blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: 6/19/11 - 6/26/11

6.25.2011

And Another


Carrollton ISD. 33 years old.

Story.

Center Of "The Thin Blue Line" Has Died


Long before DNA exonerations, there were reckless and/or crooked cops and prosecutors who caused the innocent to go to prison. One such man was Randall Dale Adams out of Dallas County who came within 72 hours of execution and spent over 12 years in prison.

Adams, the subject of the documentary The Thin Blue Line  (which is a must see by the way), has died. He had tried to live in obscurity and did a great job of it: The Dallas Morning News has discovered that he died last October.

New York Approves Gay Marriage Last Night


6.24.2011

Friday Morning Pick Me Up: Saved By The Bell Edition

Jessie?

I guess she finally got off the drugs:

The Sunset Inn Gets A Reference In A Court Case Decided Yesterday

When Martin found the family, they were about to be evicted from the Grasslands because they had stayed too long and were not able to pay the Park Service fee. The tent was a tight fit, but the family told Martin that some were sleeping outside or in the car because it was warm. She met with them one more time in the Grasslands; she did not have any more contact with them after the end of July because they had moved again. She finally tracked them to the Sunset Inn in Wise County through a relative. Father agreed to sign a family group contract to start services with CPS, but he called back a few days later and said he did not want to do so anymore because he did not think he could get any family support. Martin still wished to offer services, so she set up an appointment at the Sunset Inn for late July; the family was not there because they had gone to the lake . . . 

And so begins the long factual recitation of a CPS case affirmed today on appeal where the parental rights to five children were terminated. 

Random Friday Morning Thoughts



  • Alvord school trustees vow to start using Facebook according to the Update. To be discussed in the next meeting: "Is there a way we can stop people from putting those nasty comments on there about us?"
  • The Longhorns had three players selected in the first round of the NBA draft last night. Now I think I know why there is so much grumbling about coach Rick Barnes.
  • Still an amazing site: People in Texas prisons (not the local jail) who committed crimes in Wise County. (Although I think it's not totally up to date.)
  • After the Fort Worth motorcycle chase yesterday, one cop comes in and throws two punches. Now he's under investigation. Hey, you might want to realize there's a couple of news helicopters above you.
  • I do it all the time in relation to criminal cases, but I always feel weird standing on the side of a Wise County road taking pictures in a shirt and tie.  But it's amazing what you can learn by simply going to a location -- even in a DWI case. 
  • Uh, oh. President Obama tells the troops he remembers the first time he gave the Medal Of Honor to a soldier when it wasn't in a posthumous situation. Other than the fact the soldier was dead, and he gave the award to the his parents, that story was spot on. 
  • That can probably be forgiven, but I'm not sure what he was thinking when he decided to play golf on Memorial Day. Say what you will, but he's smarter than that. 
  • The government is releasing oil from the Strategic Oil Reserves? Now? Really? 
  • The Star-Telegram finally gets around to covering the TXI/Hughes civil verdict today. And the Update did the same. 
  • The Ten Most Powerful People In Dallas list. Very inadequate list.
  • Following through on an earlier hint, an African-American will run to try and represent a portion of Wise County in Congress. Maybe the locals will at least listen to him because he's a Republican. 
  • "And Another" but once again it was only for solicitation with no contact. Is that the new trend?
  • Some mob boss from Boston who has been on the run forever was captured in California. It's big news in the northeast, but the only thing I know is that Jack Nicholson's character in The Departed was based upon him. (The headline made me wonder if any of his associates ever saw The Jerk and then would say, "Remember, don't trust Whitey.")




6.23.2011

What The Heck Did I Just Watch?



We've got the poor 7-11 guy trying to make buck only to to be launched through a plate glass window, and then on the reverse angle video (just like football), we see the driver take off after said launching. To top it off, there's this passenger chick who casually gets out to apparently go find the nearest Whataburger.

This country is getting weirder and weirder.

Story.

Going On Now



Edit: Why do they always just give up?  Stopped northbound on Loop 820 headed towards Northeast Mall area.

