Since I do this stuff for a living, certain headlines grab my attention. This one did today. The lady had been sentenced for Intoxication Manslaughter which is a Second Degree felony carrying with it a 2 to 20 year sentence. So my initial reaction was that she had received the maximum --- until the story told me that the prosecutor had asked for 50 years. That confused me. But buried in the story was the answer: "She’s led a productive life since her drug conviction almost 18 years ago," her lawyer said. So a silly drug conviction changed things dramatically. First, the conviction allowed the Intoxication Manslaughter to be enhanced to a First Degree Felony carrying with it a range of 5 years to Life in prison. (Explaining why the prosecutor asked for 50 years.) Secondly, the prior conviction caused her to have the judge assess punishment instead of a jury because a jury cannot give probation to a person with a prior felony conviction (although a judge can.) So if she wanted to beg for probation, she could only beg to a judge, not a jury. The problem is that there is no statute of limitations for the use of prior convictions. A penny-ante dope conviction at age 20 can come back to haunt you at age 50.
at 8:15 AM
I made a joke last week in The Spin that Wise County would be so upset with the election of Obama that we would fly our flags at half staff. Steve Misner took it and, uh, ran with it. And you kind of get a pretty good idea about a person's prejudices when they throw out "B. Hussein Obama." Sheesh. (From Saturday's issue of The Messenger.)
at 9:31 PM
There's not much catching my interest today on the Internets (either that, or the Life Force has been sucked out of me.) But the Smoking Gun has come out with its weekly mugshot lists with a group of fine girls who have been arrested for prostitution this week in Tampa, the host of the Super Bowl. The entire list is here, but you probably need look no further than #19 (Thanks, emailer, although that joke about a future Mrs. Green was not funny. Ok. It was.) Edit: They just put up 14 more. And they ain't getting any better.
at 1:02 PM
- The latest news on whether Megan Henderson will leave Fox 4. For the love of all things sweet and clean, don't leave Megan!!!
- Did you catch the story last night of the Amber Alert being issued because a daddy didn't return his kid to the mom in time? She claims he said, "You'll never see her again" but once the cops got the kid back, she wasn't even remotely angry. Hmmmm. And then I'm shocked to learn that the FBI was involved and considering "federal charges" because the dad had some guns in his home. Why guns? The reporter on the spot said, "He's apparently a gun collector." Bottom line: A dad is late in returning his kids and now we've got federal kidnapping/gun charges?
- That was a little long for a Random Thought.
- Crazy dream of the night: My buddies and I were going to turn into grackles at 11:00 p.m. and our mission was to fly down a fireplace that had smoke blowing out of it.
- That is a reader submitted pic above. (Now in my deep Whataburger commercial voice: "Atta boy, Tiger.")
- The National Geographic Channel taught me the difference between the Taliban and Al Qaeda last night. (Then someone emailed to tell me I watch the same stuff as her 60 year old dad.)
- They convicted that guy in McKinney last night in the capital murder trial involving the death of four people. Something seems wrong about that prosecution.
- Facebook is genius. If a person you know is on it, you'll eventually find them. Then you'll sit there and stare at the "Add Them As Friend" button deciding whether you want to come out of hiding.
- That was a bad wreck over in Bridgeport yesterday. It's amazing how fast news like that will travel around our little back woods county.
- I'm pretty sure that one of our local assistant DA's is a Male Ann Coulter.
- This probably has limited interest, but my defense lawyer and prosecutor buddies will probably find this to be funny.
- I bought some hair thinning shears and actually used them (ever so slightly) on my hair on the sides of my head. God is taking care of the top of my head.
