Chili’s restaurants donating 10 percent of Tuesday’s checks to OneOrlando

Posted on 20 Jun 2016 at 2:27pm

Screen shot 2016-06-20 at 2.18.45 PM

Every Chili’s Bar & Grill restaurant across the country will donate 10 percent of the total of every check on Tuesday, June 21, to the OneOrlando Fund, the fund established by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to provide support to the victims of the June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub and their families.

“All you have to do is go to Chili’s and when you order your food, tell your server, ‘We’re here to support Orlando,'” said Renee Ford, catering manager for Chili’s Casa Linda, 246 Casa Linda Plaza in Dallas. “We are all very honored and proud to support the LGBT community, especially during this time of grief.”

The offer covers all food and alcohol sales, whether it’s dine-in, carry out or catering, from the time the restaurants open on Tuesday til the time they close, Ford said. “Just be sure to tell them you’re there for Orlando.”


Dallas police looking for bank robbery suspect

Posted on 20 Jun 2016 at 11:38am

bank robber

Dallas Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who held up the Wells Fargo Bank  in the 3900 block of Oak Lawn Avenue last Wednesday, June 15.

According to police reports, the man walked into the bank at about 11:40 a.m., approached a teller a demanded money, motioning in such a way to indicate to the tellers that he had a gun in his waistband.

The suspect is described as Hispanic or Middle Eastern, 35 to 45 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds.  He was wearing a black baseball cap, silver prescription eye glasses, a long-sleeved, dark-colored thermal shirt with double white stripes down both sleeves and light jeans with wide legs.

The man arrived and left in a silver BMW driven by a white woman wearing a baseball cap, jacket and jeans.

Police ask that anyone with information about the robbery or that recognizes the suspect in the photo above call the DPD Robbery Unit at 214-671-3584 or Crime Stoppers 214-373-TIPS (8477). Other photos of the male suspect and one of the car and the woman who was involved can be seen here.


Bomb squad gives all clear at Cathedral of Hope

Posted on 19 Jun 2016 at 11:09am

Cathedral of Hope’s Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas

The Dallas Police bomb squad said suitcases left at Cathedral of Hope were harmless.

Message from Cathedral of Hope:

The packages have been deemed harmless, and we are headed back inside just in time for the 11 a.m. service! A special thanks goes out to our Dallas Police Department and law enforcement that have done everything to ensure the safety of our community and church family.

Cathedral of Hope was evacuated at 8:05 a.m. where three suspicious suitcases were found in the building. The 9 a.m. service was held under the trees behind the Interfaith Peace Chapel.

Dallas Police Department, including the bomb squad, responded and removed the packages. An all-lear was given before 11 a.m.

The statement from the DPD’s Public Information Office reads:

On June 19, 2016, shortly after 8:00 a.m., Dallas officers responded to a suspicious package call at the Cathedral of Hope located at 5910 Cedar Springs Road.  When officers arrived, they were informed that a security personnel, employed by the church, was making his rounds of the outer perimeter when he came across what he believed to be a suspicious package.  The package was located near an adjoining construction site on the east side of the church.  The church was in service at the time and a decision was made to evacuate the parishioners as a precaution.  

 Officers cordoned off the area and notified the Explosive Ordinance Unit (EOD).  Once EOD arrived, they were able to determine that the package did not contain any explosive material.

Dallas Voice will continue to monitor the situation and update with more information — What was in the packages? Who left them outside the church? — as that information becomes available.


UPDATE: Cathedral of Hope evacuated

Posted on 19 Jun 2016 at 9:25am



Barb Nunn posted: If you are coming for the 11 am service, dress for warm weather. Bring bottled water! Due to suspicious suitcases, the service will be behind the Interfaith Peace Chapel under the trees. Come be a voice and be community as we face our anxieties.

Daniel W. Peeler posted: An interesting morning. We have had our 9 o’clock church service in complete safety on the grounds behind the Interfaith Peace Chapel while we wait for the bomb squad to arrive and investigate a suspicious package.


