Dallas journalist Barrett Brown finally got sentenced. You'll be hearing more about fluoride this week, and you'll want to avoid the Dallas North Tollway this weekend. These are the highlights of news around Dallas:
Barrett Brown sentenced
In fairly depressing news, Dallas journalist Barrett Brown got sentenced by Judge Sam Lindsay to 63 months in prison, for the charge of linking to hacked material. He also has to pay $890,000 in restitution for damage done to the hacked companies and the fraudulent charges made on the credit cards of 109 victims. Brown wrote a long and thoughtful reply to his sentence, posted here.
Kevin Gallagher, director of the Free Barrett Brown campaign, said that the long sentence was a chilling precedent for journalists. "If you share a link to publicly available material without knowing what's in it — maybe it could contain stolen credit card info — you could be prosecuted," he told the Guardian.
Street name action
Following an approval by the Dallas City Council to rename part of Hatcher Street in South Dallas, the Dallas Plan Commission is trying to discourage more street name changes in the future. The council voted to name part of the street after former council member Elsie Faye Higgins. The commission's alternative: honorary name changes, with signs above the actual street name.
Home rule fizzles
A commission that was trying to initiate a home rule system for Dallas schools gave up. Home rule would let DISD set up its own system of self-government and ignore state laws. A 15-member commission spent a year trying to introduce the idea in an attempt to improve the city's education system, but it got beaten down by the status quo.
Fluoride under review
The Dallas City Council will vote on January 28 on whether to continue fluoridating city water. Fluoride has been added to the water for decades to prevent tooth decay. But fluoride opponents have raised issues about the chemical's neurotoxic effects, and some cities have ditched it. An anti-fluoride Facebook page is an easy way to keep up.
Avoid the Tollway
Dallas North Tollway lanes are shut down this weekend until Monday morning at 5 am. Two lanes on each side are closed while the NTTA replaces concrete on the bridges at Lemmon Avenue and Maple Avenue at Knight Street.