- AnObiter is taunting us with pics of her current trip to Hawaii. I'll try to upload some pics from Haslet later.
at 5:25 AM
. . . this is just plain weird. There has been story after story about the visiting judge throwing out a search warrant for the Tarrant county judge's blood because of a "vague" affidavit. And story after story says that no one has seen the affidavit. Why not? It's public record: Article 18.01, Code of Criminal Procedure says, "(b) No search warrant shall issue for any purpose in this state unless sufficient facts are first presented to satisfy the issuing magistrate that probable cause does in fact exist for its issuance. A sworn affidavit setting forth substantial facts establishing probable cause shall be filed in every instance in which a search warrant is requested. Except as provided by Article 18.011, the affidavit is public information if executed, and the magistrate's clerk shall make a copy of the affidavit available for public inspection in the clerk's office during normal business hours. And art. 18.011 is inapplicable. (And that headline goes to Steve Blow's story in the Morning News which is always like Seinfeld: A column about nothing - but without the humor.)
at 8:35 PM
- That was one long docket in district court this morning, and I have never seen that many inmates brought up from the jail. And I've been doing this for like 75 years!
- My day was made when I pointed out to our very conservative assistant DA that Barack Obama's picture was now hanging in the back of the courtroom. His eyes got really big.
- Note to promising Harvard Law Student: Don't climb in the back of a cop car while drunk and demand they give you a ride because you "work" for the DA's office. (Especially if "work" means you're an unpaid intern.)
- Youtube video of one scary fight which prompts America's utes to laugh.
at 1:08 PM
- It was foggy driving in and I feared The Freezing Fog. But it didn't happen. I didn't even have the build up on my antenna that normally makes it shake like it's possessed.
- The House has passed the katrillion dollar (which means $819 billion) Economic Stimulus Package with every Republican voting against it. Probably a smart move --- the economy is headed to darker times so distance yourself from the party in power. (The first trillion dollar package passed under Bush with Republican support.)
- Yesterday morning, Channel 5 news kept a camera on an exit ramp in Fort Worth for about 30 minutes straight as cars tried to maneuver onto it. It was great TV. Really.
- Any show depicting food tasting has one major flaw: There's not much the host can say after he puts the food in his mouth other than, "Ummmm. That's good. That's really good."
- George Bush was at the Baylor/Oklahoma women's basketball game in Waco last night, and he even gave the Lady Bears a pep talk before the game. They lost.
- WBAP's Hal Jay, after learning that Bush was at the game, asked this morning, "Do you think he had a salted pretzel?" I do not understand how he has a job.
- I saw on of Ricky Gervais on "Inside the Actors Studio" last night. He's one of the few people that make me laugh by simply walking on stage. And I bet every George Carlin fan doesn't remotely understand what makes Gervais funny.
- When I find someone that irritates me, I tend to listen or watch them more and more.
- I got 500 thread count sheets for Christmas. I finally got them on my bed, and I still don't know what I think about them.
- Saw a lady buying a gallon of ice cream in the store yesterday. That just seemed weird.
- "High school dance team disbanded after provocative routine." Story. Video.
- If you pass on that, there's an Interactive Youtube Jacuzzi Girl. (Thanks, Keith.)
- People are beginning to suggest "walk away from it all" movies for me to see.
at 7:23 AM
From the ol' email bag: Tell everyone to watch out for the hot water at Sweetie Pie's! The pictures are of a 4-year old that decided to wash her hands in the Sweetie Pie's restroom last Thursday, and left with 1st and 2nd degree burns. The first one is the night of the incident, and the other is from 6 days after. They aren't too worried about it at the restaurant, so I figured I would get the word out in case they don't do anything about it.
at 2:34 PM
- I'm slowly going crazy
- I could have sworn I woke up this morning because of a small boy yelling in my back yard. "Heeelllllooooo!" Creepy.
- I wonder if it is expensive to run my gas powered fireplace all day? (And should that sentence end in a question mark? It's more of a statement than a question, isn't it?)
- Boy, the weather boys missed it for the first half of yesterday.
- When I first got my driver's license, it iced over in Bridgeport for four straight days. I had waited forever, and then I had to wait some more.
