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Why Dallas City Hall, a developer and the feds are so interested in a ‘crime-infested blight on a hillside’ in Oak Cliff

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Somehow we — by which I mean City Hall, the media, the poor — always land back here, on 16 acres of federally subsidized housing next to Dallas National Golf Club, where former President Barack Obama shoots a round whenever he comes to town.

The 250-unit Ridgecrest Terrace complex is, again, Dallas City Hall’s latest obsession. Politicians and attorneys are fighting over it. A Colorado company wants to buy the property from its New Jersey owner and needs the city’s help but might not get it. Then there are the feds, demanding answers.

And caught in the middle are the people who live at what this newspaper in 2011 called a “crime-infested blight on a hillside,” because they cannot afford to live anywhere else. Don’t forget them. Not again. Not this time.

If the dust-up over this wedge of poverty planted a tree line away from so much wealth isn’t The Story of Dallas, it’s close. Maybe a chip shot away.

Ridgecrest Terrace is infamous in part for the people who died here. The 19-year-old shot to death in 1995. Todd Krodle, the Dallas firefighter who fell through an improperly repaired roof in 2011. The mother who was stabbed to death in front of her two young children in 2014.

And for the second time in a decade, city attorneys allege in a lawsuit that the complex built in 1969 is a dangerous and “unsanitary” place where people “habitually go to commit crimes of disorderly conduct, aggravated assault, arson, criminal mischief, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated robbery.”

The city filed its suit Aug. 28. Housing and Urban Development officials said Thursday that they found out about it one month later. HUD funds the vouchers tied to Ridgecrest, but they’re administered by Austin-based Southwest Housing Compliance Corp.

Workers were dropping off fire extinguishers at units Wednesday. Until this week, there was just one extinguisher per building.(Robert Wilonsky/Staff)

Workers were dropping off fire extinguishers at units Wednesday. Until this week, there was just one extinguisher per building.  (Robert Wilonsky/Staff)

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Dallas church hands out gift cards to church members now furloughed during shutdown

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DALLAS, Texas — The Concord Church in Dallas extended a helping hand to about 100 church members Sunday who are also federal employees and not working as the government remains shut down for the 23rd day. 

The government was officially shut down on December 22, 2018. 

The reason why is centered on President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexico border. 

More: The 5 longest government shutdowns in US history, explained

Trump wanted more than $5 billion to start construction of the wall, but he, Republican leadership, and Democrats can’t come to an agreement about those funds. 

Tough decisions are now staring thousands of families living paycheck to paycheck in the face. 

Over 800,000 employees have either been furloughed or must continue working without pay. 

A majority of employees received a final paycheck last Friday, but for most, it was only half of what they normally get paid. 

Senior Pastor Bryan Carter knows that. During a service this morning, he asked anyone in the church who is a federal employee or a family member of a federal employee to stand up. 

After that, he invited all those standing to the altar to be prayed over. 

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BEER BARON: Man steals five cases of beer from Arlington store

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 – Police are looking for a beer baron who stole several cases of beer from a convenience store.

Arlington PD tweeted pictures Wednesday of the man who stole five cases of Bud Light from a store in the 5000 block of Little School Road.

Police say the suspect got away in a gray Dodge truck.

Anyone who recognizes him is urged to call Det. Thompson at 817-459-6054 or email leonor.thompson@arlingtontx.gov.

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Botham Jean’s Parents Meet With Dallas County District Attorney

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The parents of the man killed in his own apartment by a now-former Dallas police officer met for around three hours with Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson Tuesday for an update on the case.

Botham Jean was shot by off-duty officer Amber Guyger, who said she thought she was in her own apartment at the time and that Jean was a burglar.

Guyger shot Jean on Sept. 6, was charged with manslaughter Sept. 9 and fired Sept. 24.

District Attorney Faith Johnson has promised to conduct her own investigation and present the findings to a grand jury, which will decide what charges should go to trial.

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