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Over 30 Live Oak Trees Were ‘Hacked’ in North Dallas and People Aren’t Happy

People are outraged after a developer cut off the tops of over 30 live oak trees along Forest Lane in North Dallas this week.

The trees, with foliage that had been visible from Interstate 635 near Josey Lane, were chopped down to their limbs by the property owner, who bought the lot from the neighboring Home Depot, according to city council member Jennifer Staubach Gates.

She drove by the property herself on Friday to see the damage to the trees, which are on the city’s protected list.

“I was appalled. It was horrific,” she said. “There is no arborist on the planet who would recognize that kind of butchering.”

Steve Houser, a local arborist and former chair of the City of Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee, agrees and said the way the trees were cut will likely kill them.

“Professional arborists do not top trees like this,” he said. “This is a huge loss for the area.”

He suspects that the motive behind cutting back the trees was to increase visibility of the building from the road while avoiding a tree removal permit and accompanying mitigation fees with the city.

David Cossum, director of Sustainable Development and Construction for the City of Dallas, said the owner of the property, Platinum Construction based in Fate, did not file a tree removal permit with the city.

The company could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The city has not issued a citation, Cossum said, but an investigation is underway to determine if a removal permit should have been filed.

“It’s pretty self-evident that they should be classified as having been removed,” he said of the live oak trees.

“It’s shocking,” said Cindy Beatty who lives down the road from the property. “I just think it’s disgraceful.”

Beatty was was shopping at the Home Depot on Friday when she said she saw the hacked trees. Employees at the store told her the developer is getting ready to build a storage unit facility on the property and wanted the building to be visible from the highway.

“I just hate to see trees destroyed to put up a storage facility,” she said.

The city said the investigation should be concluded by next week, but Houser said regardless of the outcome, the damage has already been done.

“It’s very unfortunate,” he said. “Trees like this clean your air, water, soil and they just improve overall quality of life. Damage like this will kill a tree, and Dallas doesn’t have enough trees as it is.”

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East Texas Man is Alive Thanks to Groundbreaking Procedure in Dallas

East Texas Man is Alive Thanks to Groundbreaking ProcedureDallas surgeons among world’s first to repair aortic arch aneurysm with a cutting-edge technique. (Published 46 minutes ago)

An East Texas man is the first person in the state to undergo a groundbreaking medical procedure that saved his life.

Doctors in Dallas treated him for an aneurysm that developed near his heart.
Open heart surgery, considered the traditional treatment, likely would have killed him, so he turned to a new surgical technique that could eventually change the face of medicine.

77-year-old James Isbon suffered from an aortic arch aneurysm, an enlargement or dilation of the arch in the aorta.

Often undetected, these aneurysm can rupture and cause death, according to Dr. Carlos Timaran, Associate Professor in UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Surgery and Chief of Endovascular Surgery.

Milwaukee police have released more body camera footage of the violent arrest of Bucks player Sterling Brown, including portions of where officers discuss "protecting ourselves" and the likelihood of a "media firestorm."

(Published Tuesday, June 5, 2018)

Repairing it typically requires open heart surgery but that wasn’t an option for Isbon.

"It probably wouldn’t have been possible, from what I understand, for them to do open heart surgery on me at my age and with my health issues," said Isbon, who had open heart surgery in the 90s.

In an innovative surgical technique, Dr. Timaran was able to run a customized stent graft through tiny incisions in the neck and groin all the way to the heart to repair the aorta.

This kind of procedure has been performed only seven times in the world.

Dr. Timaran is one of two surgeons in the United States who’ve been granted an investigation device exemption by the FDA for the procedure.

During surgery, the medical team carefully snaked catheters through Isbon’s neck and groin arteries to deploy the stent graft in the aorta.

The stent graft is designed to carry blood flow past the patient’s aneurysm.

"The key here is that you don’t have to stop the heart. You don’t have to open the chest. Patients have just needle holes or tiny incisions in the neck and the groin," said Dr. Timaran.

Isbon became the second person in the U.S. to receive this kind of treatment.
He said the recovery was nothing like that of the open heart surgery.

