Thursday, December 27, 2007

Poteet police parade

Down in Poteet, the police held a little parade for about an hour on the night of December 26. The parade might have gone on longer, but somebody stopped it.

Actually it was a police chase. Check the KSAT video here to see the crazy pursuit in this town of just over 3,000 people and how police couldn't stop the chase but an ordinary citizen could.

To be fair to the police, it's probably against some kind of policy for them to take the action the citizen did, but still, it's pretty funny that they chased that guy around and around little ol' Poteet until Peter Douglas decided to put a stop to it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Sorry, I've been very busy with the holidays. So I just have time to wish you all a merry Christmas, one that I hope is not too strange. Unless, of course, that's the way you like it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Mother's Ashes Stolen From Parking Lot"

If you ever think about stopping to eat steaks in New Braunfels, and you have a family member's ashes in the car, you might want to consider bringing them with you into the restaurant.

From KSAT-12:

David Taylor's mother, Marguerite, passed away on Dec. 11, at the age of 86 and was cremated in preparation of a ceremony Wednesday evening.

But those plans changed as the family stopped for dinner.

While inside Ryan's Steakhouse, somebody picked the lock of the automobile where the ashes of Taylor's mother were in an urn on the floorboard and stole only the urn.

Without being too flippant, I wonder if that was a really nice urn. It just goes to show, people should hide their valuables when they leave them in the car.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Strange in Corpus Christi

Two-and-a-half hours or so down IH-37, where the highway meets the bay, the city of Corpus Christi resides. And there, in that coastal town, lives a woman who once had over two hundred dogs in her house!

(WOAI reports!)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - Animal control officers removed 237 dogs from the home of a 70-year-old woman who said she had been breeding the animals, officials said.

Kelli Copeland, manager of the city's Animal Care Services department, said it took about six hours Tuesday to gather up all the dogs, which were taken to a city kennel.

Most of the dogs were Pomeranians, but there were also Yorkshire terriers, two standard poodles and several other breeds. Copeland said they appeared to be suffering from the close quarters.

"They had plenty of food and plenty of water but were not living in healthy conditions," Copeland said. "Many were covered in feces and urine. I think she slowly accumulated them to where they were more than she could handle."


Egad, that's a lot of dogs!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Council To Consider Bow Ban In City Parks"

Is this really necessary? (from KSAT-12)

SAN ANTONIO -- Bow and arrows would be banned in San Antonio city parks under a proposal City Council is expected to consider in 2008.

Cross bows and compound bows would also be included in the ban.

The proposal comes on the heels of the arrests of three suspected poachers who were arrested at McAllister Park earlier this month.


Isn't poaching already illegal? If these guys are willing to break hunting laws, what makes our leaders think they will follow "no bow" laws.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Woman Mistakenly Declared Dead By EMS"

Oops. (from KSAT-12)

Erica Smith, 23, was driving on Loop 410 with two passengers when the vehicle driven by 28-year-old Jenny Ybarra was driving the wrong way and collided with Smith's vehicle near Loop 410 South and Rigsby Road, police said.

Ybarra was legally intoxicated, police said.

When emergency personnel and police responded to the scene of the crash, a yellow sheet was draped over Smith, a normal practice by EMS at the scene of a fatality.

But when the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office responded to claim the body, investigators found Smith to still be alive.


Smith is still in critical condition. The actions of the EMS personnel are under review.

UPDATE: Smith has died. (KSAT-12)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Seymour Perkins visited again

Dave from Silver Creek 78250 decided to go see for himself the place that's been in the news lately, Seymour Perkins's residence. Dave observes, with nice imagery: "The freakishness of this man's yard is that it hits you like a carnival that has sprung up in an HEB parking lot between the time you first went in to grab some samples and the time you waddle out to the car."

He has pictures, too.

People who should be more observant

When attempting to commit a crime, you should probably check to make sure there are no cops around.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- Three men suspected of stealing beer from a convenience store were arrested Thursday morning after they crashed a vehicle into a police cruiser.

Police said the trio walked into an EZ Mart in the 10000 block of Dover Ridge at 3 a.m. and took three 18-packs of beer and four cases of iced tea.

As they tried to make their getaway, the driver crashed the car into a police cruiser, police said.


They tried to get beer free and now they're paying ---- wait a minute, they tried to steal tea, too? Four cases of it?

That really is strange.

Car crashes into house

More car carnage, this time in the 14000 block of Moss Farm.

KENS-5 video

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Casting blame

A young mother, in a moment of frustration, kills her child because she won't stop crying. It's a sad story that's repeated too often to really seem strange [see UPDATE below], but what makes this situation different is how much blame is being heaped on "the system."

WOAI reports:

Police arrested Tomika Cantu on the East Side Tuesday after they found her 4-year-old daughter Mikala dead inside an apartment.

Family members told News 4 Cantu was at a breaking point.

"I'm not blaming her for anything. I'm not blaming anybody. I'm blaming the system," said Cantu's sister Anntwanette Hamilton.

...

"I'm blaming the system," Hamilton said. "Yeah it's her fault she had two kids at a young age. But who didn't? Times is hard. Money is tight. You're thinking about how can you pay for things? How can you put gas in your car, how can you get across town. It's hard."

But News 4 found out the system relatives blame for failing Cantu is the same agency which offered the mom counseling sessions and parenting classes for at least 7 months.

Child Protective Service records show the first investigation into Tomika Cantu was in 2005. Workers received complaints about abuse and neglect. An
investigation found no signs of either.

A second call to CPS came in March of 2007. Someone warned that Cantu might harm her son. Cantu voluntarily placed her children with relatives and took parenting classes. She got her children back in August. Workers made follow-up visits in September and October.

So, the system failed her because the system tried to help her? And, it's her fault she had two kids, but it's not her fault for killing one? Why? Because times are hard and money is tight?

Sad.

I don't think I can say much else right now.


UPDATE: See, here's another one (from KSAT-12):

SAN ANTONIO -- A 30-year-old woman was charged with injury to a child late Thursday after police said she smothered her 8-year-old daughter with pillows and tried to choke the girl.

When police arrived at an apartment complex in the 8000 block of Midcrown on the city's Northeast Side at 10:20 p.m., they found the injured child along with some pillows on the floor, police said.

...

Trevino said that the girl called a relative about the attack. The relative then called police. The girl is now staying with relatives and Child Protective Services was notified about the incident.


At least this child survived.

Calm down, people.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Seymour Perkins revisited

Remember Seymour Perkins, the East Side "minister" known for his strange art, hookers' bench, tunnel plans, dangerous house, and paranoid fantasies?

Now Moises Mendoza of the Express-News reports that the city could move to demolish his house.

And Perkins fancies himself something of a city planner, with a grand scheme for San Antonio's economic future.

But with all the trash littering his yard and the drug dealers and prostitutes loitering outside his creaky house at South Hackberry and Nevada streets, his neighbors don't see a man of good intentions.

And neither do the police.

They've been called to his house more than 100 times since the beginning of the year, and Perkins himself is awaiting trial on a drug possession charge.

Now Perkins' world may be coming down around his shoulders.

After being cited for numerous city code violations, his house at 600 S. Hackberry St. was referred to the city's Dangerous Structure Determination Board. It could be ordered demolished at a special hearing today.


And, of course, Mr. Perkins smells a conspiracy.

Perkins says he's lived in the house for at least 20 years, all the while creating plans for a vast underground city that he claims will add $100 billion to San Antonio's economy.

He's even digging a hole with shovels near the house where the construction will start. [This hole is also supposed to be the northern end of a tunnel railroad to Mexico that will lead to a Hispanic takeover. --ed.]

...

Perkins says the police, city code officials and the San Antonio Independent School District are oppressing him and trying to steal his property.


Strange, strange.

ADDED: The Current also presents a view of Perkins.

"Marines Ordered To Move Toy Drive"

This doesn't sound very Christmasy. (from KSAT-12)

SAN ANTONIO -- Marine Staff Sgt. Henry Idar is used to taking orders, but on Sunday he was taken aback when he was asked to move a toy drive booth at a Toys R Us store.

