Dallas Voice receives 7 Lone Star Award nominations

The Houston Press Club today announced the list of finalists for its annual Lone Star Awards, recognizing excellence in journalism across Texas, and Dallas Voice staff and contributors received seven nominations.

The awards are for work published in print or online in the preceding calendar year. The club also recognizes television, radio, magazines, student journalists and public relations professionals.

Executive Editor Arnold Wayne Jones received three nominations. He is a finalist in Print Photography for an image he took for his travel story “Phoenix Rising.” Jones will also compete against himself for two Internet Opinion pieces he wrote: “Winter Is Coming: Reflections on the Frightening Power of Demagoguery,” about the effect of Donald Trump’s election as president; and for “David Bowie Allowed You to Be Gay,” an appreciation of the lingering impact of David Bowie’s career, written after the musician died last year. Jones received three awards last year from the HPC, including Feature Story (first place), Print Journalist of the Year (second place) and Criticism (third place).

Senior Staff Writer David Taffet received two nominations. One is for News or Feature Story for his piece “Rehabilitated?,” about the regrets expressed by a man convicted of a gay bashing in 2011. Taffet is also a finalist for Newspaper Journalist of the Year.

Managing Editor Tammye Nash received one nomination — she will compete against Taffet for Newspaper Journalist of the Year.

Finally, Cassie Nova aka James Love was nominated for Newspaper Commentary for her piece “Cassie Gets Serious About Orlando,” in which she considered the horrors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

The awards will be handed out at Rice University in Houston on June 10.

—  admin

UPDATE: Memorial service set Friday for Brian Cross

Dallas Voice senior staff writer David Taffet, left, and Brian Cross were married last June onstage at Dallas City Performance Hall as part of a Turtle Creek Chorale performance. Brian died unexpectedly on Monday night, March 6.


UPDATE: Brian’s memorial service will be Friday, March 10 at noon in the main sanctuary of Northaven UMC, 11211 Preston Road (at Northaven).

We here at Dallas Voice/Out North Texas mourn the loss of a member of our Voice Publishing Co. family, Brian Cross, husband of Voice senior staff writer, David Taffet.

Brian died unexpectedly on Monday night, March 6. Funeral arrangements are pending for later this week.

David, we love you, and our thoughts and our prayers are with you.

—  Tammye Nash

Tuesday is Give OUT Day


Give OUT DayMore than $100,000 in prizes go to LGBT organizations with the most unique donors in a 24-hour national day of giving for the LGBTQ community and takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 2 and runs from midnight to midnight. The online fundraising event includes organizations from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and D.C.

Give OUT Day was launched in 2013 by Bolder Giving with support from the Kevin J. Mossier Foundation and is now a project of Horizons Foundation, a San Francisco-based LGBT communities foundation.

The nonprofits range from the arts to social services agencies, advocacy groups to sports leagues, community centers to health care nonprofits.

“It would be hard to find an LGBT person who hasn’t, at one time or another, turned to an LGBTQ nonprofit at some point in our lives,” said Roger Doughty, President of  Horizons Foundation. “Give OUT Day is an opportunity to engage new donors and support our LGBGTQ organizations for their tireless efforts, often working with limited resource.”

According to Horizons Foundation research, less than 5 percent of LGBT people give direct financial support to LGBTQ organizations.

Equality Texas foundation, Transgender Education Network of Texas, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas are among the local and Texas organizations participating. National organizations like Sage, Binet and Trevor Project are also participating.

Click here to make a donation.


—  David Taffet

Shooter identified


DART officer Brent Thompson

Dallas police identified the shooter killed in the El Centro parking garage as Micah X. Johnson.

Police said he told negotiators he wanted “to kill white people, especially white officers.” He was not affiliated with any group or terrorist organization, but angry about recent police shootings in other cities, as far as police know at this point in the investigation. He was in the Army Reserves as a junior officer.

Of all police departments in major U.S. cities, DPD has the lowest rate of officer-involved shootings.

No information has been released about the DPD officers who were killed and injured, but DART has given out names of their officers shot and information about the officer killed.

The three DART officers who were shot and are expected to recover from their injuries are Omar Cannon, 44, Misty McBride, 32, and Jesus Retana, 39.

The officer killed, Brent Thompson, 43, was married two weeks ago. His wife, Emily, is also a DART officer and was not on duty last night.

People will gather at Thanksgiving Square at noon for a service to remember the slain officers.

—  David Taffet

Streets closed downtown, 12th officer reported shot

downtown mapIf you work downtown, you are asked to stay home. Streets in downtown Dallas closed include a 25-square block area — everything from Houston to Griffin streets and Ross Avenue to Jackson Street. No traffic will be allowed until further notice.

A 12th officer and a second civilian was reported shot. The death toll remains at five.

Chief Brown corrected information reported overnight. The suspect that died in the El Centro parking garage died as a result of the bomb squad robot detonating a bomb near him.

According to Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell, one of the DART officers injured worked for partner benefits with his husband in 2013 when DART was resisting covering gay and lesbian officers equally with straight officers.

LGBT Police liaison Laura Martin was assigned to the demonstration. She worked throughout the night and will be back at work a little later this morning, but she reports she is safe.

—  David Taffet

UPDATE: Police negotiating with suspect in El Centro garage

Chief David O. Brown

Chief David Brown

Police Chief David Brown said in a press conference at 12:35 a.m. that negotiators are talking to a suspect in the El Centro parking garage. They have exchanged gunfire with the suspect.

The suspect said to police, “The end is near,” and told negotiators bombs are “all over downtown Dallas.” The suspect is threatening to kill more officers.

Brown said several people are in custody, but police aren’t comfortable that they know everyone involved.

Brown said that a woman who was in the area near the parking garage is in custody and is being questioned, and that two people who were carrying bags and left the area of the shootings in a car were stopped near Polk and 67 and have been taken into custody.

Mayor Mike Rawlings are asking that everyone stay away from the crime scene in downtown. Check DallasCityNews.net before going into the downtown area. Much of the area will remain closed off as it remains an active crime scene.

Rawlings said, “It is a heartbreaking morning, to lose these four officers, that proudly served… . We as a city, we as a country, must come together, lock arms and heal the wounds that we all feel from time to time. Words matter, leadership matters. I am proud of our chief.”

No answers yet as to who these shooters are, why they did this, Chief Brown said. “We’re waiting for the suspects to break and let us know what they’re doing,” he said. He also suggested that the way that the suspects positioned themselves indicated “some prior knowledge” as to what route the protest march would take.

Brown and Rawlings left the press conference to visit officers and family at Baylor and Parkland hospitals.

Reporters are talking with family members of the civilian who was injured. The woman, whose last name is Taylor, was attending the protest with her four sons. When the shooting started, they started running. She was shot in the right calf and is in surgery now. She managed to shield on of her sons from the gunfire, but the other three ran in different directions. One was taken to a friend or family member’s apartment. The other two remain locked inside one of the nearby buildings.

Students at El Centro College are still been held inside buildings because the campus has been on lock-down with the active shooter on campus in the parking garage. Passengers are also been held at the downtown Dallas Greyhound Bus Station.

—  David Taffet