Before it’s 9 a.m. Sunday service began, a suspicious package was found at Cathedral of Hope and the church was evacuated, according to posts on Facebook.

Scott Adams left the following message on his Facebook wall with the accompanying picture:

“Cathedral of Hope
Suspicious package left at front door and we have been evacuated, sad day”

Cathedral of Hope posted:

“The Cathedral of Hope was evacuated this morning at about 8:05 this morning following some suspicious packages found on the premises. This will not deter us from worship this morning and we will continue to not walk in fear or allow instances of hate to overcome the promise to love.”

Police are on the scene.


Shots fired near The Brick; no injuries, damage reported

Posted on 18 Jun 2016 at 9:11am

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Dallas police are investigating an incident in which shots were fired near Brick Dallas last night (Friday, June 17) during the nightclub’s Juneteenth celebration, according to a notice on the bar’s Facebook page posted shortly after 7 a.m. today (Saturday, June 18). There were no injuries or damage reported.

“The Brick would like to thank everybody who came out tonight for the Juneteenth celebration. There were some shots fired in the air from a car on Wycliff street tonight. Description of the car was given to the police and they are on top off this. Everything is fine at the Brick; thank you for everyone’s concern.”

In a comment on that post, the bar’s management thanked Dallas police for “being on top of this incident in Oak Lawn.”

In a message to Dallas Voice this morning, the bar’s management added, “Just glad no one was affected from this senseless crime. We had armed security [Friday night] and will tonight [Saturday night] as well. We also do wand checks for weapons and bag checks. We do all we can at the door, but we can’t patrol the streets.”

Brick Dallas is located at 2525 Wycliff.


Get your pRide on: Uber offers discount this weekend on rides to LGBT Dallas destinations

Posted on 17 Jun 2016 at 2:11pm

Person using the Uber app

Uber is offering a discount of up to $20 to customers using the service to go to specific locations in the Dallas gayborhood this weekend, according to a statement the company released today (Friday, June 17):

“Like people across the world, we were deeply shocked and saddened by the recent murders at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The world is a brighter and better place when we are all free to be ourselves. And we want to bring people together, no matter who you are or where you’re from.

“To celebrate life and love in all its forms, this weekend we’ll be offering free rides to and from places around Dallas that are important to the history and culture of the local LGBT community,” the statement reads.

To take advantage of the discount, users just need to open the Uber app, request an uberx and be picked up or dropped off at any of the designated locations, and a discount of up to $20 will automatically be applied to their fee.

The offer is limited to two rides per person, up to $20 per ride, and is valid from noon today through 11:59 p.m., Monday, June 20.

Locations included in the offer are Station 4 (S4), Sue Ellen’s, JR’s Bar & Grill, TMC: The Mining Co., Resource Center, North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce and Cathedral of Hope.

Uber also encouraged users to donate if they can to OneOrlando Fund, established by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to “provide a way to help respond to the needs of our community, now and in the time to come, after the effects of the Pulse tragedy. The distribution of the funds will be administered by the Central Florida Foundation. The Foundation serves as the region’s community foundation and is home to more than 400 charitable funds.”


Dallas remembers Charleston

Posted on 17 Jun 2016 at 9:36am
Thanksgiving Square

Thanksgiving Square

Today (June 17) is the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

While we’re remembering those lost in Orlando, Dallas also remembers the people killed in Charleston with a celebration of unity and faith at 11 a.m. at Thanksgiving Square, 1627 Pacific Ave.

The event is organized by the REv. Gregg Alan Smith, associate pastor of Oak Lawn United Methodist Church.


LOVE IS LOVE: Make a statement, help a good cause

Posted on 17 Jun 2016 at 8:30am

Love Is Love Orlando

It’s been five days now, but if you’re like me, the mass murder that occurred early Sunday morning, June 12,  in the Orlando gay nightclub called Pulse still weighs heavy on your heart. If you’re like me, you want to do something — anything — to help, in some way. Now, Greenville Avenue T-shirt shop Bullzerk — you can do something. And you can look stylish while you do.