Houston Bus "Split In Two"


Happened this morning, but I wonder if it is one of those buses that is extra long and has the middle accordion-type connection. Not that it makes a difference to the victims.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts


  • George Lopez is in the metroplex this weekend and, as predictable as the sun rising in the east, there are still tickets available. As awful as Jay Leno and David Letterman are (have you watched them lately?), Lopez has jokes written by fourth graders. And that may be an insult to fourth graders.
  • "Gays, Grannies, and Grandes" - A Southwest Airlines pilot with an open mic is not pleased with the selection of flight attendants. (Uncensored audio here.) I kind of feel for the guy -- he thought it was a private conversation with another pilot. 
  • But no company does a better job of scrambling to do damage control than Southwest.
  • There's not a whole lot of time in the evening, is there?
  • Another In-N-Out Burger was opening in Dallas this morning and the news stations were all over it. But unlike the one in Plano (?), there wasn't the initial rush at all. I saw one poor reporter in an empty parking lot at around 6:30 a.m. 
  • I'm coming up on my one year anniversary. I wonder how many bets will have to be paid off? I wonder if Mrs. LL will have to pay of her I-Love-You-But-It-Was-Just-A-Little-Hedge-Bet? (Kidding. I think.)
  • A Dallas attorney shoots an 880 pound alligator in the Trinity River in Leon County. And he says his testosterone level has been "very high" since the kill. Please. You picked up a gun and pulled the trigger. You didn't exactly win a UFC match, hoss.
  • The Masonic Lodge in Decatur is installing new officers this weekend according to the Update. The highest ranking title to be awarded: "Worshipful Master." I think I found my new household nickname.
  • Cops can obtain a search warrant for your blood after a DWI arrest if you refuse to provide one voluntarily. Normally, prosecutors don't want the cops to tell the arrestee they have that right because they want a voluntary sample to be truly voluntary and not the product of coercion or a threat. So what does the legislature do? As of 9.1.11 the cops now must threaten that person with a blood draw whenever they ask for a voluntary sample. 
  • Still not a lot of publicity about half of Wise County becoming part of a newly created Congressional district. We've probably become part of a different district from time to time due to redistricting, but have we ever become part of a new district? (Texas picked up four because of the census.) 
  • Wise County has declined to issue a fireworks ban.  But for the recent rain,the lack of a ban would have been the equivalent of  issuing a box of matches to every child in the county.
  • There was a horrific robbery of a pharmacy in New York that left four people dead. An arrest was made yesterday with police saying that the motive of the shooter was to obtain hydrocodone for his wife. She looks a little loopy in her wedding photo.

6.22.2011

Breaking Courthouse News

The jury in the Hughes civil case being tried for the second time has ruled in favor of TXI. No money damages will be awarded based upon the verdict (unless there was some side agreement). The jury's decision came in shortly before 5:00 p.m. in the 271st Judicial District Court in Decatur.

In a long legal history, the case was first tried in 2004 in Decatur to a jury which led to an award of $15,787,190 in compensatory damages and $6,658,000 in exemplary damages. The Second Court of Appeals took away the exemplary damages on appeal but otherwise affirmed the verdict. However, the Texas Supreme Court then heard the case and overturned the verdict and sent the case back to Decatur for retrial. That occured over the last two weeks.

From one of the opinions: "Several members of the Hughes family were killed when their vehicle collided with an eighteen wheel tractor-trailer rig heavily loaded with gravel. The accident occurred outside the city of Paradise on Highway 114, a two-lane highway. At the time of the accident, Kimberly Hughes was driving west toward Paradise with four other family members in her GMC Yukon. Ricardo Rodriguez, who was driving the gravel truck for TXI Transportation Company ("TXI"), was traveling east in the opposite direction. For reasons in dispute, the Yukon crossed the center line into the eastbound lane, collided with the gravel truck and careened down the length of its trailer. At the gravel truck's tail end, the Yukon spun sideways into the path of an eastbound Ford pickup. The resulting collision killed everyone in the Yukon except Hughes's infant grandson."

Edit: This didn't make the Messenger's Update on the following morning?

Edit:


Cockiest Motion For Summary Judgment Ever?

2011-06-22 WC Mavs and Radical Mavs Mngt MSJ

Source.

"Today (today, today, today)....I consider myself (myself, myself, myself) . . . .", happiest) . . . "


Looking at a police report that just came across my desk, it dawned on me that the police sure are getting young these days.

(Clarification for you young 'uns.)

Faces In The News


Does this look like a man who would try to rob a bank of $1 so he could get free medical care in jail and won't post bond even when it was reduced to $2,000?

Does this look like a "And Another" out of the metroplex? (Although it looks like the student refused her alleged advances.)


Random mug shot.

Oh, my!

