Dallas City Councilman Kevin Felder surrendered Tuesday to felony charges stemming from an alleged scooter accident he is accused of fleeing from — and if convicted, those charges may mean more than a felony record.

Felder, who represents District 7, has been accused of fleeing the scene of an accident where he allegedly hit someone traveling by scooter in South Dallas.

Councilman Felder and his attorney, Pete Schulte, vehemently deny the charges. (more…)

Amazon

(Photos courtesy Flickr)

As word got out that Amazon may pull out of its’ planned halfquarters in New York, every single city that had a shot is discussing the potential that the virtual big box store will eventually turn its sights to one of the jilted — Dallas included.

Let’s review: In November, after nearly a year of being courted by nearly every city in the country, Amazon flipped the script and decided to divide its second headquarters site between two cities – Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia.

But nearly immediately, many New Yorkers began voicing their resistance to the idea, saying they worried that Amazon would push up prices and rents in the neighborhood, and force existing residents out. They also criticized the incentives offered to the retail giant.

As resistance grew, The Washington Post reported Friday that Amazon was potentially thinking of walking back its plans for the New York site. (more…)

microresidenciesAre you creative? If so, the city of Dallas might just have a spot for you in a unique program that provides microresidencies within city departments to foster creative solutions.

The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs announced this week that it was opening up the second round of microresidencies, which are aimed at artists, arts educators, and designers.

“The goal of the residencies is for creative thinkers/artists to embed themselves in non-arts-focused City departments and offer creative innovations and solutions to improve their operations and processes,” the department said. “The residencies are not intended to create art FOR the Departments, but rather to bring different artistic perspectives or changes TO existing operations – to show that artistic and creative thinking is part of everything we do and that creative thinkers are valuable team members.” (more…)

Dallas proper posted moderate rent increases, but it was the area suburbs and exburbs that saw the biggest apartment rents in 2018, RentCafe revealed in a recent report.

Flower Mound posted the highest rent at $1,526 (despite only having a minimal increase of 0.1 percent), higher than Farmers Branch and Frisco with average rents of $1,382 and $1,343, respectively. In Coppell, rents have stagnated, decreasing by 1 percent year over year. (more…)

(Photos courtesy Big Thought)

We’ve talked about it before — where you live in Dallas can impact and shape the kinds of opportunities you get — or even if you get many of them to begin with. One local organization has been working decades to help close the opportunity gap — through programs that encourage children to use their imaginations.

Last year, we told you about The Opportunity Atlas, an interactive tool that confirmed what many who follow opportunity gaps in Dallas have known all along:  Decades of policy have wrought pockets of opportunity gaps throughout the city of Dallas, and that children who grow up in those neighborhoods frequently reach adulthood and have families of their own, and make the same low wages their parents did, exacerbating and perpetuating that gap.

Big Thought’s mission of closing the opportunity gap for area students includes in-school, out-of-school and community partnership programs, with the idea that making imagination part of everyday learning can help achieve that.

The organization also helps ensure that students get high-quality learning experiences (often offered at low-cost or free) that promote creativity as well as social and emotional learning. And its Creative Solutions program, which uses performing and visual arts to re-ignite the imaginations of juvenile offenders also helping them develop skills that will assist them in being career and college ready, has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the state.

Friday, one of the organization’s biggest supporters, The Fossil Group, will host its seventh annual Works of HeART auction and fundraiser to benefit Big Thought. The event, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Fossil Group headquarters, will showcase original artwork created by company employees, including paintings, textiles, jewelry, and even a 3D printed piece.

Before the event, we took the opportunity to talk with Big Thought CEO and President Byron Sanders about his organization. (more…)

Big Thought

Fossil Group will host its seventh annual Works of HeART auction and fundraiser next week, benefitting Big Thought, a nonprofit organization working to close the opportunity gap (Photo courtesy Can Turkyilmaz).

Have some empty walls and empty shelves you need to fill? Fossil Group will host its seventh annual Works of HeART auction and fundraiser next week, and the money from that piece of art you could pick up there will go to benefit Big Thought, a nonprofit organization working to close the opportunity gap.

The event, which will be held Friday, Feb. 1, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Fossil Group Headquarters, will showcase original artwork created by company employees. Paintings, textiles, jewelry and even a 3D printed piece are on the auction block, and all proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction will support Big Thought, a Fossil Foundation partner.

Big Thought’s mission of closing the opportunity gap for area students includes in-school, out-of-school and community partnership programs, with the idea that making imagination part of everyday learning can help achieve that. The organization also helps ensure that students get high-quality learning experiences (their summer camps are the stuff of wonder, and are offered free of charge) that promote creativity as well as social and emotional learning. (more…)

home buyingWho is most likely to have home buying as a goal this year? Will remodeling and home improvement spending continue to grow?  We look at this and more in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Four Percent List Home Buying a 2019 Goal

Four percent (about 10 million Americans) said buying a new home was their main financial goal for the year — and millennials were the most likely generation to claim that as a goal, a new Bankrate survey revealed.

Seven percent of millennials said they wanted to buy a home this year.

But that doesn’t mean financial goals aren’t being set. Bankrate’s survey revealed that about 89 percent of Americans have at least one goal for the year, with paying down debt being at the top of the list, with three in 10 saying that was their goal, followed by better budgeting (13 percent), saving more towards retirement (12 percent), saving more for emergencies (10 percent), getting a higher-paying job (6 percent), and investing more (5 percent). (more…)

recessionThe two Metropolitan Statistical Areas that encompass Dallas-Fort Worth ranked in a recent list of top 10 metros that have recovered the most from the Great Recession, HSH.com said.

But that recovery isn’t all that usual — 27 major cities still haven’t seen home prices recover peak values they were posting pre-recession. But that number is dropping, HSH said, and so far, 73 U.S. home markets seen complete recovery.

Dallas-Plano-Irving found itself in fourth place, with home prices 68.51 percent above peak). Fort Worth-Arlington was fifth, at 59.85 percent above peak.

Three more Texas metros found themselves on the recession recovery list as well: Austin-Round Rock at No. 2 (72.55 percent), Houston-The Woodlands- Sugarland at No. 6 (57.05 percent), and San Antonio-New Braunfels at No. 8 (44.47 percent).

“Although the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO metro still holds the top slot, Texas markets dominate the most recovered group, holding five of the 10 slots,” the company said.

Additionally, El Paso made the company’s “nearly recovered” list, signaling that its current values are only one or two percent below previous peaks, and that the city is likely close to making that “fully recovered” list, possibly even by the next quarter.

The rankings are determined by using the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index to determine which markets have recovered fully and which ones are still lagging.