Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stealing makeup

Is it really that profitable? Copper wire, I could see. But foundation and lipstick?
Police were looking for four males who may be involved in a cosmetics crime ring.

The four young men, believed to be between the ages of 18 and 20, were caught stuffing makeup into some baggy clothing by a manager at a CVS Pharmacy at Callaghan and DeZavala roads on Tuesday night, police said.

When the manager confronted the men, one of them punched the manager in the face, police said. The men then threw some makeup in the manager's face and left the store without taking anything.

Moments later, the men went to a CVS Pharmacy at Bitters and Huebner roads and made off with some makeup and body spray, police said.
(from KSAT-12)

The police think the thieves are stealing the makeup to sell. And I would hope so. It would be weird if they were doing it so they could actually use it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Car crashes into house

And the driver gets away!
A car crashed into a home early Monday on the city's northwest side.

A couple living at the home in the 5100 block of Newcome were jarred out of bed at around 2 a.m. but were not injured.

"There was just dust floating throughout the house," said Barry Harris, the homeowner. "Nothing like this has ever happened before."

Police were looking for the driver of the older model Lincoln who rammed into the front the home. A neighbor told Harris that he saw a tall man with a mustache running from the wreckage.
(from KSAT-TV)

Since the cops have this guy's car (and his license plate, I assume), I wonder how long it will be until they find him. It looks like he's got a lot of damage to pay for.

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Teen's Shooting Death Being Investigated As Homicide"

Strange, and very sad.
Police are now investigating the death of an 18-year-old girl Christmas night as a homicide, investigators said.

Kimberly Tallo was found lying on the floor of a home on the 300 block of East Southcross Avenue with a gunshot wound above her right eye, according to a police report. Investigators said her boyfriend told officers she shot herself while playing Russian Roulette, but police became suspicious when his story kept changing.
(from KSAT)

I suspect there was more than just a game going on here. But, if the two really were playing Russian Roulette, then let this be a cautionary tale to everyone who reads this.

There is nothing cool about Russian Roulette, in any form. It is a horrible game, and if anyone seriously tries to get you to play, don't. Far better to be considered uncool than to be declared room temperature.

UPDATE: The police have arrested the boyfriend. The medical examiner determined that there was no Russian Roulette involved.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones. But, for a truly beautiful Christmas in San Antonio picture, check out Keith's blog at Views of Texas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why do birds suddenly appear ...

Here's a story about a local snake oil salesman getting sentenced to three years in prison for lying to the feds.

Harry Siskind, founder of Body Solutions, was sentenced to 37 months in prison instead of the five years’ probation he asked for following his conviction of lying about money he was trying to hide from the feds.

Indignant over his sentence, Siskind unsuccessfully tried to get court security to let him out the back door to avoid reporters. Then he gave the one-finger salute to the media as he ran out of the courthouse and jumped into a waiting, shiny new Cadillac. He put one of those fingers right up against the camera of one local television station.

And here's the picture (taken by Gloria Ferniz) the Express-News used to illustrate the story.

Nice shot.

Christmoustache in San Antonio

All you people with lip hair, looks like you missed out on a moustache-themed holiday party. Or maybe you didn't.

Eva Ruth Moravec from the Express-News reports on the event:

Artists, musicians and gardeners alike manicured their lip foliage or slapped on a fake 'stache for this year's Christmoustache, an annual event that brings together locals who love their facial hair.

The event, now in its third year, is usually held solely to bring friends together in front of the Alamo, an ideal setting for quirky snapshots of men and women celebrating everyone's favorite soup strainer.

But this year, 28-year-old Justin Parr offered to host the event on Saturday night at his Flight Gallery on South Flores Street. It featured musical guests Demitasse, half of the band Buttercup, and DJ JJ Lopez from KRTU Radio.

“It's always a wide swath of people, and everyone is wearing mustaches,” he said.
It was hairy fun for all, I'm sure. Maybe next year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thunderstick disappointment

Interesting choice of photo to highlight a story about the Clark Cougars failing to make it to the Class 5A Division 1 finals.

(story at the Hill Country View)

Car crashes into house

Well, actually a doghouse.

Video at

Lucky dog. He was not in his house at the time of the accident. Oh, and it looks like a fence was taken out as well.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sculley wants horses

President-elect Obama wants a stimulus package, and local governments are sending the federal government wish lists of projects they would love to see get funded by the package. San Antonio is no different. In fact, City Manager Sheryl Sculley submitted a wish list amounting to over $1 billion in projects.
With President-elect Barack Obama and Congress looking to quickly pump billions of dollars into job-generating projects across the country, San Antonio officials have drawn up a preliminary wish list packed with projects worth $1.1 billion.
“I don't think it's any surprise,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “We have huge needs in the community, and there are many things we could move forward with.”
(from the Express-News)

Worthy projects, I'm sure, but did you know that the City wants a horse patrol? Really, it's on the wish list. We don't have a mounted police force now, so we would have to build one from scratch. And I didn't know that we even needed a horse patrol.

What do you think? Does San Antonio need police officers on horses?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Was TxDot's De-Icing to Blame for Accidents?"

I guess sometimes you can overprepare for a situation.

SAN ANTONIO - It didn't snow, and it didn't rain. So, why were cars slipping and sliding all over the place Tuesday morning? Many are blaming the liquid that's supposed to keep ice from forming.


TxDOT deployed it's de-icer trucks Monday night. The rain and ice never came, but the liquid sprayed on highways stayed and may have done more than give the roads a shiny ice-like look.

"We've been in a very dry period. We've had accumulation of oils and other debris on the roadways," explained Maggie Rios of TxDOT.

The de-icer may have spread those oils on the road. So TxDOT is reviewing it's de-icing operation to see if something else went wrong with the chemical.

(from WOAI-TV)

The article goes on to say that TxDOT chose not to use gravel in conjunction with the de-icer, but this morning I did notice that there was gravel on the bridge where Bandera Road crosses over Huebner Creek (near Seneca). Did any of you see gravel elsewhere? Did you slip on the de-icer?

Just curious.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No more hooker rooms in S.A.

At least, not by the hour.

That's right. If you want to continue to practice quick sex in a motel room, you can. But from now on you will have the room for the rest of the night to watch television.

Getting a room by the hour will soon be a thing of the past in San Antonio. The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance banning hourly rates at local hotels and motels.


All of the motels will now have to charge couples by the day and not by the hour. The new ordinance will go into effect in ten days. The city is still working on details on what kind of punishment motels would face if they continue to charge hourly rates.

(from WOAI-TV)

I wonder if any motels will start charging by the night, but at a really cheap rate. And you can check out anytime you want. And the room will be available immediately for the next customer.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

City politics

Here is a strange bit skewering the San Antonio City Council's recent impending decision to extend the contract of City Manager Sheryl Sculley for more money. Sculley is the doll, Mayor Phil Hardberger is the stuffed dog, and the rest of the menagerie is City Council.

The maker of this video is RG Griffing at the San Antonio Lightning. He previously ran for mayor himself.