"Just two days after I was operated on, I was up moving around. Nurses didn’t like it, but by golly, I was up moving around and five days later, I was at home," said Isbon.

Dr. Timaran said it may take years but this technique could likely become the standard treatment for aneurysms.

He said the Dallas program is able to treat most aortic aneurysms using this technique under the special exemption they have from the FDA.

An eruption from one of Central America’s most active volcanoes killed at least 69 people and displaced thousand of Guatemalans. The Volcan de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” blanketed nearby areas with ash and lava, affecting 1.7 million people.

For Isbon, the future is now.

"Like I told the doctor, I’m ready to go out and race him down the hall if he wants to. I’m ready to go!" said Isbon.

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More space for Tiger fans? Dallas firm to offer paid football tailgates as LSU’s official partner

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LSU fans tailgate near the top of Victory Hill before a 2016 football game. A green space created with the demolition of the Old Forestry Building will be used by a Dallas-based company that plans to sell roughly 200 tailgate packages per game starting with the fall football season in a deal with LSU Sports Properties.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

LSU is dedicating a new green space starting with this fall’s football games to its “exclusive tailgate partner” — a Dallas-based company that plans to sell roughly 200 tailgate packages per game.

LSU Sports Properties inked the deal with Blockparty, a firm founded in 2015 to provide tailgate services at sporting events, after a request for proposals earlier this year drew “five or six” companies, according to Robert Munson, senior associate athletic director at LSU. The deal was announced May 3 without fanfare.

Officials declined to provide the financial terms of the contract, though Blockparty CEO Adam Ward said the partnership will last a minimum three seasons.

School and company officials say the move won’t displace any existing tailgaters. As part of a recently completed Patrick F. Taylor renovation project, the Old Forestry Building was demolished, creating the green space, said LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard.

“Obviously that was a concern for us because we wanted to make sure the traditions fans had were not stepped on,” Munson said. “Once this new land popped up we decided to go forward with it.”

LSU officials then began trying to develop the roughly 120,000 square feet of space for a tailgating service. The space is located next to Patrick F. Taylor hall, which fronts Nicholson Drive Extension next to the Business Education Complex.

Blockparty tailgates will run between $600 and $1,800 per game, depending on the game and tailgate package, Ward said. For a season-long package, the tailgates will cost between $3,900 and $8,175.

Ward said his firm’s clientele range from corporations to families to sports teams and alumni groups. Tailgates include a combination of lounge furniture, satellite TV, ice chest service, bellhop service and cleaning and takedown services. The tailgates offered will host up to 30 people each and will be in 10 by 10 foot or 10 by 20 foot tents.

Discounted pricing on tailgates also will be offered to student groups, Munson said.

Blockparty now has 10 university partners and one professional team, the Milwaukee Brewers.

Ward said LSU has the “strongest tailgate culture in the country,” and called Blockparty a “hassle-free” option for fans.

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Will runoff gamble payoff for Dallas male judges? Or will women prevail anyway?

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Women rule Dallas County’s Democratic primary elections.

That’s why when four male civil court judges found themselves facing a woman one-on-one in the primary, they the recruited other women to enter their races. They hoped to make it into Tuesday’s runoff where turnout is lower and hefty campaign accounts and name recognition matter more.

Despite this strategy, one judge, Jim Jordan, lost in the primary to Dallas lawyer Aiesha Redmond. The other three, Carl Ginsberg, Martin Hoffman and Ken Tapscott made it into Tuesday’s runoff and are again facing a female candidate in a face-to-face contest.

In Dallas County Democratic primary elections, 58 percent of voters are women. Since 2006, when Democrats first took control of countywide politics, a men have only won a countywide race three times against women.

Twice it was county Tax Assessor John Ames, who also ran in contests with multiple female candidates. Former state District Judge John Creuzot is the only man to beat a woman one-on-one in a countywide Democratic primary. He will face Republican District Attorney Faith Johnson in November.

Hoffman, a state district judge, faces Dallas lawyer Kim Brown, who nearly beat him and avoided a runoff.

