Category Archives: Dallas News

‘The Eagle’ Radio Host Russ Martin Dies at 60

Russ Martin, a radio host on 97.1 The Eagle, was found dead in his home early Saturday morning, February 27, according to Frisco police.

A friend of Martin’s went to check on him at his home in the 6300 block of Douglas Avenue and found him unresponsive, police said.

Police responded at about 12:30 a.m. and Martin, 60, was pronounced dead at the home. His cause of death has not been determined, but police said no foul play is suspected.

During a 1 p.m. broadcast on The Eagle, several members of the show paused the programming to announce Martin’s death and remember their friend.

Through emotional tributes, the group remembered Martin’s life — the good moments and his struggles — and the emotions they went through after they learned of his death. They said they plan to find a way to hold a proper tribute for Martin, who hosted The Russ Martin Show on 97.1.

Following the broadcast, Dan O’Malley said the news was shocking but not unexpected for those who were close with Martin.

“Russ has been dealing with a lot of health issues over the last few years, so it’s sad that it comes to its inevitable end. But at the same time, we’re trying to find solace in knowing that he’s at peace and that he’s no longer in pain,” O’Malley said.

He said in Martin’s prime, there was no one better on the radio.

“It’s interesting too because he’s very polarizing. So whether you loved him, you hated him, you loved his show, you hated his show, you at least knew of him. And you had an opinion on it. And he wasn’t afraid to give his opinions on things either. It’s part of what made him so successful,” O’Malley said.

A post on The Eagle’s Facebook page and website asked for fans to share their favorite memory of Martin.

Martin was taken off the air in 2008 when his old station, Live 105.3, switched to sports talk. He had been with the station since 2000. He returned to radio on KEGL 97.1 in 2010.

The Russ Martin Show Listeners Foundation, which supports the families of Dallas-Fort Worth police officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty, has been around since 2002 and has given more than $500,000 to the families of fallen DFW first responders. 

O’Malley said both the foundation and show will continue.

For those looking to show their support, O’Malley encourages making a donation to Martin’s foundation.

Anyone with information about Martin’s death may call Frisco police at 972-292-6010. Anonymous tips may be made by texting FRISCOPD and the tip to 847411 or through the Frisco PD app.

Dr. Joe Seabrooks Named to Southern Dallas IPTMA Board of Directors

Dr. Joe Seabrooks, President of Dallas College’s Cedar Valley Campus, was selected as the newest member of the Southern Dallas County Inland Port Transportation Management Association (IPTMA) Board of Directors on Thursday, February 25.

Dallas College (formerly Dallas County Community College District) formally joined the Southern Dallas IPTMA in January. Dallas College serves more than 100,000 students annually in academic, continuing education and adult education programs.

“On behalf of the Board, we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Seabrooks to team,” said Alberta Blair, chairwoman of the IPTMA and public works director for Dallas County. “Joe brings decades of experience as an educator, mentor and community leader to the IPTMA Board. His leadership will be paramount as we continue to expand and develop new and exciting transportation opportunities for the Inland Port area.”

Dr. Seabrooks has been the president of Dallas College’s Cedar Valley Campus since 2016, leading a campus that serves approximately 9,800 students, and growing enrollment nearly 45% over the last four years. He holds a B.A. in Psychology, Masters in Higher Education Administration and a PhD in Interdisciplinary, Urban Leadership and Policy Studies and Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“Much like our Dallas College campuses, the Southern Dallas IPTMA is focused on opportunity,” explained Seabrooks. “With the tremendous growth of jobs and education opportunities in Southern Dallas, often the largest hindrance is access to safe and reliable transportation. Working together to develop these transportation lifelines will serve the people of North Texas and further the opportunities for our future community leaders.”

The Southern Dallas County Inland Port Transportation Management Association (IPTMA) provides comprehensive transportation solutions to employers and employees in the Southern Dallas County Inland Port area. Funded by its members, the organization helps to coordinate transportation services and improve connectivity within Inland Port’s boundaries. Members include private businesses, nonprofit organizations, city and county governments, and local government agencies.