Idar said a security guard at the Forum shopping center on the city's Northeast Side told Idar to move the Toys For Tots toy drive from outside to inside the store.

The move upset Idar, who said the toy drive's success depends on heavy foot traffic outside the store.


No comment from the Forum. I'm sure the mall's officials have a reason for making this request, but, on the surface, it doesn't seem very charitable.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Cop car crashes into house

A police cruiser is the latest vehicle to assault a domicile, but this time the actions appeared justified. Or at least defensible.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- A police cruiser landed inside a house after a suspected drunk driver forced the officer off the road and into a house.

Police said it happened at the corner of Cupples Road and west Emerson Avenue overnight.

They said Luis Morales, 40, was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Although the officer was slightly injured, no one else was hurt -- not even the 87-year-old woman in the house.


Of course, the house is pretty banged up, though.

Humble beginnings

Along Cincinnati Street in San Antonio is an old, unassuming house. There's nothing particularly remarkable about it now.

















But apparently this house used to be the home of the Blue Bonnet Potato Chip Company, once owned by Walter Oertling.


















The Blue Bonnet Potato Chip Company is now called Jell-Craft, and it is a maker of punches, syrups, and mixers. But the company still proudly acknowledges its humble beginnings in San Antonio, and it displays on its Web site a picture of the interior of that house on Cincinnati Street.

















Nice.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"San Antonio company recalls Mexican candy product"

Don't eat dark syrup from little glass barrels. The stuff apparently contains lead.

From the San Antonio Business Journal:

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) says a San Antonio company is voluntarily recalling jars of candy imported from Mexico after testing by the agency found elevated levels of lead that could cause health problems.

According to DSHS, Villa-Mex Imports, Inc. is recalling Barrilito, which is sold in 3.3 ounce glass barrel-shaped jars with white plastic lids.

DSHS officials say the problem is with the product, not with the distributor, Villa-Mex Imports.

DSHS officials say recent laboratory tests show lead levels above the 0.1 parts per million considered to be a potential public health hazard by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Candy samples ranged from 0.101 to 0.132 parts per million of lead.

I don't know what turns the stomach more, the thought of lead in candy or the thought of candy in syrup form sold in little barrels.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"South San ISD to sue West Campus group"

Rains come. A high school campus floods. The school district that runs the campus transfers the students to another high school, then decides it would be cheaper to keep them there than to rebuild the flooded high school. The community protests the closure. A group sues the school district. The school district sues back.

Fun all around, with the latest from the Express-News:

South San Antonio Independent School District trustees voted Monday night to sue Save West Campus, the community group that sued the district last month in an effort to keep officials from closing South San Antonio High School West Campus.

...

Save West Campus' members were unsuccessful last week in obtaining a temporary injunction to halt the closure until the outcome of the trial.

Monday, trustees authorized the district's lawyer to countersue the group to recoup attorneys fees and other costs and to file a motion asking a judge to dismiss the case and individual trustees from it.

School politics. Ain't they neat?

UPDATE: Now with fake blog posts! (from KTSA)

Moments before "Save West Campus" -- a community group organized to fight the closure of the high school -- was to give a scheduled press conference to respond to the South San Independent School District's counter lawsuit against the group, the group's attorney read from a blog post [riddled with bad grammar and spelling] supposedly written by the school district's attorney.

...

David Van Os, the community group's attorney, contacted Mark Anthony Sanchez, the school district's attorney, after the press conference.

"I just about fell out of my chair," Sanchez said. "I was extremely disappointed that Mr. Van Os did not give me the courtesy of a telephone call."

Sanchez said neither he nor anybody associated with his law firm were the authors of the blog.

Van Os later said he didn't think to verify the author of the blog before reading it to the assembled community members and gathered media. [emphases added]


I hope Van Os isn't charging those poor people for his brilliant lawyering.

People who should think a little more

If someone busts into your home, and it might be because of the activities that are practiced inside, you might think twice about calling the cops.

From KSAT-12:

The couple called deputies to their home in the 7100 block of Ridgeport at 2:30 a.m. for a home invasion.

When deputies arrived at the home, they found the front door kicked off its hinges.

During the investigation, deputies found two upstairs bedrooms had been converted into a marijuana factory, complete with lamps and redirected duct work, deputies said.

"It's anywhere between 20 to 25 plants, and they're in the infant stages," Sgt. K. Vann of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said.

The couple, believed to be in their mid-20s to early 30s, were arrested on narcotics violations. They may also face felony charges due to the weight of the plants.

It probably would have been cheaper to replace the door.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Selling kittens

There are too many cats in San Antonio.

From WOAI:

There is a cat sale on the north side, the Animal Defense League is now offering a two for one special.

The kennels at the shelter are crammed with cats and more kittens continue to be dumped on their door steps.

"We've reached a point where unfortunately we're just plain out of room. We have cats stuffed in areas where normally dogs are," said Animal Defense League Executive Director, Ron Aaron.


With this many cats, shouldn't they be giving them away? I wonder if we can expect to see more of this when the city's shelters go "no-kill" in 2012.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Getting stuck with a loser

Poor Poteet. They have a sex offender for a mayor, and they can't get rid of him. And Ken Rodriguez, columnist for the Express-News, minces no words.

Poteet stumbles into December, red-faced and hung over with shame.

The city not only has a registered sex offender as mayor, residents must admit they re-elected Lino Donato when he was under indictment for child indecency.

What was that vote again?

Oh yeah, 62 percent for Donato, 29 percent for the nearest challenger.

...

The DA could have made resignation part of the deal. He didn't. So Donato stayed, and turned Poteet into Strawberry Hell.

As it stands, the mayor can hardly walk through town without violating terms of his probation. City Hall is off-limits. So are schools, bars, playgrounds, swimming pools and the town youth center. Donato can't even attend the annual Strawberry Festival.

As a sex offender, he can't go near gathering places for children. He's barred from establishments that sell alcohol. But by golly, he gets to call himself "mayor."

Again, poor Poteet.

Seriously, though, can't the residents of that town force a recall of this guy before the next election in 2009? That's a long time to have a loser who doesn't know when to call it quits as the leader of your city.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hot pepper!

Chris Marrou of KENS-5 takes a bite of the hottest pepper on earth. Kinda dorky, but still good for a laugh.

Best line:
"It's real snot, too!"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Really, really wanting it to be Chupacabra!

Remember Phylis Canion, the woman who was sorely disappointed because her chupacabra head turned out to have come from a coyote's body? Well, she's not satisfied.

From KENS-5:

Despite DNA testing by Texas State University that indicated it was a coyote, the beast's identity is still in doubt to rancher Phylis Canion.

Canion is back to poking and prodding her prize possession, digging up more muscle tissue.

Ever since the DNA testing, Canion says scientists from across the nation have been hounding her for a more accurate match.

They want another sample taken from the animal that had haunted her ranch, and this time, the experts want a back molar.

So the South Texas rancher is playing amateur dentist and extracting the tooth from the beast's mouth to be sent to the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

"We could be looking at something new. Some sub-species within a species. And that's what I'd really like to find out," Canion said.

...

The DNA results from the veterinary school are due in December and Canion can't wait for the results to see what had been lurking at her ranch.


Oh, she wants it to be a chupacabra----sooooo bad.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Heat from Stove Catches House on Fire"

This is odd.

From WOAI:

The fire started at a home on Pleasanton Road on the city's South side. Four young boys narrowly escape a fire in their home Saturday morning.

...

Investigators say it started when the four boys were using the stove to stay warm. Heat from the stove started a fire which prompted the boys to run next door.


That's gotta be an extraordinarily hot stove. In fact, I'm skeptical that mere heat put out by the stove actually caused the home to go up in flames. There must have been something else involved -- a fuel source that caught fire, an electrical short, something.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Car crashes into house

Happy Thanksgiving!

And here's your latest installment for vehicular houseslaughter (from WOAI):

Investigators say three teenagers in a mini van lost control while driving on Dexter St. near Cupples Rd. around 9 Thursday night. That van went across the residential home's lawn before hitting the front of the house.

