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Texas woman gets $2.75M for stadium land

ARLINGTON, Texas -- In the largest payout for residential property acquired for the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, the Arlington City Council has agreed to give a 72-year-old woman $2.75 million for her house and 4 acres.

"I can buy something and stop living in my car," Evelyn Wray
said with a chuckle. "I've been basically living out of suitcases
from here to there."

Since moving out of her home in March, Wray said she's been
staying with family and friends because she didn't want to make a
decision on a new house until she knew how much the city would pay.

Jay Doegey, Arlington's city attorney, said he was glad to get
that and two other properties settled at Tuesday's meeting. The
other properties, commercial tracts, were settled for sale prices
of $1.15 million and $1.2 million.

Wray's fight to get what she thought was a fair price from the
city generated media attention during the past year, with a talk
radio station in attendance when she held a garage sale.

Wray's attorney, Glenn Sodd, argued that the land -- on a major thoroughfare and across the street from a new Wal-Mart Supercenter -- should be valued at commercial prices.

The original offer for Wray was $351,000, but a court-appointed
panel set the value at $1.2 million. She continued her fight in the
county courts, and the city finally settled for more than twice
that amount.

Although most of the land has been acquired for the $650 million stadium and excavation work is nearly completed, dozens of lawsuits are still pending, Doegey said.

The stadium is scheduled to open in time for the 2009 season.