Ginsberg, also a state district judge, faces lawyer Bridgett Whitmore. Ginsberg’s vote total was closer to his primary challenger’s, but their race had more Ginsberg-recruited candidates. Ginsberg contends that lawyers recruited Whitmore to run after they lost a case in his court. The lawsuit against the NFL over a fantasy sports convention was from a business backed by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

In Tapscott’s race, Paula Rosales finished with 35 percent of the vote, beating him by 9 percentage points. Dallas lawyer Rachel Rider, who has a nice-sounding name for politics, had 22 percent, while Tanja Martini hauled in 17 percent. Both women were planted in the race to help Tapscott’s cause.

Like Ginsberg, Tapscott also charges that Rosales is in the race because of trial lawyers who were angry with him. She says she can do a better job.

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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez Sees Opportunity in Texas for Democrats

DNC Chair Tom Perez Sees Opportunity for Dems in TexasDemocratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez Tuesday made his second visit to North Texas since taking over as chairman of the DNC, addressing opportunities in Texas for Democrats in the deeply red state. (Published 2 hours ago)

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez Tuesday made his second visit to North Texas since taking over as chairman of the DNC.

During a sit-down interview, Perez addressed opportunities in Texas for Democrats, a deeply red state.

“I think Democrats can win everywhere. That is the lesson I have learned from my 15 months of traveling across the state and investing in ZIP codes across the United States,” said Perez.

Perez appears confident that Democrats will pick up congressional seats in Texas as the Democrats try to win back a majority.

NBC 5’s political reporter Julie Fine spoke with Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez as he spoke about opportunity in Texas for Democrats.

(Published 3 hours ago)

“I think we can take three to five seats, and it is all about organizing,” he added.

One of the seats Democrats are eyeing is Congressional District 32 — that is the seat held by U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX 32nd District). We asked if he expects Democrats to invest money in the race.

“Absolutely. There is an opportunity there, and again, the fact the Democrats didn’t have a challenger in 2016 was a "shame on us" moment and we are not letting that happen again,” he added.

Perez also sees opportunity for U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX 16th District), who is trying to unseat incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz.

“I think you will see, you know, investments in Beto. You have already seen investments in Beto’s campaign. And the thing about what he is doing that is smart, is what we are doing across the country. We have to compete in every corner of the state,” Perez said.

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Whataburger staff show Texas hospitality to duck who laid eggs outside northwest Dallas store

Whataburger employees have taken a mother duck under their wings after she laid eggs in the parking lot of one of the restaurant’s northwest Dallas locations.

The duck, who employees have named Lilly, used mulch from the parking lot to make a nest for her eight eggs, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported.

Staff have shown the duck true Texas hospitality since she showed up a few weeks ago. They put up orange traffic cones and caution tape so drivers wouldn’t disturb her. They’ve also given her food and refill a water bowl for her regularly, the station reported.

A customer, Lucile Crouch, told WFAA-TV she was delighted the duck laid her eggs at a Whataburger.

"I love it that she chose Whataburger. I think that’s great," she told the station. "She’s a Texas duck through and through."

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Check out The Whataburger Duck! She’s been there several days – corner of Lemmon & NW Highway. Pretty cool!


The Whataburger where Lilly took up residence is located near the intersection of Lemmon Avenue and Northwest Highway, so she’ll be able to waddle over to Bachman Lake once her ducklings are hatched.

Kristi Robeson, who’s visited and photographed the duck a few times since she nested, said Lilly and her eggs were gone Tuesday afternoon.

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Finding Apartments Far North Dallas

When you are looking to invest in a new apartment, you are going to want to be sure to find an apartment location that is suitable for your entire family. In this article, we will be discussing some of the tips for finding apartments far North Dallas.

Finding Apartments Far North Dallas:

1. Transportation.

One of the biggest things that you are likely going to want to look for when you are trying to find the right apartment is transportation options. You want to find an apartment that is conveniently located next to a lot of the transportation options that you might be using. However, if you are someone that has your own vehicle for everyone in your home, this might not necessarily be as important. However, it will still affect the valuation of the apartment that you end up choosing.