The homeowner was watching television inside at the time, but wasn't hurt.


I bet she was surprised, though.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

San Antonio is number two twice

The Alamo City has the distinction of reaching number two on two different lists. The first one I am dubious about:

"San Antonio Ranked 2nd in Texas Hate Crimes" (from WOAI)

More and more people are becoming victims of hate crimes according to an FBI report released Tuesday.

...

The FBI has San Antonio ranked second in the state for the most hate crimes in 2006. That's nine more hate crimes in San Antonio in 2006, than in 2005.

FBI stats site is here.


The second one I can definitely believe:

"S.A. allergies among nation's worst" (from the Express-News)
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has ranked Austin and San Antonio as the worst and second-worst cities in the nation, respectively, for fall allergy sufferers. Oklahoma City, Lakeland, Fla., and Orlando, Fla., round out the top 5.
Stupid ragweed, cedar pollen, oak pollen, etc.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

But, is it ocean-front property?

Watch out who you give money to. The sell may be hard, the offer may sound nice, but -- just think about it.

From KENS-5:

A former Lackland Air Force Base medic is selling the moon by the acre, and some folks in San Antonio have decided to buy a piece of the rock.

About 50 San Antonians own lunar property. You can buy an acre for $19.99, plus tax.

... In 1980, Dennis Hope was looking for a way to get some money when he had an epiphany.

"I looked out the window at 2:30 in the afternoon while I was doing this thought process, and I saw the moon and I thought, 'There's a lot of property,'" said Hope.

It seemed like lunacy until he researched the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. It was signed by the United Nations, the United States, and the former Soviet Union.

The treaty prevents any sovereign nation from claiming ownership of any galactic property, but states nothing about an individual or company.

"So, I wrote a declaration of ownership for the moon of earth and the other eight planets and their moons and sent it to the UN, the U.S., and the Russians, along with a note stating if they had a legal problem with what I did to let me know and I wouldn't sell the property. And I've never heard from them on that note," said Hope.

Hope is "absolutely" positive that he owns the moon and the eight planets, and there's nothing one can do about making the same claim. [emphases added]

Well, he might want to check with R.G. Griffing, first.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Katrina evacuees may be struggling after funding runs out"

Did you know there are at least a couple thousand people displaced by Hurricane Katrina two years ago that are still in San Antonio and living off the taxpayers?

I didn't, until KENS-TV informed me.

San Antonio is facing the possibility of a huge increase in the number of homeless people on the streets.

An estimated 800 families — all Hurricane Katrina evacuees — are still on assistance here. Now that funding is running out fast, and some are worried they'll have no roof over their head.

...

"There are some clients who are living in apartment complexes where they won't accept the HUD, so those clients have to find a new living place," said Josee Battle, director of evacuee services for Catholic Charities.

The charity is one of only three agencies in San Antonio still providing help to Katrina evacuees. About 800 households still need assistance, and in March, that funding will end.

"I think that we're going to have a lot of clients that will be homeless, which is a sad reality," Battle said.

Potentially, that could mean an additional 2,000 to 3,000 people living on the streets of San Antonio.


I knew there were a lot of evacuees still living in town, but I didn't realize so many had not made the transition to independent living.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"After Crash, Man Tries to Switch Spots with Unconscious Passenger"

Wow.

(WOAI)

A man was driving too fast, when he lost control, and crashed into a drainage ditch. He was trying to exit on General Mcmullen at Highway 90.

But then, after the wreck, witnesses say the man tried to switch places with an unconscious woman in the passenger seat.


Guess what? He was drunk.

Wow.

Saving the deer to their ruin

As KSAT-12 reports, Hollywood Park has a deer problem.

It seems that some residents of this San Antonio suburb like to keep the deer around. But deer overpopulation can cause its own problems, not least of which is an actual danger to people.

In years past, city officials tried netting the deer, and while the city chose a more humane method this year, some residents said they are still angry.

Some said they don't want the deer in their back yards; others said they want them left alone.

"They had to remove some. They had to because we'd be elbow to elbow with deer if they hadn't," said Hollywood Park Human Society president Cherie Emick.

Emick has long fought to keep the deer, but now she said she realizes too many could be dangerous for drivers.


But, of course, there's resistance.

[Police Lt. Joe] Quintero said trappers tranquilize at night because residents against deer removal don't interfere with them, and he said it's safer.

"At night, there's less traffic and less chance of the animal and any of the citizens getting hurt," he said.

Officials have to work at night because there's less interference from the deer lovers, interference with their official duties. I know none of the deer lovers will actually listen to me, but their intentions (good or otherwise) could actually kill some of the deer they're trying to save, and it could result in loss of human life. I don't see why they can't agree on a reasonable reduction of the population.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Leaving the neighbors in the dark for the sake of pot

If you live in an apartment and you notice there have been a lot of unexplained power surges and losses, you just might have a pot-grower for a neighbor.

KENS-5 explains [emphases added]:

Police have arrested one person after power surges at a North Central San Antonio apartment complex sparked suspicion. Officers say the person was using all the electricity, possibly to grow marijuana.

Investigators said maintenance workers at the Ashley Oaks Apartments, in the 16400 block of Henderson Pass, called police after residents had been complaining of power problems.

On Wednesday, undercover narcotics officers pulled the plug on the operation.

"They used electrical cords to rig up, and possibly to grow, where they're growing marijuana plants. Unfortunately, this guy's not an electrician," said an undercover officer, whose identity KENS 5 is protecting.


That dude must have had quite a setup. Although I'm not sure why the officer would say "possibly to grow". Were there no plants in the ground? He was using "all the electricity", after all, so he must have been doing something. A search warrant has been issued, though, and I wonder what they will find.

"Registered Sex Offender Mayor Says He Can Still Run Town"

I must admit, it was the headline of this WOAI article that caught my eye.

A mayor is now a registered sex offender, but says he can still run his town.

The mayor of Poteet, Lino Donato, pleaded guilty to exposing himself and touching underage girls. He said planned to resign. Now, he's changed his mind.

He may indeed be able to run the town, but I wonder how many of his constituents want him to.

Monday, November 05, 2007

"Man Blown Off Sailboat"

A man was blown off his homemade sailboat and ended up in the drink at Woodlawn Lake, as WOAI reports:

"I wasn't worried about it. It happened real slow. When the boat went sideways, I knew it was going to flip over," said Gorge Gonzalez, the man involved in the accident.

Gonzalez was wearing a lifejacket.

He managed to swim with the boat to the lighthouse where firefighters rescued him.

That must have been a dinky sailboat.

Anyway, what's strange is that this guy seemed to need a lifejacket. And seemed to need to swim and be rescued. I remember they drained that little lake recently to dredge it. At the time, I thought that it looked very shallow, and that someone might be able to stand upright in it and actually be fine. And, looking at these pictures, I seem to remember it correctly.

And here's a couple of pictures with the lighthouse that the man took refuge on in the background.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

"Residents Upset With Adult Club"

Councilwoman Diane Cibrian has inspired others.

From KSAT-12:

On Friday night, defenders said they went undercover to expose flaws in the laws. They said they went to West Avenue's Club Babylon, billed as a bikini dance club.

The club is a "Bring Your Own Beverage" and not licensed as a sexually oriented business, so certain body parts must stay covered.

But on hidden camera, KSAT said it found topless dancers, which is a violation of city code.

...

The manager said that when it happens the girls are punished.

"They have done it before. We send them home," Club Babylon manager Manuel Alvarado said. [Sounds reasonable. --ed.] "We follow Texas rules -- Texas laws."

The city has already shut the club down once for illegal nudity, city officials said.
"We did do an investigation, and we did find out that they were operating, indeed, as a sexually oriented business," said Rod Sanchez, the Director [o]f Development Services.

...

Perhaps most shocking is that with no liquor license and no sexually oriented business license, that kind of club can open almost anywhere.

"As long as those body parts are covered, they are technically not a sexually oriented business," Sanchez said. [Free speech, freedom of expression, and all that. --ed.]

The club is open 24 hours a day.

