In January, Dallas County Constable Mike Dupree (pictured) told the alt-weekly that he arranged to have his ex-lover arrested and deported to Honduras for his own protection, because the man was on the run from a deadly gang. Yet the Observer later revealed Dupree actually deported the man out of jealousy because he was dating a stripper. Subsequently, three other employees came forward with claims of sexual harrassment at the hands of the Constable. That led to an investigation by Dallas County, which last week was handed over to the Texas Attorney General's office, according to the Dallas Voice.

Continue ReadingDallas Observer Story Leads to Criminal Investigation of Constable

After being removed from the ballot for not having enough valid signatures, former Dallas Observer music editor Zac Crain filed a reinstatement appeal, but it was denied yesterday, the Dallas Morning News reports. Crain, who was hoping to replace former Observer columnist Laura Miller as mayor of Dallas, ultimately came up 19 signatures short of the 473 required to make it on the ballot. He tells the Morning News that he'll review the ruling today, but won't likely pursue legal action against the city. "I'm not a fan of lawsuits in general, and in this case, to what end? We really wouldn't have time to campaign," Crain says. "There doesn't seem to be a point of continuing on."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Alum on His Mayoral Campaign: ‘I Assume We’re Done’

Zac Crain's quixotic quest to become Mayor of Dallas looks like it may be over. The former Observer music editor came up about 50 valid signatures short of the 473 required and will be removed from the May 12 ballot, the Dallas Morning News reports. Many of Crain's signatures came from people ineligible to vote in Dallas or declared "inactive" by officials because they hadn't voted in years, according to Assistant City Secretary Rosa Rios. "We should have done a better job at securing signatures -- it's really disappointing," says Crain, who promises to fight the ruling. "We haven't figured out what we're going to do, but I'm not going to quit just yet." Crain had hoped to replace current Dallas mayor and former Observer columnist Laura Miller.

Continue ReadingFormer Dallas Observer Writer Booted off Ballot in Mayoral Race

Sandra Camille Powers was arrested in South Carolina last week with an assist from the Dallas alt-weekly, the Brunswick Beacon reports. Powers, a two-time Observer cover subject, faces five felony fraud charges for swindling an elderly woman. Powers' con unraveled when a suspicious local realtor did a Google search and discovered the articles written by the Observer's Glenna Whitley. The crucial information on Powers' past motivated the realtor to report her, and led to her eventual arrest.

Continue ReadingDallas Observer Stories Play Key Role in Nabbing ‘Religious Charlatan’

In a blistering investigation, Editor Julie Lyons, aka "Bible Girl," dives into Fort Worth Pastor Sherman Allen's decades-long history of alleged sexual abuse. She reports that since late January, when local TV station KXAS broke the story of a lawsuit against Allen by former church member and employee Davina Kelly, seven other women have come forward with tales of paddling and degradation at the hands of the Pentecostal pastor. The victims have also told her that Allen "is involved in the occult, employing such tactics as hypnosis, magic or illusions and the use of healing potions." GetReligion, a blog covering religion in journalism, says: "Lyons is an articulate, opinionated evangelical Christian who is doing some of the most freewheeling, confessional first-person religion writing I have ever seen."

Continue ReadingDallas Observer Reports Pentecostal Minister Abused Women

Zac Crain, formerly the Dallas Observer's music editor, recently recruited some prominent Dallas musicians to contribute to a 32-track double-disc benefit album for his mayoral campaign, Pitchfork reports. The album includes contributions from the Polyphonic Spree's Tim DeLaughter, Ben Kweller, Rhett Miller, the Deathray Davies' John Dufilho with the Apples in Stereo's Robert Schneider, and Centro-matic. Crain hopes to replace current Dallas mayor and former Observer columnist Laura Miller, who announced last year she doesn't plan to seek re-election.

Continue ReadingMusicians Lend Support to Alt-Weekly Alum’s Mayoral Campaign

The AAN members collected honors in the 48th annual Katie Awards, handed out by the Press Club of Dallas to journalists and communications professionals in the Southwest. The Oklahoma Gazette landed laurels for Best Special Section and Best Writing Portfolio; The Fort Worth Weekly nabbed Best Series, Best Feature and Best Arts Feature; and the Dallas Observer was recognized for Best Humor and as the Best Major Market Special Interest Newspaper.

Continue ReadingThree Alt-Weeklies Among Best in Southwest (PDF)

The Dallas Observer blog "Unfair Park" has hosted a feisty debate between Jim Schutze and Laura Miller over the past few days. Schutze, the weekly's city columnist, wrote a cover story for the Aug. 31 issue criticizing Dallas' plan to build new bridges. Mayor Laura Miller, who wrote the city column for the Observer in her days before holding office, sent a letter to the weekly disputing Schutze's economic analysis, which the paper then posted on its blog. "The Dallas City Council took a mediocre project and made it great -- all in the bright light of day -- and I resent, as a former reporter for this newspaper, Schutze's gross distortion of the facts," Miller wrote. Schutze's response, posted a few hours later, briefly covers Miller's assertions before saying that he hopes to publish a better analysis in the Observer: "Blogs are O.K., but blogs have their limitations too; they are not the place for a comprehensive review of this very complex story," he says. "I look forward to working with the mayor and her staff on a search for these very important answers. Notice that I did not accuse the mayor of 'gross distortion.'"

Continue ReadingDallas Observer City Columnists, Past and Present, Face Off