Then and Now: Dallas Teachers Reflect on Own First-Day-Of-School Memories

Then and Now: Dallas Teachers Reflect on Own First-Day-Of-School Memories

The first bell has already rung, and students and teachers are finding their groove in the classroom.

While they settle into their new routines, some instructors can’t help but notice how different the classrooms that they lead are from the ones they sat in as students.

Lunches, recess, teaching styles — all of it has changed.

Teachers from Dan D. Rogers Elementary shared memories from their own school days as they worked to prepare their northeast Dallas campus ahead of Monday’s start.

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Planning To Move To Dallas Soon?

Planning To Move To Dallas Soon?

If you’re wanting to move to Dallas, you’ve come to the right place! Here, you’ll get some tips on what you can do to get to this area and find a home there that you love. All it takes is a little bit of research, so read on for more.

You need to look at listings on a regular basis when you are looking for a home in any area. You want to know what the latest listings are so you can contact the people that posted them to ask about whether they are still selling the home or not. You can also find rental properties in listings, so don’t be afraid to look at what’s out there each day. Make a list of what might work for you and then contact each person that put up the listings so you can ask them any questions you may have.

Before you move to this area, try to look into what there is to do for you and your family. Are there good schools for your kids? Can you get to work without having to travel too far? It doesn’t make sense to move somewhere that has you traveling all around when you really shouldn’t be having to because that adds up in the way of gas costs. Not only that, but you have to pay to keep up with your vehicle. Do your research on what’s in the area and then find a home near where you’re likely to go regularly.

There are a lot of people that live in Dallas and love tot call it home. You can be one of those people, too, if you use our tips. Just make sure you’re careful about where you choose to stay and you should do just fine.

What Next for Struggling Dallas Schools After Trustees Reject Tax Revenue Plans?

What Next for Struggling Dallas Schools After Trustees Reject Tax Revenue Plans?

At the end of a fractious board meeting, where Dallas ISD trustees couldn’t agree on any of three tax measures that could have provided the district with millions more in funding, board president Dan Micciche waxed philosophical.

He said the school district would have to do exactly what students are told at graduation ceremonies: Be resilient. “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward,” Micciche said.

The state’s second-largest school district does just that on Monday, opening its doors for the 2017-18 school year.

Yet, the district’s tax rate is the same as a year ago. In fact, the rate hasn’t risen since 2011. Dallas ISD has the third-lowest tax rate among districts in North Texas. Continue reading →

In the Shadow of a Confederate Statue, a Dallas Sanctuary Becomes a Symbol of Troubled Times

In the Shadow of a Confederate Statue, a Dallas Sanctuary Becomes a Symbol of Troubled Times

Most days, Lee Park is just a park, a quiet preserve of 15 acres in Oak Lawn shaded by mature live oaks scattered around a broad hill of deep-green grass with wide paths and blooming gardens just away from the noise and bustle of the city beyond.

These aren’t most days. These are times of turmoil about the country’s past, its present and its future. And the park anchored by a massive statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee finds itself in the glare of Dallas’ attempt to come to grips with the days of change.

And so now, people who use the park every day, who’ve grown up near it and consider it part of their personal lives, must see it as something other than a park. It is no sanctuary from the outside world, from the anger and outrage whipsawing the country. It is today a heavy symbol of the trouble. Continue reading →

Cowboys Can Survive Without Ezekiel Elliott, a Star Rb the Nfl Suspended for All the Right Reasons

Cowboys Can Survive Without Ezekiel Elliott, a Star Rb the Nfl Suspended for All the Right Reasons

This Story is About…
Louis DeLuca/Staff Photographer Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) is pictured during Cowboys NFL football playoff game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, January 15, 2017. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

LOS ANGELES–The NFL has found itself in the middle of another domestic violence mess, and, once again, outrage is spreading across the land. Only this time, it is a different, unsettling kind of outrage.

Ezekiel Elliott, the marquee running back for football’s marquee Dallas Cowboys, has been suspended for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy amid allegations of domestic violence.

There was never an arrest or criminal prosecution, but there were photos of alleged abusive incidents with a former girlfriend in July 2016. There was never any video, but there were reams of testimony supported by medical experts.

There was no legal proof of anything, but the league’s investigative team compiled more than 100 exhibits in a report that exceeded 160 pages and came to the conclusion that Elliott had clearly violated the league’s broad personal conduct policy.

“There is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that (Elliott) engaged in physical violence,” it said in a letter that the league sent to Elliott.

