Decatur Apartment Fire: The Aftermath

Edit: Certainly this will be remembered as one of the most dramatic fires in Wise County history, but what are the others? I remember the "old" Bridgeport High School gym (which really wasn't being used) burning down in the 1970s. And the burning of Grandy's in Decatur in the 1990s has to be in the top five. But what are some others? I'll list them below if there are any vote-getters.
  • Condo fire in Runaway Bay - over 20 units destroyed (early 2000s)
  • Candle Factory fire in Decatur (2004?)
  • Twin Hills Restaurant
  • Long Oil in Decatur circa 1988. (I have no memory of this one.)
  • Decatur Holiday Inn as it was nearing completion (don't remember this either.)
  • The Taj Mahal looking building north of Decatur. (1980s?)
  • Terrell's restaurant in Decatur (late 1970s)
  • Gas well fire in northern Wise County - burned like a beacon for weeks (1993)


Breaking News: Decatur Apartment Fire

Stonehill Apartments on fire. Man, a whole section went up in flames! (Thanks, Jenny)

To Get Me Off The Top Post

The Fort Worth Court of Appeals handed down an opinion today in a DWI related Wise County case. Guy gets stopped by a trooper, given a citation for speeding, and let go. Five minutes later he is stopped by another trooper for speeding. This trooper smells alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and the driver being "unsteady" on his feet. He is asked to perform field sobriety tests and the defendant refuses. Issue: Was there probably cause to arrest the guy for DWI? Answer: Yes (the answer always seems to be "yes".) Opinion. (PDF) (It's really boring)

Liberally Lean: The High School Years

I've been laughing at this ever since an ex-girlfriend sent me this pic this morning. It's your fearless leader at the Bridgeport City Pool when I was probably a Junior or a Senior in high school. Let the flogging begin. Edit: Greatest. Dogpile. Ever?

It's Britney In A Bikini Friday

That makes it a good Friday.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The Julia Child's movie with Meryl Streep looks like a beat down.
  • It's "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel. If you stumble across it, you'll be hooked. There's just something about those eating machines that we just love.
  • Lady tries to hire hitman to kill husband. Lady ends up talking to undercover cop. Cops stage fake crime scene. Cops film lady being informed husband is dead.
  • The new G.I. Joe movie also looked awful in the trailers, and the studio refused to let the film be screened by critics. That's a bad sign.
  • Awkward moment yesterday: I tweeted that our office was getting a new sprinkler system and that it sounded "like there's a mariachi band out there" due to the radio. Thirty minutes later I run into the owner of the company who asks me if I'm Barry Green followed by, "What sounds like a mariachi band?" Thank goodness he has a sense of humor (his brother had called him.)
  • The crowd of protesters at town hall meetings seem to be 99% white. Why is that?
  • Has there been even a single hurricane so far this year?
  • The massive repaving of 287 through Rhome is a good thing. The pavement there, for some reason, always seems to crumble like a burned cookie.
  • The now federally owned AIG announced a quarterly profit this morning. If the unemployment numbers (announced about the time I'm posting this) would hit the brakes, I think the recession is finally ending.
  • I think being a first year teacher would be hard. I mean, once you do it for a few years, you would have it down. But the first year would seem like it would be the equivalent of giving day long first time presentations every day for nine months.


June Unemployment Rate For Wise County: 9.7%

As we race to catch up with the national average, and doubling since December. Source: NTCOG (Thanks emailer.)

The Great Director John Hughes Has Died

Anyone who directed:
  • National Lampoon's Vacation
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Weird Science
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Some Kind of Wonderful
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles
. . . deserves to be in the Liberally Lean Hall Of Fame (I'll ignore the Home Alone movies and pretend they never happened.) You know, I have no idea what he looked like. Even his Wikipedia page doesn't have a picture.

Classified Photo Of Wise County's New Animal Shelter

(Or just a picture of it that I stole off Facebook.) But, according to reports, that thing is almost filled up with little pooches already. And you know what that means. Dum De Dum Dum.

From The Old Email Bag: Obama Is After Your Guns!

But, remember folks, snopes.com is your friend. But I wonder if everyone is still buying ammo like there's no tomorrow?

