AIDS Walk South Dallas raises more than $20K

12More than 200 people walked the 5K-route in South Dallas to raise money for AIDS Interfaith Network on Saturday. Auntjuan Wiley, the founder of AIDS Walk South Dallas, said that as of Friday, the group had raised more than $20,000. Money raised Saturday hadn’t been counted.

Dallas police officers blocked the intersections, keeping the walkers moving along the route, and people stepped out on their porches to watch the procession. At one point on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the walkers met up with a parade celebrating James Madison High School’s back-to-back state championships. The groups cheered each other, giving the bystanders a two-for-one show.

Walgreens, which has sponsored the walk for each of its four years, had several people in the walk along with representatives from other businesses and organizations.

“I’m really pleased to see how far this walk has come in four years,” said Walgreens Community Leader James Ross. “We’ve been with the walk since day one, and we’re very supportive of what is being done here.”

You can see pics of the walk here.

—  Steve Ramos

Weekend health fair aims to ‘bridge the gap’ with free screenings, vaccines

Derrick Spillman

Derrick Spillman

An Oak Lawn health fair and carnival Saturday will bring North and South Dallas together for health screenings and vaccines.

The Stay Strong Movement Heath Fair and Carnival at Walgreens on Cedar Springs Road is a collaborative effort that’s the first of its kind. It came together out of a need for a large health event in central Dallas, DFW Pride Movement Executive Director Derrick Spillman said.

“We just wanted to do something to bridge the gap for people who don’t have insurance and don’t get checkups,” he said.

Spillman helped oversee the planning of the event after coming up with the idea last year. DFW Pride Movement teamed up with the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Texas, Dallas County Health and Human Services, and UT Southwestern Mobile Mammogram Unit to offer screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, body mass, HIV testing and STDs. LA Fitness will have fitness demonstrations and vaccines will also be offered for a fee for illnesses, including the flu, meningitis, tetanus, hepatitis and others.

Spillman said an estimated 50 retail vendors and 20 agencies and organizations will be at the carnival, along with activities for children. He said the goal is to connect people to the resources in the community they may need and encourage them to be health conscious.

“We just felt that this was something that was needed and had never been done,” he said, adding that he’d like to see the event be an annual gathering. “We’re doing it this year and taking it from there.”

Lesbian activist Cd Kirven said the event was helping end healthcare disparities among the LGBT community and other minority groups and would serve as a “lifeline” to those who need care and information.

“It is important to us as leaders in the African-American LGBT community that we help bridge the gap in health disparities among people of color within our community,” she said.  “It is equally important that we work with the community at large to address the lack of health care among people of color.”

Spillman said the groups wanted to have it at Walgreens because the management has worked with the LGBT community before and it was a central location to bring all of Dallas together.

James Ross, Walgreens manager, said he wanted to help the community have access to healthcare.

“With the steady rise in health care cost, I feel it was the right thing to do, to give back to a community that has given Walgreens so much support,” he said.

Felicia Flye-Lewis, HIV prevention program manager at the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas, said she wanted to work with DFW Pride Movement to spread out her organization’s reach in Dallas.

“We’re showing that we are coming together for a wonderful collaboration and we can better serve the community together,” she said.

Flye-Lewis said she hopes people will take advantage of the free tests and screenings, while also knowing that resources will be there for them if they test positive for anything.

“More than anything, I hope that people see unity,” she said. “We have wonderful services that are free and available throughout the city. I hope they use these services.”

Stay Strong Movement Heath Fair and Carnival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 6 at Walgreens, 3802 Cedar Springs Road. For more information, go here or email derrickdfwpride@gmail.com. 

—  Dallasvoice

Robber carrying purse, wielding ice pick steals condoms, makeup from Cedar Springs Walgreens

A man carrying a purse and wielding an ice pick robbed the Walgreens on Cedar Springs Road early Wednesday, making off with $43.99 worth of condoms and $29.76 worth of makeup after threatening a manager.

According to a Dallas police report, the suspect entered the store at 3802 Cedar Springs Road in the heart of Dallas’ gayborhood at about 1 a.m. Because the suspect had stolen merchandise from the store in the past, a manager followed him. The manager observed the suspect placing several items into his black purse.

When the suspect tried to leave the store without paying, the manager approached him and asked him to empty the purse. After the suspect dumped out the purse on the floor, the manager said he was going to call the police. That’s when the suspect pulled out a large ice pick and pointed it at the manager and said: “Stay still, do no follow me or I’ll kick your ass.”

The suspect then grabbed the stolen merchandise and fled on foot. In addition to the Trojan natural lamb condoms and miscellaneous makeup, the suspect made off with two travel bags valued at $15.98, according to the report.

Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse, a spokesman for DPD, said as of this morning there had been no arrests.

According to online records, it was the sixth aggravated robbery at the Cedar Springs Walgreens this year.

—  John Wright

Fatal hit-and-run raises safety concerns

Pedestrian struck, killed near unlighted crosswalk on Cedar Springs strip

Oak-Lawn-MapJOHN WRIGHT  |  Senior Political Writer
wright@dallasvoice.com

A fatal hit-and-run accident on the Cedar Springs strip last week has led to renewed debate about what can be done to make the street safer for pedestrians.

Wayne Priest, 55, passed away Friday, Nov. 4, at Parkland hospital from injuries he sustained the night before when he was struck near an unlighted crosswalk at 3850 Cedar Springs Road, at the intersection of Reagan Street eastbound.

Priest, who lived in the 2800 block of Reagan Street, reportedly was on his way to pick up a prescription at Walgreens shortly after 9 p.m. He was crossing Cedar Springs a few feet outside the painted crosswalk, according to witnesses, when he was struck by a maroon four-door vehicle traveling southbound toward Oak Lawn Avenue. The driver of the vehicle didn’t stop and hasn’t been located by police.

“I think any time we have a tragedy like this, we have to investigate whether there are things the city can do to make the area safer for pedestrians,” Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt said this week. “What I’ve asked the city to do is look into exactly what happened and to make recommendations about how we can move forward in making the area safer. I think the challenge we’ve had in the past is the city has been focused on moving cars, not people, and we’re trying to refocus that.”

Scott Whittall, president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, said in the wake of the incident, pedestrian safety was the main topic of discussion at the group’s monthly board meeting this week. The Merchants Association plans to invite both Hunt and Councilwoman Pauline Medrano to its next meeting to a take a firsthand look at crosswalks on the strip.

Whittall said the Merchants Association feels the city needs to either remove the crosswalk near which Priest was hit or add more signage. The crosswalk is marked with a sign on the side of the street in one direction but not the other. Whittall said the Merchants Association would like to see free-standing crosswalk signs in the middle of the street, like the ones where Knox Street crosses the Katy Trail a few miles away.

“It’s an entertainment district, and there are going to be a lot of people on the street,” Whittall said. “There needs to be proper signage on this crosswalk. Unfortunately, something like this has to happen before people pay attention again.”

Another crosswalk half a block away on Cedar Springs has flashing lights in the roadway and on both sides of the street which can be activated by pedestrians. However, it has been a maintenance headache for the city, which only recently repaired it after the flashing lights failed for at least the third time in the last few years.

“It’s very unfortunate that this is happening right when we finally got the other crosswalk fixed,” Whittall said, adding that the Merchants Association would also like to see the city follow through with plans to add surveillance cameras on Cedar Springs. “We probably would have been able to catch the driver if we’d had those cameras.”

If caught, the driver would now face third-degree felony charges for leaving the scene of an accident causing injury or death, according to Detective D.T. Marchetti of the Dallas Police Department’s Vehicle Crimes Unit.

“The investigation is open and we are actively seeking the individual that struck him,” Marchetti said Tuesday. “I’m surprised there weren’t more witnesses to it. I’m surprised we didn’t get a tag number or a partial tag or a better description of the vehicle.”

According to a police report, the impact of the collision was so severe that it caused one of Priest’s shoes to fly off. Marchetti said a second vehicle struck Priest after he was lying in the roadway. The driver of the that vehicle remained at the scene.

Assuming the driver of the first vehicle that struck Priest wasn’t intoxicated, they wouldn’t have faced charges if they’d stopped, Marchetti said. That’s because there’s no indication the driver was speeding and Priest was outside the crosswalk, albeit by only a few feet. But Marchetti added that the No. 1 reason people leave accident scenes at night is because they’re intoxicated.

One of Priest’s roommates, Carrie Moon, said this week she’s hoping the driver will be found.

“It is one thing to make a horrible mistake and try to do what you can to help,” Moon said. “It is another thing to make a horrible mistake and just leave a person to die in the street. How this person can live with themselves is beyond me.”

Moon said she’d known Priest for about a year after they met at the Oak Lawn library. She and her boyfriend were looking for a room to rent, and Priest needed help with expenses.

Priest was from Louisiana but was estranged from family there and had moved to Dallas a few years ago. Moon said he’d been married twice and had a daughter.

Moon said Priest had struggled with his sexual orientation for most of his life but recently came out as gay after moving to Oak Lawn. He was a member of the Cathedral of Hope.

