Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Texas market analyst is tied to 29 deaths in Sierra Leone"

Military junta members from Africa, mass executions, human rights investigations -- all discussed in an immigration case in San Antonio.

From Guillermo Contreras at the Express-News:

A government witness testified Wednesday that an Austin market analyst was involved in the mass killings of 29 people who planned to overthrow the leadership he helped establish in his native Sierra Leone in 1992.

The heavily disputed account of Joseph Gayah, a former bodyguard for Sierra Leon[e]'s head of state from 1992 to 1996, could be the critical factor in whether a San Antonio immigration judge decides whether Samuel "Sam" Kambo should be deported.

Kambo, 38, is in custody in San Antonio, fighting attempts by U.S. immigration authorities to boot him from this country based on allegations that he was involved in extrajudicial killings in December 1992.

Sounds like an interesting case.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

UPDATE: So glad we had this time together ...

The childhood home of Carol Burnett, which was in danger of being razed, may in fact be saved.


SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- A group led by former US housing secretary Henry Cisneros has committed to raise enough money to save the San Antonio childhood home of comedienne Carol Burnett.

American Sunrise is a nonprofit housing and education program. It says it'll raise the 75-thousand to 100-thousand dollars needed to move the century-old house from its current location on San Antonio's West Side.

A barbecue restaurant wants to use the home's lot parking.

That's good. I hope they raise enough money to save it, and I hope it is kept in good shape.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Man stabbed with pitchfork while trying to stop fight"

If you have been drinking, and you get in an argument with a relative about who was born first (!), you might want to leave the farm implements alone.

From the Express-News:

All three men were drinking in their mobile home in the 1200 block of Paseo Derecho around 10 p.m. Sunday, when the two cousins began arguing over who was older.

One of the cousins grabbed a pitchfork, and when the uncle stepped between his nephews, he was stabbed in the arm. The uncle was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

That'll teach him to break up a fight between cuzzins.

Friday, May 25, 2007

"Thieves Target a Church's Money Maker"

If you are a thief, but still think God might exist, wouldn't this be a quick way to get on His bad side?


Thieves stole a trailer from a pastor's backyard, and inside that trailer were thousands of dollars worth of gospel CD's the church members had planned to sell to raise money for the church.

The biblical music was meant to inspire. It was the third CD made by the church, Mensajores Del Gran Rey. 150 CDs of that album and $12,000 worth of instruments are gone.

Where would the thieves think they could fence those CDs?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Couple Says Motorist Littered Kittens"

It's pretty nasty what happened to the kittens in this story from KSAT-TV (they were thrown out of a moving car), but I found the choice of words used by the headline writer to be poor. I don't know if the writer was trying to be cute by playing on the multiple meanings of "litter", but, given the nature of the offender's conduct, this probably wouldn't be a good story on which to demonstrate linguistic prowess.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A fat cat and a fat bird

Boteros at the San Antonio Central Library, courtesy of San Antonio Daily Photo.

If you've never been to the Central Library, it's really a neat building. A couple of the contributors to San Antonio Daily Photo work at the library, and some of their posts feature different shots of the edifice and its surroundings. There's no shortage of photo-worthy views around there.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Inflatable gyms worth $25,000 stolen from party supply store"

If you suddenly see your neighbors having bounce castle (or "moonwalk") parties for their kids every day, don't feel bad if you think something might be amiss.


On Monday, nine moonwalks worth $25,000 were stolen from a party supply store on the city's West Side.

Richard Cambero is not jumping for joy. A sign reading, "Never mind the dog ... beware of owner!" with a picture of a gun wasn't enough to scare off bandits who bounced into his business and made off with nine moonwalks.

"We only have one left right now," Cambero said. That one was rented out at the time of the theft.

Now, he has to break the news to his little customers.

"When they stole the jumpers, I wasn't happy," one little boy said.

Aww, that's sad.

"Police say teens responsible for damaging sewer lines"

The Express-News reports on some persistent vandals.

Amid the stench, San Antonio Water System employees work to replace a stretch of sewage pipe. On Friday, vandals unbolted the manhole and stuffed stumps, large rocks and even a mangled car door into the system.

"The sewage was just spewing out and just flowing down into Salado Creek. Just gallons and gallons of it," neighbor Tania Walshe said.


Retaliation seems to be a theme. SAWS workers say a tree stump pulled out of the pipeway on Sunday was found back in the hole Monday.

If these kids keep doing this, sooner or later they will be caught. And I don't think the neighbors will be feeling too kindly toward them.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Man nabbed in scam aimed at businesses to fund fake parties"

Always be careful whenever anyone asks you to contribute money. Scam artists have no compunction about playing your emotions against you.

From Jeorge Zarazua at the Express-News:

A 62-year-old Corpus Christi man was arrested Friday after an Atascosa County business reported it was scammed into sponsoring birthday parties for children who didn't exist.

