And Another

Crystal Wells, 33, has pled guilty to the very strange charge of "Unlawful Transaction With A Minor" which apparantly means "Sex With a 15 Year Old Boy" in Kentucky. She'll be sentenced later but the prosecutor is recommending five years in the hoosegow.

I can't pass judgment on this young lady because the picture is so blurry. Sheesh. We can allocate all these judicial resources to this prosecution but we can't get a picture that doesn't look like it was taken in a sauna? I'm leaning towards a short probation, but the prosecutor better get me a better picture quick or I'll let her out with time served.

If There Had Been A Photo Contest, This Would Have Won

I call it, "Man skis down 'Mount Decatur'" (this morning.) Gold. Pure gold.

(Thanks emailer Joel.)

Edit: And then someone tricks it up . . .

Hey, Now

Do U Want 2 Meet?

The Fort Worth Court Of Appeals always releases its weekly opinions on Friday, and I'll normally take a look at some of them (for my real job). Although not legally significant, the opening of one of the opinions today got my attention:
Samantha Lezark was murdered in her bedroom on the evening of January 5 or the morning of January 6, 2003 . . . . The medical examiner determined the cause of death to have been strangulation by a coaxial cable wrapped around her neck three times and tied with a square knot. A bloody fire extinguisher lay next to Lezark'ss body, and her head had contusions consistent with being hit by the fire extinguisher. There were no signs of forced entry into the house. A palmprint on the coaxial cable was identified as that of [Defendant] Kristopher Kyle Russell, and his fingerprint and his DNA were found on the fire extinguisher. [Russell's] partial latent thumbprint was also identified on a laser pointer found on Lezark's bed. [He] testified at trial that he had met Lezark in an Internet chat room in late November 2002 and had entered into a sexual relationship with her by mid-December.
Note to self: Cancel Saturday date plan.

Garbage News

Uh, if your garbage in Decatur isn't picked up this morning in a timely manner, now you know why. (Parking lot behind Sweetie Pie's Ribeyes.)

Bad Aggie

I was watching this on Wednesday night as the Aggies beat Baylor soundly (as Baylor does everything it can to stay OUT of the NCAA tournament.) But when your up by a ton with seconds left, do you really think its appropriate to bounce the ball off the backboard and dunk it? Now if Baylor had been ahead and had done the same thing, I'd call it an "exclamation mark" because "our team just got a little excited." But the Baylor reaction to the dunk was not very First Baptist Church-like.

Friday Morning Pick Me Up

Sure, some people cried this week when Brett Favvvvarrrrraaaaa retired from the Packers, but I wept over the retirement of long time figure skater Katerina Witt. Sure she sinned a little bit when she got neekid for Playboy in the 1990s but I'm willing to forgive her for that - after hours of examining the photos, I have now classified them as "art."

(And see the connection? It's icy outside. Katerina skated on ice. That, my friends, is good journalism on my part. You won't see stuff like this in the Update.)


Holy Cow - It Was A Blizzard!

(Photo credit: Paul Wood)
(Photo credit: Robert Morgan)

Variety of photos from today (many reader submitted) on Flickr here.

Keep 'em coming. (blog2[at]wisecounty.com)

Edit: School closings for Friday are here.

I'm Declaring A Triple Blizzard Warning

This is at 12:25 p.m.

You know, I think were actually in for a pretty big snowstorm.

Edit: Courthouse closing at 1:00 p.m.

Edit: Paradise ISD is shutting down at 1:15 p.m. (But call to verify). I suppose other schools may be doing the same.

Edit: These are the largest snowflakes I've ever seen. Seriously.

Edit: It just keeps coming. (And, as some of the comments point out, the traffic stories sound like a nightmare.) If you have any good photos, feel free to share at blog2[at]wisecounty.com

The Worst Winter Blast Since The Last Winter Blast

Yeah, I can mail it in by simply uploading the radar for all of us to look at. But me loves me some snow. The inner child in me demands the snow. If I'm not out in my suit and tie making snow angels by 6:00 p.m., this will probably go down as the most disappointing day in my life. And if Lari Barager isn't up here standing on the courthouse steps, then Fox 4 has turned its back on the county that loves it so. Edit: At 11:18 a.m., we've had snow for about 15 minutes. And the bigger picture Texas radar seems to indicate that a heck of a lot more is coming.

Hey, Now

That's Channel 5 traffic reporter Tammy Dombeck in the middle. Her co-worker, weatherperson Rebecca Miller, isn't in the picture. And, as a side note, Miller has been fired. Right before the greatest weather day of the year.

