blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: 5/15/11 - 5/22/11

5.20.2011

Apocalypse Now




I've avoided it all week, but I'll let the Rapture take us into the weekend. (#raptureregrets)

And cue up REM's It's The End Of The World As We Know It and Blondie's Rapture.




If you look closely, that's old Dallas circa 1975

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issue 12:45. Expires at 1:30


Wow



SUMMERVILLE, SC - Dash cam video released Thursday from a stolen Summerville, South Carolina police cruiser shows a suspect fighting a police officer then crashing the stolen car into a landscaping truck at a high rate of speed.

According to police, the incident started last Friday when 38-year-old Arthur Lee Thompson attempted to steal a computer from a Summerville Wal-mart. When confronted, Thompson allegedly punched the store's loss prevention officer in the mouth. 

If You Thought This Was Real, You Need To Get Off The Internet


Story about it.

Things I Didn't Know (Because I Stay Away From Federal Court)



Federal prisoners have email. (This is 100% legit. It was sent to my office due to an inmate I'm helping on State charges in Wise County.)

About That School Funding Problem


The most under-reported aspect of the resignation of the Dallas ISD superintendent yesterday (which I otherwise don't care about) is that he'll receive around $180,000 a year in retirement benefits from Texas in addition to his new salary in Georgia. (Buried in lat paragraph here.)

That Just Sounded Worse Than It Was


Random Friday Morning Thoughts



  • The Family Cat went missing for most of the day yesterday. Unfortunately, she was just hanging out in a closet. 
  • Newt Gingrich was giving a speech yesterday when his phone went off. The ringtone was Abba's "Dancing Queen." Funny.
  • Correction in the Update today: "In an item about new Chico High principal Gerald “Rosie” Rosebure that appeared in Thursday’s Update, it was erroneously reported that the contract of previous principal Russell Black was not renewed by the school board. It should have said Black’s contract was not extended."  If the contract was up, isn't not "extending" it the same thing as not "renewing" it? But I'm sure there's some difference because you never see a correction in the Update.
  • I was going to dog the Manhattan prosecutors for quickly indicting the IMF Chief yesterday on sexual assault charges but then I read if they didn't do it within a week, he would have to be released (without the need to post bond.) That's one strange law. Texas law gives prosecutors 90 days. 
  • "And Another" out of Tyler.
  • You may not have seen it, but with my "edits" to the "And Another" post yesterday (below), there were actually news of four new cases in the Metroplex.
  • I'm not smart enough to know why the conservatives were all up in arms over President Obama's reference to Israel's borders yesterday.
  • Not sure why a guy appealed his criminal case out of Wise County and then voluntarily dismissed it. (The only thing I could find on him was that he was indicted last year for Assault by Chocking. Edit: Choking/Shocking take your pick.)
  • The dunk against the Mavericks last night. (You supporters can now officially get nervous.) Edit: Fantastic photo of it. 
  • I noticed that the Bridgeport Run Down The Guy With A Car On 101 defendant is still in jail and has applied for (and probably received by now) a court appointed attorney. 
  • I was instructed not to touch a peanut butter and jelly sandwich this morning. Not a problem.
  • Someone on the radio made a reference to being "slimed like that guy in Ghostbusters" but then his co-host pointed out his "hip pop culture" reference was almost 30 years old.
  • Texas Monthly has been doggedly covering the injustice out in East Texas of a group from Mineola being charged with sexual assault of a child. Yesterday, the prosecution offered "time served" to almost all of them to a non-sexually related offense that will set them free. Amazingly, the judge "fought back tears" as he accepted the plea. Most who followed the case cried because it was "an absolute, honest-to-God frame-up."
  • Fox 4 has the strangest and inaccurate headline about that story today: ""Clerical Errors Free 6 in Child Sex Ring." 




5.19.2011

The Suicide Defense


"Johnson said the woman placed the rope around her own neck and tied it to the vehicle's bumper."


Story.


Hey, I found an old photo of this guy:

22 Years Old + College Football Player = Shocking Deaths


Just a few days ago, a University of Alabama lineman, age 22, was found dead. Now news today that 22 year old starting OU linebacker Austin Box was found dead as well.

And Another (aka "Hey, Now")

In Irving. Biology teacher. Story.

(But, to even things out, there is a male teacher in Garland who made the news this morning for the same allegation as well.)

Edit: And we've got a Trifecta!!! Saginaw teacher on leave for "Improper Communication" although that's the only info available.

Edit: It's out of control: Officials investigating an allegation out of North Richland Hills.

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Resigns


Why?:  "[I]t has been increasingly difficult to remain effectively focused on the instructional agenda for our students."

What caught my attention: "Johnson is the fourth highest paid superintendent in Texas, with a base salary of $328,950, according to data from the Texas Education Agency. Her contract also allows her to receive an annual car allowance of $7,200 and an annual performance bonus to buy retirement credits."