UPDATE: I made a small mistake. When I originally posted this, the decision to extend Sculley's contract hadn't been made yet. At the Thursday, December 11 meeting of the City Council, her contract was approved.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Car crashes into house

KABB is reporting on another incident of vehicular mayhem visited upon a home. Unfortunately their website makes it impossible to link to any particular item, but here is the text of the story with a screencap.

A driver is injured after crashing her car into a neighbors home. It happened around noon Sunday on Abbey Park in northwest San Antonio. Police said the elderly woman thought she had her Cadillac in park, but instead it was in reverse. She was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Someone who should have thought things out a bit more

Even if your lover is over the age of consent (which is 17 in Texas), you might not want to have sex with her in a high school classroom. Especially if she is a student. And you're a teacher.
Jefferson High School teacher Paul D. Roberts, 42, is in jail today. Police arrested him on a charge of engaging in an improper relationship with a student. On Friday Roberts was spotted have sex with an 18-year-old female student in a Jefferson High School classroom.
(from WOAI-TV)

That just doesn't look good.

Friday, December 05, 2008


If you've lived in San Antonio for any amount of time, I'm sure you've noticed that some citizens like to decorate the back windows of their pick-up trucks with custom decals. Sometimes these decals are names, sometimes they're representations of families (even if truncated a bit), and sometimes they are pictures. Often the pictures are of the faces of whoever is hot with the Spurs at the time, but every once in a while the face is just a tad unusual.

Like this one:

Driving backward?

Dietrich at San Antonio Daily Photo got a picture of a tractor trailer painted to make you look twice. It looks pretty cool.

"Man gets 297 years for sexual assault"

I wonder if he gets time off for good behavior.

An Ingram man has been sentenced to 297 years in prison on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child for abusing a teenage girl who also complained of being sexually assaulted by the defendant’s former wife.

Defense attorney Ronald “Rusty” Guyer said Friday he’s looking into the legality of state District Judge Karl Prohl’s decision to “stack” the three 99-year sentences handed down late Thursday by a Kerr County jury that convicted Scott Vogel, 38, at trial this week.

(from the Express-News)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Preventing sexy car washes

San Antonio City Council has sprung into action to save the neighborhoods from the invasion of scantily-clad car washers.

Well, sort of.

SAN ANTONIO -- Zoning changes that could cover up businesses like the controversial former Bikini Car Wash has been pushed back another week at the request of some business owners.

The City Council was expected to take action on District 3 Councilwoman Jennifer Ramos' effort to change the city ordinance allowing zoning of certain car wash businesses, particularly, but not explicitly against sexy car wash facilities.

"The decision was put off today to have it postponed because the car wash industry did come to us late yesterday," she said. "I explained this has been going on since May 22, it's been a hot topic, everyone has been aware, there have been many public meetings. They still felt uncomfortable and they wanted some time."

Ramos said her efforts weren't solely geared toward businesses like the Bikini Car Wash, which caused traffic backups and additional controversy when it opened on South Flores Street in her district, but were because the ordinance hasn't been changed since 1992 and needs updating.

(from KSAT-12)

Do you believe that?

(Previous stuff here.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

"Local Employers Have Varying Holiday Bonus Plans"

After reading the headline, I have to say, so what?

SAN ANTONIO -- One of San Antonio's largest employers is having trouble filling its employees' stocking with holiday bonuses.

"When you take a $6 million hit to your bottom line, obviously some things have to give," said Northside Independent School District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez.


Some of the city's other large employers have varying availability of holiday bonuses. A spokesman with Valero said the company doesn't give holiday bonuses, USAA employees receive two additional weeks of pay as a bonus and H-E-B wouldn't reveal if its provides bonuses. Rackspace, an Internet hosting company, doesn't provide holiday bonuses, but does award performance-based bonuses every quarter, according to a company spokeswoman.

(from KSAT-12)

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure plenty of employees might be sad if their Christmas bonuses didn't materialize like they expected, but is this really newsworthy? How many people really care how much a whole city full of strangers make -- or don't make -- as a Christmas bonus?

For the record, I get no Christmas bonuses, but I couldn't care less if someone else does.

Friday, November 28, 2008

People in San Antonio are surprised by a coyote

And what's strange is that they are actually surprised to see one.

SAN ANTONIO -- A coyote is causing parents in a North Side neighborhood to worry. Rumors of it have popped up over the past couple months and now neighbors aren't sure how to get rid of it.

The coyote has been spotted several times in the neighborhood but many people didn't believe it until a picture was taken.

(from WOAI-TV)

Ha! I've been seeing coyotes in this town for years. Get used to 'em, folks. They can thrive in an environment like San Antonio, and they ain't going away anytime soon. Just be careful around them, just as you would any other wild animal with sharp teeth.

"Driver said God ordered 100-mph wreck"

When God starts talking to you, listen closely to what is being said before responding.

The driver of a pickup that struck a woman’s car on the South Side Friday morning is being evaluated by psychiatrists because he thinks God told him to drive in excess of 100 mph to take the other car off the road, police said.

The bizarre incident that shut down southbound U.S. Highway 281 above the Medina River happened about 7:25 a.m.

“He just said God said she wasn’t driving right, and she needed to be taken off the road,” said Lt. Kyle Coleman of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

(from the Express-News)

And, the best part of this story?

Though both vehicles were badly damaged, the drivers suffered minor injuries.

“God must have been with them, ’cause any other time, the severity of this crash, it would have been a fatal,” Coleman said.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't worry, corn tortillas don't cause cancer

Remember the WOAI Trouble Shooters story last February about the investigation into whether or not corn tortillas might cause cancer in San Antonio? Well, the results are in. The tortillas are probably safe to eat.

The News 4 Trouble Shooters reported earlier this year that your tax dollars were being used to study whether certain foods, like corn tortillas and peanut butter, are causing liver cancer on the south side.

When they get moldy, these foods can carry a microtoxin that has been connected to liver cancer in other parts of the world. Corn, in particular, was linked to a high rate of liver cancer in one part of Africa.

That is why researchers from Texas A&M focused on corn tortillas, to see if they might be connected to the liver cancer rate around the former Kelly Air Force base - a rate about twice as high as the rest of Texas.

"There was a study that was specifically done in South Texas that showed that there are certain corn products that do have relatively high levels of these chemicals in them. So, yes, we are suspicious of corn products," said Dr. Kirby Donnelly, who led the research study.

But it looks like the tortilla theory has fallen flat.


At most, tortillas are just a small, contributing factor along with things like alcohol use, pollution and liver conditions, such as hepatitis.

(WOAI-TV story here.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Main Plaza Still Needs ADA Compliance Upgrades"


SAN ANTONIO -- Even though the Main Plaza construction and restoration project is already over budget, the city will have to spend about $250,000 for overall enhancements, including bringing the park to federal disability standards.

Some of the mobility problems at Main Plaza include gravel preventing full wheelchair access, paving width, sidewalk slope and staircase handrail adjustments for the visually impaired, said Judy Babbitt, the city's disability access officer.