DART to Provide Transportation for Methodist Vaccine Event

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will provide transportation for the Methodist Hospital COVID-19 vaccination event in Dallas on Thursday and Friday, February 4 and 5, 2021.

Over the course of the 2-day COVID-19 vaccination event at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, a joint effort between the City of Dallas and Methodist Health System, 3,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to individuals in Group 1B (individuals 65 years and older and individuals with comorbidities) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

DART will provide 7 staffed buses for the vaccination event, transporting individuals with verified appointments from remote parking lots to the vaccine location and back to their vehicles.

Appointments are mandatory to receive a vaccine and names are being pulled from the Dallas County registration list. Click here to register for the vaccine online. People can also call the county’s new registration hotline that launched Thursday at 1-855-466-8639

Read more from WFAA…

If you don’t live in Dallas County, click HERE to find out where vaccination sites are operating, or to register for the vaccine at a site near you.

Dallas Man Pleads Guilty After Placing Hoax Bomb on Railroad

A Dallas man plead guilty on Oct. 23 to charges in connection with placing a hoax bomb on a Dallas railroad track, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Mark Ashley Robert, 37, plead guilty to one count of false information and hoaxes before Magistrate Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez via VTC.

According to court documents, during the early morning hours of December 21, 2018, Mr. Robert admitted to placing a device (as seen in the photo below) on the Kansas City Rail Line railroad tracks in Dallas.

A railroad conductor noted a red and green flashing LED light in the middle of the tracks while operating on the railroad. The conductor observed what appeared to be a box wrapped in electrical tape with a nine-volt battery attached to the side of the device.

The Dallas Police Department Bomb Squad responded to the scene to assess the device. Upon examination, law enforcement authorities determined that the box, placed by Mr. Robert, appeared to resemble an improvised explosive device (IED).  As a result, officers rendered the device safe.

Law enforcement submitted the remaining parts of the device to the FBI for latent print examination.  Through the course of that examination, Mr. Robert’s fingerprints were recovered.

Mr. Robert now faces up to 5 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has been set for March 5, 2021.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office and the Dallas Police Department with the assistance of the Kansas City Southern Railway Company. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany Eggers is prosecuting this case.

Fall activities: A 2020 guide to pumpkin patches and haunted houses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

Photo: Courtesy Town of Little Elm

Fall activities: A 2020 guide to pumpkin patches and haunted houses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area:

Autumn at the Arboretum: Through Nov. 1; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; 8525 Garland Road, Dallas; 214-369-0874

www.dallasarboretum.org/events-activities/autumn-at-the-arboretum/

Storybook Ranch: Through Nov. 1; Thu.-Sun. 10 a.m.-sundown; 3701 South Custer Road, McKinney; 972-369-0874

;www.storybookranch.org

Read more from Community Impact…

Gun recovered after nearly 30 years reconnects family of slain Dallas police officer

The family of a slain Dallas police officer received an unexpected reminder this month of his service and sacrifice nearly 27 years after his death. 

At a time when policing is under a national microscope, the family hopes it can remind people of the dedicated officers who give their lives in the line of duty.

Badge number 3066 is among the dozens cut into the steel roof of the Dallas Police Memorial next to Dallas City Hall. Streaming sunlight casts the badge numbers onto the pavement below, onto the streets the officers once protected. Badge 3066 was worn by Sr. Cpl. Richard Lawrence. He was 46 years old when he interrupted two car thieves outside an apartment complex and was shot and killed on Nov. 9th, 1993.

Read more from WFAA…

Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall Will Resign In November

Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall will resign as chief of the department on November 10 after serving in the role for just over three years.She came to Dallas from Detroit where her father was an Officer with Detroit PD. He was murdered when Renee was 6 years old. City Manager T.C. Broadnax accepted her resignation on Tuesday. She is the first woman to ever lead the Dallas Police Department.

Read more from Texas Police News…

Dallas Mystic Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Wildlife Crimes

imageA Dallas mystic shop owner has pleaded guilty to trafficking dried hummingbird carcasses in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

Cynthia Macias-Martinez, 48, pleaded guilty to the sale of wildlife taken in violation of federal law before United States Magistrate Judge Renee H. Toliver on Tuesday.