Edit: Ok! Ok! You guys can stop with the comments about, well, you know. We get the point.

Worst News Report Ever . . .

. . . by me: Did I just hear something on WBAP about an assistant Decatur principal skydiving today for some good cause?

No Way

It's weird how when you read a story about someone you don't know you just assume it's true. But if you know the person, you can often have just the opposite reaction.

Case in point: Tarrant County Judge Elizabeth Berry is facing heat because an email which allegedly bore her signature (a cursive jpg signature that she never uses) had this in it:
"Judy, we will talk in-depth later about the Reggie issue. I agree with you, though. I am not at all satisfied. Who does that fat [N-word] think he is anyway? We will handle him one way or another!"
I know Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a friend of mine. Elizabeth is no racist. (Funny story about our first meeting here.) Disclaimer: I practice law in only Wise and Jack Counties and never appear before her in Tarrant County.

The Dallas Morning News story basically gives you enough information to conclude that the allegations aren't true. And you would think that, at the very least, the email could be traced back to a particular computer at a particular day and time which should clear her name. In the meantime, she gets her name associated with the "N word". Not good times.


Everybody Be Nice

I missed this today, but C4U had her radar out for Bridgeport.

Denton Doesn't Do Retro

As a follow-up to this post last week, I saw today that this vixen lost by a handful of votes in her bid to become a Denton County Commissioner. Maybe now she'll cut loose and let her hair down.

Source: I saw it earlier but too tired to look it up and link to it.

Uh . . .

. . . he never stood a chance.

Let's Lighten The Mood A Bit

Funny graphic screw up. But not as bad as this one (which involves an obscenity.)


Crazy Night

I hung out at Election Central tonight calling in the results to my webmaster-for-the-night. I'll add more tomorrow. For now, I'm tired.

- The County Attorney's race was insane. Marilyn Belew pulled ahead of Thomas Aaberg for the chance to get into the runoff with 2 precincts left. We then had to stand around for 30 minutes waiting for the last two boxes to be counted (why did that take so long?). Marilyn, who has more guts than me, stayed in the room to wait for the final results.
- Although I like all the County Attorney candidates, I'm sick for Thomas who lost by about 30 votes with over 5,000 cast. And it looked like he would be in the runoff until the very end.
- I saw the Sheriff's bride-to-be. Hey, now.
- The Messenger guys are good sports. As much as I give them the business, they are always as nice to me as can be - especially as we scrambled over the released results. I kept proclaiming, in a faux serious voice, "The Messenger's blocking me! The Messenger's blocking me!" (And, when they had a little screw up with their addition of the votes on their web site, I didn't have any problem bringing it to their attention. It was a mistake easy to make. I made a couple myself along the way.)
- Kevin Huffman, Doug Parr, and Gary Emmert came by to watch the results. All good guys.
- Three Justices of the Peace showed up even though they weren't in any contested race.
- I can't believe I wasn't single handily able to bring down Phil King. Man, whenever you have that much name recognition, you can win as long as you want. (And I heard he was a Muslim who goes to a church that pledges its allegiance to Africa!!)
- There was almost an hour wait between early voting and the first results. And I promise that the word was given that even though two precincts had reported, those votes weren't going to be released because "we don't want to waste paper." I thought there was going to be a riot.
- That Joe Duty was everywhere snapping pictures.
- Speaking of riots, there was talk of a fight breaking out in the Blewitt voting site with Sheriff deputies called out to break it up. Good times.
- The vote counts went a lot smoother when Republican Chair Allen Williamson came in to help out with the distribution. He's a born showman.
- So much for a black man getting votes in Wise County (reference: Obama.) Pretty cool Google map break down here.
- It's no surprise that David Walker was re-elected Sheriff but the margin of victory continues to be mind-boggling.
- That messy blotch up by Phil King's name is the result of "White Out" being used to cover up an old permanent mark. It was not caused by my Barry Tears rolling down my Barry Cheeks. Maybe.

Getting All Vote Happy Up In Here

Wise County Election Results HERE. (This is a google spreadsheet which I'm using tonight. From my testing to today, the maximum amount of time it takes from a revision to being published on the Internet is five minutes. Be sure to hit "refresh" for the latest results.)

But I'll post the early votes below on a couple of races. They normally are released shortly after 7:00 p.m.:

County Attorney (early voting results)
Thomas Aaberg 538
James Stainton 522
Marilyn Belew 431

Sheriff (early voting results)
David Walker 1314
David Allen 296

EDIT: A few precincts have delivered their ballots to election head quarters but are being held until more are turned in by other precincts "in order to save paper." I'm not making this up.