(from KSAT-12)

Mayor Hardberger pushed this project through quickly, so I guess it is no surprise that some mistakes were made in remaking Main Plaza. And the city ended up spending over $18 million on a $10 million project. You would have thought, though, that the city planners would have considered the ADA during the process, wouldn't you? After all, it is the law of the land.

But, hey, what's another 250K when your project has already cost almost twice what was projected?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"2 Shot After Feud Escalates"

Really? Over a dog?

A long-standing feud between neighbors led to two men being shot in East Bexar County, police said.

Deputies said two men began arguing Sunday morning, allegedly over a dog. According to officials, the argument escalated and both parties began shooting at one another.

Police said that between 15 and 20 rounds were exchanged during the shooting -- all while small children were in the next room.

Police said one man was shot in the foot, and another man was shot in the ankle.

(from KSAT-12)

There's a lot more than a dog going on here. Thank God they didn't hit anybody but themselves.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"16 Indicted In Murder, ID Theft Case"

Be careful who you befriend. Especially if they come packaged in their own mob.

SAN ANTONIO -- A Kerr County Grand Jury indicted 16 people Monday in connection with the slaying and identity theft of a Kerr County man.

Charles Lee Tidwell, 45, was indicted on a charge of murder and organized crime. Tidwell was being held in the Kerr County Jail on bonds totalling $600,000.

Tidwell, who was arrested Oct. 22, was originally the only suspect charged in the slaying of 52-year-old Allan Kowalski, whose remains were found buried behind his home in Ingram.

But in a news release from the Kerr County Sheriff's Office, Ricado Ricky Giovannetti, 47, was also charged with murder and organized crime.

Charged with aggravated assault and organized crime were Wayne Earl Christiansen, 35, and Jeremiah Jason McGregor, 31.

Indicted on a charge of organized crime were Teresa Jo Buffett, 43; Elizabeth D. Carmona, 43; Amanda Rassi Contreras, 20; Raymundo Daniel Contreras, 23; Andrea Helen Cooper, 25; Michael Rene Garcia, 25; Richard Alcorta Garza, 39; Silver Star Hernandez, 24; Darita Dee Horner, 20; Kelli Rae Lagrone, 52; John Centeno Moreno Jr., 26, and Lisa Gale Rassi, 41.

Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said the investigation into Kowalski's death is one of the strangest cases he's worked in nearly 30 years of law enforcement.

"They take over his identity, they take over all his possessions, they were even trying to sell his home," he said. "That's when it gets bizarre."

Hierholzer said Tidwell and Giovannetti shot Kowalski twice in the head before burying his body in a shallow grave behind his home. The common bond between all those indicted was their close relationship or friendship with Tidwell, Hierholzer said.

(from KSAT-12)

Is it surprising that so many women were involved?

And who names their child "Silver Star"?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Elsie escapes!

The Borden cow is on the loose in San Antonio.

Here’s a story about a cow and it's not your ordinary cow. On Friday evening, police were searching in some NE San Antonio fields for Elsie, the "Borden" cow. And that’s no bull.

The bovine fugitive got away from its handler while doing a promotion at the Sam’s club at I-35 and Judson. Elsie hoofed it across the highway and is now lost in about 200 acres of land.


Elsie has been missing for several hours and searchers are doing their udder-most to lasso her.

(from WOAI-TV)

It's a funny story, but if you click on the link to read the rest of it, get ready for some more bad cow puns.

Marching mania

The Churchill High School marching band put together a routine that has mental health advocates a bit upset.

SAN ANTONIO -- A recent performance by the Churchill High School marching band is being called offensive by some who say the performance was insensitive to those with mental illness.

The band's performance at the University Interscholastic League's state band competition -- entitled "Symphonic Schizophrenia" -- included props resembling padded walls and had some band members dressed in strait jackets running around the field in an erratic manner.

The head of the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness said he was contacted by several people who were upset by Churchill's performance.

KSAT-12 has the video.

What do you think? Precision marching performance, or blatant insensitivity?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cactus and a tile

Here is a picture of a building at 217 West Travis Street (near Flores Street downtown).

It's an old building, and it looks pretty cool just sitting there among the tall buildings, but something unusual about the small structure caught my eye.

There's a potted plant at the apex of the roof line, and it's not just any potted plant. It is a cactus, which I guess is a good choice to put on the roof of a building as it wouldn't need to be watered except by the rain.
But, then, as I was zooming in to get a better picture of the potted cactus, I noticed something else that turned out to be pretty cool.

Under that cactus is a lone tile, a decorative tile. And it depicts a scene of reverence that is powerful in its simplicity and its barely accessible location.

It gave me a good feeling to have noticed it.

A couple of artsy things

Shorty over at San Antonio Daily Photo caught a picture of a car that got caught up in Obamamania. (Think "craftivism"!)

And Alan at Blogonomicon snapped one of an art piece that insists beauty is in the tongue of the beholder. (The display could have used a little more color, I think.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Clueless dork?

Or inept hoaxer?

You decide.

I include this video because that looks like Churchill High School in the background, and a reader (thanks, Ellen) thinks that guy is wearing a shirt from Adelita Tamales. What do you think? And, if you have any reviews of Adelita, please share them. It is getting to be the holiday season, and we all need some tamale options!

Monday, November 10, 2008

"City to hold workshop on restaurant rules"

Opening a restaurant in San Antonio? The City wants you to do it right.

The City’s Economic Development Department Small Business Division will hold a workshop for prospective restaurant owners 9-10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St., Suite 1900. ...

Representatives of the Metropolitan Health District will discuss basic health regulations, commercial kitchen requirements, food licenses and permits, and food handler certification.


So, is this evidence of Councilwoman Diane Cibrian getting her way, or is it a program that has always been in place? I'm willing to believe it's the latter, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it is the former.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Or chupacabras?

You decide.

SAN ANTONIO -- Some apartment tenants are being extra cautious when roaming around their southwest side complex as nearby animals are going hog wild.

A gap beneath an iron fence nearby Miller's Pond is allowing javelinas to run through the neighborhood and scaring residents.

"When you hear, like noise in the Dumpster, you know that they're there," one resident said.

Some nearby residents said they even have to jump on cars to escape the scary swine.

"We were pretty scared, and every time we tried to get off so we could run back to the apartment, they wouldn't let us," an apartment resident said. "We got stuck there for 10 to 15 minutes."

(from KSAT-12)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Preventing pigs in the sticks

Out in Grey Forest, a really small town just northwest of San Antonio, a girl wants to raise some pigs for a 4-H project. But her family has found an interesting predicament posed by the town's revised animal regulations.

[The Stone family's] request for a variance to raise four swine on their property was rejected after lengthy discussion at the Sept. 23 council meeting. The city ordinance allows up to two animals on a minimum of three-quarters of an acre for 4-H projects. A one-acre property allows for up to four animals, but the Stone’s property is .90 of an acre.

The ordinance also requires that the pens have a 150-foot setback from the property line regardless of lot size, and that is where the problem occurs. The Stones this time were requesting a variance from the setback requirement because it is mathematically impossible for that to happen.