According to court documents, Ms. Macias-Martinez, owner of a Dallas mystic shop, admitted to selling dried hummingbird carcasses known as “chuparosas” without a valid permit or authorization. “Chuparosas” are believed by some to have mystical benefits and are commonly used as amulets or charms.

The hummingbird, a migratory bird, is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Pursuant to Federal regulations, it is illegal to take, possess, import, export, transport, or sell a hummingbird, or its parts, nests, or eggs, except under the terms of a valid permit.

Ms. Macias-Martinez admitted the dried hummingbird carcasses she acquired were illegally imported and smuggled into the United States from Mexico. Without a valid permit or authorization, Ms. Macias-Martinez offered the dried hummingbird carcasses for sale in her store.

She further admitted to both possessing and selling dozens of dried hummingbird carcasses of different species each of which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Ms. Macias-Martinez faces up to 5 years in federal prison, a$250,000 fine, and restitution for her crimes. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, IRS-Criminal Investigations, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Douglas Brasher is prosecuting this case.

Source: Texas Police News

Dallas Area Attorney Takes the Stigma Out of Bankruptcy

By Stacey Doud, M.A.

With so many individuals, families and businesses feeling the crunch of the COVID pandemic, many are looking at bankruptcy as an option just to stay afloat in this economy. “Bankruptcy” has become a word that can cause shame and embarrassment in today’s society, but it can actually be a palpable, and even a favorable, option.

quote-thumbDallas resident and attorney Reed Allmand is Board-Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy and has been in this field for the last 20 years. This unique time in history has society confused, unemployed and, most likely, broke. Filing for bankruptcy is just one of several ways of dealing with overwhelming debt.

“We see people all over the Metroplex. We mainly work with individuals who are going to be filing for bankruptcy, but we also help small businesses as well,” Allmand said.

“For Chapter 11s, we are able to recognize when bankruptcy is appropriate and I have referral networks where I send those 11s because they’re a different animal, as far as a business model to service them. One big Chapter 11 can keep a law firm busy for months, said Allmand.

“About a year ago, we developed a portal on our website, so since [COVID] happened in March, we were able to have people just go to our website and log on through that portal, where we can videoconference with them, exchange documents securely and file bankruptcy schedules using electronic signatures. So, we’ve been able to file cases for people without them ever leaving their homes.

“Some other jurisdictions across the U.S. had the judges to sign this order, so I wrote a letter to our judges and said, ‘I met this lady with COVID who can’t leave her house. Her car is about to be repossessed, so we need her to ‘DocuSign’ her petition so we can get this going. A couple of days later, several other jurisdictions jumped on board, and so we were able to take care of this matter with no outside risk to the client,” Allmand explained.

According to Allmand, bankruptcy filings are slightly down overall, but bankruptcy consultations and bankruptcy questions are going up. “Sometimes, when you’re in the middle of an emergency, a lot of times people will do the bankruptcy to kind of clean up the aftermath. If they lost their job and they are on unemployment, those extra benefits kind of helped people to stay afloat. But all of that is coming to an end in July.

“July is going to be the perfect storm because you have the CARES Act Eviction Moratorium expiring on July 25 so they can give the 30-day notice. At the end of the month is when the extra $600 per month ends. Even the Dallas Moratorium has expired. You’d usually see 700 to 1,000 people in Dallas County up for eviction per week, but it’s been hardly anything these last couple of months. There’s a groundswell building up and when it’s released, it’s going to be big.

“Many people are already taking advantage of the Mortgage Forbearance Program. And then you have the CARES Act, which I think that around 75% of mortgages fall under. These programs are supposed to get with the borrower so they can set up a payment plan, which may or may not happen.

“From my experience, it just seems like people are shocked and ashamed. They don’t want to even talk about bankruptcy, so they do everything in their power to avoid it. They liquidate their retirement accounts. This is sad, because you have those funds there for your retirement, but if you had talked to me, I could file the bankruptcy case and the retirement accounts won’t be lost.