- Paradise ISD is the slowest to report whether its school will be closed
- Fox 4's Lari Barager became my friend of Facebook --- and one of her first acts of business was to bust on Jarhead for saying "she's a chunk."
- Channel 5's Tammy Dombeck looked slim this morning.
- Blogger Anobiter is in Hawaii. That girl travels more than the Secretary of State.
- Fox 4's new weather gal Fiona
GorozstaisGorostiza is proving that she is smoking hot. But that is one crazy last name.
- I feel for working parents that have to scramble when the schools close.
- Channel 5's "school closing" scroll was ridiculously slow. I be it would take 45 minutes to get from one end to the other.
- I once busted a windshield by pouring hot water on the iced over glass
- Baylor lost to Texas last night in basketball because the Bears couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.
- Saw this question yesterday: Has there ever been a person who was more famous than Obama while he was still alive? I'm not sure there has been.
- An opinion piece that explains exactly why Rush Limbaugh says such things as "I hope he [Obama] fails"
- When I jogged yesterday morning, the other lone jogger I saw warned me about an icy bridge ahead. That was nice.
- Heard someone dumped some puppies at a Decatur school yesterday.
- Do we care more about abandoned puppies than kids in foster homes?
at 7:01 AM
- Alvord ISD - closed
- Boyd ISD - 10 a.m. start <--- I'm checking to see if this has change. Update: Messenger says it's closed.
- Bridgeport ISD - closed
- Chico ISD- Closed per Channel 5 (last report)
- Decatur ISD - closed
- Northwest ISD - closed
- Paradise ISD - 10 a.m. start <----Checking to see if still tru. Update: Messenger says it's closed.
- Slidell ISD - closed
- County Government - closed
at 6:47 AM
That's the preliminary report (but I've not seen anything official.) But I just glimpsed at Channel 21 news (which I've watched maybe twice in my life) and, at 7:10 p.m., cars are standing still on the overpasses at I-35 and I-30. Any reports from dear, sweet Wise County?
at 7:12 PM
. . . Wise County is slipping and sliding all over the place, but we'll take time out to honor this women who really wanted to get back to the great state of Texas. Unfortunately, she sacrificed any chance of winning Mother of the Year. Oh, my. But, as far as mug shots go, not bad.
at 10:09 AM
- I'd be scared not to shut down the schools if I was making the call. The last thing you need is wet streets in the morning and frozen streets in the afternoon with the schools full.
- "We are getting reports of drizzle!!!" - Channel 5's weather girl this morning
- I've truly seen at least three reporters utter the phrase, "Sand trucks are standing by." How can you say that with a straight face anymore?
- And if it's not sleeting or icing at the moment, the reporter will say that is "positive news" despite the fact that 90% of the audience wants it to sleet/ice.
- I had a dream last night that I had to have my eyes sewn shut for a time period to correct my vision. And a former Texas Ranger who hates me was helping me arrange it.
- I also dreamed/dreamt I was negotiating to buy the dumpiest lake house ever.
- When I have intense dreams, I wake up exhausted with my muscles tense. Once I realize it was a dream, I can feel my body relax. What a beating.
- Fox 4 didn't have the new super hot weather girl in this morning. They whipped us with Ron Jackson. Why!!??? Why!!!???
- Wow, the Rev. Ted Haggard's former megachurch now admits that it paid money to a 20 year old who had a (newly revealed) sexual relationship with the former pastor. The church agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship," the current past said. Riiiiiiighhhhhhtttttt.
- If you're not ready for the "digital conversion" of your TV, you'll never be ready.
- There's a Decatur lady on facebook with the last name of McIntyre who posts pictures of the most beautiful little girl (I presume it's her daughter.)
- I downloaded The Sea Wolf by Jack London. Whenever I see anyone I even remotely admire say a book "changed the way I see life", I can't help myself from buying it. (But now I can't remember who suggested it this weekend.)