If not for the resignation taking effect in September instead of immediately, I'd think something was going on.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts



  • The Parker County "torture suspect" was in front of a judge yesterday who once again played to the cameras. He angrily ordered the defendant to hire his own attorney within 20 days (after previously giving him 30 days). Hey, the guy is in custody. What are you going to do if he doesn't?
  • Christmas idea: The Unabomber auction by the Federal Marshal's office. (As I wonder how many people under 30 know who the Unabomber is.)  Edit: I'll be. The Unabomber made news today on a scare not many people remember. (Hint: It involved Tylenol.)
  • "Two travelers from Texas were 'kidnapped' Thursday morning at the Arkansas Welcome Center on Interstate 40. Tonya and Ronnie Hale of Decatur, Texas, were chosen as part of the annual 'Snag a Tourist'” event that local tourism officials conduct each year." This annual event, so newsworthy that it was covered by the local Arkansas paper and a photographer, got them a gift basket.
  • The Texas legislature has focused on revising photo lineup procedures. I rarely see a photo-lineup in any criminal case. Maybe one in every 200.
  • The First United Methodist Church in Decatur is getting a female pastor. I think Bridgeport already has two (Methodist and Presbyterian.) 
  • If I am wrong on that last bullet point, I'll hear about it within seconds.
  • Viral video of the day yesterday was "The Greatest Marriage Proposal Ever." For the first couple of minutes, it was fantastic. Then it spiraled downhill into the vortex of bad comedy.
  • A stat I don't believe that made the news yesterday: 85% of college grads are moving back home with their parents. For a week or so to get organized? Yeah, I can believe that. But because they have no where else to go? That can't be right. 
  • Bridgeport goes to Kennedale tonight for the baseball playoffs. I wonder if any of those guys involved in this week's Teacher Sex Scandal are on the team. (Since they broke no law, they'd still be in school. Right?)
  • Never a good sign when you hear your name called out while in the garage only to look up and see the spouse sprinting down the sidewalk. (Family Dog almost got attacked while the Seventh Grader in The House was walking her.)
  • A woman ran over her boyfriend as he walked away. Last week's story from Bridgeport? Nope. In Irving on Monday.
  • A 14 year old in Crafton has died. I wonder what of.
  • Photo of the day: Jilted Chinese Bridge Bride Tries To End It All. Edit: Have no idea why I wrote "bridge" originally since a bridge isn't involved. Remind me to mention that to my therapist.
  • A place I'd never be found at: A Jimmy Buffett concert. (He's in Frisco this weekend.)
  • Rank the level of disturbing: (1) Eighteen year old mom tries to smother infant son at a Fort Worth hospital, (2) the hosptital "suspected" something so they put the child in a video monitored room where the act was caught on tape, (3) the tape was shown to the jury, (4) the Star-Telegram puts the video on its web site (but at least blurs out hte baby.)
  • Think Jerry Jones is a big spender? Last year, in a non-salary capped year, the total payroll of the Cowboys ranked 29th out of 32 teams


5.18.2011

Running Across America


Stumbled upon a blog of a guy who is running across America to bring attention to the unemployment problem. (Not sure I get it either.) Anyway, he came through here earlier this month and wrote about it.

  • Met a nice Decatur man at Sweetie Pies.
  • Going through Runaway Bay he liked Lake Bridgeport but found a deputy who he thought was "kind of a jerk."
  • He found that big hill between Runaway Bay and Jacksboro.
  • Hard to tell exactly where he is, but it may be in a county west of Jacksboro when he was almost run down by a deputy.

And Rick Perry Shall Lead Them? (At Least If No One Else Wants To)



Apparently, Rush Limbaugh issued a Man Crush on Rick Perry today. Story

And remember this from February 2010?:

United Airlines Oops


United Airlines announced that flight numbers associated with 9/11 (Flight 93 that ended up in a Pennsylvania field and Flight 175 which hit the second Twin Tower) would be put back into service. That is, until someone pointed out that they were associated with 9/11.