Because the city can't possibly make sure the proper body parts are covered all the time, neighbors of Club Babylon would simply like clubs like this to be classified as sexually oriented businesses, which would require a change in the definition and a vote by the city council.


Sure, just change the code to make them instant criminals. I'm sure they'd get a lot of support from Cibrian.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Chupacabra!

Revealed!

KENS-5 had DNA tests done on that chupacabra head Phylis Canion from Cuero kept in her freezer after killing the creature. And now, the true identity of the creature is known! It is---

---a mangy coyote.

And Phylis doesn't seem happy.

(Link to come later.)

UPDATE: The link is here. Watch it for a good dose of entertainment.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Strip Club Loses Legal Battle"

An update on the Boobie Rock controversy from KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A district judge on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction against a businessman who was hoping to open a strip club on the city's Northwest Side.

District Judge Andy Mireles took about 30 minutes before deciding that Boobie Rock will not be allowed to open -- at least for the moment -- off Interstate 10 and Huebner Road.

A jury will ultimately decide whether the club will open when it goes to trial Jan. 7, 2008.


This doesn't sound good for Boobie Rock. Or for any other business trying to open in this city when a sitting councilperson takes a disliking to the nature of the business.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Man In Dress Ties Self To Bench"

KSAT-12 reports on an incident.

And all I can say is, huh?

SAN ANTONIO -- Sheriff's deputies said a man wearing a woman's dress tied himself to a bench on Sunday morning to see if he could withstand the humiliation.

Deputies said they found the man in a West Bexar County neighborhood, 13200 Solar Crest, and asked him how he got tied to the bench.

The man told them he was conducting a, "scientific experiment in humiliation."

When they asked him if he was humiliated, the man said he wasn't.


But, he should probably repeat the experiment, just to be sure. After all, this is science.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A burning pile of mulch, revisited

Remember the Helotes mulch fire that burned for three months? Now, it's being used to stabilize Helotes Creek.

From Anton Caputo of the Express-News:

Crews of Henry Zumwalt, who owns what remains of the now-famous pile, have been spreading some of the remaining debris on the banks of Helotes Creek. This has caused several residents to worry that the material could wash into the creek and pollute the Edwards Aquifer below.

Bexar County and state environmental officials have visited the site and will meet Monday to discus the situation, Bexar County Engineer Renee Green said.

Crews were apparently using the debris to stabilize roughly 200 feet of eroded creek bank and planned to seed the area when done, said Henry Karnei of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. He said the debris smells smoky but that it looked like mostly dirt and rock.

One sticking point: Zumwalt's crews are conducting the work without the required permit to operate in a flood plain, said Green, who didn't know how she would address the situation.

“Usually the remedy of the flood plain violation is to put it back the way it was, but that may not be in the best interest of the creek,” she said.

Just like last time, no one in authority seems to know how to adequately deal with the situation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More cat killings

These days, it doesn't seem safe to be a feline in San Antonio.

Both from News 4 WOAI:

"Cat Killings Plague San Antonio, 9 Confirmed Mutilated"

"Police Say Lackland Airman Threw Kitten Off Of Bridge"


And a picture is worth a thousand words (from the second story).


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

People who should probably think a little more

If you're going to go around smoking in a car with a toddler aboard, and it might appear that you are smoking drugs of some kind or another, it might be a good idea to not make a video of your actions.

And, it would probably be a better idea to not post that video online.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- Seguin police on Tuesday said they have identified three males, a female and an infant shown in a disturbing video that aired on the Web site, MySpace.com.

The video, which has since been pulled from the Web site, showed the trio of young men possibly smoking drugs while driving around in a vehicle.

...

"We got three calls with names of people in the vehicle," said Lt. Mike Watts of the Seguin Police Department.

Watts said that detectives are getting ready to locate the individuals, who names are not being released, and bring them in to police headquarters for questioning.

...

One of the videos showed the males smoking what appeared to be a blunt and a cigarette, with the infant unbuckled in the back seat.

A second video showed the toddler dancing and using profanity after being prompted by a female off-camera. [emphasis added]


Oh, and don't forget to buckle up.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Traffic Stop Leads to Murder Investigation"

Sometimes, you just never know what you will find when you pull a car over.

From WOAI-TV:

Police officers pulled over a speeding car on Loop 410 between Babcock and Callaghan and made a gruesome discovery inside. One of the passengers was dead.

It all started at a party at an apartment complex on the Northwest side. Police say there was a fight, and that's when 21 year old George Victor Estrada, Jr. was stabbed several times in the upper chest and back.

"What we're gathering from the witnesses is after the assault took place they put him beside the car and they tried to take him to the hospital and that's when they were subsequently pulled over," said Joe Rios. "When they were pulled over, they told the officer he was dead already."


One wonders, why were they speeding, then?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Killing over soup

A man has been found guilty of manslaughter, because he killed a man.

Over soup.

The Express-News has the story.

Jurors took about 45 minutes Thursday to declare Miguel Angel Ruiz guilty of manslaughter for shooting a man in an altercation stemming from criticism of his fish soup.

Ruiz had told police he grew tired of the mocking by Jesus Guerrero, 45, who also made much of Ruiz's 4-foot-6 stature.

Neighbors and friends referred to Ruiz, 44, as "Shorte," a Spanish adaptation of shorty, but Guerrero mockingly called him "Enano," or dwarf.

The harassment had been habitual for years, Ruiz said, and when it started up that night, April 28, 2006, after he'd brought over the soup to the home of a mutual acquaintance, he told Guerrero in vain to leave him alone.

So he went to his nearby house and retrieved a gun, came back and showed it to Guerrero. Guerrero, he said, told him he couldn't shoot him.

That's when Ruiz fired the gun.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Who holds back the electric car?

Nobody in San Antonio! At least, not anymore.


KSAT-12 reports on a new dealership in the Alamo City:

SAN ANTONIO -- The first automotive dealership that features all-electric vehicles will open in San Antonio on Thursday.

ZAP Electric Cars, located at Loop 1604 and Stoneoak Parkway, will offer the Zebra, a three-wheel four-door compact car. There is also a two-seat pickup available.

...

The vehicles, which start selling at $11,000, can reach a maximum of 40 mph and are not intended for highway use. No air conditioning is available. [emphasis added]


Here's a screen capture from the story. Ain't they cute?















P.S.: The post title is a reference to "Homer the Great".

Car crashes into school

A man suspected of being drunk drove his minivan into the side of a building at South San High School, and he may have injured his own son.

From KSAT-12:

Three students were hospitalized, two of whom were in critical condition on Wednesday night, authorities said. Their exact condition is unknown.

A fourth student was treated and released at the scene.

One of the injured is believed to be the driver's son.

"Prior to hitting the wall (he) actually struck one of the pedestrians in the parking lot," Sgt. Gabe Trevino said. "That pedestrian we believe was the actual son of the driver of the truck."


Wow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Restraining Order Delays Strip Club"

Councilwoman Diane Cibrian has succeeded in temporarily blocking the opening of Boobie Rock.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A temporary restraining order was filed Tuesday against Boobie Rock, halting the gentleman's club from opening as scheduled on the city's Northwest Side.

Property owners of EOS Acquisitions, a neighboring business to the proposed site for Boobie Rock, filed the restrictive order in light of a covenant for the property that states it cannot be used for adult entertainment.

...

District 8 Councilwoman Diane Cibrian, who began crusading against the nearly nude bar, said the deed restriction is key to halting Boobie Rock since city zoning still allows the business to operate in the area.

...

Cibrian said more strip clubs in the area could increase crime and added San Antonio police have been called to Sugar's strip club 135 times this year. Cibrian pointed out that the owners of Sugar's are trying to open Boobie Rock.


I wonder how many times police have been called out to the apartment complex nearby that she is trying to save from the really bad influence of the strip club?