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts



  • In the Messenger's story about the guy allegedly trying to run down a trooper with a tractor, the property owner said that he was "gesticulating" at the suspect prior to the incident to try and get his attention. Yep, correct usage.
  • The Weatherford Democrat used the headline that the man "Fled Like A Deere."
  • Both stories report that the trooper fired twice at the man before he exited the tractor. I wonder if any of the cop cars, all with video cameras, recorded the incident? 
  • Does any town have more electricity outage issues than Decatur?
  • It's odd how I just assumed that the body found in Wise County yesterday was a male. That was wrong. 
  • The Rangers crowd set a world record last night of most people to wear sunglasses at night. Silly.
  • The Aggies, like the Longhorns, got booted from the College World Series after going 0-2.
  • Gov. Perry says you can follow him on "Tweeter" (@ 2:30 mark - link takes you right to it) in a taped, pre-produced message.
  • Speaking of, I woke up this morning to see Mrs. LL tweeted last night that I was "singing in [my] sleep."  Some wise arse responded with, "Let me guess: He's singing, 'It's Raining Men'". 
  • Ok, that was funny.
  • "For what?" - WBAP's Hal Jay's quote of the morning regarding the sports director's assertion that Roger Clemens may be in trouble in his upcoming trial.
  • Third Grader In The House: "Mom says you snore and wants you to wear those nose strips she bought you." Me: "Really?" Her: "Don't tell her I told you." 
  • Lots of people discussing my sleeping habits.
  • If you are the criminal defense attorney in the Corpus Christi case where your client got five years probation for "spanking" a two year old, family lawyer Abby Ewing of Dallas called you a "bad lawyer" on KLIF this morning (and then moments later said the case makes her think there may be more to it than what has been reported.)
  • In the Northeast they are debating the potential impact of "fracking" and not a day goes by where a story doesn't say that in Wise County, Texas the practice caused property values to drop 75%.
  • Isn't that QR Code that is popping up everywhere pretty close to the defunct and much criticized  CueCat?
  • Get me this Kelly Kapowski shirt that Justin Bieber wears!!! (Side note: The girls in the house have never heard of Saved By The Bell.)


6.21.2011

Breaking: Cops On Way To Body Found Off CR 4421 In Wise County

Developing . . .
That's Where CR 4421 Is At Least

Edit: It's been awfully quiet after news of this broke. I'm 99% sure we've got a body. But I'm wondering if it may be a suicide since that's when everyone clams up. 
Edit again: Current status is 'questionable death'.

This Is The 16 Year Old Bride Of The Green Mile Guy?



That's her.


Don't Light A Match


About the only place to launch a boat on the south side of Lake Bridgeport has been closed. It looks like the floating gas pump at Runaway Bay floated out of its designated location due to high winds. And they are checking to see if the gas line running to the pump is secure.




Attempted Capital Murder With Tractor?

Man, I heard nothing about a Timothy Herring of Azle allegedly trying to run down a trooper in Wise County with a stolen tractor on Saturday. I'm about to fire a trainload of reporters. So what's the real story? They honestly believe he intended to kill the trooper? Really?

Hey, what are the odds of this guy (above) being the same Timothy Herring of Azle on Facebook? Nice profile pic. That'll play well.

Edit: Fox 4 got a hold of the bookin photo.


Hey, We Get To See Inside The Sunset Inn!


And to think it got bad reviews online.

The Condo Damage



Channel 8 was flying around.

The Paradise Wreck Civil Re-Trial Enters Its Second Week


I'd hate to be a juror on a trial that lasted longer than one week. (I can't remember the last criminal case that lasted more than five days.)

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts



  • WBAP reported that the Sunset Inn in Decatur sustained heavy damage last night. They even had a reporter up here to report "live at the scene." The same Sunset Inn that was bulldozed last month? (Although I think one of the buildings remained.) 
  • Well I'll be: The story even made the AP with reports of a woman being taken to the hospital who was staying at the fabulous Sunset Inn. (And a roof was blown off a four unit condo in Runaway Bay.)
  • Edit: Now it sounds like every news outlet is headed to Wise County. 
  • How times change: Saw a bit of  the movie "Up In The Air" last night (made in 2009) and noticed George Clooney's character questioned whether a new employee was a technology expert "just because she has a myspace account." Myspace?
  • A dirty Mesquite cop was sent to the slammer for stealing fake drug money yesterday. And the federal judge who did the sentencing went on a bit of a rant about how cops in trouble tend to get a slap on the wrist these days.
  • Even with all the quality closed circuit cameras these days, 7-11 still has the tape measure strip on its doors so the height of a robber can be seen once he flees. That never made me feel particularly safe to see that when I was leaving. 
  • I don't think I remember a (now) 51 year old actor from "The Green Mile" who married a, uh, sixteen year old over the weekend. Talk about getting younger at that position. Very younger.
  • It's the longest day of the year. 
  • The Longhorns were booted from the College World Series yesterday and the same thing can happen to the Aggies this afternoon. (Why are those games on in the afternoon.) 
  • The first big rain after the still-in-progress Flower Bed Project of 2011 showed very minimal drainage damage.  That topic has been a big player in the household. 
  • President Obama sent in a 30,000 troop "surge" in Afghanistan in 2009. Today he will announce that number will be withdrawn by the end of 2011. That's a start. 
  • The death of the kid at the "rave" in Dallas over the weekend was treated completely differently last night by the media. Channel 8 took the sensational angle by having a kid on talking about the "chaos" of the rave. Fox 4, on the other hand, had three young girls on who spoke of how the vast majority of those attending were there for a good time and weren't high or drunk. (And a great review of the event by an "old man" who attended the event is here.) 
  • Defeated Dallas mayoral candidate David Kunkle wouldn't go on the air with Richie Whitt and Greg Williams of The Fan prior to voting day. I think that's odd. (Williams' first interview with Kunkle is legendary.)
  • A high profile case in Brownsville was resolved yesterday (below). Two things: The victim has the same name as the Dallas Morning News' sports media reporter, and the judge allowed the defendant to plea "no contest."   That kind of plea basically means, "I'm not saying I'm guilty, but I'll agree that the State has enough evidence that, if believed, a jury could find me guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." Considering the plea bargain was for life in prison, I'm surprised the judge accepted the plea unless the defendant admitted his guilty.