The Schwarzenegger Mistress and Kid


Man, he looks like a little Conan The Barbarian.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts


  • The husband of the Kennedale teacher involved in the student sex scandal is catching lots of flak on the radio today for his decision to "stand by" his wife. Hey, it's his business. 
  • And the more you think about it, that is a strange law she was charged with: Sexual relations with a student even if the student is not a minor.  So you have two adults engage in a consenual activity and only one of them can legally be charged with a crime?  I can't think of another crime where that can happen.
  • Edit: And I should have mentioned that the law doesn't apply to college teacher/students.
  • Photo I took of a couple of lawyers in a driver's license administrative hearing yesterday. Golf shirt on one. Topsiders with white socks on another. 
  • The Family Cat walked past me with a five foot stuffed toy snake from upstairs yesterday. It was a stuffed toy poodle the day before. 
  • Seventeen young adults are charged with distributing heroine heroin in Plano and nearby areas. Did you see those kids? About as normal looking as you can get. And they are facing federal charges so the chance of being locked up is significant.  That'll solve the problem.  Edit: Spellcheck fail. (But funny comment on "heroine")
  • Dirk has his best playoff game ever last night and the Oklahoma City Thunder still hung around. (Or so I've heard.)  I think that's an ominous sign for the Mavs.
  • The Update reports this morning that the tax property values in Wise County will be decreased this year. It's a Christmas Miracle in May. 
  • Remember when it seemed like every John Grisham book was turned into a movie? The last one was Runaway Jury in 2003. 
  • I created a "dirt strainer" for the flower bed (to get rid of small rocks) by drilling a million holes in a plastic bucket. Anybody know the number to the U.S. Patent Office? 
  • In connection with a criminal case, I had to dump the contents of a microcassette onto a laptop yesterday at the Wise County Attorney's office. I used Audacity (freeware) and it worked like a charm. More of a miracle is that someone actually used a microcassette.
  • Haven't been able to find a thing on the reason for the Melinda Reeves suspension.  
  • Star-Telegram headline: "Tarrant County constables honored for rescuing man from 'widow maker'". Did you know that the "widow maker" referred to is the rescued man's term for his heart condition that required two stents? Really. 
  • Somebody jacked with a park sign in Rhome. (Thanks, Toni.)

5.17.2011

Newt Gets Glittered By Gay Activist



That's some sorriness right there. And when that guy reaches into his satchel/purse/whatever, I'm surprised there's not someone there to take him down on the spot.

Source.

Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Tryouts


Pics here.

Decatur Cowboy Breaks $$$ Record In Bridgeport


(Thanks Brian.)

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts



  • I guess the announcement that Arnold Schwarzenegger's fathered a child with a member of his household staff had a little something to do with the demise of his 25 year old marriage.
  • Jerry Lewis will end his run of the Muscular Dystrophy telethon this fall after 45 years. I applaud him for his efforts over the years but exactly how much money was raised without finding a cure?
  • With the debate that broke out yesterday regarding fault of the death of the Alvord girls between Decatur and Denton last year, I missed that Channel 8 News did a short story on the dangers of 380 after the death of a Texas Tech student at around the same time.
  • Fiona's out and about again. (Facebook link.)
  • I think this is a newly created 10 minute video starring local Decatur folks on the "Every 15 Minutes" anti-DWI campaign. Over produced?
  • At 7:14 this morning, based upon my quick fingers, I discovered the following stations were running commercials simultaneously: The Ticket, WBAP, KLIF, KRLD, The Fan and ESPN Radio.  That model cannot last. 
  • Royal Wedding photo funny.
  • Donald Trump announces he won't run for President. Told you it was all a bit. I can't stand that guy.
  • Mike Huckabee announces he won't run for President: I take it back, he's smarter than I thought he was. 
  • Does anybody want to run against President Obama?
  • Nothing like heating something up for breakfast in the microwave and then dropping it at your feet. Hello, Tuesday morning.
  • Does the teacher from Kennedale in the latest sex scandal look like former Journey lead man Steve Perry in her book in photo? (Ticket reference this morning)
  • WBAP's Hal Jay this morning right before a report on the Mavericks at 8:12 a.m.: "Have they been this far before?" For the life of me, I have no idea how he has a job.
  • Three sports items: (1) Rain Delay Baseball Bat Jousting - pretty funny, (2) A relief pitcher last night went 2 and 1/3 innings and gives up 14 earned runs to set a record, and (3) a punch in a rugby game which has the greatest slow motion since Rocky.
  • The IMF sexual assault case is bizarre: He is in town for "personal business", rents the penthouse at Sofitel Hotel for over $3,000 per night, allegedly assaults a maid (a maid!), and now sits in jail on Rikers Island. Now that's what I call a weekend. (And are those holes in his shoes in the photo below?)




What's That Explosion I Just Heard In Decatur?


A former Decatur ISD principal, who seemed to be quite the lightening rod while here,  is placed on administrative leave.  I would think this story will get heavy coverage in the metroplex over the next 48 hours. There's now way we won't find out why -- nor should the public be denied that information.

Edit: Ok, you know I'm not going to allow comments that assert facts as to why she was suspended until we have some verification. (Obvious jokes, uh, probably OK.)

Edit: Fox 4 is on it, but no real new information so far.

Edit: And although you have to take it for what it's worth, here's the Twitter search for "Melinda Reeves" for mentions today.


