Friday's Random Thought:
Actual WFAA story and video link here. (Just a graphic above.)
Some have referred to a Stephens County fire and a Possum Kingdom fire but it looks like they are one and the same. (I think.) It has destroyed at least 30 homes. Fox 4 has helicopter up there this afternoon. Amazing pictures. That fire is HUGE. Edit: It's two fires. Sheesh.
I've griped about the wind all Spring, but today is a doozy. The walls are rattling. But I don't think we have any Wise County fires reported -- a nice change.
Edit: We've got a pretty big Boonesville fire at 1:15 p.m.
Edit: Power lines down in Boyd.
Edit: Sheriff's Office just told me there was a guy who was burning leaves in Briar.
Edit: Now with a report of people burning limbs on Hwy 51 south of FM 2123. Goofy, goofy people.
Edit: Bridgeport High School's gym roof severely damaged.
Edit: Fire north of Decatur reported around 4:30 p.m.
Edit: Hide you wife, hide you kids . . . .
at 12:33 PM
Fed Ex 1
(Unofficial way of saying that Fed Ex won the civil case and will not owe any money after the trial this week in Wise County.)
My source is impeccable*: Complete secondhand hearsay.
Edit: Getting comments about there being a "high/low agreement." If so, it works something like this (with completely made up numbers): Prior to trial the lawyers agree to a low figure of $200,000 and and a high figure of $1,000,000. If the verdict of the jury is anywhere within that range, it stands. If less than $200,000 the Plaintiff gets $200,000. If more than $1,000,000, the Plaintiff only gets $1,000,000. It's a way of putting some absolute certainty into the jury system.
The original version of this hard hitting news item contained a spelling error which caused an immediate dog pile. The current version has been revised accordingly. Liberally Lean regrets this error.
at 10:41 AM
- The Wise County case of Motorcyclist vs. Fed Ex went to the jury yesterday afternoon. They went home without a verdict and will return this morning. I haven't watched a second of it.
- The Denton drunk-dad-shoots-daughter case goes to the jury today with a range of punishment of probation to 20 years in prison. I predict 13 years.
- There was some controversy over a low pre-game flyover at a college game earlier this year, and then someone found footage of an insanely low flyover
atinvolving TCU in 2000. Man, that plane is lower than the top of the press box. (Begins at :16 mark with three views.)
- Another Fort Worth police officer arrested for DWI.
- Got word that an ex-Boyd coach was arrested yesterday for online solicitation of a minor. (Hey, jail, fix your online inmate directory!)
- Cliff Lee last night: 9 innings, 0 runs, 12 strikeouts.
- I've been working with the Second Grader In The House on how to hit a softball. Never knew I would get so much satisfaction of now seeing her regularly getting hits in games.
- Somebody pointed out yesterday that the Tarrant County Medical Examiners site listed a double fatality motorcycle accident near Alliance Airport on April 9th. I wonder why that didn't make the news? Edit: As many pointed out, it did make the news.
- Googling "fixing a toilet" is not a high point in one's life.
- We had an impromptu test this morning in the house as to the cause of the sinking of the Titanic. All passed. (It's the anniversary of its sinking. All together now: "Jack! Jack!")
- PGA tour member Kevin Na shot a 16 on a par 4 hole yesterday in Houston. Yep, one hole. Hello, record books.
- If you were on Camp Bowie yesterday in Fort Worth (like I was) you would have been buzzed by the Blue Angels practicing for this weekend's air show.
at 8:18 AM
Edit: Star Telegram story. Wichita Falls story.
Some stories say a photo was sent before the murder. My source on the pic being sent after the murder was based upon conversation at the Graham courthouse this morning. Either way, this thing is bad.
at 1:32 PM
I've just been joking about my disdain for the LL Family Cat and my desire to do horrible things to it. Absolutely joking. I wasn't even close to going over the edge and becoming a Mass Cat Killer.
Note to self: Find program that deletes "kill" "cat" "hate" "strangle" "dismember" from blog posts.
at 10:59 AM
. . . and the next second you realize that five digit subtraction is really hard.
- The video of the 12 year old in Desoto getting run over after others had a street fight (causing one kid to flee in a car) was hard to watch even though Fox 4 cut the tape short.
- I actually proclaimed to the girls in the house as I watched it, "If you ever see a group of kids acting like fools, get out of there!" If only I had listened to that advice as a kid.