“The equity in your house is protected, so you go get a home equity loan and pay off credit cards. When they can’t pay back the loan, the bank takes their house. That’s what I am trying to get across to people,” Allmand warned.

“Most people call me when the repo man is looking for the car and it’s in foreclosure or they’re getting sued and somebody is garnishing their wages. However, in Texas, judgement creditors can’t garnish your wages. Only the IRS or the Attorney General can do that. But if we file a bankruptcy case, all of those entities have to stop all garnishment of wages. These actions acknowledge an individual’s power, and people need to get to get the information they need so they can make informed decisions.

“I’ve dealt with people in all kinds of situations. I’ve had a suicidal person come in. This gentleman was up for foreclosure and had gotten my letter in the mail. He came in and he was really quiet. I talked to him, going over what his options were and then put a plan together for him. He started crying and said, ‘I’m so glad I called you. I was sitting in my car thinking that I’m just going to kill myself.’

“What kind of pressure is that? It really brought home just how on the edge people are getting. Medical expenses are the number one reason for filing, along with job loss and divorce. And, while some folks don‘t have cable or WIFI, they usually have a phone. But that may go on and off, depending on where they are with their bill. I had a client named Michele a few years back. Her husband had just lost his job, along with their medical insurance. Her son had diabetes. His insulin alone cost over $2,000 per month. So yes, these folks are hitting hard times. It can happen to anyone.

“We know that basically, people want to pay these debts. They don’t like owing money. More people file bankruptcy in the wake of divorce or cancer or whatever, and it’s a call already included in risk-assessment. When it is the best choice, there’s no need to put off filing bankruptcy because there’s really no shame in it. It’s not like people are going to be put in debtor’s prison forever. It’s actually getting people back into society with a fresh start quicker.

“It’s true that filing bankruptcy will affect your credit score, but the score is based on other factors that, after filing, the score easily goes up. We subscribe to a service called Credit Experts, and we pull from them the current score, and it gives us the predicted score after one year, which is usually one year after filing, and we’ve found that if the client does all the things they need to do, the credit score is between 50-100 points higher than it was when they first filed. Bankruptcy does not ‘erase’ your credit report, but it takes all of the derogatories and negative things and replaces them with ‘Discharged in Bankruptcy on X day.’

“Typically, the way you get that score to skyrocket after bankruptcy is to get a secured [credit] card, maybe reaffirm on your vehicle and keep making the payments and your mortgage and things. It’s kind of like when you first started with no credit history.

“A lot of our clients file for bankruptcy [Chapter 7], and then turn around the next day and qualify to purchase a car. This is because they are often able to get a better car deal after they’ve turned in the old one and wiped out all of the debt because the car lender knows that [the individual] can’t file another Chapter 7 for another eight years and all their other debt is wiped out, and that car will never be discharged and that loan will never be discharged because they’re going to make you pay it off in five [years].

“When a client comes to the office, they are immediately put into our educational program called, ‘Seven Steps to 720 [credit score],’ which is a credit education course. In this, we are looking at any loans that are going to carry through the bankruptcy, and we give them our advice about whether or not to keep those loans. Then, they are set up on a budget to know how they are going to go forward. Most of the time, they’ve gotten familiar with living on a cash basis.

“Most people just want to know how much the payment is going to be per month. They’re not thinking about the interest they have to pay or if the car breaks down and things like that. Even if they’re being responsible, people just live up to their income. They’re not going over, and whatever debt they get, they can afford to pay. But if they lose a job, if COVID happens, if they get laid off, they have zero safety net.

“It’s very humbling when you do this job to see that it can happen to anybody. I put savings aside, but if lost my source of income for a year, I’m going to be in trouble, too.

“There’s a perception in society that the people who are in these situations brought it on themselves. I may tell someone what I do, and they say things like, ‘I hope I never have to come see you,’ and ‘How can they afford you if they’re so broke? They must be going on trips and using up their credit cards.’ But there are so many reasons not to be so judgmental. You see the pain in someone’s eyes and all the things that they have tried to avoid [bankruptcy], often putting it off way too long.