Oh, and Cibrian herself is really starting to sound, well, strange. Check out Joe Pagliarulo to find out how she sounded when he tried to interview her about this issue on his show. He recaps:

Finally admitting what I was asking her on Friday, San Antonio city councilwoman Diane Cibrian has now gotten a restraining order against the owners of what would be the "Boobie Rock" strip club. Cibrian told me on my show Friday that the reason she was against the club couldn't be put "in a box." She continued to avoid my questions as to whether she had a problem with the name or the type of business. Today, she has admitted that's exactly what the problem is for her. A press release from the city councilwoman's office says:

"A judge has ordered that the defendants, Boobie Rock Partners, shall cease all improvements, changes, and/or alterations on the exterior of the premises. In addition, an amendment to the original covenants was found that restricts the use of this property to an establishment with any prurient context, meaning sexual in nature."

So, the answer to my question -- 'are you against it because of the name or the type of business?' -- is a resounding 'YES!' Too bad it took four full days to get that answer. [emphasis in original]


Also read his previous entry dated Saturday, October 13. Cibrian annoyed Joe Pags so much in an interview with her that he has sworn to oppose her when she runs for re-election:

In the course of the discussion the councilwoman said something to the effect of "well joe, if you support these kinds of businesses and if you want to support strip clubs coming into neighborhoods, that's up to you." That really set me off. What a rude, disgusting political trick to try to discredit me and my thoughts -- on my very radio show. That's when I told her what I thought of this move.

I let her know how rude I thought she was. I asked her how she dared to say such disgusting things especially after knowing what I said earlier about how I don't support these kinds of establishments but, I do support capitalism and their right to exist. I went on to tell her that if she decides to run for re-election, I'd be a loud voice opposing her.

I've received a ton of phone calls and many emails since -- the vast majority agreeing that the councilwoman's tactics were -- well -- tacky and rude. Even those dead set against this business coming to that part of the I-10 frontage were taken aback by the councilwoman's lack of decorum in our discussion.


Just par for the course for San Antonio politics -- enough strangeness to go around.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

""Boobie Rock" Controversy: Councilwoman Asks State to Deny License"

I haven't touched on this story, yet (here's the latest from News 4 WOAI), but it seems to be growing legs. On the surface, it's a pretty standard story: a councilwoman opposes a new strip club in her district (although there's another huge one just a mile or so down the road), and, even though the owners seem to be following all codes and regulations, she's trying to strong-arm them into not opening up. That's not so strange in and of itself, but I thought the proposed name for the club is a bit interesting: Boobie Rock.

The owner says the name comes from a place in the U.S. Virgin Islands that, I assume, is named after this booby, since the name of the island is actually Booby Rock, not Boobie Rock. And, looking at this list, it appears to be a pretty common name in the Caribbean. There are simlarly-named places in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, as well as Turks and Caicos.

So, when councilwoman Diane Cibrian says "We will not be fooled by the owner-operator, when he tells us that the Boobie Rock is an island in the virgin islands," apparently she already has. Either that, or she has no appreciation for double entendre.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Fraud Charge Ousts Peanut Princess"

Down in Floresville, a criminal bent has dashed the hopes of a Peanut Princess.

KSAT-12 has the story.

FLORESVILLE -- A teen girl nominated to be the next peanut queen of a Floresville festival has been denied her crown due to a charge of fraud.

Authorities charged Sarah Elizabeth Reed, 17, with credit card [fraud] in early September after they said she spent more than $20,000 on one of her employer's credit cards.

Her case is scheduled to go before a jury in November.

Reed has been expelled from Floresville High School, which disqualified her from being a member of the festival's royal court.

But, there are three other princesses. The coronation will still be held.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Car crashes into house, business

It's been a while since this has happened, but, this being San Antonio, it was bound to happen soon.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A suspected drunken driver who was driving a company vehicle crashed into two buildings early Tuesday on the city's South Side.

Police said that a man in his 20s was speeding through some railroad tracks when he lost control of a pickup truck at 2:30 a.m. at South Presa and Panama.

The vehicle crashed through a back yard fence and took out part of a dining room at a home, police said.

No one in the home was injured, police said.

The vehicle then crashed through two more fences across the street and slammed into a silk screen printing business, police said. [emphases added]


Wow. He must have been going pretty fast.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Coming ...

... soon.

















Just what's coming, though, I'm not sure.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Coyote attacks

Hollywood Park has gotten rid of its attack owl, and now the town has coyotes to worry about.

From the North Central News:

Though an owl in Hollywood Park has been neutralized and is no longer a menace to pedestrians and joggers, a pair of adolescent coyotes has filled the owl’s void to become the newest neighborhood nuisance.

At 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26, Hollywood Park Police Lt. J. Quintero received a call from Candy Karlson; a resident in The Enclave who let her 5-pound Maltese outside while she prepared her dog’s breakfast, then heard her dog’s cries just seconds later.

“She [the dog] was screaming in the front yard,” Karlson said. “I could see two coyotes in the front yard, and they had dropped her. Then when they saw me, they took off running.”

Karlson’s 8-year-old dog underwent 48 hours of emergency surgery to repair two dislocated scapulas, broken ribs and a punctured lung. At press time, Karlson said it looked like her pet would live, but her veterinarian said the dog may not ever regain control of her hind legs.

At 7 a.m., shortly after Karlson saw the destructive duo leave her home, a Hollywood Park police officer saw the two trotting down Fleetwood Street. One of the coyotes had a cat in its mouth.

“They looked like young coyotes,” Quintero said, “and they were playing with the cat, not really eating it.”

Actually, coyotes aren't that strange along the outskirts of San Antonio. There have been several times when I've seen them scurrying along the roads at night. What I do find a bit odd is that someone spent 48 hours doing surgery on a five-pound dog! That's two whole days of surgery! I don't really want to sound insensitive, but are there even human procedures that take that long?

That's strange.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Strange in 78250: Hood ornament?"

Dave at Silver Creek 78250 captures a creative -- but obviously quick -- automobile modification. It's for those times when opening the hood would take too much time.

"Computer Nerdz issues warning to customers"

Beware of people posing as computer nerds, especially if they don't spell it with a Z.

From KENS-5:

"I've been scammed," Bernadette Moeller said. "This guy has my computer, he has my check; he has all the information in my computer."

Last month, Moeller called information for a phone number to Computer Nerdz on Blanco Road.

The number she called turned out not to be for the business she wanted, but to a guy who investigators say is stealing computers.

Moeller managed to trace the phone number to a residence on the city's Northeast Side. The woman at the door claims to know nothing about Computer Nerds with an S.

"We're shocked and surprised," said Lee Robin with Computer Nerdz.

...

"We are very disappointed that it has been allowed to continue," Robin said. "We've spoken with our lawyers and filed some legal action, and he's ignored that and continued to go out and take advantage of the public."


Don't hand your computer over to any old nerd. Make him show you his Z.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

"‘Unstable’ Hollywood Park owl attacks four people"

A commenter points me to the North Central News for more owl attacks in Hollywood Park. (previous post here)

Hollywood Park Police Lt. J. Quintero said his department has permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department to “neutralize” an owl that has attacked four people, sending one to the hospital.

The four victims were all attacked by an owl while walking late at night or in the early morning, either in the 500 block of Rue de Matta Street or at the Voight Center. An urban biologist says the owl is unstable and may have been raised domestically, then set free.

Beware La Lechuza! Especially when it is "unstable". And don't forget to follow the mayor's advice.
“If you walk late at night or early in the morning,” said Hollywood Park Mayor Richard McIlveen, “wear your hard hat.”

And duck a lot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Two Women Found Dead Believed To Be Mother and Daughter"

A strange crime has taken place.

From News 4 WOAI:

Two women, possibly a mother and daugther, were found dead early Wednesday morning.

About 5 a.m., a security guard called police to report he'd found the body of woman inside a white car in the 100 block of Stribling, just south of Downtown. When police arrived, they found a woman who had apparently been beaten to death inside the car.

Police traced the car back to a woman living in 500 block of Senisa, on the Northwest Side. When officers went to the home, they found another woman dead inside.

The police believe the other woman is the mother of the one found in the car. They are treating this as a double murder, and they are looking for two people who "may have valuable information" about the case.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"Man Accused of Posing as a Priest - Again"

In God we trust. All others pay cash.