Shame on Elliott, right? Nope. The narrative across the sports landscape Friday afternoon was, shame on the NFL. The majority of talk was not about NFL players’ continued pattern of violence toward women, but about how the NFL drastically reshaped the season for those poor Dallas Cowboys.

How could they suspend a player when he wasn’t even charged with a crime? How can they suspend Giants kicker Josh Brown for one game for admittedly hitting his wife or suspend Greg Hardy four games after he was found guilty of assaulting a female, and yet dock Zeke six games for being convicted of nothing?

How could the NFL simply believe the word of former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson instead of Elliott? How could he miss more than one-third of the season — and some say potentially hurt the Cowboys’ title chances — simply because he loses a battle of “he said, she said?”

All of these questions, while pertinent to the values of the American justice system, are not relevant to the NFL. The NFL is not a public courtroom, it is a private business. The NFL makes decisions based not on any judge’s gavel, but in the best interests of its business.

Roger Goodell, the much-criticized NFL commissioner, made the right call here. Working from behind a battered NFL shield, he made a bold move to strengthen it.

Goodell saw billows of smoke and correctly determined fire. He didn’t need formal charges to show him Thompson’s cellphone photos of the alleged abuse. He didn’t need a subpoena to hear medical experts validate the nature of Thompson’s photos and testimony. And he certainly didn’t need some law to tell him of the absolute ridiculousness of Elliott’s defense.

His representatives said Thompson might have fallen down some stairs or, better yet, bumped into table while she was working as a restaurant server. Seriously? Are we still allowing our beloved athletes to skate on such excuses?

“There is a eyewitness here. The eyewitness is Tiffany Thompson herself. She is a victim and a survivor,” said Peter Harvey, the former attorney general for New Jersey who helped work the league’s year-long investigation.

It isn’t like Goodell made the easy call here. This decision is like a jab to the league’s midsection. No team drives the TV ratings like the Cowboys. No owner has been more responsible for the league’s billion-dollar success than Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, who is surely steaming mad. And few players have captured the league’s imagination like Elliott, who led the league in rushing last season with 1,631 yards and scoring 15 rushing touchdowns.

For years, the NFL was accused of covering up or ignoring off-field violence — witness the Ray Rice debacle. This same league should now be applauded by risking serious dollars to bring these issues to light.

There is precedent for suspension without legal support. Remember back in 2010 when Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended four games just for being a bad guy? Heck, remember last fall when New England quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games because Goodell thought he had cheated.

Goodell spent the season feeling the backlash of the Brady suspension, culminating when he awkwardly handed the Patriots the Lombardi Trophy after their stirring Super Bowl comeback victory.

He will feel the same heat here. Fans who despise domestic violence will rip him for benching their favorite player simply because that domestic violence is only in photos and not in a verdict. Fans who would never attempt to solve a problem with anger will criticize him for penalizing an alleged pattern of solving problems with anger.

Everybody needs to just chill. Elliott will be temporarily gone, but the Cowboys aren’t going anywhere. Their offensive line is so powerful, you could run behind it for six games. Dak Prescott is still the quarterback? And this is still a quarterback league? If the Patriots can lose Brady for a month and win a Super Bowl, the Cowboys can lose Elliott for six weeks and be just fine.

Relax. Your fantasy league will survive, while the real league just got stronger.

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Art by Juveniles Locked up in Dallas County on Display at Love Field Airport

Art by Juveniles Locked up in Dallas County on Display at Love Field Airport

The girl sat sullen-faced in the art room at Dallas County’s juvenile detention. She crossed her arms on the table and lay her head down.

You should take advantage of this one time you’ll get free art supplies, the teacher, local artist Dawn Waters Baker, told her. The girl picked up a paintbrush.

“She ended up being the most incredible student I had,” Baker said Friday night, as she looked at one of the girl’s oil paintings of a sunset over a lake, streaked in shades of orange and purple.

The painting hangs in Dallas Love Field Airport’s art gallery, part of an exhibit of pieces created by youths locked up in Dallas County in recent years. Through October, travelers in the secure area of the terminal can peruse the juveniles’ paintings and drawings in the airport’s gallery, which is located beside Dunkin’ Donuts.

At Love Field Airport, hangs an oil painting of a sunset done by a girl at Dallas County Juvenile Detention who started off skeptical about art. It’s part of an exhibit that runs through October at the airport.

