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Boy Scout Sex-Abuse Files Go Public Today

Daniel M. Reck
(cc) flickr

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Boy Scout revelations, Halloween political clashes, tweeting the debate and more.

Two decades’ worth of files are being released today that detail sex-abuse allegations within the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts are based in Irving, but the massive file release comes because of an Oregon judge’s order. Here’s the list of names.

Los Angeles Times investigation takes an exhaustive look into the patterns of abuse allegations. Jason Felch and Kim Christensen sorted through almost 2,000 files -- it’s pretty stunning to see the distribution of cases across the country.

One of the situations The Times reviewed involved a once-beloved beloved Dallas scout leader:

John McGrew was a Dallas scoutmaster who had been recognized as teacher of the year and received a proclamation from City Hall for his work with disadvantaged youths. Two months before he was arrested on molestation charges, he was featured in Scouting Magazine where his supervisor praised his "personal dedication and genuine love for these kids."

In 1988, 16 boys testified in court that McGrew had abused them. He was convicted on several counts and sentenced to life in prison.

Wayne Perry, national president of the Boy Scouts, issued a statement in response:

There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Political Intrigue: Anti-Obama Halloween Display Trashed, Rebuilt

A Halloween display that included a likeness of President Obama and Vice President Biden hanging in a spider web was weird enough. Now comes newsthat someone has trashed the Colleyville display, which included a spider with Mitt Romney’s head.

The folks who created the display, Melissa and Glen Cruson, told CBS 11 that neighbors are rallying around them, even donating money for repairs:

“We had numerous calls, numerous texts, asking what in the world happened, why is your display down?” she said. She discovered the heads of the characters were gone, signs were shredded, and an American flag was gone.

The Crusons have retooled and rebuilt the display without the Democrats caught in the web. Instead, a sign reads “"Thieves took the clowns, but the circus still remains."

The real-life presidential candidates, on the other hand, will keep things light at the Al Smith Dinner in New York City tonight, where by tradition they’ll joke around about themselves and each other.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Make The Senate Debate A Social (Media) Occasion

Democrat Paul Sadler and Republican Ted Cruz will be paying KERA a visit tomorrow night for their second and final debate. The bout to replace U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson will be broadcast statewide -- you can see it locally on KERA-Channel 13 and hear it on 90.1 FM.

And thanks to Twitter, you can have a role: We’ll be live-blogging the debate, along with our partners from the Texas Tribune, and if you tweet using the hashtag #txdebates, your message could make it online or on the air.

-- Rick Holter

Robots And 3D Printers And Dallas! Oh, My!

Unleash your inner geek this weekend at the Tanner electronics expo, starting Saturday at 2 p.m.

The annual event is a collaborative effort between the fine folks at ‘Dallas Makerspace’ and the ‘Dallas Personal Robotics Group’.

Aside from learning all sorts of new things about technology, you’ll witness and even engage some of the crafty creations of Texas roboticists.

Kids are welcome; in fact, it looks like they’re having more fun than the adults.

Yes, that was R2D2 spinning madly to Weird Al’s ‘Star Wars’ themed-song of ‘American Pie’ at the 2011 event.

BTW: If you want to possibly endear yourself to the organizers and/or participants of this event, take not of a little-known factoid: The word ‘Robotics’ was coined by the “grandfather of science fiction” Isaac Asimov.

-- Justin Martin

This Just In: No More ‘Newsweek’ On Newsstands As Of Jan. 1

We heard this summer that Newsweek may be looking at other options besides printing the glossy thats recapped each week for 80 years. Well, David Carr of the New York Times’ Mediadecoder blog reports the final issue of the print edition will come Dec. 31. The new digital version will be called Newsweek Global, and it’ll be available by paid subscription only.

Didn’t ever subscribe? Why should you care? Well, like all these publications being forced to adapt to changes in how we consume information, there’s much else in the developing history of Newsweek that can mark the culture surrounding the outlet. Case in point: Think’s Krys Boyd spoke with the magazine’s first female senior editor, Lynn Povich, last month. Povich wrote a tell-all about how she and 45 of her female co-workers sued their bosses in the ’70s, when men dominated the journalism universe and stellar reporters-in-waiting were stuck in the research division.

-- Lyndsay Knecht