Kenneth De Long is being held without bond at the Atascosa County Jail on a parole violation warrant for a previous drug-related conviction.

The man would pretend to be a rich, generous benefactor who was helping needy children, and he would con businesses into sponsoring fake parties. Someone complained to the sheriff's department about this guy, and he was caught because he happened to launch his spiel within earshot of a deputy.

De Long was arrested when [chief deputy David] Soward overheard him introduce himself to the manager of a Pleasanton café, offering to reserve a large space there for a birthday party.

"Once I heard him introduce himself, I recognized the name," Soward said. "I just happened to be at the right place at the right time."

A search of De Long's silver 1993 Toyota minivan revealed a receipt book of businesses he would receive money from for the "Foster Kids Birthday Party" fund.

Be careful who you give money to.

"Thieves Leave Behind Major Clue"

Do thieves use cash anymore?


Surveillance video released Friday shows the two men pulling up to a gas station in a stolen jeep from earlier in the week. It's the same jeep police say the men used during a high speed chase through Wilson County, before ditching the SUV.

Those men got away, but Floresville police found the video because the men left their gas receipt in the jeep.

They were obviously in a hurry, or they might have remembered to take the receipt with them.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pitching for the hometeam

San Diego may have a bunch of Padres, but the San Antonio Missions have a ringer on their team: Archbishop Gomez.

The Express-News has the story:

Catholic archbishops are seldom seen throwing out the first pitch at a professional baseball game — but San Antonio Archbishop José Gomez is an exception.

The leader of South Texas' estimated 800,000 Catholics put on a San Antonio Missions cap and jersey and tossed out the first pitch Tuesday night for the third year in a row at the Missions' game against the Corpus Christi Hooks at Nelson Wolff Stadium on "Catholic Night."


"I like to let people know that I'm a person just like them and I like to be close to them," Gomez said as he waited to be ushered onto the field.

"This is not exactly ministry, but it helps for people to see that I'm approachable and like to have fun."

Photographer Tom Reel caught the opening pitch:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Teenage Father Admits Biting Baby"

Some people just aren't ready to be parents.


Anthony Miranda told KSAT 12 News that the incident happened at his daughter's great-grandmother's house three weeks ago.

Miranda said he and his baby, Salyne, were in a bedroom, where he bit her upper back repeatedly.


Miranda told police and KSAT 12 News that he bit his child because he was angry and frustrated with the baby's 15-year-old mother. He also blames physical and mental problems.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"Mom Beats Intuder with High Heel"

Sometimes crime just doesn't pay, as this story from WOAI-TV illustrates:

The mother of four who did not want her identity revealed said she came home to find a man waiting inside. She accidentally left the wash room door unlocked, and the man got in, the mother said. She saw him in her bedroom.

“I had no time for fear,” she said. “I thought, ‘My kids are in this house, so no you're not in my house.’"

“I just grabbed my high heel and beat him,” she said. The mother hit the intruder until police arrived.

Good for her. The man was actually taken to the hospital for his injuries.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Braunfels councilman recalled over beer rules

Remember the New Braunfels City councilman who was facing a backlash from area outfitters because he wanted to limit alcoholic beverages consumed by people partying on the local rivers? He has been recalled.

From the Express-News:

NEW BRAUNFELS — Voters turned District 6 Councilman Ken Valentine out of office Saturday in a successful recall effort spurred largely by anger over Valentine's advocacy of strict new rules for tourists floating on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers.


Valentine was the council's leading proponent of controversial rules aimed at taming the rowdy, drunken behavior that has bothered riverfront residents for years.

He helped persuade a majority of the council to ban Jell-O shots and beer bongs, adopt one of the country's strictest noise ordinances and prohibit alcohol in riverfront parks.

But the measure that caused the biggest backlash limited the size of coolers allowed on the rivers.

Recall proponents said Valentine was preoccupied with river issues and did not pay enough attention to other city problems. They also criticized his style on the council as too confrontational.

New Braunfels gets a lot of visitors. I guess enough people in the town didn't want to see those visitors go elsewhere that they thought it would be better to turn out one of their council representatives. But, Valentine could still run for the seat in the fall, and he might do so. It would be interesting to see if he could get elected again.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Half a tree

This half-tree is on Cincinnati Street near Fredericksburg Road.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Buzzard Concerns Delay Plans For 'Body Farm'"

In the United States, there are only two body farms, places where forensic students can study how human bodies decompose. Texas State University in San Marcos (between Austin and San Antonio), wants to build a third body farm, but there was a problem with their first choice of location.


As KSAT-TV reports, those buzzards (which would be attracted to seemingly easy meals) would pose a risk to nearby flight paths.

Texas State's proposed 17-acre site was on Texas Highway 21 near the San Marcos Municipal Airport. But after meeting with the airport's commission Tuesday, the university quashed the plan out of concerns that buzzards would pose a risk to pilots.