Location Fail



5.16.2011

And Just When I Was Getting That Dance Move Down




Young Lawyer Blasted On Internet Basically Sues Entire Internet


It's a little involved, but the whole story is amazing.  (And at least one Texas lawyer blogger was sued. I don't think he is worried. I'm not sure any of the defendants are.)

And Another: From Kennedale


Story.

(Thanks for the tip, Lari.)

Edit: New Pic

Want To Be A New York Times Fact Checker?


Source.

The No Body Murder Case: An Update That Makes Me Crazy


I subscribe to The Texas Prosecutor which is published "through legislative appropriation." The new issue hit my desk this morning and look what is on the cover: A self promoting article about The Denton No Body case written by the prosecutors. Did they start writing the article the second the trial was over?

From a quick glance at the article (and after getting past a subheading of "Dismantling The Defense" -- sheesh), I did learn the jury quickly sent out a note to the judge right after deliberations began asking for the definition of "reasonable doubt."  Well, there's at least some proof they had no idea what that meant.

At least the appeal has now been filed.

Edit: Someone asked how often a case gets reversed for insufficient evidence. The answer is "very, very rarely." Of all appealed cases, I bet there are no more than one or two a year reversed on that ground-- and that may be a high estimate.  The standard is a tough one: Even with the appellate court assuming that every piece of evidence the State wanted the jury to believe to be true was in fact true,  no rational jury could have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.   It takes a mind-boggling weak case to meet that criteria.

I once knew a prosecutor in the early 1990s who was ecstatic when his case was reversed for insufficient evidence because he believed it to be the ultimate compliment: "I was able to convince a jury to convict with legally insufficient evidence!" (Paraphrased: "I was able to do the impossible!")   I, on the other hand, considered it to be the ultimate slap in the face: If the case was so weak that  no rational jury could convict, then every prosecutor should have recognized that to begin with.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts



  • Digging up old roots from a flower bed just about can kill a man. Well, at least this man.
  • The Mavericks bandwagon sure is getting full.
  • The Family Cat now has decided she wants to slap at the water in her bowl until every drop is on the floor. 
  • The Colonial Golf Tournament sure seems to be a shadow of its former self. And it's simply wrong for it to take place before the Byron Nelson and not on Memorial Day Weekend. 
  • Went down to Baylor this weekend to watch my nephew's graduation. I can now say I've been in the same room with Kenneth Starr. (But it was a very big room.)
  • I think the general consensus of the audience of a college graduation is: I'll sit through all of the names to show respect, but I don't necessarily have to pay attention. (Phones, books, magazines are prevalent. But a lot of folks do leave.)
  • Don't know about Pat Green's music, but his fans are aesthetically pleasing.
  • Posting the Hottest Female Texas Sex Offender's seems a bit wrong. And I wonder if you'd be made if you were eligible but were left off. 
  • The Messenger got a lot of heat in its Letters to the Editor for publishing the picture of the eight year old daughter of the alleged Run-Over-The-Guy-Near-Bridgeport defendant.
  • Human nature makes you want to click on that link. 
  • Someone asked me if I knew anything about the criminal prosecution in Denton of a man allegedly responsible for the deaths of Alvord teens Delaney Mancil and Samantha Rogers in a car wreck last year. Best I can tell, there is no criminal prosecution.
  • The new Love's in Rhome won't be able to sell alcohol when it opens because Rhome, although wet, annexed the land the store sits on after the wet-dry election. Thus, a new election is required. I guess Love's new that when they started the project. Edit: Ok. Ok. Ok. Slap a "k" in front of that "new".
  • I did not know that the Angel Tattoo Lady in the Miley Cyrus post below was her mom. But a ton of you sure did. 
  • Is Golden Triangle Mall still there?
  • Argyle elected a mayor who has a pending DWI. Heard on the radio: "That just proves the town wants a mayor who knows how to get his party on."
  • The head of the International Monetary Fund is arrested for attempted sexual assault which gives rise to two thoughts: (1) He might want a nickname other than "The Great Seducer" right now, and (2) anyone else besides me completely clueless as what the Fund does?
  • Nothing like waking up and finding your back door open by about a foot. (And then sleepily checking the place out while holding a baseball bat because you're 99% sure everything is fine but there's that 1% fear.)
  • The BagOfNothing guy posted a short video his pastor played in church.  I was certain I'd know how it would end, but man I was wrong. How this didn't become an Internet sensation three years ago is a mystery.
  • If you oppose a higher tax rate for the wealthy on the basis that the government shouldn't mandate that the few benefit the many, I guess you'd also be opposed to the intentional flooding of Louisiana rural area in order to prevent major damage to  New Orleans. 






5.15.2011

"It's Friday! Friday!"


I'm more surprised that CNN has a section of it's website that is user generated and not "edited" or "vetted."