From The Wichita Falls paper:
As stated here, When the Tulia scandal broke in 1999, Texas had more than 50 of these regional drug task forces. With the demise of the Wichita Fallas Task Force, we're down to four. And I think we are safely living without them.
The North Texas Regional Drug Task Force closed down in 2007, victim of budget cuts. The consortium of law officers had served 23 counties in drug investigations. The Texas Legislature curtailed its funding of regional task forces and federal grant money was diverted to other purposes.
Another factor was the trend of drug traffickers to choose methamphetamine over cocaine, which resulted in lower cash seizures by the task force.
City and county governments chipped in enough money to keep the task force, which operated out of the Wichita Falls Police Department, running though 2007. But the money wasn’t available for 2008. The task force officers were absorbed into WFPD or other agencies.
It's four day old news, but the story of the mom who had her six year old make up a story of her dad being killed in Iraq in order to win Hannah Montana tickets is amazing. The best coverage I saw was when Byron Harris confronted the mom in the store - the "deer in headlights" look doesn't do it justice. (It's here if you can get it to work.)
But the story is all over the place this morning - on a national scale. It was onThe Today Show and Good Morning America
Review from the Movie Tavern off of Hulen:
1) The first half of the movie was great. Absolutely great.
2) The second half can best be described by a comment I saw on IMDB:
I am a 40 year old movie buff Academy Award trivia expert I own over 700 movies I've been a member here for 6 years And I have a college degree. Maybe I ate too many milk duds or something but it went right over my head.Then again, I didn't think much of Pulp Fiction the first time I saw it. I'll give No Country another chance.
If you are looking for a Donnie Darko, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind MUST SEE A SECOND OR THIRD TIME TO FULLY UNDERSTAND kind of movie then go for it!
If you think you are going to see a Titanic, The Green Mile or Silence Of the Lambs kind of movie where the plot unfolds at a normal pace and doesn't make you search for answers and meaning then don't go see this thing.
Again, not a bad movie. Great acting, cinematography, pace.... the works... just incredibly difficult to understand after the first half.
In fact the first half is very good, suspenseful.. second half does not fulfill. Leaves you hanging and wanting more.
Found a new, to me at least, Mexican restaurant call Oscar's located in a place I'd never expect to find: South of 820 in Fort Worth off 377.
- The main dining area was really nice.
- One of the side rooms, where I ended up eating, not so nice. The Christmas tree that had been tossed aside and was leaning against the wall was not a nice touch.
- Food was good. Salsa mucho good. Me loves me some salsa.
- They had "live entertainment" in the main dining area that I could have done without. I don't want to hear some guy sing "Margaritaville" during a meal. Heck, I don't ever want to hear any version of "Margaritaville" at any time.
- The outdoor dining area looks like it would be great when it's not freezing.
- Huge parking area.
- In the bar area, there were two huge screens that were showing a college football bowl game. TCU, which was playing at that moment, did not appear on either one of them.
- My waiter looked like a Hispanic A.C. Slater from "Saved By The Bell."
Channel 5 did a segment on Curves last night. Basically, it interviewed the owner of one of the franchises, spoke to women that had only had wonderful success, and mentioned the "new machines" that the fitness club was offering.
Man, it looked like a commercial disguised as a news story. I heard something similar on the radio a while back when there was a story on the anniversary of the Slurpee - but the segment also talked about the new products that were being introduced into 7-11.
I wonder if the stations are truly getting paid for these things?
If you saw this last night, you know you almost witnessed what could have been one of the craziest moments in Evil Empire history. (One sentence summary: Mack Brown's stepson - a coaching assistant or something - was charged with touching the ball after a backwards lateral pass came towards him on the sideline.)
Man, it took about 15 minutes to sort it all out - with tons of close ups of the guy who was the focus of all of the attention. And then the refs incorrectly ruled that he had touched the ball. No way. (The next play resulted in an Arizona State touchdown as everyone distanced from the guy on the UT sideline.) But as covered extensively here, the same penalty could have been called for being on the field even if he hadn't touched the ball.
Summary: Even though the law gives you the right to refuse a breath or blood sample, that doesn't prevent the cops from getting a search warrant for your blood. The normal obstacle is having a judge available to "review" a probable cause affidavit (which is nothing more than a checklist with the typical observations in a DWI arrest) and issue the warrant.
Wise County has been doing this over the last year but normally only in unusual cases.
However, Tarrant County, over the holiday weekend, will take the blood of every DWI arrestee who refuses to give a sample.
Sadly, no one will care about the government forcing the blood out of a person via a needle - even if the person really isn't guilty. Nor do they care of statements like this made by a MADD representative on WBAP this morning: "If you say you have had two drinks, officers are trained to know you have had an overflow of alcohol." Actual quote. I wrote it down while shaking my head.
We have a clear civil rights violation going on in France! (Assuming France has a constitution and assuming said constitution has some reference to civil rights.) Anyway, some hot French chick wins the title of Miss France this month (I don't know which one she is in the pic with the two girls because I don't read that fancy French stuff). Then some free speech loving magazine publishes a picture of her casually swimming in a pool and relaxing on two sticks of wood.
