Indictments, Jailbreaks and Environmental Advocacy Were All The Rage Around North Texas This Week.
Welcome to D-Rated, in which we try to determine if the quality of life in Dallas and its surrounding areas is moving up or down by arbitrarily awarding and subtracting point values to our living situation based on current events.
Johnny Dangerously: Well, I never thought it would happen given the long history of NFL players getting away with just about every crime, but a grand jury this week indicted Johnny Manziel on misdemeanor assault charges. The Cleveland Browns QB winner was taking in a concert by the Biebs the night he was indicted for a Jan. 30 incident in which he allegedly ruptured his ex-girlfriend’s eardrum during a fight and threatened to kill her and himself. Manziel will turn himself in some time next week, but it’s unlikely this will see trial as the two parties will probably settle before then. Even if it did see trial, I would be shocked if he ever sees the inside of jail cell. But this is still a step in the right direction, and one hopefully that will lead to a reckoning for the Heisman Trophy winner. Plus 4.
Jailbird Flew the Coop: If you see a man in an orange jumpsuit in Canton this weekend, don’t pick him up. That could be Jay Scott McEvers, who escaped from the Van Zandt County Detention Center on Wednesday night. His mother and girlfriend are under investigation for allegedly aiding in his escape. Authorities say he should be considered “armed and dangerous.” Be careful out there! Also, did you ever notice that it’s always the violent inmates that escape? It’s never someone who was busted for say, securities fraud. Minus 2.
AG WTF: I hope you’re not living in Collin County, because if you are, you’re on the hook for another $82,000 in attorneys’ fees for Attorney General Ken Paxton, who’s been indicted for three felonies. His trial hasn’t actually started yet, though, so there will be plenty more bills to come. They’ve already exceeded the $100,000 the county budgeted for his case for all of 2016. In my opinion, if they find his ass guilty, he should have to pay it all back. Minus 3.
Unfiltered: In a surprising use of its power for good, the city council unanimously voted to protect Big Spring and its diverse plants and wildlife. This means there won’t be any future development in the area. The Pemberton family had sold the land to Dallas 12 years ago and there hadn’t been any rumors of development in the spot just north of Texas Horse Park, but, this being Dallas, pavers could be lining up at any minute. This is a big win for conservationists in the area and for anyone who’s tired of Dallas bulldozing its history. Plus 8.
Slummin’ It: It wasn’t enough that the Mavs got bounced from the playoffs this week by the trash-talking Thunder. No, now point guard Devin Harris is also under investigation in Wisconsin for essentially being a slumlord. His company, Divine Momentum LLC, owes nearly $450,000 in fines and taxes. The company bought 67 dilapidated properties in 2012. It started making repairs to improve them – which it was supposed to do – but that all came to a halt some time in 2013. Harris somehow wasn’t named on any public documents, and may not have had any direct knowledge of wrongdoing, but he’s still the boss and will have to fix this mess. Minus 2.
I Can’t Stand the Rain: Ya lied to me, Delkus! You promised the storm of the century on Tuesday night, and all most of us got were some heavy rain. There were no air rescues or mind-boggling hail dumps. Sure, Grayson County saw a few tornadoes, but we battened down our hatches for nothing. Nothing! Minus 1.
Drill Bit the Dust: As of now, there are no active rigs on North Texas’s Barnett Shale. Just 10 years ago, there were more than two hundred. On the one hand, that’s good for the environment as it’s pretty obvious that fracking for natural gas has caused some irreparable damage, including ever-increasing earthquakes. On the other hand, it’s not great for Texas’ economy, since so many of our fair citizens work in the oil and gas industry. Hopefully, those folks will find jobs in a less-damaging segment of the workforce. Plus 4 for the environmental impact, Minus 3 for the economic impact.
No Smooooookkkkkkkiiiiiiiinnnnn’: Today, I learned that Fort Worth does not have an all-encompassing smoking ban. But Billy Bob’s is getting ahead of the curve in Cowtown and, starting May 1, you can only smoke outside the honky tonk. They’d previously restricted smoking to everywhere but the showroom. Now, you’ll only be able to light up on the venue’s new patio. About time, I say. Personally, I don’t think there should be any smoking any indoor public space, so it’s nice to see a bar opting in to keep their patrons from risking cancer. Plus 4.
This Week’s Total: Plus 9.
Last Week’s Running Total: Minus 16.
This Week’s Running Total: Minus 7.