Category Archives: The Dallas Morning News

SMU pushing for Bush library Effort's first goal: deciding potential site

Fourteen months into President Bush’s term, Southern Methodist University has launched a campaign to bring his future library to Dallas.

“Since Texas already has two presidential libraries” – Lyndon Johnson’s in Austin and the elder George Bush’s in College Station – “we believe Dallas would be an ideal location for the next one,” SMU president Gerald Turner said. “We have the location and the amenities for a beautiful site.”

SMU officials are interviewing local architects and are considering potential sites on and around the campus.

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All in a night’s work For 10 years, man has devoted evenings to Dallas' homeless

Rip Parker stood in the florescent-lit lobby of Park Cities Baptist Church on Thursday night and briefed his crew of 18. Outside, the sky was blue verging on black.

“I have to warn you: It’s not going to be milk-and-honey down there,” Mr. Parker said, his forehead creased with seriousness. “Men are down there because they do drugs or alcohol. It’s tough. Sometimes they get greedy and go back for more food. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes we have to call 911.”

The night’s volunteers were a varied bunch – children and adults, Baptists and Catholics. With furrowed brows and pursed lips, they took in his words like gospel, and with good reason.

If anyone knows the rules of the streets, it is this 64-year-old man with bright white hair and deep blue eyes who is known to many of Dallas’ homeless as “The Rev.”

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Giving the U.S. a face HP resident has 'pretty hectic' first month as Australian ambassador

Three hours after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Tom Schieffer hurried to the Australian embassy in Washington. John Howard, the prime minister of Australia, met him at the door.

“When the prime minister heard I was in the embassy, he rushed out of his office and embraced me,” recalled Mr. Schieffer, the new U.S. ambassador to Australia. “And as we stood there, the pain in his voice, the anguish, told me that this was more than a prime minister greeting an ambassador. It was Australia embracing America.”

If any moment marked the start of the Texan’s ambassadorship to Australia, it was that embrace. From that morning on, Mr. Schieffer’s life has been consumed by wartime diplomacy. And barely anything, he says, has gone according to schedule.

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School nurses increasingly on pill duty

As the school nurse at Coppell Middle School North, Bette Felder is responsible for the health needs, from hearing checks to Band-Aids, of 900 students.

But as soon as the first lunch period ends, her focus turns to pills.

One by one, students file into her clinic, grab paper cups and take their medication from her hand. Then they dart back into the hall, pills swallowed, before Ms. Felder can reach for the next bottle. The process continues for more than two hours until 1 p.m. when – barring emergencies – the clinic goes quiet for the first time since morning.

“This is my typical day,” Ms. Felder said one recent morning, as she searched for one of the more than 100 bottles in her cabinet. “I’m in my seat for a minute, and that’s about it.”

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TIGHTER REINS Tough parole program keeps tabs on offenders

Lee Yoder doesn’t live in a cell anymore, but he’s hardly a free man.

The convicted child molester can only leave his tiny studio apartment for work, church, therapy sessions or visits to his father. Whenever he drives, he has to take the same route, avoiding schoolyards and parks. And at least twice a week during those commutes, he sees the black Camaro in his rear-view mirror.

“He’s become really paranoid – which is good,” parole officer Andre O’Bryan said as he trailed Mr. Yoder’s car one day last week. “I want him to think that I’m always there, that I’m always watching.”

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MAKING A BEER RUN Drinking club members take partying in stride

With the sun melting over one horizon and the moon rising from the other, 40 bug-bitten, mud-caked, foul-mouthed runners dashed along a dirt road. The group had just finished a cooler of beer, and now they were back on trail.

“On-on!” a couple of voices echoed. “On-ooon!!”

Still dripping with river water, Cali Kaiser-Rivers watched the front-runners disappear into the thicket about 100 yards ahead. They would reach the end at least an hour before her, but that didn’t matter. This wasn’t about winners and losers.

“It’s about the beer,” she said, laughing. “It’s all about the beer.”

And soon enough, on a dusty mesa overlooking a Farmers Branch industrial park, the guzzling began.

Olympic training it is not. But for local members of the Hash House Harriers, an international “drinking club with a running problem,” as members like to say, it was a typical Monday night.

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Technology makes fake IDs look more real than ever

Joseph smiled at the bartender, asked for a beer and, when he heard the familiar request for an ID, pulled his Connecticut driver’s license from his wallet.

The 20-year-old had breezed through the drill dozens of times, but on this Friday night in April, it seemed to be taking too long. Then the bartender pulled a book from behind the counter and flipped to a picture of a Connecticut ID.

“That freaked me out,” said Joseph, who attends a university in the Northeast and is working in Fort Worth this summer. “I thought he was going to realize it was a fake and would throw me out.”

But a few minutes later, Joseph, who spoke on condition that his last name not be used, was sipping a beer. His nearly flawless ID, which he had designed on a computer and pasted together in about 30 minutes, had yet again passed the test.

Young people have used forged licenses as long as laws have prevented them from drinking. But what separates students such as Joseph from the generations of varsity counterfeiters before them is the deftness of their felonious work. Using computer technology widely available at universities, they’re able to make fake IDs so advanced that even veteran officers are duped.

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Drug fad catching parents, professionals by surprise

Michelle Hewett never suspected the cold medicine.

She knew James was using something – maybe pot, maybe cocaine or heroin. But when she searched her 16-year-old son’s bedroom one afternoon last spring, all she found was an empty Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold box stuffed under his dresser.

What a slob, she thought. And then she returned to looking for drugs.

It wasn’t until James went into rehab a month later that Mrs. Hewett learned that Coricidin – or, more precisely, the active ingredient, dextromethorphan – was one of his favorites. Nearly every other night for a year, James had taken 16 pills of the over-the-counter medication and then slipped on his headphones. The next morning, he’d often still be tripping as he headed to Clark High School in Plano, where many of his friends, he said, would be coming down from their own dextro-induced highs.

“How was I supposed to know?” Mrs. Hewett said recently. “We have enough trouble keeping up with all the mainstream stuff, but I had never heard about this. It’s cough medicine .”

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