So what does that liberal sissified French pageant organizers do? They won't let her compete in the Miss World or Miss Universe pageants!
I was mad at France when they wouldn't let our jets fly over its airspace when Reagan showed Libya's Muammar al-Gaddaf the business end of a couple of bombs in 1986. But this crosses the line.
- There is no chance of a tiger escaping from that sanctuary in Boyd. But we need some media coverage to confirm it.
- Call 911 and ask, "Is this call really being routed to Bridgeport? Eeewwwww."
- "Freezing fog" can't touch you this morning
- Tonight is the last game of the year for The Evil Empire (and the 1st hasn't even arrived yet)
- Some important lady in Pakistan just got killed. Chaos ensues. Some local convenience stores may have spotty service today.
- That NFL game between New England and the Giants will be broadcast simultaneously on Saturday night on the NFL Network, NBC, and CBS. But these girls will be watching a Rock Of Love marathon. And it will be more entertaining.
- They are all potentially better wives than that lady in the Lexus commercial who hangs up on her husband right before he gives her a new car
Channel 5 News just reported that 911 service for Wise County "went down" yesterday afternoon and that all calls are being funneled through Bridgeport.
WCSO released this yesterday:
Wise County 911 service went down about 2:00p.m. today. Immediately the emergency service was transferred to Bridgeport Police Department, so that all 911 calls would be answered. Communications Supervisor Susan Gomez worked throughout the day with Sprint to locate the cause of the problem. As of tonight, 911 service at the County has not been restored. It will possibly be Friday before Sprint can repair a failing part in the computer system.
911 Service is WORKING and will be answered in Bridgeport. Please do not be alarmed if you call 911 and it is answered "BRIDGEPORT 911." Other than Decatur Police Department, Bridgeport will answer all County 911 calls until the service can be repaired.
We do not wish to alarm anyone and will respond to all 911 calls. The only difference is where the calls are being answered.
The Cowboys just cut fullback Zack Crockett, who they picked up off waivers last week when Roy Williams was suspended. Williams is back so Crockett is gone.
Crockett arrived at Valley Ranch on Thursday. He participated in Thursday's practice, Friday's walk-through and went on the trip to Carolina but was inactive for the game.
For all that hard work, Crockett pocketed $48,235, which is one-seventeenth of his $820,000 salary.
How's this for a kind heart? From an email:
I was hoping you could help me. We have a dog that showed up Christmas day and she sure acts like she's somebody's dog since she's great with the kids, and very friendly. We are 1 mile north of 380 on 51. We would like to find her owner since I'm sure her family misses her. Could you please post her picture on the blog with our area? Her markings are fairly unique.
In other news, a guy gets killed by an escaped tiger, a little girl gets killed while riding her new bike, a 19 year old gets drunk and dies after falling off of a roof, and a guy drives into the home of Pete Geren in Fort Worth and then commits suicide two blocks away. Triple sheesh. Can we just cancel the rest of the year and move onto 2008.
It was horrible looking. (See Update or this ST story.) And the fact that it was on Christmas Eve makes it even worse (if that's possible.)
That left hand turn off of Business 287 to go south on 287 is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous places in the county.
I walked in and out of Macy's at Northeast mall a couple of times yesterday after making a clothing purchase. I noticed the security alarm seemed to correspond with my entry/exit but didn't think much about. At least until I pulled out the purchase today and noticed the security doohickey was still attached. (Yeah, I paid for the clothes - don't get the search warrant.)
But I didn't really experience the joy of Christmas Eve a moment ago as I tried to remove thing. Sheesh. I finally had to take a hammer to dang thing. (Above.)
- I saw a record four troopers between Decatur and Jeterville yesterday (and a Rhome cop.)
- For the love of all things sweet and clean, can I please walk through Northeast Mall without being accosted by salespeople from the kiosks. I felt like I was in Matamoras surrounded by kids selling Chicklets.
- Man, it looks cold at the Chicago/Green Bay game right now.
- People are driving like idiots. Slow down.
- The Waitress is like a bad high school one act play. (Although I remember why I rented it: the co-star/director/producer was murdered before the movie was released.)
- I saw Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story the other night. Funny. But I probably need to watch it again to fully appreciate it.
- And what a pile-up in the Panhandle: "We're not really sure how many cars, probably in excess of 40 cars and in excess of 20 semi-trailers."
- Field Of Dreams was on today, and everyone always thinks it is so touching. But the basic theme is this: "If you have a magical place where baseball players from the past appear, you can make a buck off of it by charging $20 a person." Yep, people will come Ray. People will come.
America at its finest.
Edit: Lest I remind you of this quote from the movie. . . . "Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it."
The news today has the story of the rescue of the guy and his three kids who had been missing for three days after going off into the forest to find a Christmas tree.
The normally unfunny WBAP had a bit today with the Fake Andy Rooney who began, "Let me get this straight. We spent a million dollars of taxpayer money to find you all because you wanted to act like The Waltons?"
Edit: From the "Kind Of Related Photo" Department
Edit #2: Here is the pic sent in by a faithful reader (who adds, "My scanner sux.")