“A pro bono client, who was legally blind, was in my office filing for bankruptcy a few months back. She had three car repossessions. I asked her about that, and she said that her abusive ex-husband shot her point-blank in the head, which made her go blind. Then he signed for all of the cars in her name. Then they got repossessed. That’s an extreme case, but it goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

“The hardest cases for me to take on are the elderly people that have a child or other family member/caregiver taking advantage of them. These people sometimes work two or three jobs just to make ends meet while the child or ‘caregiver’ is off spending all of the money.

“I do a lot of pro bono cases through the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP). I grew up in Abilene and went to Abilene Christian University, and I feel really blessed with what I do for a living. It feels like it’s my mission in life,” Allmand concluded.

If you or someone you know could benefit from Allmand’s advice and programs, call for a FREE consultation at (214) 884-4020 or visit AllmandLaw.com.

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Dallas-made “Illegal” short film director Edgar Arreola elaborates on the project

Article 2 of 2 by Stacey Doud

***Spoiler Alert***

IllegalLogo

The 24-minute short film, “Illegal,” which was written, directed, produced and brought to life by a cast and crew that reside in Dallas/Fort Worth, premiered on Facebook and YouTube on Friday June 12.

The story is about a fictional Hispanic man, Felix Martinez, who allegedly stole over $500 in gaming merchandise for his son’s birthday and was arrested because he took the goods out of the store because he was allegedly going to get a credit card from his wife, who was in a car in the parking lot. He did not speak English, nor did his wife.

The body of the film is set in the jury deliberation room, where six people had to decide Martinez’s crime and punishment, which could include deportation for him, but not necessarily for his children, who were both born in the United States.

edgararreola20203Director Edgar Arreola, whose acting credits include Guillermo in Sicario (2015) starring Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin; and proudly working beside Tom Hardy in his latest release, Capone (2020), directed by Josh Trank; as well as roles in 2 Guns (2013), featuring Golden Globe winner Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, and Edward James Olmos. Other projects include Machete (2010) and Machete Kills (2013) with Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofía Vergara, and with Kevin Sorbo in Walking Tall: Lone Justice (2007).

Arreola, who has lived in the Dallas area for 30 years, shared his take on Dallas, as well as the film.

“Dallas is my home. I have made my acting career from Dallas. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, but then I came to Dallas because everyone was [very different] in LA. The funny thing is that my whole career I have made from Dallas. Aspiring actors think they need to go to LA to get work. That’s not true. My career has probably been slower to develop than some people in LA, but I’m not in a big rush,” Arreola said.

“After I read the script [for Illegal], as weird as this may sound, I was attracted to the ending. I like it because I want people to feel a bit frustrated, which could lead to conversations and discussions about these issues. The script itself was good, but what drove me to directing it was the ending.

“I am all for people having their own opinions and to build up their own ending. It’s a very personal choice because we can all have different points of view. I think every person, regardless of color and status, is always going to have a different perspective as to why this should/should not happen or why this did/did not happen. That was something that really impassioned me to direct the film because as I was reading it, I was already visualizing what I wanted to do.

“As far as me relating to the script [as a Mexican American], I probably had a connection to about 20-30%. I was making my mind up as I was reading. I was trying not to get personal with it, but to stay objective, so what happened in the film was for the sake of the film. I tried to detach myself from it in certain ways. I’m not going to say that some things didn’t made me mad or whatever, but you have to disconnect yourself and put your personal feelings to the side as a director, producer or an actor.

“The actors that we had were amazing and it was very easy for me to direct them because we were all professionals. They knew exactly what the perspective was from our end, as in from behind the camera’s point of view.

“The cinematography was amazing, too. I had a wonderful cinematographer. From the minute we started production, this guy was reading my mind. Sometimes we would have discrepancies, and I would say, ‘I want this done because this and that,’ and he would totally understand where I was coming from,” Arreola explained.

This short film was Arreola’s first directing job, though he has co-directed in the past. He also offers acting classes every Wednesday evening at his studio in Garland. For more information about classes, visit http://earrtistic.com/.