Dallas ISD went back to school, and just like that, summer is over. This week, a Dallas police officer was arrested, and a top official at City Hall resigned. For book lovers, there's a big weekend coming up. Meanwhile, Beto weighed in on kneeling.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
Police officer arrested — again
Dallas Police Department Senior Corporal Joe Ramos was booked into Dallas County Jail on August 22 for Indecency with a Child by Contact, a first degree felony. He was released after posting $5,000 bail.
Senior Corporal Ramos has been with Dallas Police Department since July 1997. He is now on administrative leave while an investigation is underway.
This was not Ramos' first such arrest. CBS/DFW reports that Ramos was indicted in 2006 on similar charges. He was accused of molesting 6- and 8-year-old children. A jury acquitted Ramos in one case, and another was dismissed after a child victim was unable to testify. He was reinstated to the Dallas Police Department in 2007.
Economic Development chief resigns
Raquel Favela, Dallas' Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services, has resigned.
Favela came to Dallas in April 2017, and worked with city manager T.C. Broadnax on a number of initiatives, including creating a Comprehensive Housing Policy that aims to overcome patterns of segregation and poverty, and leveraging private investments for Red Bird Mall and Nokia's new North American headquarters.
"Under her leadership, we have been able to strengthen our focus on fundamental neighborhood services, and identify short-term and long-term solutions to address revitalization efforts and economic development due diligence and strategies essential to the sustainability of our community," Broadnax said in a statement.
In her letter of resignation, Favela hinted at working in economic development on a national level.
"As I now have the chance to do this on a national platform for other communities struggling with similar issues, I must seize that opportunity," she wrote.
Her last day is September 3.
Big book sale
This weekend is the Dallas Public Library's mega-book sale, hosted by The Friends of the Dallas Public Library, a nonprofit that supports library programs.
Items for sale include books, CDs, and DVDs. The sale raises funds for programs such as English language learning, GED classes, and the Mayor's Summer Reading Challenge.
It also serves as a recruitment tool for the Friends. Members get access to special discounts; non-members can join for $25 during the sale.
Hours are as follows:
- Friday August 24 — 11 am-6 pm
- Saturday August 25 — 10 am-4 pm
- Sunday August 26 — 1 pm-4 pm
Cultural Plan needs your 2 cents
In an effort to support artists and improve the ways Dallasites experience art and culture, the City of Dallas' Office of Cultural Affairs has a new Cultural Plan and is inviting public comment at a series of meetings.
The plan is a 100-page document that outlines the city's intention to create a sustainable arts community. It details six priorities that will become the city's guiding principles moving into 2019 and beyond. These include concepts such as equity, diversity, a sustainable arts ecosystem, and communication.
The public meetings will be held at the following locations:
- September 6, 6-8 pm at Bachman Lake Library
- September 7, 10 am-12 pm at Dallas Museum of Art
- September 8, 10 am-12 pm at Southwest Center/Redbird Mall
- September 10, 6-8 pm at Moody Performance Hall
- September 11, 12-1 pm webinar broadcast from the Latino Cultural Center
- September 11, 6-8 pm at Fretz Park Library
Beto O'Rourke defends kneelers
In a viral video that has garnered more than 15 million views in two days, Beto O’Rourke, Texas' Democratic senatorial candidate, defends the hotly contested anthem-kneeling phenomenon brought forth by Colin Kaepernick 2016, comparing those who have knelt to the major actors in America's civil rights movement.
When asked during a public forum if he finds the protest offensive, O'Rourke makes a nod to the military service members and veterans before telling the constituent, "My short answer is no, I don’t think it's disrespectful."
As cheers break out in the room, he draws parallels between the modern-day protestors demonstrating against police brutality and Rosa Parks, the Freedom Riders, and the young girls who died at the hands of a racist bomber in Birmingham, Alabama.