- One thing I've grown tired of is Internet videos of street fights --- the amount of violence (and ignorance) out there is shocking.
- Big 12 football fans: The conference signed a massive deal with Fox Sports which guarantees that every Big 12 home game will be televised for the next decade.
- Ever try to practice softball with a Second Grader when a few yards away is a little girls soccer team playing Simon Says? You can only say "Focus!" so many times.
- Someone speculated that Barry Bonds could be sentenced to eight months home confinement. Heck, I'd volunteer for that.
- Every time a president - any president - says he is going to dramatically cut the budget in future years, I'm reminded of the person who says he is going to start a diet on Monday. Why not start right now?
- Mav Dancer wardrobe malfunction last night?
- "She was delivering her grandchild to her ex-husband's stepmother." - A sentence that was actually uttered to me yesterday.
- Never a good start when there's a note in the kitchen that reads, "The potty is broken."
- Yeah, we can all go nuts when a little kid is patted down by airport security, but we'd all go nuts if a plane blew up because a bomb was hidden on a little kid.
- For all you conspiracy nuts, here's a college professors investigation into whether Sarah Palin is actually the grandmother of Trig. Did you know she won't produce a birth certificate? Sound familiar?
- Pete Delkus has already tweeted this morning about afternoon tornadoes and severe storms. He's even using exclamation points!!!
If I've got my facts right (always a dicey proposition), Wise County very possibly will be in a new state legislative house district (#88) joining a bunch of west Texas conservative (and slightly populated) counties. This also means that Rep. Phil King would no longer represent us. (The horror!)
And since District 88 used to surround Amarillo with the current representative being moved to District 87, it would become an "open seat" meaning there will be no incumbent in the next election.
(If this makes the Messenger's Update, I want full credit or I'll unleash a team of lawyers bigger than those involved in Motorcycle Guy vs. Fed Ex. In the meantime, I'll credit the Star-Telegrams's Bud Kennedy who provided this info to me directly. Follow him on Twitter.)
at 9:27 PM
The jury has been deliberating on perjury charges for four days. Certainly they won't now say they have no reasonable doubt about his guilt.
Update: Hung jury on all counts with the exception of one. That verdict is. . . . Guilty on "Obstruction of Justice" (the most catchall of federal crimes.)
Edit: How vague is this?? Counts 1 through 4 of the indictment were for perjury. One was abandoned at trial leaving three counts of perjury which the jury did not convict on. So look at the remaining language of the Obstruction count (below). Without lying being proven, the jury had to have convicted him on being "evasive" or "misleading". Sheesh.
And since I'm all things to all people, if the Barry Bonds post bores you, we've got another teacher sex scandal. Get this: She lives in Attica.
at 3:43 PM
Twin brothers in Houston saw their 89 year old mother fall on the floor while they were watching the football national championship game and simply left her there. (Hey, it was an exciting game!) From fall until death took three days, and from there they left her for another three months. Oh, my. (Story).
I think those boys might be a little slow. And although they might be guilty of something, murder may not be it. (It's pretty complicated but watch for the charge to be changed to Injury to the Elderly By Omission.)
But momma had a checking account with $700,000 in it?
at 1:40 PM
My update: I still don't know a thing. But I did snap this pic this morning which, I'd wager to guess, includes only attorneys, legal assistants, corporate reps, and parties to the lawsuit. I was able to get fourteen in the pic (red dots), and there were about six I couldn't get in. And for everyone in the courtroom, there are more back at the office working in support.
And the sad thing is you'll never see a criminal trial with that amount of resources being spent because those being charged can't afford it.
(Side note: I noticed that the criminal investigator for the Wise County Attorney's office made it on the jury.)
at 9:50 AM
- The District of Columbia is the first to allow Internet gambling asserting that the federal law banning it has enough murky loopholes to let them try it.
- You would think the soon to open Hawaiian Falls water park in Roanoke will be a tremendous success.
- Subway beat down a couple of days ago from kid sweeping the floor: "Mind if I sweep under your table while you're eating?" Dude.
- Is there any baseball player more fragile than Josh Hamilton (who is out for around two months after the Ranger broke his arm in a head first slide into home plate yesterday)?
- And several have noted that Hamilton had a can of snuff in his back pocket. Necessary?
- A one car wreck in Wise County yesterday injured occupants named Felipe and Fidel.
