Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

Judge orders Billy Bob’s partners to talk it out

A state district judge has ordered the investors in Billy Bob’s Texas to sit down in mediation to hash out their differences.
A state district judge has ordered the investors in Billy Bob’s Texas to sit down in mediation to hash out their differences. Star-Telegram archives

Whoa, Nelly!

Before the investors in Billy Bob’s Texas have a knock-down, drag-out fight over the future of the iconic watering hole in court, a state district judge wants them to sit down like gentlemen and talk it out.

State District Judge Michael Wallach postponed a hearing this week and ordered the business owners and former friends into mediation in hopes of reaching a settlement before returning to court on June 13, where he’ll consider a request for a preliminary injunction and possibly appointing a receiver.

He’s appointed veteran attorney David Seidler to act as mediator. He will report to the judge.

For those of you who may have missed it, the investors at Billy Bob’s Texas are squabbling over the future of Fort Worth’s 127,000-square-foot landmark, a disagreement made only worse by the hard feelings among the partners over the future of the entire Historic Stockyards.

What spurred the lawsuit was the attempted firing of Billy Bob’s manager Concho Minick by the club’s majority owners including the Hickman family, a major force behind a $175 million Stockyards redevelopment project. In recent years they’ve disagreed with Minick’s plans for the honky-tonk, including spending about $1 million on improvements.

Minick, along with a company owned by the Murrin family — minority owners in Billy Bob’s and Stockyards staples themselves — opposed his termination. The Murrins and Minick have voiced their concerns with Hickman’s Stockyards plans They filed the lawsuit to protect their interest.

Attorneys already have said that they hope to reach some kind of out-of-court resolution, one that might eventually include a buyout by one of the partners.

Stay tuned.

Standing up to cancer

American Airlines reservations agent Dondie Risinger knows detecting cancer early is key to beating it.

“I wanted to tell people about what I’ve gone through, particularly if it can help someone else,” said Risinger, a breast cancer and skin cancer survivor who works at the airline’s reservations office in Fort Worth.

Risinger, along with several American pilots, flight attendants gate agents and fleet service clerks, are telling their cancer survival stories as part of a campaign the Fort Worth-based carrier launched June 1 to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer.

During the month of June, American will donate $1 for every flight purchased on its website,, up to $1 million to the cancer research fundraising group.

Risinger flew out to Los Angeles earlier this year to film ads for the campaign with actor Bradley Cooper. The ads will be featured online throughout the month.

“[Cancer researchers] are making so many strides,” Risinger said, noting that the treatments she went through seven years ago to treat breast cancer have already changed for those diagnosed now. “It amazes me that they’ve gone forward so much in just a short time, doing thing differently and making it possible to beat cancer.”

Baumeister named chamber chair

Allyson Baumeister, principal in charge of the Fort Worth office of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, started her term as chairwoman of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

Baumeister took the gavel from outgoing Chairman Mark Nurdin, president and CEO of the Bank of Texas, Fort Worth region, during the organization’s annual luncheon.

Baumeister is only the third woman in the organization’s 135-year history to serve in the top spot, a one-year term. She served the last year as vice chairwoman.

The last female chair was the late Susan Halsey, who served 2013-14. Denise Spitler, a former Star-Telegram executive, was the first businesswoman to lead the chamber board, in 1997-98.

In 2007, Baumeister helped launch the Womens Insight Network , or WIN, the chamber’s network of women members focused on “winning” at networking, business and mentoring, the chamber said.

“There is no other organization like the Fort Worth Chamber,” Baumeister said in a statement. “It has been a true honor to serve the chamber for all of these years. I cannot begin to explain how much I have learned and how many people I have met along the way. I have received so much more than I have ever given during my volunteer time at the chamber.”

Sandra Baker

Trump praised for Paris accord action

While President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord this week created howls of unhappiness from environmentalists and corporate leaders, he was praised by some in the energy sector, including Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian.

“The Obama administration entered the United States into a lopsided agreement which would require our nation to drastically reduce carbon emissions — killing jobs, harming our economy, and increasing energy costs for consumers — while allowing other nations like Russia and China to increase emissions for the foreseeable future,” said Christian, a Republican from Center, in a prepared statement.

“It is refreshing to have an administration that avoids basing regulatory decisions on politically-driven rhetoric disguised as science. As we have shown in Texas, both the economy and environment prosper when regulations are consistent, predictable, and based on proven, sound science,” he said.