The Stones began wondering what size lot they would have to have to meet the requirement as written and turned to a math professor from UTSA, Sandy Norman, who spoke in their behalf at the Oct. 21 meeting.

An acre is 208.71 feet by 208.71 feet in size. Therefore there is no physical way to locate a pen to house the swine with a 150-foot setback.

Norman told the council that the smallest lot size possible to comply with the setbacks as written would be 2.06 acres and the pen would have to be located squarely in the middle of that property.


“They approved us to have six [pigs] just two years ago,” Laura said. “The exact same City Council. And then the minute they approved it–they approved it in September– and then in March 2007 they amended the ordinance.” The new amendment required the setback.

(from the Northwest Weekly)

The Stones got their variance to have the pigs, but with some restrictions. And they wonder what future city decisions might have in store for them.

Brilliant move, or magnificent blunder on the part of the Grey Forest City Council? You decide.

Fessing up

It took her a long time to own up to her heinous behavior, but I'm glad she finally did. She sounds pretty unstable and vengeful.

It was back on February 8th, 1992 that Darren Holden was shot to death while he opened up the gas station where he worked.

"We had information that day that it was a botched robbery," explained Officer Joe Rios of the San Antonio Police Department. "They came in and took his wallet and took his cash, took things from the store and fled the location."

For 16 years, the case remained unsolved until police say Carmen Hinojosa Najera confessed and was arrested.

The 49-year-old woman was a former employee at the gas station, who had been fired. She told police she got angry, and she and her son went back to the store for revenge.

(from WOAI-TV)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Truck crashes into house

More mechanical mayhem, this time courtesy of some punks who tried to steal a truck and then crashed it into a house in the 7800 block of New World while getting away.

Video from the Express-News.

Oh, and it looks like they took out the fence as well.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

"4 Stabbed At Halloween Party"

Well, this is one way to ensure no one invites you to another party.

Police said the party was being held overnight at a home in the 12000 block of Course View Road.

Officers said apparently some of the party goers got a little rowdy and were asked to leave by the homeowners. The culprits then came back later armed with knives, police said.

When they arrived at the home at about 4 a.m., officers said they found a man with a knife lodged in his lower back, and three others with stab wounds.

(from KSAT-12)

The report says that the police know who did this and are tracking them down. Two of the victims are in critical condition.

"Human Body Fluids Found in Ceiling Still Haunt Condo Owner"


SAN ANTONIO -- A man commits suicide and isn't found until weeks later. His body fluids actually soaked through the floor of his condo and into the unit below. It's a story News 4 told you about two years ago. And the fight to have that ceiling cleaned is still going on.

News 4's Delaine Mathieu investigates who is responsible for the clean-up and why someone may be headed to court.

"I can actually see the holes upstairs where the blood dripped down through." Charlie Moore, who owns Crime Clean of Texas, is back out at the Diamond Head Condos near the medical center.

Moore and his team were at the complex two years ago to clean up a gruesome suicide scene in the condo above Mike Dunlop's unit.

Moore says body fluid from that victim is still in the ceiling and Dunlop wants it gone.

"It's awful," says Dunlop. "For two years, I'm living with this smell on and off. And there's dead fluids."

(from WOAI-TV)


Isn't this just one more reason not to off yourself to solve problems? If you do it wrong, you can really mess up someone else's life as well.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Teen Torches Home To Prove Love, Investigators Say"

Well, this is an odd way to show affection.

SAN ANTONIO -- In an effort to prove his love for the 15-year-old mother of his child, a 15-year-old boy allegedly used a Molotov cocktail shortly before noon to torch a neighbor's home on the city's northwest side, investigators said.

Heather Tirado said she was still in shock over the loss of her home and her pets, who perished in the fire. Bexar County sheriff's investigators said the 15-year-old destroyed his neighbor's home on the 10600 block of South Shaenridge to prove he wasn't having a relationship with Tirado's 13-year-old daughter, a claim the boy's girlfriend allegedly made.

"She didn't believe him, and to profess his love for her, he broke into my home and did what he did," Tirado said. "It makes me sick to my stomach."

(from KSAT-12)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Strange in Kendall County

Just north of San Antonio, some strange things have been happening.

BOERNE – Kendall County Sheriff’s investigators are trying to find the identity of the headless and handless body which was found by a fisherman on Saturday.

Kendall County S.O. Chief Deputy Matthew King says the man was“shot twice one in the chest one in the back -- they told us his head was severed after he had died.”


Deputies say the body had been in the brush near FM 474 between Boerne and Kendalia for only about 24 hours before it was discovered. Investigators say the man was apparently killed elsewhere, and his head and hands removed, before someone tried to hide the body near the Guadalupe River.

(from WOAI-TV)

BOERNE — An elderly Kendall County resident shot himself to death shortly before noon Monday in the parking lot of the sheriff's office on Staudt Street here, officials said.

His son had committed suicide weeks earlier, authorities said.

A security camera that takes intermittent pictures of the building's exterior showed J. Sam Brown, 74, parking a GMC Suburban just outside the agency's front door, then showed him on the ground, said Kendall County Chief Deputy Matt King.

(from the Express-News)

Strange in the Valley

This is pretty far away from San Antonio, but I had to share it!

McALLEN, Texas -- Customs inspectors scored the makings of a barbecue when a 21-year-old South Texas woman declared several soiled baby diapers at a U.S.-Mexico border crossing.

The inspectors with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the international bridge in Hidalgo weren't buying the story. Suspicious of the chunky diapers, they found inside several links of spicy pork sausage, called chorizo. A U.S. Customs statement says the diapers had been folded to look soiled.

(from KSAT-12)

She got fined, and they kept her chorizo, but do you think she should get an "A" for effort? After all, she declared dirty diapers! What cojones!

Oh, and you can tell this came from some wire service and wasn't produced locally. How? Because of the obligatory explanation of chorizo. I think just about anyone in Texas knows what it is.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Buying your vote with brisket

At least it seems that way in the Harlandale Independent School District.

SAN ANTONIO – News 4 has discovered a very strange voting fraud allegation. A man claims he was bribed with barbecue in exchange for his vote.

A political activist committee wanting Harlandale ISD's tax referendum to pass was handing out tickets for barbecue brisket to go.

(from WOAI-TV)

I really can't imagine that anyone would actually vote a certain way just because they got some free barbecue. That would have to be some exceptionally good brisket! And the pinto beans had better be freakin' out of this world!

So, just think about it -- whose brisket would be even remotely scrumptuous enough to make you consider voting a certain way?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Learning to ride a unicycle in San Antonio

Is that what this is? Did Alan really get a picture of a trainer unicycle?

Odd. Odd indeed. I guess you have to start somewhere before you become famous.

Don't surf on cars!

This doesn't seem like a very smart way to pass the time.

A teenager traveling on the hood of a vehicle at a park in the Northwest Side was critically injured late Thursday after he slipped off and was run over, police said.

San Antonio Police Sgt. Johnny Gomez said a group of teenagers was driving at Braun Station West park near the intersection of Braun Drive and Brigadoon Street with two teenagers riding on top of the car's hood and one sitting on the trunk.