“He was in his mid-50s and it took moving to this area to for once in his life feel like he could be himself and not be judged, not even by the church, which was very important to him,” Moon said. “It was like he was starting over, and he had a lot of hope of finding a partner and a new life, and then this happened, which is just so sad.”

Moon said she was trying to coordinate funeral arrangements with Priest’s family in Louisiana. She said his wishes were to be cremated and buried near his son who committed suicide. The service likely will be held in New Orleans.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the Vehicle Crimes Unit at 214-670-5817.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 11, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

POLICE BLOTTER: Suspect flashes gun, swipes condoms from Walgreens on Cedar Springs

Dallas police are investigating an aggravated robbery in which the suspect flashed a handgun in the process of stealing two packs of Trojan Magnum condoms from the Cedar Springs Road Walgreen’s early Tuesday.

The suspect, described as a black male, walked into the store at 3802 Cedar Springs at about 12:20 a.m. and asked a manager where the condoms were, according to a police report. After grabbing the condoms, the suspect began to walk out of the store.

When the manager asked the suspect whether he planned to pay for the condoms, he lifted up his shirt and displayed a black handgun. “You don’t want to fuck with me,” the suspect told the manager.

The manager told police he didn’t pursue the suspect because he was in fear for his life. The suspect fled on foot northbound on Cedar Springs — the same direction as the bars.

The two packs of Magnum condoms were valued at $31.98. Walgreen’s planned to provide video of the incident to detectives, the report states.

Sr. Cpl. Gerardo Monreal, a spokesman for DPD, said Wednesday afternoon there had been no arrests in the case.

—  John Wright

Flu shots available in Oak Lawn

The flu vaccine is available in Oak Lawn

Flu shots are available.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, this year’s vaccine includes protection for swine flu (H1N1) and two other influenza viruses (H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus). It is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus), which means you cannot get the flu from the shot. However, side effects include soreness, redness or swelling where the shot is given, low-grade fever and aches.

Although the vaccine is recommended for everyone, two groups the CDC says should get protected are:

  1. People 50 years of age and older
  2. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (which includes people with HIV)

Those who should not get the vaccine:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
  • People who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
  • Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group)
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)

This year the shots are widely available and are offered at both doctors’ offices and retail locations. (Last year, Oak Lawn area doctors were reporting trouble in obtaining the vaccine).

Among Oak Lawn retailers offering the vaccine:

Walgreens

3802 Cedar Springs Road at Oak Lawn: Walk-ins welcome. Available 24 hours a day.

3418 McKinney Ave. at Lemmon: Walk-ins welcome. Easiest when the most pharmacists are on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

CVS

Go to website to find when flu clinics taking walk-ins are available at any store.

4207 Lemmon Ave. at Douglas: Best to call to make sure pharmacist is available. 214-528-0328. She will be in Mon. Oct. 4 from 3 p.m.-10 p.m.; Tues. Oct. 5 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

5659 Lemmon Ave. at Inwood: Call anytime to schedule appointment. 214-252-0121.

—  David Taffet

Tea partiers, gay style

Dallas Purple Party hopes people will forget it’s a school night

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

COOL DADDY | DJ Tony Moran is chill, but heats up the dancefloor.
COOL DADDY | DJ Tony Moran is chill, but heats up the dancefloor.

Dallas Pride also marks the return of the Purple Foundation.  Every year, the organization hosts a circuit party benefiting AIDS Services of Dallas. When the floats are put up and the straight onlookers have gone back to the ’burbs, it becomes the afterparty of afterparties.

With the DJ talents of Tony Moran and Alyson Calagna headlining, the foundation hosts Spectrum: Dallas Pride Tea Dance at the Brick on Sunday. And clearly, this is one tea party you don’t have worry about repealing your rights.

Moran is one of the primo DJs in the gay circuit scene, but over the span of his career, he’s stepped away from the underground to produce and write tunes for mainstream artists such as Cher and Michael Jackson. Thankfully, he doesn’t forget his club divas: Moran has had major dancefloor smashes with the likes of Deborah Cox (“Everybody Dance”) and Kristine W. (“Walk Away”), among others.

Expect Calagna to bring her own game, employing her signature omtronica sound, “mixing sexual, sensual and spiritual rhythms with tones of empowerment and ecstasy. “ We’re not sure what it means, but we’ll definitely have what she’s having.

Sure it’s a Sunday, but it’s also Pride weekend. Forget your Monday hangover and tired feet and end your Pride celebration on a high note. (For the weary, a free shuttle will whisk people from the ilume and Walgreens over to the Brick.) More importantly, try to remember it — sometimes these celebrations can be a blur.

The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave., #125. Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. $20. DallasPurpleParty.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas