Happy birthday Sheriff!

Posted on 30 Sep 2016 at 12:58pm
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Sheriff Lupe Valdez checks out her new Tesla Model S. (Naomi Martin/Dallas Morning News photo)

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez got an early birthday present on Thursday, Sept. 29, when her partner, Lindsey Browning, surprised her with a brand new, shiny bright red 2016 Tesla Model S, outside the offices of Dallas Morning News. The sheriff, who turns 69 on Oct. 11, has wanted a Tesla for about five years, according to the DMN reports.

Browning, who owns Urban Hippie Chiropractic in Oak Cliff, said that she had bought the car the day before and had been worried that someone would leak the surprise, She told DMN she had let about a half-dozen Dallas County sheriff’s deputies in on the surprise so they could help coordinate the timing, adding “It’s hard to surprise her because so many people are in charge of her life.”

When Valdez commented that they would be paying for the car for the next four or five years, Browning answered, “The hippie business is pretty good.” Prices for the all-electric Tesla Model S reportedly start at $66,000. As they dove away in the car — with Browning behind the wheel since Valdez had not yet had lessons on driving it — the sheriff joked, “This was not paid for with county funds!”

The DMN said Valdez was at the newspaper’s offices for an interview with their editorial board.

 

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Homophobic Alabama Supreme Court chief justice suspended for term

Posted on 30 Sep 2016 at 11:02am
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended for the rest of his term, but will keep his job.

Moore got into legal trouble when he directed Alabama judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Obergefell marriage equality decision. He claimed that Alabama law trumped a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore without pay for the rest of his term, which runs through 2018, but did not remove him from the court. During that period, he may not make any judicial rulings, according to Alabama’s WKRG, the CBS affiliate in Mobile.

Moore had been removed from office once before for defying a federal court that ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments statue from public grounds.

The Southern Poverty Law Center based in Montgomery, Ala. sent the following statement on the suspension of Moore:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Court of the Judiciary today suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for the rest of his term in office.  The Court ruled that Moore violated the canons of judicial ethics by ordering Alabama’s probate judges to defy a federal court injunction requiring them to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on a non-discriminatory basis. This is the second time in 13 years that Moore has been sanctioned as a result of ethics complaints filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The following is a statement by SPLC President Richard Cohen:

“The Court of the Judiciary has done the citizens of Alabama a great service by suspending Roy Moore from the bench.  He disgraced his office and undermined the integrity of the judiciary by putting his personal religious beliefs above his sworn duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

“Moore was elected to be a judge, not a preacher. It’s something that he never seemed to understand. The people of Alabama who cherish the rule of law are not going to miss the Ayatollah of Alabama.”

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Anna police: Investigation continues into disappearance of Anthony Gurley

Posted on 29 Sep 2016 at 11:00am
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The Anna Police Department released these two photos of Anthony Gurley, a gay man missing since Sept. 18.

Police in Anna, Texas are continuing to investigate the disappearance of Anthony Gurley, but have no new information on his whereabouts, according to a statement released Wednesday, Sept. 28. Gurley was last seen Sunday afternoon, Sept. 18, when he left his job at the Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell restaurant on West White Street in Anna. His mother and sister reported him missing the following Wednesday.

Although some reports indicated that Gurley — known in the LGBT community as Celie — might have been headed to Dallas to attend the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade. But his mother, JoAnn Gurley, said that he had talked to a friend the Friday before his disappearance about going to the parade, there was no indication that he actually intended to go to the parade and that he had not, as far as she knew, arranged for a ride to Dallas that day.

According to the statement released Wednesday by Anna police, Anthony Gurley is described  as a black male, about 5’8″ and weighing about 165 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. “It is unknown what he was wearing at the time he disappeared, but it is possible he was carrying” a black backpack with green stripes.

“Anthony has been diagnosed as bipolar and is on numerous medications, none of which are in his possession,” the police noted in their press release. “Anthony has been entered into the national missing persons database. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Anna Police Department at 972-2848 or 972-547-5350.”

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UNT Democrats want Rudy Guiliani uninvited

Posted on 29 Sep 2016 at 11:00am
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Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani

College Democrats of the University of North Texas would like former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani to be uninvited to their campus.

The outrage on campus isn’t because of Giuliani’s political affiliation, but because of his racist history as mayor. In their petition, the group sites Guiliani’s unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policy that allowed police to randomly stop anyone in the city to frisk. The policy was used almost universally  to stop black men.

Recently, Giuliani, a staunch Trump supporter, called Hillary Clinton, “too stupid to be president.” That was despite Clinton leading the effort to get federal money to bail New York City out financially after the Sept. 11 attack.

The Guiliani event is scheduled to be held at the Hilton Anatole on Oct. 27. If the event goes forward, demonstrations outside the hotel are being planned.

College Democrats of the University of North Texas meet Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Wooten Hall 312 on the UNT campus in Denton.

Here’s a link to the petition that UNT students, faculty and staff can sign.

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Nationally known rabbi to lead High Holiday services for Congregation Beth El Binah

Posted on 29 Sep 2016 at 9:43am
Rabbi Steve Gutow

Rabbi Steve Gutow

Following the sudden resignation of Rabbi Steve Fisch a week ago, Congregation Beth El Binah has contracted with Rabbi Steve Gutow, one of the most prominent rabbis in the U.S., to conduct High Holiday services.

The High Holidays are Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, which begins on Sunday night, Oct. 2 and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, which begins on Tuesday night, Oct. 11.

President Barack Obama called Rabbi Gutow “outstanding” last year as he appointed him to the President’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

For two years in a row, Rabbi Gutow was listed as #20 on Newsweek’s list of most distinguished rabbis in the U.S.

“It’s exciting to be part of a community that cares so deeply about the holidays,” Gutow said. “When invited, I was honored to say yes and I look forward to spending the holidays with such a terrific group of people.”

Gutow, a Dallas native, attended several Beth El Binah events in the 1980s and as a rabbinical student, led services for the congregation several times in the ’90s.

“I’ve participated with this congregation before, so I feel like it’s home to me,” Gutow said.

After participating in Ann Richards’ election as governor in 1990, Gutow went to Washington to organize the National Jewish Democratic Council. After a five-year stint with that organization, as well as leading the Texas Democratic Coordinated Campaign in 1996. Gutow attended and graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Penn. In 2003 and he served a congregation in St. Louis for two years.

Gutow became executive director, then president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, where he served until 2015. During his tenure, he created Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign to increase the Jewish community’s participation in climate change and energy debates, combated hunger in America by launching the There Shall Be No Needy Among You initiative and expanded the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.

He is an executive committee member of the Save Darfur Coalition and was arrested with George Clooney and others at a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

He has served on the state board of the Texas Civil Liberties Union and the national board of the American Jewish Congress.

Tickets for Beth El Binah’s High Holiday services are available by contacting the congregation through its website.

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Skateboarding god Brian Anderson has come out as gay

Posted on 28 Sep 2016 at 3:17pm
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Skateboarding legend Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson, a 40-year-old professional skateboarder based in Queens, N.Y., has recently come out publicly as gay. From the looks of this video, it makes not a bit if difference to his colleagues.

What the nearly 27 minute video below to hear Anderson discuss coming out and his colleagues in the world of skateboarding talk about Anderson, the “burly,” “manliest,” most “bad-ass” skater they know.

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BREAKING: No injuries in Oak Lawn gas explosion

Posted on 28 Sep 2016 at 11:36am

explosionPolice said there were no serious injuries in a gas explosion on the corner of Knight and Congress streets. At least two apartments were damaged or destroyed.

More than a dozen emergency vehicles responded to the explosion at 2801 Knight St., but there were no serious injuries. One maintenance person was treated on the scene to remove glass from his arm.

Atmos Energy was on the scene to shut off the gas along with two plumbing trucks to seal any exposed gas lines.

Residents of the complex had been reporting the smell of gas in the laundry room to the property manager for at least five months. The owner of the complex had done nothing about it, according to the residents standing outside the complex.

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BREAKING: Explosion reported in Oak Lawn

Posted on 28 Sep 2016 at 11:16am

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Dallas Voice senior staff writer David Taffet just left our offices in the Design District to go check out reports that there has been an explosion at or near the intersection of Knight and Congress streets in Oak Lawn.

Stay tuned for details.

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Clinton wipes the floor with Donald at first debate

Posted on 27 Sep 2016 at 12:35pm

trump-clintonAbout 100 people gathered at the Round-Up Saloon to watch Hillary Clinton wipe the floor with Donal Trump in their first — and possibly last — debate.

Trump began his performance looking very presidenty, He was serious and actually answered a question or two. Then his eye rolling began. Then his interrupting.

But as Clinton gave actual answers to questions, she got under his skin. For example, she clearly laid out the reasons Trump, whom she kept calling “Donald” as if they were friends, won’t release his tax returns: He’s not as wealthy as he claims. His businesses have repeatedly failed. He didn’t pay any taxes.

Trump’s response to her suggestion he didn’t pay taxes wasn’t a denial, but a smug suggestion that he’s smart, implying those of us who actually do pay any taxes are idiots.

He tried turning the tax claim on Clinton by saying he’ll release his taxes when she releases her deleted emails. Clinton addressed that bluntly saying she made a mistake and learned from it. Trump ranted some more.

He was rattled again when Clinton brought up the birther issue. He tried to blame her for first questioning President Barack Obama’s birth place, but she handed the issue back to him calling it racist and mentioning other times he’s been racist. Early in his career, he was sued by the Department of Justice for preventing African Americans from renting in Trump properties. He claimed that suit was settled without an admission of guilt. His wording was quite interesting. He never said it was a frivolous lawsuit — just that he never admitted guilt.