Bullzerk is now selling the “Love is Love, Orlando” T-shirt, modeled in the photo above by Dallas Voice’s very own Chad Mantooth. The shop will donate 10 percent of all their sales today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday, June 17-18), to the fund to benefit the Pulse shooting victims.

The folks at Bullzerk told Dallas Voice: “We are printing this #‎LoveIsLove shirt over the next three days, so Dallasites can start wearing their support for #‎Orlando. Stop by the Greenville store and you can pick your color. This Friday and Saturday we are also donating 10 percent of all sales (not just this shirt) to the #‎PulseOrlando victims fund.”

You can order your shirt — for $23 — online here, or go by Bullzerk’s shop at 1909 Greenville Ave.


Beware the Trump rally: DPD warns of traffic congestion around Gilley’s

Posted on 16 Jun 2016 at 1:31pm

Donald Trump


Domingo Garcia

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, is in Dallas today trying to round up some donations, and he will stage a rally this evening at Gilley’s South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St. (It took Trump at least a week to find a place for his rally, Irving turned him down, as did Grand Prairie.)

There is also a counter-protest planned outside Gilley’s, and Dallas Police are planning ahead to try and avoid as many problems as possible, considering the violence that has become part-and-parcel of Trump rallies and protests. To that end, police are asking businesses in downtown Dallas to help out by sending their employees home early, encouraging everyone to vacate the downtown area by 3 p.m., in anticipation of major traffic delays and for safety reasons.

Police have since issued a statement saying they will begin closing streets around Gilley’s — between the 1000 block and the 1300 block (at Belleview) on Lamar — about 2 p.m. in preparation for the 7 p.m. rally.

Longtime Dallas activist (attorney, former city councilman and former state representative) Domingo Garcia, one of the lead organizers of the counter-protest, said the rally will begin outside Gilley’s at 6 p.m. Organizers are asking that those attending the protest rally wear white shirts to promote peace. And if you want to carry a flag, make sure it is an American flag, not one from Mexico or any other country. Those who bring flags representing any country other than the U.S. will be asked to leave, Garcia told Dallas Observer.

He also said the rally is being staged “to send a message to Donald Trump that his campaign of hatred, bigotry and division is not welcome in the United States or North Texas.”

DPD said in a statement that the department is “committed to protecting every person’s right to free speech and to assemble peaceably.” The statement went on to warn, however, that “there will be no tolerance for individuals who engage in criminal activity or attempt to incite violence or civil disorder. In order to accomplish this, a significant number of police officers, both uniformed and undercover, will be utilized to maintain order.”


Dallas MMA fighter accused of gay bashing dies

Posted on 16 Jun 2016 at 11:06am

Cory Weddington claims he was a victim of Ivan Cole

Mixed Martial Arts fighter Ivan “J.P.” Cole, 25, died Saturday after shooting himself while “playing” Russian roulette in his North Dallas apartment.

Cole also worked at XTC Cabaret. He was the employee who allegedly initiated an incident in which Cory Weddington was punched and kicked. The women he was with were told, “Get that faggot out of here.”

In a response to Dallas Voice, XTC said Weddington, who’s about 5’4″, attacked MMA fighter Cole.

Weddington filed a lawsuit against XTC on May 1 for damages stemming from the April 2 incident. He alleges assault by four employees that “delivered repeated blows to plaintiff’s head, neck, back, face, shoulder and hips, causing Cory severe and irreparable injuries including a fractured jaw, broken nose, abrasions, and a seizure disorder caused by trauma to the back of the head.”

He is asking for at least $200,000 in compensation for damages, penalties, costs, expenses, pre-judgment interest and attorney fees.

Weddington was cleared as a suspect in Cole’s death by Dallas Police.

No charges were filed against Cole before his death or against the other employees. Dallas police weren’t working off-duty at the club, because DPD officers are not allowed to work at XTC.

At the time of his death, Cole was on suspension from competing in his sport.

From a report by the Combative Sports Advisory Board, “On September 4, a default order was entered against Ivan Cole assessing an administrative penalty of $5,000 and suspending Respondent’s boxer and second license for one year for failing to exhibit sportsmanlike conduct.”