- Whatever happened to Amy Grant?
- "If I create a thing that can be exposed, do I become a folly or a star?" - opening line of a very long and philosophical text I received from a buddy on Saturday night that might have celebrated a bit too much.
- Every organization tries to expand by courting those that really have no interest in the core product. Example: An NBA game has video, music, cheerleaders, light shows, mascots, and everything else to entertain kids and spouses that would otherwise be bored to death by basketball. Or how about an example of a twitpic yesterday of a Hooters girl doing the hula hoop at a college baseball game?
- Does the above "expand by courting" apply to today's churches?
- A mom got into her minivan and drove three of her kids into the Hudson River in New York last night. All are dead. But she let one son, age 10, out of the van beforehand. A trust fund should be established for his future therapy. Edit: The Fox story was updated after I published this. I swear the original version said she let the 10 year old out. Now it says he escaped.
- And speaking of trust funds, my criticism of Baby Jessica's trust fund was based on "why does she deserve the money?" If she needed the money as a child for medical or mental treatment, that makes sense. But what purpose does it serve to dump a trainload of cash on her now?
- Always fun: Being befriended on Facebook by an old girlfriend and then checking out what became of her through her photos.
- Reader submitted "Hey, now."
- Worst person to be behind in convenience store checkout line: The guy turning in and buying scratch off lottery tickets. "I'll take one of them Texas Two Steps ... no, not that one....one down ... yeah, that one. And I'll take two of them Don't Mess With Texas . . . . "
at 8:31 AM
I got bombarded today with emails and texts about the Decatur "I Need A Job" Guy back in town. Specifically in front of the Prada Shops.
Come to think of it, he might want to get in line for a job in this day and time.
(Thanks James, Christine and Andrew to name a few for the heads up.)
I linked to "The Vault" the other day - the new FBI website that has a ton of never before released documents.
Well, someone going through all those documents came across the one above. Anyone want to explain why this is not a bigger deal? There's some media coverage, but not much.
Edit: Hey, you goofballs. I had heard of Area 51. I'm talking about a government document acknowledging flying saucers. You telling me that's old news?
at 11:59 AM
All I know is that it involves a collision between a Fed Ex truck and a motorcycle. It at least looks like a big deal (there's a krillion lawyers and legal assistants), but I don't remember the incident at all. And I'm famous for tracking every motorcycle accident in the Southwest proper. (There's a chance the accident didn't happen in Wise County because the civil venue rules are so screwy that the case could still be tried here.)
at 11:09 AM
Ok, this was not in the kid's section.
But some company has figured out that there's a handful of adult rec league softball players who can really crush the ball -- much to their ego's delight. Then they happen to be in the sporting goods store and see this thing and they think, "Man, this will make me legendary."
at 9:03 AM
- Phone video of the Texas Rangers sliding on the tarp during a rainout in Baltimore last week. Yeah, it's fun but if I'm the owner - and realizing I'm on the hook for a player's salary regardless of how he gets hurt - I think I'd shut that down.
- Texas Motor Speedway doesn't charge for parking? How much money are they leaving on the table?
- I'm out $29.99 because I couldn't tell the difference between a T-ball baseball bat and a softball bat.
- Donald Trump is absolutely reckless and a cartoon with his crazy birther comments over the past week. He's doing a bit yet news organizations are giving him a forum.
- Along those same lines, I received an email chain letter yesterday proclaiming "Obama admits he wasn't born in America! See the first 30 seconds of this video!" The video is full of misinformation about the issue, but the creator of it (as a joke) edited an Obama speech at the beginning of the clip to set the scene for his mini-documentary. Not surprisingly (in America), the video went viral with those believing Obama's 30 seconds were real.
- Wow: Last week we learned that a 26 year old Arlington native was killed in Afghanistan. Yesterday news broke it was from "friendly fire" but in the most shocking of ways: One of those unmanned drone aircraft/missles killed him. One step closer to robots taking over?
- For you true news junkies: Jonathan Alter leaving Newsweek is not a good omen for the future of news magazines.
- I had to do a plea bargain hearing yesterday where my guy went from being on bond to being incarcerated. I've said it before, that's the worst event for a criminal defense lawyer (with the exception of it happening after a trial.)
- Channel 8 News now has a graphic that says "Instant Live" when they throw it to a reporter on the street. Just when "live" isn't good enough, someone comes along to solve that problem.
