But with a federal crackdown and heightened awareness of their face-eating side effects, their use (or at least the panicked reporting on it) is on the decline.

Now filling the void is N-Bomb, a newish, LSD-like designer drug that offers users a cheap and, until the Drug Enforcement Agency banned it last month, legal high. Like its predecessors, it's often sold at convenience stores under various product labels (e.g. "Smiles" and "251") and on the Internet. Also like its predecessors, it can have terrifying side effects.

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Lewisville Stinks. The City Hopes $2.7 Million Will Help Mask the Odor.

Categories: News, The 'Burbs

Old Town Business Association, via Facebook
We don't mean to cast aspersions on Lewisville, which as far as we can tell is a fine suburb, home to 95,000 mostly law-abiding Texans and a fine lake to get drunk on. But the stench that wafts over Old Town, the city's historic downtown, is unmistakable.

"A lot of times, it's just a sewer gas smell," Terry Anderson, a Lewisville plumber, told WFAA. "It smells a little bit like a dead animal sometimes."

The odor, any mention of which is strangely absent from the city's official tourism website, has been plaguing Lewisville off and on for four decades. It wasn't until recently, however, after the city completed two studies, that officials figured out that it was coming from the Prairie Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, according to The Dallas Morning News.

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Frisco's Own Expert Critical of Exide's Plan to Clean Lead Smelter Site

The clean-up of toxic land around the former Exide lead smelter in Frisco hasn't even begun yet, and already it has drawn criticism from state regulators and now the city's own expert. In testimony submitted on behalf of Frisco in Exide's bankruptcy proceedings, William Wheatley, an engineer and former director of waste permits for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said the company was basing its clean-up on faulty assumptions about the groundwater below.

See also: Battery Maker Exide Declares Bankruptcy as Frisco Attempts to Clean Its Toxic Legacy

The quality of the groundwater guides the stringency with which Exide's lead dump should be remediated. Despite clear evidence, the company incorrectly classified groundwater beneath the site, he testified, according to citizen groups Downwinders at Risk and Frisco Unleaded, which were instrumental in the closing of the smelter. A "Class 2" groundwater resource can pump 150 gallons of usable, potable water a day. A "Class 3" is a weaker, less productive well you wouldn't drink. It's a big distinction, and it carries big implications in terms of how thorough (and expensive) lead-removal efforts must be.

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The Number of Poor People in Dallas Suburbs Keeps Going Up

Categories: The 'Burbs

The suburbs stir up a lot of associations in the popular imagination. It covers territory as diverse as Leave It to Beaver and Blue Velvet. What the 'burbs don't usually evoke is poverty. For decades the war on poverty has been fought mostly in urban centers, but according to a new study out today from the Brookings Institute, the battlefield has shifted to their outskirts.

The report, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, surveyed 95 metropolitan areas in the U.S. The research shows that between 2000 and 2011, while the number of Americans living below the poverty line in cities rose 29 percent, the number living in suburban areas rose 64 percent. In Dallas-Fort Worth specifically, the number of suburban poor doubled between 2000 and 2011, from 224,443 to 474,023, giving DFW the 12th highest growth rate out of all the cities surveyed.

The study cites many factors for these trends: lack of affordable housing, job sprawl, immigration, economic issues. The authors note that these were causing an increase in suburban poverty well before the recession hit, but the economic downturn exacerbated the problem in some areas.

See also:
Cities Are Now Growing Faster Than Suburbs -- Except in Dallas, Of Course
Mark Cuban Takes to Forbes to Remind Us That He, Too, Was Once Poor

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Plano's Upcoming Liquor-Law Vote Is Getting Ridiculous

Categories: Booze, The 'Burbs

This guy is eagerly awaiting Saturday's election results.
Plano must have taken a hit when Dallas voters approved citywide beer and wine sales two-and-a-half years ago. No longer were the good people of Far North Dallas forced to drive north of the Bush Turnpike to stock up on beverages. They could simply go down the street to the grocery store.

There's now a push to recover the lost tax revenue -- and then some -- by welcoming liquor stores to Plano. Supporters of the referendum that will be put to voters this Saturday, including Mayor Phil Dyer, make an economic argument: People drink liquor; liquor is a taxable commodity; Plano would bring in an extra $500,000 per year buy letting people buy liquor there.

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Trophy Club's Proposed New Logo a Bit Too Marxist for Some [Updated]

Updated on April 23: April Reiling, the town's marketing manager, says the Town Council defeated the logo on a vote of 3-2. Mayor Connie White was absent from the meeting but, even had she been there and voted for the new design, it wouldn't have made a difference since a tie vote counts the same as a losing vote.

Reiling says the town is putting the logo project aside for the moment while it focuses on updating the town's website. But, she promises, the town will eventually adopt a new logo. The old one's outdated and too intricate to be easily reproduced on city documents, signs, and the like.

Original post: The logo for the town of Trophy Club is consists of a star-studded, presidential-looking seal framing the town's signature clock tower. A pair of crossed flags, one for the U.S., one for Texas, jut in either direction. A black-and-gray ribbon unfurls underneath emblazoned at the center with a blue Dallas Cowboys star.

It's a serviceable enough municipal emblem, but, let's be honest, a tad bit busy. It also looks as though it was created at the same time as the town, in 1985.

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Plano Welcomed a New Condom Sense Store with Threatening Emails and, Yes, Gunfire

Categories: Crime, The 'Burbs

When Mike Edwards opened a Condom Sense at Parker and Independence in Plano last month, he touted it as a way to pump new life into an aging strip center and help reinvigorate local retail. But as CBS 11's J.D. Miles so, um, artfully put it, neighbors and religious leaders "aren't exactly ribbed with pleasure."

They were quite upset, as a matter of fact, even outraged and objected loudly to the store's existence, primarily, it seems, because passing children might conclude that sex exists and that people like it.

The friction hasn't eased with the store's opening. Just after midnight on Tuesday, CBS 11 reports, someone opened fire on the store from a car in the parking lot, shattering the front glass and causing thousands of dollars of damage the the building and merchandise. This on the heels of protests and vaguely threatening emails against the store.

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