From WOAI-TV:

Fred Perry remembers the day they walked into his store. A man and a woman looking for a deal on some of Perry's best pieces of furniture.

"He was dressed as a priest with a collar on," Perry said. "The lady kept calling him, 'The father, the father this, the father that.'"

Perry says the man dressed as a priest was George Persyn. He left with a cherrywood desk and other items and the promise he would pay for the furniture within 30 days. After two months and no sign of the money, Perry got worried and tried to track to people down.

"The Archdiocese, a man there told me to call the San Antonio Police Department, that these people were crooks," said Perry.

Perry now believes his customer is the same George Persyn who was the subject of a lengthy Trouble Shooters investigation four years ago.

"I never represented myself as a Roman Catholic Priest," said Persyn, who talked to News 4 WOAI back in 2003.


Notice he said he never posed as a Roman Catholic priest. Keep in mind that Anglicans and Episcopalians have priests, too.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Strange in 78250: Backwards Driving..."

Have you ever had problems keeping your car going straight while driving in reverse? Well, imagine doing that while being towed by a truck!

Silver Creek 78250 has the story, with pictures.

"Homeless men steal truck last night"

Don't argue with homeless people. If you do, don't get out of your truck to fight them.

From KENS-5:

A man is recovering in the hospital after losing his truck during a scuffle with a group of homeless men late Saturday night.

There was an exchange of words between the man driving a pickup and a group of homeless men on the corner of West Avenue and Interstate 10, according to police.

Then, the driver of the truck got out of his vehicle and started fighting one of those homeless men.

While the two were fighting, the other individuals hopped into the truck and sped away.


The driver got a broken ankle out of the deal. And his truck is missing.

Friday, September 21, 2007

"Clogged manhole causes raw sewage to flood home"

This is too bad (from the North Central News).

“I came in to have coffee,” said Beth Player, whose husband’s parents’ home in the 13400 block of George Road was flooded with sewage on Sept. 7. “My father-in-law was sitting in his den, ankle-deep in it. It was coming up from the floor. The bathtub was like Niagra Falls, it covered the entire house in about 20 minutes.”

Player acted quickly to help her in-laws, 95-year-old David C. Player and his wife Wilma, 97, out of the house. She was able to remove sentimental and valuable items from the home, all the while rushing to beat the seeping mixture of dirty water and sewage. At 8 a.m., Player said she called San Antonio Water System.

And, if it weren't for the vandals and the careless jerks, this probably wouldn't have happened.

Workers found several two-by-fours in a nearby manhole that could have caused the backup. [SAWS spokeswoman Natalie] Tejeda said SAWS believes the debris was from construction activity on NW Military Highway, but said people dump items in manholes that clog lines all over San Antonio.

“We’ve pulled out tree stumps, car doors, engines; it’s amazing what we pull out of manholes,” said SAWS spokesman Greg Flores. “We do have vandalism that affects the buildup, and essentially, we don’t realize we have a problem until it rears its head.”


At least SAWS seems to be performing admirably in this situation. They're doing a lot to help clean up the Players' house, even though the backup seems to be someone else's fault.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Car crashes into house

This time, the car was pushed into the house. By a police car, going fast. And the house caught fire. And the driver ran away.

The Express-News has the story.

The crash occurred before 5 p.m. in the 300 block of Paul Street at the Piedmont Street intersection when the officer, in response to a call of a stabbing on the same street, collided with the driver's side door of a brown Cadillac, [San Antonio Police Department Lt. Scott Bell] said.

When the car hit the house, the front of it caught on fire and in turn ignited the corner of the small frame home, Bell said.

He said the driver of the Cadillac fled the scene, but officers found someone believed to be the driver about an hour later a few blocks away. He was taken into custody, but Bell was unsure if any charges would be filed.

The stabbing call was a false alarm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Homeowner Shocked Over Big Water Bill"

The house I live in is just under 2,000 square feet. My water bill is about $50 a month.

So, check out this guy. (from KSAT-12)

Vikas Bhatnager said he nearly collapsed when he opened his water bill of $868.

"I heard water was expensive in San Antonio, but I thought, wow, that's really expensive."

Bhatnager said the bill is the first he's received since moving into his new 3,800-square-foot home with his wife and 6-year-old daughter.

He said the bill was no mistake and BexarMet found no leaks after inspecting his water system.

"It turns out I used 123,000 gallons of water," Bhatnager said. "I don't know how I could have consumed that water."

Hmm. I also wonder how he could have used that much water.

BexarMet said Bhatnager ran his sprinkler system twice a day, seven days a week, which could have used up to 400 gallons per day. [emphases added]

Yeah, that might be how.

I understand Bhatnager has a new home, and you have to water new sod a lot to get it well established. But still, that's a lot of water. He must have a lot of sod.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Man Slashes Teen With Sword"

Want to get your point across about using drugs? Did you ever think about the point of a sword? This man did (from KSAT-12):

SAN ANTONIO -- A man told officers that he attacked an 18-year-old with a sword in an apartment to try to prevent him from using drugs on Saturday night, police said.

Lydell Galtney, 31, told police that he tried to reason with the teen in the 1200 block of Mulberry Street, but when that didn't work, he slashed him in the throat with a 2-foot long, replica sword.

Officers arrested Galtney at an apartment while the victim was rushed to a hospital.

The 18-year-old man seems to be OK, as the cut was not actually serious, but so far has refused to press charges against his attacker. Maybe he got the point.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Owl attacks

If you're in Hollywood Park, a suburb on the north side of San Antonio, watch out. There seems to be an attack owl on the loose.

From WOAI-TV:

“I thought it was a prank, or something was after me, the invisible man or something, I don't know,” said John Patterson, the first man attacked by the owl.

Now the second man has come forward.

“Then just something...chckck, chckck, chckck,” Ryan Wayment described to News 4 WOAI’s Aubrey Mika.

Ryan Wayment didn't know what had come out of the dark trees...but he was scratched up and bleeding. Then, he got to thinking.

“We sometimes hear 'woo, woo' at night,” said Wayment.


Yeah, that "woo, woo" sound is a dead giveaway.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"NISD Officer Wounds Self"

Odd. I hope this guy gets help.

From KSAT-12:

According to a San Antonio Police Department news release, [Northside Independent School District] Police Officer Patrick Ritchey reported that he was on routine patrol at Lackland City Elementary at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday when he found some fresh graffiti on the wall of the school building.

Ritchey reported that he confronted two people, who attacked the officer and fought over his weapon, police said.

The officer told police that he was shot twice through his bullet-proof vest and the two people got away on foot, police said.

An investigation by the SAPD's Shooting Team revealed that the gunshots were self-inflicted, police said.

No charges against him, yet. But I suspect he will probably get some psychiatric scrutiny.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Police say body found on North Side is that of hit-and-run driver"

KENS 5 has this sad but strange story.

Police say a body found on the North Side is that of a man who was behind the wheel during a hit-and-run accident over Labor Day weekend.

The body of 34-year-old Raul Cordova was found Sunday. The accident happened on Beacon Avenue, a block from where Cordova was found.

Police say it appears Cordova ran from the accident scene, and tried to jump over a wooden fence. Officers say he somehow got caught in the fence and died.

If he had stayed at the scene, he might have gone to jail, or been deported (the story says his body will be sent back to Mexico), but at least he would have been alive. And, how secluded is this fence that a body can hang on it (or nearby it) for almost a week and no one would notice? According to the video, it was the smell that drew the attention of the family that lived on the lot where Cordova was found.

"Residents at North Side apartment want slimy pools cleaned up"

Blech! (from KENS-5)

The people who live in the Amber Square apartments want to know why their pools have been left in a sad state of disrepair.

The residents say one of the pools has a few inches of stagnant water and lots of trash, and the other is dark green and disgusting — and the pools have been like this for weeks.

"It smells bad. There's mosquitoes all over the place. It's moldy and dark green," a resident said in a phone call to KENS 5.

...

The Lynd Company, which manages the apartments, said they plan to turn one of the pools into a playground for children, and they are working on cleaning up the other pool.