"While the increased risk might be very small, it cannot be completely eliminated, and we cannot go forward with the Highway 21 site," Texas State provost Perry Moore said.

The body farm is on hold for now, I guess until they can come up with another site.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tony Parker not getting any?

So far I haven't found a major news outlet that has picked this up, but, according to Josh Hart, Eva Longoria is withholding the goods from Tony Parker until after the NBA playoffs.

Eva told late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel last week that she and Tony have agreed to put a ban on sex while Tony's San Antonio Spurs team are in the NBA playoffs in America. She said: "Luckily, we're getting married after the playoffs and then we need to consummate the marriage. I scheduled it that way."

The sexy Latina and soon to be real life Desperate Housewife is set to tie the knot with Tony on the 7th July in Paris. She added: "We picked that date because it's the only weekend we're both off."

And, I bet they both get off that whole weekend as well. [rimshot]

"Group offers hugs to SA"

In this slideshow from KSAT-TV, you can see some concerned citizens offering free hugs to people in San Antonio.
Carle Meier, one of the hugger volunteers, said the hug handouts are part of a world-wide campaign for world peace.
That's nice. But it's pretty darn easy to do here, or any other Western nation. I wonder if any of the hugger volunteers made it to Darfur. Or Iraq. Or Sri Lanka. Or Somalia.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Car crashes into house

OK, it's not a car. It's a great big truck! And it hit some apartments!


Police said the driver was asleep in the tractor-trailer rig when the parked vehicle rolled down a hill and crashed into the Escalante Apartments at 1440 West Bitters Road.

The impact caused the big rig to spill about 100 gallons of diesel fuel.

The driver was apparently sleeping off some drink when the accident happened. It's a good thing he had the presence of mind to take a nap instead of driving, but it still ended badly for him.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Sonic Manager, Car Hop Arrested In Drug Raid"

Uh, yeah, I'll have some extra salt with that order, wink-wink. (from KSAT-TV)

SAN ANTONIO -- Police charged a Sonic drive-in manager and a car hop waitress with serving up orders of cocaine to customers.

Police said an anonymous tip led them to manager Jesus Ledesman, who they accused of running the drug ring with some of his employees on Zarzamorra Road.

Car hop Francisca Riojas is accused of delivering the drug orders.

Sgt. Joe Rios, San Antonio police spokesman, said narcotics were found stashed in roller skates and a tool box.

And, even stranger, this isn't the first time an employee at this fast-food joint has been arrested for selling drugs at work. Perhaps the remaining workers will learn from this incident.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

"Sewage is leaking onto school's grounds"

Yuck. (from the Express-News)

Elementary students at Bracken Christian School will not be allowed to use the bathrooms inside their school building starting Monday, after a Comal County inspection found the septic system is failing and untreated sewage is pooling on school grounds.

School officials said the septic field is far from any areas used by children on the 20-acre grounds and they will have 10 portable toilets outside the school by Monday.

"I'm meeting with a septic tank installer right now," School Administrator Craig Walker said Friday. "We have three weeks left in our school year and we hope to have the problem fixed in two weeks. Hopefully the children will look at it as a fun experience."

Hey, it could be a field trip! Why go visit the local sewage treatment plant when you have one on school grounds?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

About that floating chihuahua ...

Regarding that chihuahua that was floated above the crowd at the Pooch Parade during Fiesta: Cathy Rosenthal, an animal blogger at the Express-News, took exception to the treatment of the dog. She said:
I am sure I would have been called a party pooper for saying something, but I would have had to say something to the owners of the floating chihuahua. Whose entertainment is this for? Certainly not the dog who would have preferred, I am sure, to have been carried or pushed in a stroller along the parade route.

And some commenters on her post agreed. Interestingly enough, the owner of the dog weighed in on the situation, and she said:

WOW--- some people have nothing better to do than sit around and judge others whom they don't know at all about. I am the owner of the CHIHUAHUA you speak of. Myra was very relaxed and I was at her side at all times... I would never do anything to hurt my dog and I resent the fact that you think I would. The harness was specially made to fit and support her entire body. She was tethered to my body and I had complete control of her the whole time. Myra loves people and enjoys attention, she was not scared nor was she in danger at anytime! As a matter of fact at one point I looked over at her and she had her eyes closed. Your entitled to your opinion but it is untrue and unfounded! I suggest you keep your premonitions limited to facts and/or limited to situations involving your own family. thank you!

And, all I have to add is, Wow. All this over a little dog. I don't think this balloon incident qualifies as cruelty to an animal. If it does, then we should take exception to Rosenthal's desire to confine a dog to a stroller. That would be even crueller, I would think.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

C.C. the Alamo Cat

Keeping watch over the shrine of Texas liberty, and protecting it from rodents and insects -- it's C.C. the Alamo Cat.