The High Five
11:32 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Dallas Police Lieutenant Placed On Leave For Rap Persona

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Officers in various uniforms, state of the state in graduation rates, Big Tex bobbleheads and more.

Like a number of rappers, Lucille Baller brags on “a drawer full of all day suckers.” She backs this up with performance gestures, reportedly toting a revolver in a promotional video and pretending to fire it. Thing is, Baller is also Dallas Police Lieutenant Regina Smith, and that revolver is reportedly her gun.

Rebecca Lopez of WFAA reports the Dallas Police Department is reviewing the videos from her independent label and production company Big Rush In, which appear to have been taken down from the site; the DMN’s Tanya Eiserer [paywall] follows up, saying Smith has been placed on administrative leave.

Smith lost her husband in the line of duty in 2009 and tells reporters her music exists in his honor.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Leaders: Want More Money, State Colleges? Give Us More Grads

The Texas Association of Business wants state universities to get more students out of the gate with bachelor's degrees, in another push toward outcomes-based funding ahead of the legislative session. Our own Shelley Kofler reports on why leaders are asking for 10 percent of an institution’s funding to depend on its success in graduating students.

Universities will push back in opposition, advocates of these rules expect.  

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Texas Is Graduating A Ton Of High School Students, Though

While we’re talking turnstile education, there's some good news for Texas high schools. The state tied for the No. 3 spot in graduation rates for all students, and is No. 1 in rates for Asian and white students. The press release from the Texas Education Agency gives these bullets, among others, on the data from Texas' Class of 2011 released by the U.S. Department of Education:

  • No. 1 with Asian students (95 percent graduate).
  • No. 1 for white students (92 percent).
  • Tied for No. 1 for African-American students (81 percent) with Montana.
  • Tied for No. 3 for all students (86 percent), tying with Tennessee, New Hampshire, Indiana, Nebraska and North Dakota. Iowa, Vermont and Wisconsin exceed Texas by 1 to 2 percentage points.
  • No. 2 for Hispanic students (82 percent), behind only Maine.
  • No. 2 for students with disabilities (77 percent). Only South Dakota had a higher rate.

-- Bill Zeeble

Big Tex Bobbleheads Are Back In Stock

The official store of the State Fair Of Texas has Big Tex bobbleheads on sale again.

The limited-edition toys were originally crafted to celebrate Big Tex’s 60th birthday. After the Texas icon burned down, all of the bobbleheads sold-out lickety-split. You can claim your own Big Tex bobblehead or two (stocking stuffers!) for $20 a piece at bigtexonline.com.

-- Justin Martin

Meet Hashtag, A Kid With A Lot To Handle

Horrified Brits thought Texans were “untroubled by modesty” when introducing “Tuff” and “JesusNazaret” to birth certificates. Much more disturbing: An introduction by one mother who christened her freshly born tiny human as “Hashtag.” On Facebook (that name is already taken, by the way.) Huffington Post has the story.

The Twitter convention is already substituting something linguists call “paralanguage” for complex conversations -- and that could make us even more lazy speakers, opines Gizmodo’s Mark Biddle.

-- Lyndsay Knecht