At around 11:30 p.m., one of the teens on the hood slipped off the vehicle, but was not immediately hurt. Gomez said the driver, thinking he had hit his friend, did not fully stop and ran over him.

(from the Express-News)

The news story indicates that the boy will recover, and that's good. But I hope they learned a lesson from this: the seatbelts are inside the car!

"Trouble was evident at condo where skeletons found"

The story was strange long before the skeletons were found.

Brenda Gilbert and her son moved into the Canyon Creek Village condominiums with the joy of starting a new life after they fled Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Soon after her arrival in 2006, it became clear to neighbors that Gilbert was a deeply troubled soul who spoke of demons trying to force her from the condo in the 17100 block of Vardon Way and cult members assaulting her every night.

On Tuesday, authorities discovered the skeletal remains of two people inside Gilbert’s residence near Blanco Road and Loop 1604. The identities and causes of death are unknown, but police suspect autopsies will reveal Gilbert and her son, Fabian, died there months ago.


She would often knock at neighbors’ doors after midnight complaining of demons, and she threw out all the furniture they had given her, [president of the Canyon Creek Village Homeowners Association Roosevelt] Eubanks said. She would ask neighbors to give her rides to various churches and quickly leave the houses of worship complaining that Satan was inside, [neighbor Susan] Weekly said.

(from the Express-News; previous post here)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Family Outraged After Mother Buried in Wrong Grave"

Oops. Or maybe not.

SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio family is outraged after finding out their mother was buried in the wrong grave. In fact, she was buried on top of a complete stranger.

"This is a man's name." said Erlinda Davis. "My mother wanted to be buried on top of her grandmother."


Davis told News 4 she's been trying since January to get the officials at San Lorenzo Cemetery to fix the problem.

"They're stating they're not at fault, that the paperwork they had was the paperwork my mother gave them," Davis said.

It's paperwork Davis said is not what she remembers signing.

"They've been tampered with," claimed Davis. "Some whited out, added information." [emphasis added]

(from WOAI-TV)

I wonder how much of a stranger that man actually was to Ms. Davis's mother.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Skeletons found in North Side condo"

This is an unfortunate discovery.

Police are trying to determine what caused the deaths of two people whose skeletal remains were found inside an upscale North Side condominium.

A painter spotted bones about 11:30 a.m. in the 17100 block of Vardon Way while peering through a window as he prepared to paint the exterior of the residential building.


“It’s definitely a mystery,” said Officer Teresa Velazquez of the San Antonio Police Department. "The cause of death is unknown right now."

Authorities believe the remains were of a woman in her 30s and her 10-year-old son – both of whom had not been seen in many months.

"Right now we're listing the victims as John and Jane Doe because we can't be sure," Velazquez said.

A representative of the property management company said the woman and boy who lived there were Hurricane Katrina evacuees. The apartment complex had recently issued an eviction notice.

(from the Express-News)

"Upscale" condominium? I'm not trying to sound insensitive (and the deaths are certainly tragic), but how does FEMA get to place hurricane evacuees in an "upscale" condominium? And why are they still there three years after the storm?

This story has me scratching my head in a few different places.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"San Antonio Police Will Stop Responding to Non Violent Crimes"

Hmm. This bears watching.

SAN ANTONIO - Police here are unveiling a new program they say will help keep you safer. But some people in San Antonio think it is a bad idea.

The police department says it needs more officers, but until that happens things need to change. So now, if you are involved in a non-violent crime, chances are you won't see police to file your complaint.


[T]hey have come up with the Strategic Management for Accelerated Response Times, or S.M.A.R.T., Initiative. Now people will file certain reports on the internet, and then get a case number by e-mail.

"It sounds good. If you are fortunate enough to have it. But unfortunately in this town, there's a lot of families that don't have access to the internet," said Diana Cappelli, who don't [sic] think the plan will be effective.

Police say they won't respond to non-violent crimes like car burglaries, graffiti, beer runs and theft. They say this will free up officers to respond to emergency calls, and that would improve response time.

(from WOAI-TV)

Also not included in the do-not-respond list: minor traffic accidents. I wonder if this could cause problems with auto insurance companies. And what about beer runs? Doesn't this effectively let young beer grabbers know that there's almost no chance of them being caught? Watch out, convenience store owners.

Chief McManus is supposed to talk about this tomorrow. I'd like to hear what he has to say.

Thunder throne

Seen in Boerne, a thunder box made up in a kingly way.


Friday, October 17, 2008

"Bikini Car Wash Replaced by WWJD Car Wash"

Remember the action San Antonio City Council sprung into after hearing about a bikini car wash? Now the business that originally caused all the fuss has been replaced by a "cleaner" car wash.

SAN ANTONIO - The Bikini Car Wash on South Flores has closed. Now a business has moved in that claims it's run by a higher power.

The "What Would Jesus Do" Car Wash opened its doors this week. It moved in after the Bikini Car Wash went out of business.

(from WOAI-TV. Hat tip - Ellen)

On a positive note, at least City Council now seems serious about going after taggers.

In approving the city's legislative agenda, the council directed city staff to work with Bexar County lawmakers to draw up proposals that would significantly toughen graffiti laws. The proposals would be considered by the next Legislature, which convenes in January.

The council's get-tough wish list also includes a surtax on the purchase of aerosol spray paint cans; a list of convicted taggers — much like the one required for registered sex offenders — and a sliding schedule that ties fines to the amount of monetary damage caused.

Convicted taggers now face anywhere from a Class B misdemeanor to a jail-time felony, depending on the severity of the offense and the type of paint used, a San Antonio police spokeswoman said.

(from the Express-News)

I don't know if that spray paint surtax will do much good, but perhaps the stiffer fines and jail-time will.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting upset about "maverick"

When your family name drifts into the English language to take on a meaning all its own, you might seem a bit weird if you protest its use.

From the ombudsman of the Express-News:

Scores of readers reacted angrily Tuesday to a Page 1 story in the San Antonio Express-News that they said painted a negative impression of presidential candidate John McCain, three weeks before Election Day.

As of late Tuesday afternoon we'd received more than 125 phone calls and e-mails.

The story, "A Maverick?,"which quoted several members of the Maverick family of San Antonio, essentially said McCain should not call himself a maverick -- a term whose etymology goes back to Sam Maverick, but whose current role in the American lexicon is to describe a person who takes an independent stand.

Maverick was a mayor of San Antonio and a Texas cattleman in the middle 19th century. Because he didn't brand his cattle, they were known as Mavericks, now a term for an unbranded, wandering animal or a person who thinks outside the box politically or otherwise.


McCain, his running mate, Sarah Palin, and their supporters often describe McCain as a maverick who is willing to step outside his Republican Party platform if he thinks the party is taking the wrong stand.

Local Mavericks (big "M") told E-N reporter Amy Dorsett that McCain is going too far.

That seems a little weird to me. If my name became a rather common English word -- and in a relatively positive connotation -- I might consider its use to be something of a compliment. But the Maverick family here comes across as petty, whining that a politician they oppose is using a legitimate English word that happens to be derived from their name. That's laughable.

