Former Hawk pitcher Jake Thompson to Phillies in Cole Hamel trade

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ARLINGTON – Former Heath Hawk and now professional baseball player Jake Thompson was traded last night from the Texas Rangers organization to the Philadelphia Phillies as part of the Cole Hamel trade.

The 2012 Heath High graduate was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in the Rangers system entering the 2015 season and top pitcher.

According to MLB.com, “Thompson has a classic starter’s build that should give him durability and allows him to pitch on a tough downhill plane. He throws a decent amount of strikes but still is refining his command. He’s a good bet to become a No. 3 starter and has a chance to become a No. 2.”

So far this season with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders, Thompson has gone 6-6 with a 4.72 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 87.2 innings.

Besides Thompson, four prospects – catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams and pitchers Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff – along with left-hander Matt Harrison, were traded for Hamels, left-handed reliever Jake Diekman and cash, sources said.

By J.J. Smith

Whataburger named best burger chain in America by Fast Company voters

Whataburger

NEW YORK CITY – Whataburger was named the best burger chain restaurant in America last week by readers of Fast Company magazine.

Using brackets like in a sports playoff system, South champion Whataburger defeated East Coast champion Five Guys in the finals, after beating The Varsity in the first round and Checkers from Florida in the second.

In the third round Whataburger beat Fuddruckers, and then whipped In-N-Out Burgers in the quarterfinal round.

Culver’s ButterBurgers won the Mid-West and faced-off against the East Coast’s Five Guys, both of which are also popular in DFW, but Culver’s was sent packing back to Wisconsin.

The official bracket was quartered into East Coast, West Coast, South and Mid-West – with Texas chains Whataburger, Burger Street and Fuddruckers seeded in the South.

Each day beginning July 20, readers could log on and vote for their favorite in each round through July 24.

By J.J. Smith

 

Kate Steinle’s father tells Rep. Ratcliffe he has not heard from Pres. Obama

Jim Steinle, second from left, father of Kathryn Steinle, in photograph, testifies next to Montgomery County (Md.) Police Department. Chief J. Thomas Manger, right, before a Senate Judiciary hearing to examine the Administration's immigration enforcement policies, in Washington, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Kathryn Steinle was killed on a San Francisco pier, allegedly by a man previously deported several times. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Jim Steinle, second from left

WASHINGTON D.C. – Jim Steinle, the father of Kate Steinle, the young woman recently killed by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco, told Congressman John Ratcliffe from Heath last week that he has not heard from nor received condolences from Pres. Obama.

“I’m very sorry to hear that when there have been other very public deaths in this country like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray the president has expressed his condolences to the family. I would have expected him to do that here,” Ratcliffe replied.

“He did more than express his condolence in those cases, he had a lot of say about those circumstances, I think because they tied into policies he cared about like gun control and alleged police profiling.”

“When one of his policies — with respect to immigration enforcement — is at the root of a problem here that we are all discussing today we don’t hear anything from him and you don’t hear anything from him,” Ratcliffe continued.

“About the kindest thing I can say about that is it is incredibly disheartening and troubling to me because I very much believe that the loss you have experienced is unacceptable if for no other reason than it was entirely preventable had the immigration laws in our country been enforced. And this administration has frankly refused to uphold the law.”

Dozens of best known Dallas Morning News reporters, editors leaving in buyouts

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DALLAS – Some of The Dallas Morning News best known reporters and editors will be leaving this fall after a third round of buyouts since 2006 were recently offered to help the newspaper continue its transition from a printed publication to primarily a news website.

Ownership remains the same.

The buyouts allow the paper to hire younger, more digitally-minded journalists, whom they can pay lower salaries.

The list who are leaving includes columnist Steve Blow, writers such as Brooks Egerton, Diane Jennings, Randy Lee Loftis and Todd Gillman; business editor Dennis Fulton, features/food editor Cathy Barber and metro editor Steve Harris.

The total of 167 long term employees who have been offered buyouts “whose age and years of service at the newspaper total at least 60 years,” have come from a range of publications including The Dallas Morning News, Al Dia, NeighborsGo, FD, Briefing and GuideLive.

Editor Mike Wilson described the buyouts as part of an effort to make the newsroom more digitally minded, saying that the staffers who leave will be replaced with “outstanding digital journalists.”

In a recent interview with Columbia Journalism Review, Wilson said the staff would need to be better at building audience online, stating: “We are all salespeople now.”

Since the majority of Americans now read news online, newspapers nationwide are no longer able to sell enough advertising to stay in business. They’ve had to reduce staffs and pay employees based upon how much advertising they can sell online, as well as from other income sources, such as special events and social media.

By J.J. Smith

Missing woman Susan Peterson, 60, found safe today

Susan Peterson

ROCKWALL – Susan Peterson, the 60-year-old Rockwall woman who was reported missing yesterday, was found safe in a residential neighborhood about 1.5 miles from her home in The Shores subdivision today at about 11:10 am.

No other information was provide in a news release from Rockwall Police, who asked this morning for the public’s help to find her.

By J.J. Smith