- Isn't it amazing there was a character in the old Popeye cartoon named "The Sea Hag"? Think you could get away with that today?
- I've been a little interested in Jack London ever since I learned the subject of Into The Wild was a fan of his.
- I've got a close friend who still tells me that saying I "read" a book after I listened to the audio version is cheating. But that person also says it takes more concentration to listen than to read.
at 8:00 AM
(Don't panic. Pic from the Great Wise County Snow Storm of March
There's no way I'm sitting around and doing a comprehensive list of school closings (and if I'm a superintendent, I'm closing all of them) but . . .
. . . as I'm up at 4:43 am for who-knows-why, I see the following closings on my television invention:
- Decatur ISD
- Bridgeport ISD
- Alvord ISD
- Chico ISD
- Slidell ISD
- Northwest ISD
- Paradise ISD <-----Last one to announce
- Forestburg delayed till 10:00 a.m. (What??????)
- Bluebonnet Nudist Resort (I'm guessing on this one.)
at 4:42 AM
And he's expected to plead guilty on Thursday in federal court? We've wondered what was going on up there. In an obviously unprepared statement: “What a jerk,” said Paul Cunningham, who replaced Keating as sheriff this year, after learning the specifics of the federal charge Monday afternoon. “There ain’t no other way to put it.” As most of you know, the Montague County jail population is being housed at the Wise County Jail (The AP has already picked it up.)
at 9:41 PM
I've been in my laboratory all morning looking at maps of high pressure cells and cumulus clouds and other stuff. After doing so, I'm now willing to project there is a 100% chance that the local TV stations will go bat arse crazy tonight and tomorrow.
at 10:49 AM
. . . comes this news just released: Get ready, people. (From the Dallas Business Journal.) Edit: Hey, a new one added late in the day: Edit again: CNN has referred to this as "Bloody Monday" with even more layoffs than documented here. (Credit: Found that link at another Wise County blog here.)
at 10:26 AM
- I saw Revolutionary Road last night. It starred Kate Winslet, Leonardo DeCaprio, and Kathy Bates ---- it took me a second to realize that it was darn near the entire cast of Titanic.
- Line of the movie when referring to our daily grind of getting up and doing the same thing: "Hopeless emptiness. Now you've said it. Plenty of people are onto the emptiness, but it takes real guts to see the hopelessness." (Yep, this is a recurring theme with me.)
- Woah! The new weather girl on Fox 4's morning news, Fiona Gorostiza, has arrived. Very hawt. Watch her dance, yep dance, here.
- So this morning there was Megan Henderson, Krystle Gutierrez, and Gorostiza all on the same show. Mercy.
- If I were a hot girl (stay with me here), I think I'd walk around the mall just to catch people looking at me.
- Light freezing rain tonight and tomorrow? From the NWS: "Freezing Rain Advisory in effect from 6 PM this evening to 6 am CST Tuesday... Winter Storm Watch in effect from Tuesday morning through late Tuesday night."
- Women are confusing.
- I still think an economic crisis - far worse than anything we've seen -- is coming later this year.
- Just your average college basketball face stomp over the weekend.
- Had a friend say that we should follow "Me Love You Long Time" as a cute Asian girl walked past us (we were trying to find an exit.)
- I heard The Knack's other hit "Good Girls Don't" last night on the radio for the first time in I bet 20 years.
- Good grief. Paul Blart: Mall Cop was at the top of the box office again. They'll probably have Mall Cop 2 out by the end of the summer.
- Will this story never end? One private school beat another private school 100-0. Nothing happens for 10 days until the Dallas Morning News printed a front page story about it. Six days later, the winning coach was fired. And the losing team has been glorified somehow.
- I watched a little of the Senior Bowl this weekend -- enough to see Tech's Graham Harrell play awful. And I mean badly.
- I have no interest in the Fort Worth Stock Show.
at 5:28 AM