Thursday Morning Pick Me Up

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • If I'm an OU fan, can I get hotel reservations for the Army game just announced for September 26, 2020? Yep, 2020.
  • Had lots of people email the news yesterday that the DA in Tarrant County Judge Elizabeth Berry's DWI case had dismissed it. There's a lot of blame to pass around, but the public will simply see it as a corrupt system regardless of whether it is.
  • I bought my first copy ever of ESPN The Magazine because it had a feature story on Baylor's allegedly on-the-rise football team. (And we might want to tap the brakes on that.)
  • The older you get, the better you get at Jeopardy. But I'm still not very good.
  • Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corp. (including Fox News and the Wall Street Journal) says that charging viewers for the company's internet sites is inevitable. I balked at first, but isn't it amazing that Internet content is 99% free?
  • Be honest: The first time you ever heard of email, weren't you surprised it was free?
  • To be a well treated dog would be a very good life.
  • Our DA's office has decided to divide up the caseload by nature of the offense between four prosecutors. (i.e. one will handle sexual offenses, one will handle property crimes, etc.) One guy was assigned all drug cases. That guy got screwed. Edit: The list.
  • Watched a little bit of Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC last night (a show about little girls being forced into beauty pageants by crazy moms.) So. Disturbing.
  • I've decided to eat at a cafeteria (Luby's, etc.). It'll be like a childhood flashback.
  • Traffic mess this morning: All of northbound I-35 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas was completely shut down during the 6 o'clock hour. I think it's six lanes through there. Edit: Pics.
  • The guy that shot up the exercise gym in Pittsburgh left an online diary telling everyone he was going to do it. He didn't like women too much.
  • Back to the freed journalists from North Korea, it's amazing what you can accomplish when you are willing to talk with a country as opposed to simply calling them part of an "Axis of Evil."
  • The Wise County jury would have given the Failure To Register defendant less than two years in prison if they could have.
  • I'm looking at an indictment from Jack County right now. The date of the offense is May 23, 2009. The grand jury indicted him on June 5, 2009. That has to be a record. And a scary record.


The Homecoming

If you get to watch any of the coverage of the return of the two journalists from North Korea to the U.S. this morning, do it. “Thirty hours ago, Euna Lee and I were prisoners in North Korea. We feared that at any moment we could be sent to a hard labor camp. And then suddenly we were told that we were going to a meeting. We were taken to a location and when we walked through the doors, we saw standing before us President Bill Clinton.We were shocked, but we knew instantly in our hearts that the nightmare of our lives was finally coming to an end." If you can free yourself from juvenile comments about Clinton for a moment, can you imagine the elation you would have felt to see him standing there? And can you imagine the feeling of simply being home?

Mind Bursts

  • The Giants gave Eli Manning $35 million in guaranteed money this morning. And I'd take Romo before I'd take him.
  • The jury in the Failure To Register case in Decatur deliberated most of the morning and then took a lunch break. They did send a note out asking for the judge to define "reasonable doubt."
  • I got in a discussion this morning with our County Attorney over whether we should fear someone driving down the road with a blood alcohol concentration of twice the legal limit IF there is no evidence being present that shows he is impaired mentally or physically. Me: No. Him: Absolutely.
  • Jennifer Lopez still has a booty.
Edit: The jury found him guilty on one count but not guilty on the other (which is weird, but beside the point). They are not deliberating between 2 and 20 years in prison. His prior felony conviction prevents him from receiving probation from a jury. Edit: After 10 minutes of deliberations, the sentence was the 2 year minimum. It looks like his prior case was consensual sex with a 16 year old when he was in his early twenties (two times, two convictions), and he received a 5 year sentence on that case. Two years seems reasonable in light of that. And I've heard that the plea bargain offer on the Failure to Register case was 5 years.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • There's a Star-Telegram story today about a Weatherford lawyer who is still practicing at age 101. I don't want to be practicing law at 71. Maybe not at 61.
  • Had an out of town lawyer come up to me on Monday to ask about local courtroom practice. It dawned on me, with the help of a third person, that we had both been misdemeanor prosecutors 20 years ago in the same office in Tarrant County. We didn't recognize each other. She excused our lack of attention later by saying, "We both looked better." She did.
  • It was 81 degrees at 6:30 this morning. Sheesh.
  • I'm glad I'm not responsible for waking someone up and making sure they stay up.
  • Brittney and a skinny Lindsey Lohan.
  • Michael Jackson's father looks mean.
  • Keller is opening a fourth high school, Timber Creek. I remember when it was just a small town.
  • In what year do you think Decatur will have a second high school? I think it will be a long, long time from now.
  • It's been a good run, but I'm predicting a Texas Rangers fade starting now.
  • Paula Abdul has announced that ... oh....forget it.
  • Fox and Friends, the network's morning show, is almost laughable.
  • Someone pointed out yesterday that "Failure To Register As A Sex Offender" could be the title of a movie or TV series on HBO.
  • An updated list of the Hottest Females in DFW TV Media.


President Clinton: International Man Of Mystery

In case you missed it, President Clinton was sent to North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists. As could be expected, one of greatest presidents ever won their release (probably with a round house kick to the head of Kim Jong Il.) Actually, I heard some commentator on TV this morning say, "Clinton's not going to North Korea unless this is already a done deal." Not sure who said it, but it looks like they were probably spot on.

Tuesday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Nicollette Sheridan defies nature.

Continuing With Our Criminal Justice Theme

From a Newsweek pictorial of "women in prison around the world." (Thanks, Alice.)

Different Kind Of Trial

Actual photo taken from outside the windowed door
Just checked on the courthouse and noticed that we have a felony trial going on: Failure To Register as a Sex Offender. That may be a first for Wise County. But the first hurdle for the defense is to have the jury panel commit to not convicting the defendant for being a sex offender in the past (or, more importantly, identifying those that would.) Edit: 9 woman, 3 man jury selected by noon. Edit: Both sides rested and closed by 5:00 p.m. Closing arguments tomorrow. The defendant testified and admitted to spending 14 nights (not continuous) with a girlfriend who lived in Wise County, but he did not move here so no need to register. Regarding his prior offense, he did a couple of five year concurrent sentences. The only thing I know is that the sex offense registry listed the victim in that case as "16" and "a friend." The defendant is a pretty young guy himself.