6.20.2011

Vancouver Rioter Cries Like Little Girl



Cry me a river, brother. I'm not saying you shouldn't be provided all the rights that Canada assures you of (whatever that may be), but don't be a baby while the process is ongoing. If you're going to shove rags down a gas tank to create a massive fuse for your own little cop car bomb, then prepare to suffer the consequences. Man up.  Nobody likes a weeping anarchist. They're the worst.

Megan Fox Pick Me Up

Tattoo on ribs reads: "There once was a little girl that didn't believe in love, until she met a boy that broke her heart."  


"Jackass" Star Is Dead In Wreck. Posted Pic Of Drinking Hours Before.



From TMZ. (I don't know who this guy is because, other than a quick HBO flyby, I haven't seen the Jackass movies.)

Random Monday Morning Thoughts



  • This software for this blog now allows you to read it in a mobile-friendly format. Or so they tell me. Edit: Getting a couple of negative comments on this, but I thought it looked pretty spiffy on the iPhone.
  • Got the sweetest hand crafted gift ever yesterday. I didn't tear up. Much. Ok, maybe a lot. 
  • And then the Family Cat almost caused it to go crashing to the floor later in the evening. 
  • Former Dallas City Councilman Al Lipscomb died over the weekend. The only time I did a double take on the story was when I saw an interview with a blast from the past: Diane Ragsdale. If you know those names, you remember some crazy times. 
  • There's a new mayor-elect for Dallas, and the Morning News lead headline today says his priorities are for "Growth, Schools."  Schools? Someone want to enroll him in Local Government 101?
  • Heard that current mayor Dwaine Caraway told the Mavs' parade crowd that he wanted them to "two-peat." As someone on The Fan said, "Don't we already have a word for that?"
  • There was some type of extravaganza on the courthouse square in Decatur on Saturday afternoon. Unless it was a glacier themed water park, it had to be a beating.
  • Did I see Fox 4 say the actual highs for Saturday as 111 for Wichita Falls and 114 for Vernon?
  • On a sleepy, late Saturday night, Mrs. LL and I started to watch Inception. Uh, we'll get back to it. 
  • Had the "next Tiger Woods" win the U.S. Open this weekend. I have a question: Why does the NBC logo and the Golf Channel logo appear on top of one another in the corner of the screen?
  • Still not exactly sure what happened on Friday to cause the The New Teenager In The House to get her phone taken away for a week, but Mrs. LL seemed to be more traumatized about it than her. 
  • P.F. Changs yesterday. Thoughts: (1) Not bad, (2) Oddest comment by waitress when someone in our party indicated that they hadn't been there before: "We're not Panda Express", and (3) Do some people roll out of bed and go to a restaurant? 
  • A line of thunderstorms was going through Jack County as I type this line at 8:05 a.m. 
  • Tuned into catch the last minute of the Miss USA contest  last night. Here's your winner, Miss California. Just okay. (Did you know Miss Texas won that pageant five times in a row in the 1980s?)
  • Gov. Perry sure did sound like he was running for President over the weekend as he gave a speech in Louisiana. And he harped on new (but largely meaningless) legislation  which was perfect to jazz the right wing crowd: Voter ID and Tort Reform. If you thought he wanted the new laws only for a presidential campaign, you were right.
  • And if he's the savior for the Republicans, they got big trouble. 




6.19.2011

They Still Have Raves?

The Story (Edit: It now identifies the dead man as a 19 year old out of Argyle. This Facebook page bears the same name and lists him as studying at College Station)
:

Rumors of multiple deaths at the event were greatly exaggerated on Twitter, however:

Pics I could find from last night. Edit: the Observer has a wacky slide show up.