2. Budget.

Another thing that you are going to want to consider when you are trying to find the right apartment would be budget options. You will need to consider your own budget options when you are trying to make your decision. You will want to be looking at a variety of things when it comes to your budget because it can affect the type of apartments you consider and even narrow down your options in some instances.

3. Size.

Another thing that you should be thinking about when you are trying to find the right apartment to purchase would be the overall size of the apartment that you are looking at. Ideally, you want to find the apartment that is going to provide you with the best possible size for you and your family. By finding an apartment that has an adequate size, you should be able to make a good purchasing or renting decision when it comes to finding the right one for your family.

4. Safety.
Whenever you are looking to identify the right apartment, you will also want to take a close look at the safety concerns that might exist. You should be able to find an apartment that is safe to move into if you look hard enough. You want to avoid any apartments that might be located in an area that you would want to avoid for safety concerns.

5. Rooms.

Another thing that you might be concerned with is the number of rooms that the apartment comes with. You want to find an apartment that comes with a sufficient number of rooms so that you will be able to fit everyone in your family comfortably into the apartment. This is very important if you have multiple people in your family that are going to want and/or need their own bedrooms. You might even consider the number of other rooms as well.

Overall, there is plenty that you can look at in order to make a good decision on which apartment to move into in North Dallas. By following the tips above, you should be in a good position to pick and choose the right apartment to pick.

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Dozens of neglected, dead animals seized from filthy property in Dallas

SPCA of Texas

Seven dead animals as well as two dozen more dogs, cats, hens and other neglected creatures were seized Tuesday from filthy living conditions in Dallas, according to the SPCA of Texas.

The SPCA and Dallas police searched the feces-filled residence near Dowdy Ferry Road and found eight dogs, seven cats, six hens, three pullets, a rooster and 15 eggs that had allegedly been treated cruelly.

The SPCA and Dallas police found eight dogs, seven cats, six hens, three pullets, a rooster and 15 eggs at the property.
The animals appeared to have health issues including flea infestation, matted fur, skin problems, injured and abnormal limbs, long nails and malnutrition, the SPCA said. Two of the seven cats were confined in feces-filled and urine-soaked wire crates with no access to food or water, the SPCA said. Before they could get the cats out they had to first remove some of the feces.They also found a dog stuck in a wire crate that was buried beneath debris, and hens, a rooster and eggs in a small wire enclosure. The pullets were found in a cardboard box. A number of other dogs and cats were found roaming inside with little or no access to food and water. Another dog was found outside and one more was found in a broken plastic crate, the SPCA said. More than five dead dogs and cats were found in an advanced stage of decay in the back of the property, and three dead kittens were found inside a plastic barrel inside the home, the SPCA said.

The cats and dogs were transported to the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas and the pullets and chickens went to the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney.

The animals will be examined and cared for until the May 8 custody hearing at the Dallas County Government Center.

The SPCA is seeking donations to help the animals at

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Judge dismisses SF suit linked to gun massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas

San Francisco and other cities can’t show they’re likely to be harmed by the Defense Department’s failure to notify the FBI that some service members had committed acts during their time in the military that should prohibit them from owning guns in civilian life, a federal judge ruled Tuesday in dismissing a suit prompted by a massacre at a Texas church.

San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York City sued the Pentagon and top military officials in December after Devin Kelley, a former member of the Air Force, used an assault rifle to kill 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before taking his own life. Kelley had been dishonorably discharged from the service in 2014 after being convicted at a court-martial of assaulting his wife and stepson and serving time in a military brig. Both his conviction and the dishonorable discharge should have made him ineligible to buy or possess a gun.

The Air Force admitted that it had failed to report the conviction to the FBI, which would have been required to include Kelley’s name in its nationwide database, preventing him from legally purchasing the rifle. Later, the Pentagon’s inspector general told Congress that the military had failed to tell the FBI about 31 percent of service members’ criminal convictions in 2015-16, and had been lax in its reporting for more than 20 years.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the situation “alarming” and ordered the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which run the nationwide background-check system jointly, to get noncompliant military branches to turn over their records. In February, CNN reported that the military had disclosed more than 4,000 dishonorably discharged service members to the FBI since the Nov. 5 shootings.