But what I'm most upset about is that only one commenter (Mark Harden) to the ombudsman's post brought up the most egregious use of the term "maverick": as a mascot for the Dallas NBA team. Apparently Mark Cuban seems to think a "maverick" is a horse! And the San Antonio Mavericks are not bothered in the least about it.

Well, maybe until the Express-News does a story on it, I suppose. Then it will be front page news.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"18-Year-Old Arrested In 'Ninja' Shooting"

I guess the disguise didn't work.

SAN ANTONIO -- Investigators have arrested an 18-year-old man they said shot a 44-year-old man during a robbery attempt late Monday evening.

Jacob Cavazos was identified by the victim from his hospital bed, police said. Police took the suspect to Brooke Army Medical Center for the victim to make an identification. Investigators said the victim recognized the shooter's voice and eyes, but couldn't remember his name.

Bexar County Sheriff's deputies said the victim was sitting in the garage of a friend's home at 9:30 p.m. on the 8400 block of Tuxford Drive when a man dressed in black and wearing a ski mask -- witnesses said he looked "like a ninja," investigators said -- demanded keys to a car in the driveway.

When the victim refused, the man in black shot him once in the chest, deputies said.

(from KSAT-12)

Maybe he should have taken the bus instead.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Man rescued after falling into Seguin water tower"


A worker painting a water tower in Seguin fell 30 feet inside the tower Monday afternoon.

A private contractor was sand blasting and painting the tower at Kingsbury and Geronimo streets, which had been drained for the job. At about 3 p.m., a worker fell inside and landed on some metal baffling, said Seguin Fire Department Batallion Chief James Vogel.

(from the Express-News)

He was rescued, but I bet he was scared. I just hope there was a great big screen over that water tank's drain!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hiding the meters

You think your job is tough? Try finding the water meters in this mess.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A woman who should have thought a little more

Here's a tip. Don't accept rides from strangers. Sometimes they don't end well.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- A woman was stabbed and thrown from a truck in front of a law office on the city's southeast side late Thursday afternoon.

The woman told police she got into a vehicle with a man she didn't know and drove around for 10 to 15 minutes before she wanted to get off the man's beige truck. When she asked to be dropped off, she told police the man stabbed her, investigators said. The woman was able to walk to a law office on the 300 block of Fair Avenue.

Am I wrong to wonder about her occupation?

Most wrong headline of the day

"San Antonio on NFL's radar"

Followed by the most wrong lead paragraph.
San Antonio is on a track that could lead to the NFL considering it for an expansion team someday, commissioner Roger Goodell suggested Wednesday.


Commissioner Goodell may have said some encouraging words to his audience at the University of the Incarnate Word, but he also left no doubt that the Alamo City has almost no chance of getting a team in the National Football League. And the Express-News admits as such later in the same piece.
While making it clear the league has no immediate plans to grow beyond 32 teams and will continue to discourage relocation, Goodell indicated there has been a shift in how the league views San Antonio. [emphases added]

Let's be honest here -- the NFL has always been less than enthusiastic about San Antonio, even though we built a brand new football stadium fifteen years ago just in the hopes of landing a team. We haven't gotten one, and that building called the Alamodome has sat there next to IH-37 in downtown for a decade and a half without ever being used for its primary purpose: a San Antonio NFL franchise.

And the future doesn't look bright, despite what that headline at the top of this post says. Here's why:

1. In 1992, the NFL rejected San Antonio's bid for an expansion team. Instead, the league gave teams to Charlotte and Jacksonville. Jacksonville?! Hell, we weren't even on the short list.

2. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina smashed New Orleans, there were rumors that San Antonio might have a chance to land the Saints. Those rumors amounted to nothing. In fact, Saints owner Tom Benson -- a San Antonian, at that! -- never hinted as much, and he has kept the team in the Big Easy.

3. San Antonio has a history of failed football teams from other professional leagues. That doesn't do much to encourage the NFL to look our way.

4. San Antonio has always been a Cowboys town. People here love the Dallas team, and you can bet owner Jerry Jones knows that. Fans have no problem driving up IH-35 to see a game, and that's money in Jones's pocket. I can't imagine he would have anything to do with allowing a competing team to move in down here.

Of course, this is all just my opinion, and I normally would keep these views to myself. But I couldn't let that Express-News headline go without calling B.S. on it. It's optimistic, but it's wrong. We're not on the NFL's radar. We're under it. And I don't think we will ever get a team here unless Austin and San Antonio grow together and begin functioning as one metropolis.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Looking at ghost stories

I'm not one to believe in ghost stories. I've been in my fair share of structures that were supposedly haunted and I've never experienced anything that would convince me a ghostly presence was at work. But many people do believe in ghosts, and they love old places where displaced spirits are said to roam.

San Antonio is full of such places -- as I imagine any old city would be -- and there are plenty of locations for interested people to visit. The October 2008 issue of Fiesta magazine (a tourist-oriented publication put out by the Express-News) takes a look at some of the more popular legends and asks the opinions of two "paranormal experts" as to whether such ghost stories are true, false, or plausible.

I was expecting all of the stories to get a "true" or "plausible" rating, but one of them was deemed false by both of the experts, and -- surprisingly -- it's the one that's probably the most well known outside of the Alamo City. It's the legend of the ghost tracks.

Here's the excerpt from the Fiesta article by Miranda Koerner:

The traditional tale is a school bus was driving along its afternoon route after school in the 1930s. As the bus drove uphill, it stalled directly on railroad tracks in San Antonio's South Side. Suddenly, a train came rushing down the tracks and hit the bus, killing more than 10 of its passengers.

According to the legend, the dead children now haunt the tracks, protecting those who come there from suffering their fate.


Are the ghost tracks really haunted by the children killed on the school bus?

[Michelle] Hernandez [of the San Antonio Paranormal Network] says: False. She says the accident occurred in another state and a local paper at the time ran it for 14 days. People created rumors from the headlines and the story spread.

JR [Plebas of Alamo City Ghost Tours] says: False. It never happened. The story was created to keep kids from playing on the tracks because the trains are a safety hazard. He warns the tracks are live and cars can be hit by an oncoming train. Also, JR says, women have been attacked by strangers hiding around the tracks. If you go to test the tale, be careful!

Hm. There you go. Two people with vested interests in ghost stories call this one bogus. So, I guess it's time for people to stop dusting their cars to look for handprints, stop parking on the tracks, and stop looking for ghostly children in the darkness on the South Side. Besides, there are so many other old, creaky places to look for ghosts in. Like the Menger Hotel.

Happy haunting!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"Photo Shows Teens [sic] Girls With Alcohol"

Wow, is it sweeps month already?

WOAI has a rather odd story to get your attaention.

A school district is investigating what appears to be a case of underage drinking, and the three high school girls involved may be in a lot of trouble if a bottle they're pictured with turns out to be what it looks like.

