City News Roundup

City council member Kevin Felder arrested and more Dallas news

City council member Kevin Felder arrested and more Dallas news

Five Mile Creek
Feast your eyes on Five Mile Creek. Photo courtesy of Dallas Parks

In Dallas news, local politicians past and present are running afoul of the law. Meanwhile, the Dallas City Council made a decision about the juvenile curfew, which has been under discussion for the past few weeks.

Here's what happened in Dallas city news:

Felder felony
Dallas city councilman Kevin Felder now faces a felony charge for failing to stop after an accident causing serious bodily injury.

A teen riding a scooter was hurt on February 13 after Felder allegedly hit him while driving, police said.

Felder was driving a Ford Fusion when the crash happened on Malcolm X Boulevard in South Dallas. A witness told police that Felder exchanged words with the victim then fled the scene. Felder was on his way to a city council meeting when the crash occurred.

Felder's car was impounded and inspected for damage that would corroborate the accident.

Felder faces eight opponents in his bid for reelection for the District 7 seat representing South Dallas and Fair Park.

Curfew reinstated
The debate over the juvenile curfew has come to an end, with the Dallas City Council reinstating the ordinance at its meeting on February 28.

Public comments went much like previous hearings, with teens and residents wholeheartedly opposed.

The curfew affects kids 17 and under, and remains largely as it was before it expired earlier this year, except that fines will be lowered from $500 to $50. The hours are weekdays from 9:30 am-2:30 pm, and 10 pm-6 am, and  midnight to 6 am on weekends.

An amended ordinance from council member Adam McGough passed with a 10-5 vote. Council member Omar Narvaez made a proposal to decriminalize the curfew with only civil penalties, but it was rejected.

Carolyn Davis guilty
A former Dallas City Council member has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a real estate developer while serving on the council’s Housing Committee.

Carolyn Davis took money from a developer from November 2013 to June 2015 in exchange for approving an affordable housing project, a federal plea agreement unsealed Friday says. Prosecutors recommended a federal prison sentence up to three years and a fine not to exceed $250,000. She will also pay restitution and cover incarceration and supervision costs.

Davis was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs using federal funds. She faces a sentence of no more than five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Court records show the unnamed developer paid Davis $40,000 in exchange for lobbying and voting for the deal worth more than $2.5 million. The developer also promised future consulting work.

Davis served four terms on the Dallas City Council from 2007 to 2015. On February 25, 2015, she led the City Council in authorizing a Dallas Housing Finance Corporation development loan of 2.52 million.

Five Mile Creek greenbelt
Dallas Park and Recreation Board approved the Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt masterplan that will create an interconnected series of trails, parks, and green spaces following the main branch and tributaries of Five Mile Creek in southern Dallas. The urban greenbelt connects historically underserved southern Dallas neighborhoods to areas of natural beauty, public transportation nodes, educational institutions, and recreational amenities.

An analysis by The Trust for Public Land indicated that of the nearly 187,000 people who live in the Five Mile Creek watershed, only 53 percent have access to a park or trail within a 10-minute walk of their home. The Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt proposes 23.2 miles of new trails, as well as the creation of four new parks. Once complete, over 56,000 people will live within a 10-minute walk of the greenbelt network, including 22,000 community members who previously lacked close-to-home park access.