County Attorney:
Thomas Aaberg 1485
James Stainton 2026
Marilyn Belew 1518

David Walker 4313
David Allen 1167

Disturbing Jarhead (No Relation)

CNN Headline News is running the story of this video (view discretion advised) of a marine throwing a puppy over a cliff.

I'm against the war, but I "support the troops" (minus one guy.)

Random Election Observation . . .

. . . as I run all over the place. In Fort Worth, every voting location that has a sign that reads: "Vote Here. Vote Aqui." Really.

Quick Random Morning Thoughts

- Man, it's carnage on the Dallas and Collin County roads. Remember people: When icy roads are outlawed, only icy roads will have guns.
- Take a look at Texas Tech's last three games. The team is bipolar.
- It's election day. Vote the way I would want you to.
- 1 in 480 Americans are threatened with fines if they don't fill out the long census forms. (The David Lieber column is here - unfortunately, in true Lieber form, it takes him 34 paragraphs to say what could be said in six.)
- Someone commented that I sometimes comment anonymously. Ain't true.
- I'd love to see a video of this: The Ticket mentioned this morning that at 9:05 last night during the Mav's game in Utah, the cameras were panning the audience during a cheerleader dance routine. The camera then focused on a mom in her 30s and her 10 year old son dancing away. Awkward moment: The kid began slapping his mom's booty as she danced. I soooo want to see this.
- Craziest criminal defendant ever is on trial in Fort Worth. Words of advice: Don't call the prosecutor the P word and try not to have 666 tattooed on your Unit. Although I'm sure the latter was a huge crowd pleaser with the ladies.


I Did Not Know That

An emailer just pointed out to me that this weekend is Daylight Saving Time - we have to move our clocks forward. Ugh. Seem a little soon? Yep, it is. Last year it was April 2nd but the "new law" kicks in this weekend.

Edit: OK, I may have had my years wrong. But I don't remember us moving the clocks forward in March of last year.

Important Election News

As I have done on so many occasions, I plan on bringing you the Wise County election results tomorrow as it happens. I will utilize the latest in technology (something called a "cell phone") to relay the information to a third party who will then push a button and upload the information to The Internets. I usually have quicker results posted than the Messenger (and I've got a couple of Pulitzer Prizes to prove it) but those boys have really been putting the pressure on me lately.

But Kate Hudson, above, would like for you to check in here tomorrow night. Don't disappoint Kate.

Edit: The source of the phrase "The Internets", which I use all the time, is here.

Thy Snow, Entertain Us

How I Spent My Weekend

Not On My Court!

Minnesota High School AD goes medieval on punk kid who interrupts basketball game. (And kudos to the production value of the video - with the exception of the last 3 1/2 minutes being dead air.)


It's snowing. Not enough to take a picture of it and see it, but it is snowing.

The Video Referenced Below

Trust me. Watch it. [Edit: Fixed. Sorry about that.] Thanks MzChief

Chris Berman Working For The Messenger?

As they make reference to a song released in 1971. (That's 37 years ago if my math is right.)

On a very unrelated note, I was in line to pay my entry fee a couple of Saturdays ago for the half marathon in downtown Fort Worth when I dropped four $20 bills on the ground in a crowd. I heard lots of "woahs" as I scrambled to pick them up. I then sheepishly said, "I was just trying to make it rain out here." One guy laughed. The other sounds were crickets chirping.

Quick Random Thoughts While I Decide On What Type Of Smowman Snowman To Make This Afternoon

- If got a cold, but not the flu. I'll take the cold. - I created an external hard drive out of an old internal hard drive this weekend. And it took about 15 minutes. (I had no idea what I was doing.) - There was an amazing video on The Today Show of a jet trying to land in Germany in high winds. I'll try to find it on youtube.com. You have to see it. - Speaking of The Today Show, for the third week in a row they have done a "Saturday Night Live in Sixty Seconds." Nothing more than a commercial. (But they will, in a second, have the mayor that posed in her underwear on. So all is forgiven.) - The triple murder (almost four) in East Texas over the weekend was insane.


Mugshot Of The Week

National Anthem Etiquette

I kept hearing the story of Barack Obama not "putting his hand" over his heart during the National Anthem. I finally saw the youtube clip of it here.

I'll probably get blasted for this (nothing new), but I don't recall ever being taught to put my hand over my heart during that song. Now during the Pledge of Allegiance, yeah, I always do it. But not during the National Anthem.