A playground for children? An old pool? Besides skaters, who else wants to play in an old pool? I hope they plan on filling it in, at least.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"Man stabbed during flea market brawl"

For God's sake, don't pay attention to her!

From the Express-News:

Bexar County sheriff's deputies are questioning a 15-year-old girl in the stabbing of a man who reportedly was looking at her while she was with her family at the Poteet Flea Market on Sunday.

Deputy L. Lopez, who declined to give his first name, said the man, 23, looked at the girl "wrong."

A large fight ensued, Lopez said, and it involved the girl, her family, the man, and his group of friends. At one point, a witness told deputies, the teenager was on top of the man, fighting. Seconds later he emerged, stabbed in the cheek.

Them girls are tough down there in Poteet. Make sure you don't look at 'em wrong.

Wait a minute, the deputy that mysteriously declined to give his first name is supposedly from Bexar County, yet Poteet is in neighboring Atascosa County. What gives? Don't they have deputies in Atascosa County?

UPDATE: Mystery solved. Dave from Silver Creek 78250 informs me that the real name of the place is "Flea-Mart", but that people refer to it as the "Poteet Flea Market" because it is off Highway 16 on the way to Poteet. The flea market is, however, still in Bexar County.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Protesting on the ground

So far, there are no toll roads in the San Antonio area, but the Texas Department of Transportation (or TxDOT) wants to change that. As can be expected, there is heated opposition to the idea of toll roads in general and TxDOT in particular. A local ostensibly anti-toll group call The San Antonio Toll Party (which I've discussed before), held a press conference and protest on Tuesday, September 4. There, they called for the resignation of all top personnel at TxDOT. They've got several politicians on their side, but they also have the strange ones, too.


Bahram Mark Sobhani of the Express-News captured one of the protesters in rare form at Tuesday's press conference.







See the full image, read more about the protest, and get good views on both sides of the issue by reading the relevant post at Pat Driscoll's blog, Move It!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"Mother and Teenage Son Busted For Selling Drugs From Home"

If the family that plays together stays together, what happens to the family that sells drugs together?

They get arrested together.

From WOAI-TV:

A mother and her teenage son were arrested Tuesday for selling drugs out of their home.

Police are calling it a family affair after they raided the home on Morales on the West Side. They arrested Debbie Perez and her son, 18-year-old Edward Ybarra.

Perez admitted to being a part of the operation. But investigators said their main target was her son, who is a student at Fox Tech High School.

Incredible. The mom's out on bail, and the son's still in jail.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chupacabra nationwide!

The story of Phylis Canion's alleged chupacabra has been picked up by the Associated Press.

Canion and some of her neighbors discovered the 40-pound bodies of three of the animals over four days in July outside her ranch in Cuero, 80 miles southeast of San Antonio. Canion said she saved the head of the one she found so she can get to get to the bottom of its ancestry through DNA testing and then mount it for posterity.
That's cool. Imagine being able to show off your trophy collection like this: "Oh, yes, here's the twelve-point white-tail I told you about. And here's the mule deer I got in Utah. And the black bear, and the pronghorn, and the elk, and -- oh, yeah, here's the chupacabra."


Friday, August 31, 2007

Car crashes into house

But, it did so only because it was rammed by a man who was running from the police.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A man faced multiple charges Friday after he led police on a high-speed chase.

Police said that the man rammed his sport utility vehicle into another vehicle that ended up crashing into a home.

He was caught, and he got pretty beat up in the process. (Video link)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Victim's kin split at hearing for ex-cop in 'Starlight' case"

This case (Express-News source) just keeps getting weirder.

It was strange enough when the transsexual called Gabriel Bernal, a.k.a. "Starlight", accused a San Antonio police officer of raping him late at night. The officer was convicted of the crime a year ago and is now serving time, and that seemed to be the end of the case.

But now, family members of Starlight are casting doubt on his story, and the cop wants a new trial, saying he had been set up.

Dean Gutierrez, 47, a 16-year veteran of the force, had a gallery full of supportive family even while relatives of the victim, 24-year-old Gabriel Bernal, formerly known as "Starlight," were taking turns on the stand to either buttress or cast doubt on the argument by Gutierrez's new defense team that the rape charge was a setup.

...

At issue is the contention by the new defense team members from the Federal Defender's Office that an FBI report and other documents they only recently learned about would have led them to an estranged aunt of Bernal's, Carol Lopez, who would have opened a wider vein of inquiry exposing the setup conspiracy.

...

On Wednesday, Bernal's mother, brother, sister-in-law, uncle, two sisters and an aunt testified — often visibly stressed and offering conflicting and fragmented statements — about whether they had heard Bernal "bragging" about the incident. Prosecutor Bill Baumann characterized the testimony as arising from a "milieu of bitter family discord."

Brother Rocky Bernal testified that he spoke on various occasions with Gabriel Bernal, including after Gutierrez's conviction.

"I said, "And (Gutierrez) is just sitting there (in prison) for no reason?" And he said, 'Yeah,'" Rocky Bernal said.


Weird stuff. I don't know what to think at this point.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chupacabra!

T-shirts!

(From KENS-5)

"They seem to think it's not just a mange coyote," says Cuero resident Phylis Canion. It's been several weeks since Phylis Canion picked up the blue-colored road kill out on Highway 183, the animal she says was taking her cats and draining her chickens of blood.

Locals wonder if she'd captured a creature of folklore: The Chupacabra. "At this point, we just don't know," says Canion.

Now, Canion is capturing something else: International attention.

"These shirts, four of them, are going to Sicily. We have sent shirts to Guam, Iraq, California, Memphis," says Canion. The t-shirts started as a joke among family members.

Now, in sizes including triple-XL, are being shipped as far away as Australia.

Hey, the chupacabra is just crazy enough to be irresistable, even if it is just a mange coyote. Canion's town of Cuero is definitely going chupacabra crazy, and some are even joking about changing the school mascot to a name reminiscent of the cryptid. Who knows, this might be a boon for Cuero, just like the aliens have been for Roswell.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Car crashes into horses

Wow. This probably hurt (from KSAT-12):

SAN ANTONIO -- A sport utility vehicle struck and killed two horses Tuesday night in southwest Bexar County.

The SUV was headed south on Wheeler Road when it hit the horses near Pearsall Road, sheriff's officials said.

The driver was transported to Methodist Hospital with minor injuries.

I'm surprised the driver wasn't hurt worse. Two horses. That's a lot of stopping power.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"'Tribe' sells citizenship for $400"

Are you here in this country illegally? Would you like to get a fast track to U.S. citizenship? Do you think membership in a local Indian tribe will help you?

Think again.

From Anastasia Ustinova of the Express-News:

When pastor Victor Ramirez told Antonio Rodriguez that a tribal membership could help him receive U.S. citizenship, Rodriguez thought the $400 fee was worth the deal.

“I would have much more rights as a U.S. citizen,” said Rodriguez, who hurt his back working at a fruit warehouse in Edinburg and was hoping to receive Medicaid benefits.

But the offer was too good to be true.

Texas officials say thousands of immigrants such as Rodriguez have been scammed by the Kaweah Indian Nation, whose tribal status is not recognized by the federal government.

...

On Monday, Attorney General Greg Abbot filed a lawsuit against the tribe's leader, Malcolm “Grand Chief Thunderbird IV” Webber of Wichita, Kan., pastor Ramirez of Edinburg and Ralph Tipton of San Antonio, who serves as the group's “ambassador” to Texas.

The lawsuit states the three have “grossly exaggerated the legal effect of membership in their so-called tribe.”


Welcome to America, where grifters don't care about your legal status. Besides, Chief Thunderbird? Shouldn't that have raised a few red flags? I guess "The American Classic" is unknown south of the border. Perhaps it's a good thing Malcolm Webber didn't go by Presidente.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Remember: 2

Just a little odd, in an amusing way.

Car crashes into house

Once more. Yet again.

From the Express-News:

Around 4:30 p.m., Ernest Rojas, 56, said he was walking with his teenage son about a block from their home in the 100 block of Southolme when he saw the Mustang go off I-35, over a grassy median and the access road, and into the side of his father-in-law's home.