Oddly, toward the beginning of the debate, Trump brought up the small multimillion dollar loan he received from his father to start his business, which generated quite a bit of laughter at the Round-Up. “Good for you Donald,” one person watching at the bar said. “I only got a million from my father and squandered it on alcohol and prostitutes.”

Trump tried to question Clinton’s stamina. She turned that on him saying that when he’s traveled to 112 countries to negotiate treaties as America’s chief diplomat and sat through 11 hours of grilling in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to her about stamina.

One of Trump’s biggest criticisms of Clinton — he repeated it several times through the debate — was that she laid out a plan to defeat ISIS on her website. He said he has a plan, but wasn’t going to let ISIS know his plan before attacking them.

So will there be a second debate? Well, next week the vice presidential candidates meet, but the Trump campaign is probably deciding right now if they’re going to show up for the second presidential debate.

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UPDATE: Family says Anthony Gurley last seen at work in Anna; no indication he was headed to Dallas Pride parade

Posted on 26 Sep 2016 at 2:43pm
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Anthony Gurley has been missing since Sept. 18. He was last seen leaving his workplace, the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at 2605 W White St. in Anna.

Contrary to reports on Facebook, there is no clear indication that Anthony Gurley was headed to the Dallas Pride parade when he was last seen at his job in Anna, Texas on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Anthony’s mother, JoAnn Gurley, told Dallas Voice today (Monday, Sept. 26), that she last saw her son Sunday morning, Sept. 18, when he left home to go to his job at the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Anna. She said she was still in her bedroom when he called out to tell her good bye as he left the house to walk to work, but that he was probably dressed as usual — wearing a tank top or T-shirt, bike shorts and sneakers and carrying his work clothes.

“He said, ‘Bye Mom. See you later.’ That was the last time I talked to him,” JoAnn Gurley said.

When Anthony didn’t come home at the usual time, his mother said she wasn’t worried because she thought he was just working late. When she hadn’t heard from him by about 8 o’clock that night, she sent a text message. When he didn’t respond, she called and the call went straight to voicemail.

Still, she said, “we didn’t get too alarmed. I mean, he’s 43 years old, a grown man; he can do whatever he wants.” And, she added, it wouldn’t be unheard of for him to have caught a ride somewhere with a friend.

But by Monday, when Anthony still hadn’t returned any texts and calls were still going straight to voicemail, his mother decided to go to the restaurant where he worked. That’s when the manager there told her that Anthony had left work early the day before — at about 1 p.m. — saying he wasn’t feeling well. “He just recently started a new medication, and he had been having some problems with it making him feel bad,” she said.

Anthony’s coworkers at the KFC told his mother that Anthony had clocked out and walked over to the Carl’s Jr. located inside  the Love’s Travel Stop nearby. He returned a short while later to check his work schedule for the week ahead, then left again. It was the last time anyone saw him, as far as his family knows.

Monday passed, and still Anthony had not returned any texts from family, and calls to his cell phone continued to go straight to voicemail. By Tuesday, when they still hadn’t heard from him, Anthony’s mother and sister grew “even more concerned,” JoAnn Gurley said.  “I stopped one of our local police officers on the street here in Anna and asked how long it had to be before we could report him missing, and talked about that whole process. They told us that he’s a grown man and has a right to go off somewhere if he wants to. And we know that, but at the same time, you don’t know if he’s gone somewhere because he wanted to go, or if something is wrong. We just felt we would rather be safe than sorry.”

Although he was scheduled to work on Tuesday, Anthony didn’t show up for work, and he didn’t call in. On Wednesday afternoon, JoAnn Gurley filed a missing person report with the Anna Police. She said that police checked back with her on Thursday and when no one had yet heard from Anthony, the police entered the report into the system, including adding information to the national database.

JoAnn Gurley said one of Anthony’s coworkers at KFC told her they thought they had seen him walking “toward Sherman” — north from Anna — on Monday. But she said she doesn’t have much confidence in that report “because my son is not much of a walker, really.” She said police are checking records from his cell phone now, and that they know he talked to his brother, Chris, and to a friend, also named Chris, both on the Friday before he disappeared. During the conversation with his friend, JoAnn Gurley said, “the idea of him going to the Pride parade in Dallas on Sunday was discussed, but he never really said he wanted to go or that he was going. But maybe he did, maybe he tried to get a ride into town. We don’t know. We just don’t know anything.”

Anthony didn’t have a car, she added, so it wasn’t easy to find a ride into Dallas. Still, JoAnn Gurley said, she wanted to cover all the bases. So she and her daughter, Trasa Gurley, have posted flyers seeking information on Anthony everywhere from Oak Lawn to Sherman. “We just want to know where he is, if he is ok.”

Anyone with information is asked to call JoAnn Gurley or Trasa Gurley at 214-310-2541 or 214-901-3976, or the Anna Police Department at 972-924-2848.

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