The photo showing underage girls holding what appears to be a bottle of liquor showed up anonymously in News 4's email inbox Tuesday. Two of the girls are students at John Marshal [sic] High School, the third attends Brandeis High School. District officials are trying to determine if the picture are [sic] real.

"If, in fact, the picture turns out to be legitimate and these students were, in fact, drinking liquor, that's a very serious offense," said Pascual Gonzalez of NISD.

But, if not, the district is still going to be very serious. Just in case.

School district officials want to make sure it's clear that even if the photo isn't real, the behavior pictured in the photo is not the way the district expects its student to act.
So, if you're in high school, you shouldn't be posing with alcohol. But, if the whole thing is a fake photo, then you shouldn't be doing---- what, posing in fake photos? Holding pretend alcohol? Acting out a behavior instead of actually engaging in the behavior?

I need some help here. I'm really trying to understand the district's position in that second blockquote.

Seymour Perkins -- homeless

Seymour Perkins has battled his neighbors and the City of San Antonio to keep his house from being torn down. I even speculated that the house would not be destroyed until after the man had died.

I was wrong.

The Express-News reports that Perkins's house has burned down.

Seymour Perkins, the eccentric East Side folk artist at the center of a battle to save his house, lost it in a fire early Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Perkins, who was wearing overalls with a small patch of singed material, was sitting in front of his home at the intersection of South Hackberry and Nevada streets, talking to passersby about the fire that gutted his home.

The self-styled preacher escaped the fire unharmed. He said the fire had been started by a candle, which he had been using to light the home. Perkins said the city had turned off his electricity in an attempt to drive him away from his house.

If Perkins hadn't admitted that his candle started the fire, I might have suspected a little foul play.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

"Jurors Find Jett Guilty"

After all of his antics, Richard Jett was still found guilty of murder.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- A Bexar County jury on Friday found a man who created several courtroom disruptions during his trial guilty of murder.

Jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes before returning the guilty verdict against Richard Jett, who was charged in the 2006 fatal stabbing of an 80-year-old man.


During the trial, Jett lunged at one of his lawyers, marked himself up with ink and his feces and made several emotional outbursts.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

More rabies in town

Don't feed the cats! Especially the little kittens!

From the Express-News:

An elderly man who fed stray cats in his Oak Hills neighborhood was bitten by a kitten that has tested positive for rabies, health officials said Wednesday.

It was the second rabid cat identified in Bexar County this year — a highly unusual occurrence. And it comes as a nationwide shortage of human post-exposure rabies vaccine is worsening.

The man, identified only as being in his 80s, is undergoing post-exposure rabies treatment, said Christine Patmon, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Health District.


Rabies in domestic animals — dogs and cats — is uncommon in Bexar County, which has reported a single case every few years, predominantly in cats. It is much more common in wild animals.

This year, rabies has been confirmed in 17 animals locally — eight bats, seven skunks and now two cats. The first cat was infected by a skunk strain of rabies. The type of virus that infected the most recent cat has not yet been determined.

I hope that man pulls through this ordeal.

But it bears repeating: If the animal isn't yours, it's probably best to leave it alone. Rabies is a horrible disease.

The mayoral race

This should be fun to watch. Two local high-profile women who want to influence how this town grows are now butting heads, as KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- A campaign is underway to recall a first-term city councilwoman with mayoral aspirations.

A Web site to recall District 8 City Councilwoman Diane Cibrian has been started by the woman behind [sic] Terri Hall, the woman behind the Texas Toll Party, a group dedicated to stopping the inclusion of toll roads in current or future San Antonio and Bexar County construction.

Hall has registered the domain, and created a Web site claiming Cibrian opposed toll roads before switching her position and made accusations the councilwoman accepted a free trip to Cancun from a developer to which Cibrian had previous ties. Cibrian has claimed in the past the trip was not unethical, but did amend a financial disclosure statement filed with the City Clerk's admitting her trip.


Cibrian said Hall is "an out-of-towner" trying to influence local politics. Hall lives in Spring Branch, Texas, which is not within Cibrian's district. Hall said the movement to recall Cibrian is coming from Texas Toll Party members who live within District 8.

Remember, Cibrian wants to keep strip joints out of her district, and Hall wants no tolls, no how, nowhere.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Poteet City Council Removes Indicted Mayor From Office"


From KSAT-12:

POTEET, Texas -- Mayor Lino Donato, indicted and arrested last week on charges he had improper contact with a child, was removed from his position Monday evening by the Poteet City Council.

The council voted to vacate Donato's position, as he had not been to three consecutive meetings without an excused absence. Donato was already on probation after pleading guilty less than a year ago to similar charges.

And a small town south of here sighs with relief.

[Earlier stuff here.]

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Announcing his intentions

I don't have OnStar in my car, but I'm glad now it was invented. And I'm glad the mentally unstable person who planned to kill others had the idea to use it before he went into action.

WOAI-TV reports:

SAN ANTONIO - Several lives very well may have been saved when a man called Onstar and threatened to kill himself and others if they interfered.

Known for its road side assistance, help with directions, and emergency services, Onstar may have saved many people's lives Friday night after a New Braunfels man said something very scary to the Onstar operator.

“He stated that he's been off his medication and that he was down in San Antonio and he wanted to cause a blood bath,” said Sgt. Daniel Anders from the San Antonio Police Department.

Police were called and Onstar was able to tell them exactly where to find the man. Police confronted the man at a Lowes parking lot on the Northeast Side near I-35. The man's identity has not been release[d].

Thank you, General Motors.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Thieves Landscape Lawn, Then Come Back To Steal"

If your yard got some landscaping, and you didn't order any, you'd be right to be a little suspicious.


Robert Cisneros bought his truck about a month ago. Since then, some very odd things have happened.

It all started about 2 weeks ago with some landscaping bricks.

"It wasn't like they stacked them up and said here's your bricks," Cisneros said. "They actually put some time. They made it look really nice around the tree."

The problem is, Cisneros didn't order any landscaping.

No one in the neighborhood could figure out how the bricks got around the tree.

The landscaping kept the Cisneros, his family, and his neighbors guessing. That is, until Thursday morning when they all found out exactly what the bricks were doing there and the 4 reasons the thieves needed them.

Most of the lug nuts were on the lawn, but [the] wheel wells on Cisneros' truck were empty and his wheels and tires were gone. It was a screwy set of circumstances that taught the Cisneros family and their neighbors a lesson.

The lesson? That there is no such thing as a free lunch, and no one will landscape your lawn for free. Beware of sudden gifts.

"Another Day, Another Antic From Murder Defendant"

Crazy, or not?

You decide.

SAN ANTONIO -- It didn't take long or much for a murder defendant who managed to get himself thrown out of court twice this week to get tossed Friday.

Moments after Richard Jett was brought into court in a wheelchair in the 379th District Court, the defendant went off on Judge Bert Richardson."This is inhumane, man," Jett said about being restrained. "This is torture. Barbaric. Kill me now, Judge Richardson. Put me out of my misery, man. Get these bogus-a-- attorneys off my case."