"I've never seen something like that before," Rojas said, surveying the damage to the property.


I have, just not as it actually happened.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

You can't fight city hall

Well, I guess you can, but sometimes you don't get anywhere. Except maybe into a closet. When there's no one there.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- Police said a man attacked a security guard and forced his way inside city hall Friday night.

During the struggle, 57-year-old Jay Swob took Riojas' gun and aimed it at the security guard, according to police. Police said the clip had luckily fallen from the pistol during the melee, rendering the weapon useless.

...

"Officers searched the building with a K-9 unit and located the male on the second floor inside the city clerk's office inside a closet," said Lt. Matthew Podwika, of the San Antonio police.

Officers said when they got close to the closet Swob began shouting, "The hostages don't have to die" and "Don't make me kill the hostages."

No hostages were found in the empty building and Swob was taken into custody, said police.


The security guard is going to be OK.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Car Explodes, Sets House On Fire"

This is something you probably wouldn't expect to happen at your house (from KSAT-12).

Maria Schweikert said she was in her garage getting ready to leave her home at 9:30 a.m. in the 300 block of Zephyr when she heard an explosion underneath her vehicle.

"The car exploded," Schweikert said.

Thinking her garage was on fire, Schweikert tried to back her car out, but then she realized it was her car that was on fire.

Schweikert ran inside to call for help, but the telephones weren't working, all the while flames were spreading inside her home.

She made it out OK, though her house was burned. Sounds like she was pretty lucky overall.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Advocating a revolution

He may not have won the mayor's race, but R.G. Griffing apparently plans to take power the old-fashioned way -- revolution.

From his Web site:

SAL Calls For Gentle Overthrow Of Government

NonViolent, Of Course?

RG Griffing, Editor/Publisher San Antonio Lightning Newspaper

Are you suckers, rubes and hicks fed up yet?

I am.

* * *

I love the Constitution and I adore America.

But I abhor what is happening to our governance, our ways of life, and I blame YOU for allowing this to happen.

Well, I may have some culpability as well. I admit it.

But no more.

Revolution is healthy, in some instances.


Remember, this is the guy who "sold 'ZonaPair Invisible Underwear' and parcels of land on Mars." So, should we take seriously his call for "NonViolent" revolution? Of Course?

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Man Holds Up Store With Plastic Gun"

If you got tired of your wife, what would you do? Divorce her? Take a vacation by yourself? Get counseling?

This guy decided it would be better to go back to the slammer, so he got himself arrested (from KSAT-12).

SAN ANTONIO -- A robbery suspect told police he would rather go back to jail than go back home to his wife after he held up an Academy store with a fake gun Tuesday on the city's Northwest Side, police said.

Officers arrested 31-year-old Danny Herrera on accusations that he held up the sports store on Northwest Loop 410 with a plastic gun.

According to a police report, Herrera told detectives that he was tired of his wife and he wanted to go back to jail.

Three squares a day, a place to sleep, no rent----and no wife. I guess that works out well for Danny Herrera.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Secret price at the Tower

Psst, if you want to ride to the top of the Tower of the Americas, don't forget to ask for the secret, cheaper price.

WOAI-TV reports:

A secret question could save you money at the Tower of the Americas. ...

The posted price at the ticket counter, to go up to the observation deck is $10.95, that includes a theater production.

If you know what to ask for, and just want to see the observation deck, you can get one for $5.

A Landry's spokesperson said, "People should just know to ask for the cheaper ticket."


Now, you know.

I wonder if they have secret prices on the menu, too.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"Primarily Primates Sues To Get 7 Chimps Back"

As reported on KSAT-12's Web site, Primarily Primates -- an animal sanctuary near San Antonio -- is trying to get back some chimpanzees it lost to another sanctuary in Louisiana over some complaints about living conditions. You can read the article to get the whole story, but I found the name of the spokeswoman for an animal group apt, which makes it a little strange.
"We believe we hold title to them," said Priscilla Feral of Friends of Animals, an animal advocacy group that is merging with Primarily Primates. "Their designated place of retirement was Primarily Primates." [emphasis added]
An advocate for animals named Feral. Classic.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

"Short chase ends after car hits tree"

Some robbers flee police, hit another vehicle, crash into a tree, and run away on foot. Police set up a perimeter, and they catch the robbers. What business was so tempting that these guys just couldn't resist robbing it and putting themselves, law enforcement, and citizens in danger?

The snow cone business.

From the Express-News:

A north patrol officer spotted four people apparently trying to rob a sno-cone stand on Nacogdoches Road.

I know it gets hot around here, and I'm sure the snow cone business is good, but would there really be enough loot at one of those stands to split four ways?

Friday, August 03, 2007

"Four arrested after call for help"

Just remember, if you have warrants out for your arrest, it might not do you any good to call the police for a minor disturbance.

From the Express-News:

The mother called police around 7 p.m. saying one of her sons suffers from bipolar disorder and was acting erratically, Sgt. Mark Hubbard said. The man had outstanding warrants, Hubbard said, and when the two officers at the scene attempted to arrest him, the man’s two brothers tried to fight the officers, Hubbard said.

The mother also had outstanding warrants and was arrested at the scene.

And they're all cooling off now, I suppose.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cars crashed into house

A home in San Antonio has the sad distinction of being hit by cars four different times. Wet streets may have something to do with it, but neighbors think the street design is faulty, and they want it fixed so the residents can live in peace. So, the city is going to do a traffic study to see if anything can be done about it.

The KSAT-TV Defenders look into the matter at this video link.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thunderbird?

What is the strange creature flying around San Antonio?

From KENS-TV:

Strange sightings of a huge flying creature have been reported as recently as six months ago. Is it a monster or myth?

Guadalupe Cantu III was busy working his newspaper route, but he says the big news of that day 10 years ago flew right over his car. He says he's seen what most have not — an unidentified flying object, one that still scares him.

"We were afraid that it would come at us. So we stayed in the car till it passed this way," witness Guadalupe Cantu III said. "This thing's all feathers, all black. Much bigger than me. It looked at us. It had very stooped-up shoulders." The beast has been spotted from the Rio Grande Valley to the mountains of New Mexico.

Could it be a thunderbird? A condor? Or something else?

Chupacabra!

It's back! From KENS-TV, the mysterious creature some like to call a chupacabra! (video)

Reports of blue, hairless creatures roaming the countryside from Elmendorf to Cuero. Ranchers talking of livestock being drained of blood.

Put the two together, and it sounds like the legend of the chupacabra. One rancher says she has the evidence to back it up.

"After six kittens had been lost to something around the place, I made up my mind we needed to do something to find out what it was that was taking it," said Phylis Canion, a rancher in Cuero.

...

The name chupacabra translated from Spanish means goat-sucker, for the creature's habit of sucking the blood of livestock.

Canion said her neighbors have reported goats drained of their blood.

"Is (a chupacabra) what it is? We don't know what it is, but that's what we'll call it!" Canion said.


But others call it something else.

"(There's) no chupacabra," said John Young, a mammologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Young said the animal is a sickly gray fox with a typical case of parasites.

"When mange goes untreated, it causes this type of reaction. They start to itch, lose all their hair, there's this blue-gray coloration. And the animal usually dies from it," Young said.

What do you think? Watch the video to see the head in the freezer. Read more here. Then decide.

Monday, July 30, 2007

"Woman: Men Made Me Help Rob Store"

Some thieves decided to rob a store, but they evidently didn't have a getaway vehicle. So they carjacked one. And a chauffeur, too.

From KSAT-TV:

SAN ANTONIO -- A woman claims that two men held her at knifepoint and forced her to help them rob a store on Monday afternoon.

The woman said she was filling her vehicle up with gas in the 500 block of South Smith when two men snuck into her sport utility vehicle.

When she went back to the vehicle, the men surprised her and demanded she drive them to rob a store.

...

The victim said she was forced to wait in the car while one of the men robbed the store.

The woman said she dropped the men off at Travis Park after the robbery.


The police arrested two suspects. I'm glad the woman's fine, but that must have been just a bit stressful for her.