- Video of jumbo jet clipping and spinning another smaller jet at JFK airport in New York last night. Pretty amazing.(It's still early when I'm typing this and the video will probably be all over the news today.)
- How would you like to be a defendant in Montgomery County, Texas in an assault case this week and you were truly innocent? Would you like your potential jurors to walk into a courthouse under a banner that reads, "National Crime Victims' Rights Week" courtesy of the district attorney's office? Yep, it's happening.
- Rather quietly, evidence of a serial killer is coming to light in New York . . .
at 8:25 AM
Somebody sent a couple of mean emails to Fox 4's Fiona. (Facebook link). Leave Fiona alone!!!!
(Not the stripper pic)An artistic photographer who took a pic of KXAS's Kim Fischer simulating a pole dance tells a blogger to take it down. (It had been on her Facebook page but I don't think it's still there. If you look hard enough ** Google cache ** you can see it but it's no big deal.)
at 3:11 PM
The way it works is that someone (normally a cop) prepares an affidavit and then presents it to a judge (normally a Justice of the Peace) who reads it and determines whether probable cause exists to issue a warrant.
I came across the above affidavit last week (it's public record in Wise County). Notice that it is for an arrest warrant for Jessica for Intentionally Making A False Statement To Obtain Credit. Basically, it alleges she went to Cash America for a loan and brings with her her pay stubs. Cash America employee McGuire (I assume she's an employee - the affidavit doesn't say) tells Jessica to change her earnings on the application so she'll be able to get a loan.
I post it for two reasons: (1) you are looking at the entire affidavit that a judge looked at before signing a warrant, and (2) if true, Jessica knew she was signing a false application, but that falsity was promoted by an employee of Cash America who is the "victim" in this case and, more likely than not, wants restitution for a defaulted loan.
at 11:58 AM
With the Dallas DA's election only a couple of months away in August of last year, incumbent DA Craig Watkins announced a capital murder indictment in a decades old murdered police officer case. He issued a press release, held a rare public press event where he actually appeared in front of the camera, and reprinted the Dallas Morning News story on his official campaign site. The indictment was based on "new evidence" although he wouldn't say what it was.
Fast forward to last Friday when the election is over and won. (Story). The dismissal request is based on "new evidence" although he wouldn't say what it was.
at 10:01 AM
- Wasn't there was a time when weekends were relaxing?
- Almost (?) had an incident with the Neighbor Boys on Saturday when their soccer ball hit our roof while I was getting in the shower. The last I know, Mrs. LL was headed out to the backyard battlefield as I preached nuclear restraint. I didn't even ask what happened.
- I kind of like being in bed knowing that a thunderstorm is on its way.
- But did you see the houses in Prosper that had a ton of windows shattered by hail -- hail that was still on the ground this morning when Fox 4 did a live report? Photo (wow.)
- We missed a certified letter for Mrs. LL this weekend. I fear the certified letter.
- I've yet to watch it, but Saturday Night Live did a bit about Fox and Friends on Saturday.
- I think most of West Texas burned down over the weekend.
- Alerted Mrs. LL that I had accidentally let some flying bug in the house last night. She told me "I'll get the bug zapper", disappeared, and then came back with The Family Cat. I'll be. That thing is good for something.
- When we had friends in from out of state a couple of weekends ago, they were much entertained when we drove by a liquor store and gun range in the same building off Northeast 28th Street in Fort Worth.
- The Federal Government Shutdown that was avoided on Friday was (still) much ado about nothing. It actually happened during the Clinton years and no one particularly cared. But for some reason this time we had Panic Mode television coverage with countdown clocks on every channel.
- Fox 4's Peter Daut caught some television gold at the NASCAR race with his man-in-the-crowd interviews (with one guy -- shirtless and wearing jorts -- being a cross between Kid Rock and Ricky Bobby.)
- Hanging out with friends on Saturday night when the female host suddenly, strangely and violently threw up. Many rushed to help her. I headed outside. Edit: Nope, it wasn't alcohol induced.
- I won't say golf is riveting but golf was riveting yesterday when Tiger Woods roared to the top of the leaderboard at the Masters. And I managed to parlay that into an excuse to leave a kid's birthday party to go set the DVR. (But I had to come back. Pronto.)
- But the guy who ultimately won the Masters is named "Charl" which prompted someone to write that a headline today should read "Charl's in Charg". One got close . . .