Random Thursday* Morning Thoughts

  • My new dry cleaning lady was crazily cheery yesterday. Then she volunteered that she had been working since 5:00 a.m. since going to her first job at McDonald's (it was after 6:00 p.m. when I came in contact with her.)
  • I bet neither job offers health care, and I bet she can't afford it on her own. But we dare wouldn't want to help her, would we?
  • Some commenter referred to the tone in one of my posts as "acerbic" yesterday. I'll admit it: I had to look it up.
  • Crazy story of a man, one angry wife, three angry mistresses (pics in link), and Krazy Glue. Oh, my.
  • There was some news yesterday about the potential of higher income taxes on the middle class, but Obama backed off some of the comments made by others to that effect over the weekend. If that were to occur -- in complete violation of his campaign promise -- I'd turn on the President in a New York Minute.
  • Channel 5 News ran a 15 second story on the new, yet overcrowded, Wise County Animal Shelter. It sounded like they just read yesterday's Update.
  • HBO has been showing Artificial Intelligence: A.I. over the last week. That is one bad movie. (But I noticed that Entourage's Adrian Grenier made a brief appearance.)
  • I always get a kick of seeing someone in a movie, knowing I've seen them before, and then finally giving up and checking iMDB (which has been around for as long as I can remember.)
  • I've started back jogging in the morning before dawn. It's kind of creepy.
  • Eight months into the Obama administration, we still don't have an appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. And I suspect similar positions across the nation remain vacant. Odd.
  • Another conservative Republican lawmaker. Another affair. He was definitely trying to get younger in that position.
  • The Internets had videos yesterday of angry conservatives disrupting Congressional town hall meetings (i.e. Lloyd Doggett, Arlen Specter). You know, they look more like staged, planned attacks than honest to goodness angry constituents. Something's fishy.
  • Over three years ago I said "Radio Shack" should change its name. Now they are doing it. I wonder how much they paid a consultant for the same advice?
  • The evidence used to convict the former Denton County police investigator of murder seemed to a little "iffy." And there are some extremely weird twists and turns in the case.
  • And the prosecutors in the case were also husband and wife. That would drive me nuts. (And I know they are readers of this blog. Shout out.)
  • I just discovered I've been giving out the wrong address for my office for years (I've been saying "301" when it's really "303".)
Edit: It has been called to my attention that today is called "Tuesday". But "Thursday" sounds so good that I really don't feel like changing it.


WBAP's Freedom Concert

I really didn't hear much about, but WBAP hosted a Sean Hannity "Freedom Concert" in Grand Prairie over the weekend. If Hannity wouldn't be painful enough to listen to, they rolled out musical guests who make a living singing the same song over and over and over: Lee Greenwood, Charlie Daniels, and Hannah Montana's Baby Daddy. Oh, and Kay Bailey and Rick Perry also showed up to whip the all white audience into a tea party frenzy. Some pics below:
WBAP's Mark Davis and Gov. Perry Posing Like High Schoolers at The Prom
Gov. Perry Getting Handsy
Sean Hannity, no doubt, making your ears bleed
Charlie Daniels And His Belt Buckle
Mark Davis Getting Handsy With, I Think, June Cleaver
A short video of the event is here. And if you are familiar with Mark Davis at all, you've got to see him dance on stage during the Charlie Daniels performance at the 1:50 mark. Dude! (And, amazingly, he was so proud of his performance that he "tweeted" about it today.)

Greatest Heckler Ever

They Hate Us For Our Freedom

Undie run you say? Explained. (Thanks, Keith.)

Katy Perry Pick Me Up

Random Monday Morning Posts

  • The Funny People commercial where Adam Sandler jokes with the guy about being in Die Hard has been shown a krillion times.
  • The temperature is going to be a beating this week.
  • Two-a-days start today?
  • Had friends in Seven Wires that suffered the ill effects of the thunderstorm in Decatur on Saturday morning: "2 tv's, Sirius radio, and wireless router/modem...along with 4 blown light bulbs and 1 fried electrical outlet."
  • Stopped by the Water Gardens in Fort Worth on Friday. I had forgotten how neat that place is.
  • I use Google docs and Google spreadsheets for work more and more.
  • I do use my credit card for major purchases to get frequent flyer miles. But I use the debit card for most charges under $10. I'm almost cash free.
  • Great documentary running on HBO right now: "Assault In The Ring."
  • Detailed reports about how players performed at Dallas Cowboys training camp are silly.
  • The $29 "Party Pass" to Cowboy games seems like a good idea. I was curious how they were going to get to that 100,000 capacity figure.
  • A guy commits a double murder of two Granbury high school students and pleas to just a five year sentence. There had to be tremendous problems with the case.