In the three months the exhibit is up, the airport will see about 3.5 million travelers pass through, said Guy Bruggeman, art coordinator at the city’s aviation department. The exhibit came about after Bruggeman and Terry Smith, the juvenile detention director, met last year and she suggested the kids’ art be shown if the gallery had an opening.

“Their lives have disruption and chaos but when they draw it’s the beauty that shows,” Smith said at a reception at the airport Friday. “Their sense of accomplishment and all the kudos they get — it’s like a light’s been turned on in their head.”

The art program started in 2009 and has since taken off, said program director Cynthia Wallace. The three local artists who teach — Janet Reynolds, Danielle Kent and Baker — are all volunteers. The program gets supplies through grants and donations by jurors of their $6 daily stipend.

Many of the youths have never painted before, Baker said. She’s seen lots of benefits the juveniles get from art, since they often leave happier and more relaxed. When they like a piece they created, it builds confidence too, she said.

And it’s therapeutic, said County Judge Clay Jenkins.

“A lot of the kids who act out have a lot of difficult things going on at home and they don’t have a healthy outlet to get those emotions out,” Jenkins said. “These kids may not become professional artists, but it’s a really good thing when kids can learn a constructive way to express themselves.”

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Friday looks at paintings done by juveniles at Dallas County lockups hanging at Love Field Airport.

Lawrence Luby, a volunteer who teaches a 10-week course for kids with drug issues on life skills and spirituality, said the most common problem he sees among the kids is that their fathers aren’t involved in their lives. He said about 90 percent of the boys that go through his course don’t have any relationship with their fathers.

“Their mothers who are trying their best to raise the kids and work,” Luby said. “But they lack a positive male influence.”

Though the kids’ work hangs in the airport, many of them have likely never ridden on an airplane, said Terry Lynn Crenshaw, a chef who teaches girls, in lockup culinary skills. Many of the girls have been involved with prostitution, she said. Besides cooking, Crenshaw said she tries to hammer on the importance of two goals for the girls: going to college and traveling.

“I tell them all they need to get a passport,” Crenshaw said. “It melts my heart when the girls say ‘This is my first time making cookies.’ They’ve been on the run so much they haven’t had a chance.”

At the reception Friday night, Baker smiled as she recalled the girl who did the sunset oil painting, and her reaction after she completed it.

“Miss, I can’t believe I did that,” Baker recalled the girl saying. “When I get out, I’m going to use my money to buy art supplies.”

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Dallas Cowboys: Undrafted Rookie Reminding Some of Maliek Collins

Dallas Cowboys: Undrafted Rookie Reminding Some of Maliek Collins

Could this young defensive end prospect be the Dallas Cowboys next great undrafted rookie free agent find and earn himself a place on the active roster?

Lost in the spotlighted play of Dallas Cowboys rookies like quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott last season was the performance turned in by their 2016 third round selection, Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins.

Despite missing a majority of offseason training during his rookie campaign due to a broken foot, Collins was still arguably the Cowboys most consistent defender in the trenches last season. The now 22-year old recorded 23 tackles in 2016 and was second on the team in sacks with 5.0.

More importantly, according to Next Gen Stats, Collins lead the league in fastest average time from snap to sack among rookie interior defensive linemen. He averaged a blazing 4.28 seconds as a defensive tackle, which placed him fifth among all interior pass rushers in the NFL.

The point being, Collins was one of the fastest players along the defensive line last season. And according to Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, there is an undrafted rookie free agent currently in camp that has the same kind of quickness.

“[Neal’s] got some of that Maliek suddenness,” Marinelli told the Dallas Morning News. “That’s what we kind of liked about him. He’ll fill out and get bigger as he goes. I don’t worry about that.”

The old ball coach is referring to former LSU standout Lewis Neal. Undersized as a defensive end, the 6-foot-2, 272 pound prospect actually led the Tigers in sacks his junior year posting 8.0. And he was known for coming up big in big games.

Although Neal investigated the possibility of leaving for the NFL early, he ultimately decided to go back to LSU for his senior season. But a switch to the 3-4 defense didn’t help his professional cause, as he recorded 60 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2016.

Lewis signed with the Cowboys following April’s NFL Draft, which appears to be fortunate for the undrafted free agent. Dallas has suffered a slew of suspensions at defensive end, with pass rushers Randy Gregory, David Irving and Damontre Moore all serving multiple game bans.

This opens the door for a player like Lewis Neal to be able to earn an active roster spot and prove he belongs on this Dallas Cowboys team. So far, it appears the 22-year old undrafted free agent is making the most of his opportunity.

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