In their suit, the cities said they rely on the FBI’s background checks to approve firearms permits and because of the Defense Department’s omissions, may have allowed sales to individuals who should have been barred from owning guns. They sought court orders requiring thorough record checks by all military branches and monthly reporting under court supervision.

But U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton of Alexandria, Va., said Tuesday that the cities have failed to show that they had been harmed, or would be likely to suffer harm, because of the Defense Department’s alleged violations of law.

In the first place, Hilton said, the cities have no right to the Defense Department information, which under federal law is reported only to the agencies that manage the background-check system. And even if they were legally entitled to the reports, he said, their claim that errors would lead to wrongful gun sales was “too speculative” to show the specific, impending harm needed to proceed with a suit.

In addition, the judge said, a local government may be allowed to sue over a dispute with a federal agency, such as denial of federal funding, but can’t use the courts to launch a “broad programmatic attack” on an agency’s compliance with federal law or seek court supervision to guarantee compliance.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera was disappointed by the ruling and may ask an appeals court to overturn it, said spokesman John Coté.

“The bottom line is the Pentagon needs to do a much better job reporting military convictions so that people who shouldn’t have guns aren’t able to buy them, get a concealed permit for them, or have them returned if police confiscate them,” Coté said. “Nothing in the court’s opinion disputes that. Instead, our case was dismissed on a legal technicality.”

Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @BobEgelko

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Sixers to face Dallas Mavericks in China next season

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Joel Embiid and Dario Saric go after the ball during the Sixers’ last trip overseas: a matchup vs. the Celtics in London. Philadelphia will play two preseason games against Dallas in China this year.

The 76ers will play the Dallas Mavericks in a pair of preseason games in China as part of the NBA China Games 2018.

The teams will play at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on Oct. 5. Three days later, they’ll meet again at the Shenzhen Universiade Center in Shenzhen.

The NBA China Games started in 2004. The Sixers and Mavericks will become the 16th and 17th teams to compete in the event.

“This is an incredible opportunity to showcase the Philadelphia 76ers in front of some of the most passionate fans in the world in China,” Sixers co-managing partner Josh Harris said in a statement. “We appreciate the opportunity the NBA has provided us to compete on such a global state, and look forward to bringing our dynamic, diverse roster to one of the league’s fastest-growing markets.”

Playing overseas is nothing new to Sixers. They suffered a 114-103 regular-season loss to the Boston Celtics on Jan. 11 at the O2 Arena in London.

Before then, the Sixers went overseas during the 2013-14 preseason. They played Bilbao Basket in Bilbao, Spain, on Oct. 6, 2013. Two days later, they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in Manchester, England.

The team’s other NBA global basketball game trips were to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Germany.

“Getting a chance to play all over the world has always been a dream of mine,” rookie Ben Simmons said, “and I’m excited to play in China in October.

“I know the fans there are passionate about basketball, and I’m really looking forward to the trip to Shanghai and Shenzhen.”

The Sixers are hopeful their participation in the global games will continue. They would love to make appearances in Africa and Australia.

With head coach Brett Brown having lived in Australia for 17 years and seven international players — two of whom are the team’s best players — the Sixers are building a global brand.

With Joel Embiid, who hails from the Cameroon, and Simmons, a native of Melbourne, Australia, it makes sense why the Sixers would want to play in those countries. It also makes sense for the NBA to continue featuring them overseas regardless of the country.

Dario Saric (Croatia), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (France), Marco Belinelli (Italy), Ersan Ilyasova (Turkey), and Furkan Korkmaz (Turkey) are the Sixers’ other international players.

“We pride ourselves on the unique, international culture we have created here in Philadelphia,” Brown said. “It’s something that we pay close attention to and it resonates throughout our roster, front office and staff.

“We are excited to bring our team to China in the fall and connect with the truly great fans of a basketball-rich country.”

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