Previous antics here and here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Jett Smears Feces On Himself Before Trial"

Yesterday it was a marker pen. Now it's poop.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- In a continuing effort to disrupt his murder trial, a man accused of stabbing another to death took a smelly route Thursday.

Richard Jett, accused of stabbing 80-year-old Homer Daniels to death in 2006, soiled himself and spread feces on his body just as his trial was scheduled to begin.

Jett was removed from the courtroom before proceedings began and the victim's son took the witness stand.


Testimony is expected to continue in the morning, but there is no word on Jett's possible presence. Previously, Jett has marked his body and face with a marker, removed and attempted to flush his clothing and lunged toward his attorney before being restrained.

A challenging trial, to say the least.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Murder Defendant Removed From Courtroom Again"

The trial of Richard Jett gets weirder, as KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- A 50-year-old man accused of murder arrived in court Wednesday covered with markings on his body and then lunged at a lawyer before he was forcibly removed.

The incident was the latest in courtroom disruptions by Richard Jett, who is on trial in the fatal stabbing of an 80-year-old man in 2006.

Despite informing District Judge Bert Richardson on Tuesday that he didn't want to participate in his trial, Jett arrived under heavy guard in the 379th District Court with magic marker markings on his body. It was not immediately known how Jett got the marker, since he is jailed.

KSAT video here.
Previous post here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stooping really low

Stealing from an old lady is already a pretty crappy crime, but actually taking her wheelchair? That's a new low.

WOAI-TV reports:

A thief got away with an elderly woman's purse, keys, and wheelchair. But he may soon be caught because of what police now have.

The thief was caught on tape at a North Side Wal-Mart store. Wal-Mart has multiple cameras overlooking its store and parking lot.

"I thought it was really low stealing, someone stealing a wheelchair. Ya know?" said 78-year-old Joanne Bizzelle as she laughed.


Even though the cameras caught the thief in action Friday, Bizzelle would like the person who is responsible to come forward on his own.

"You're a low life...and I want my cards back," Bizzelle added.

Cards?! I assume she means credit cards, but she just may be talking about playing cards, for all I know.

"Poteet mayor indicted again"

Poor ...

... poor ...

... poor Poteet.

That town's mayor has been brought up on sex crime charges again, as the Express-News reports:

POTEET — Poteet Mayor Lino Donato, who is currently appealing the deferred adjudication he received for pleading guilty to indecency with a child charges in October, was indicted on three new charges related to indecency with a child on Monday.

An Atascosa County grand jury charged Donato with one count each of aggravated sexual assault, a first degree felony, indecency with a child by contact, a second degree felony, and attempted indecency with a child by contact, a third degree felony, according to a list of indictments released by the Atascosa District Clerk's office.


Donato was being held at the Atascosa County Jail on $200,000 bond Tuesday afternoon, officials said. A registered sex offender, he has fought attempts to force him to step down from his mayor's post despite being unable to preside at city council meetings because of the terms of his probation.

Previous stuff here.

"'Tagger' Charged With Causing $12K In Damages"

The good guys caught one. Let's hope they get more.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- Police said they arrested a 19-year-old man who has illegally tagged enough to cause about $12,000 in damages.

Kevin Knable doesn't deny being a graffiti artist, but said San Antonio police arrested the wrong person and instead charged him with felony tagging.

"I say that's bulls**t," Knable said as he was being arrested by police.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Car crashes into house

More vehicular destruction is visited upon a domicile, and KSAT-12 has the video.

Story here.

A family on the southwest side is picking up the pieces after a car crashed into their house early Sunday morning.

Albert Esparza remembers being jolted out of his sleep by a sound no one expects to hear at 3:30 a.m.

"It was just like a blast," said Esparza. "Like two cars going 90 miles an hour and hitting head-on."

Well, like one car hitting a house, probably.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Argument over photos ends with a shooting"

It seems that drink, drugs, and family photos don't mix too well down in southern Bexar County.

From the Express-News:

A 24-year-old man was shot and critically wounded by his uncle in an argument over family photos Saturday afternoon in South Bexar County, authorities said.

Bexar County Sheriff’s detective Buck Buchanan said an afternoon argument over photos escalated to the point that a 42-year-old man, believed to be the uncle of the shooting victim, grabbed a 22-caliber rifle and fired at least once.

The victim, who was not immediately identified, was hit once in the lower back and flown to University Hospital about 45 minutes after the shooting.


Deputies originally responded to the 22500 block of Crossbow about 2:55 p.m. for a call of domestic disturbance, Buchanan said. The argument apparently erupted after a night of alcohol and drugs.

The two had been “drinking beer and snorting cocaine all night long,” Buchanan said.

Scrapbooking can get so ugly.

"Judge Warns Defendant About Representing Himself"

How does that old saying go about someone representing himself and having an idiot for a client?

KSAT-12 tries to find out:

SAN ANTONIO -- District Judge Bert Richardson on Friday warned a murder defendant that he should reconsider his request to act as his own lawyer.

Earlier this week, Richard Jett fired his lawyers during a hearing, saying he wanted to represent himself when his trial begins Monday.

Richardson is concerned about Jett's mental health after the defendant appeared in court wearing boxers. Jett refused to get dressed and tried to flush his clothes down a toilet in his cell, court officials said.

Insanity defense, or just insane?

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Police: man left kids home alone to visit bar"

And now, from the files of bad parenting, a couple who left their children home alone so they could go out partying.

From the Express-News:

Police originally responded to the 120 block of Lee Street last Friday for a burglary call in which neighbors said three juveniles had walked out of a house with a television. When police arrived, they found the front door to the house open and three girls — ranging in age from 11 months to 2 years — asleep on the living room floor with no adults around, the affidavit said.

The girls' father, Fred Vega Jr., told police he left the girls unattended so he could go to a neighborhood bar a few blocks from the residence, the affidavit said.


When police questioned Vega two days after the incident, he told authorities he thought his wife was watching the children. He later told a child welfare worker that he saw his wife at the bar that same night.

His wife also changed her story when questioned by officials. Originally, she told investigators she left the children with a babysitter while she went to visit friends. That story was concocted, she later admitted to police, “so they would not get into trouble for going to the bar,” according to the affidavit.

Asked by her husband to go to the bar that evening, the woman told police she knew leaving the children alone was wrong but Vega made her “feel guilty about not going with him,” according to the affidavit.

Maybe now she feels guilty about being a bad mother and marrying a loser.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Councilwoman Receives Complaints About New Business"

The City Council prigs are still fighting those dangerous businesses that dare to be sexy.

From KSAT-12:

Mary Alice Cisneros, councilwoman for District 1, said her office has received complaints about scantily-clad waitresses and sexually suggestive behavior at a near-downtown cafe called Las Nenas within her district. The complaints have prompted Cisneros to investigate the city's ban on sexually oriented businesses and to check on the cafe's certificate of occupancy and other licensing, she said.

The cafe is located near the intersection of Fredericksburg Road and Cincinnati Avenue.

"We are looking into just exactly what sexual orientated businesses are allowed to do and not supposed to be doing," she said.

The concern, Cisneros said, goes beyond her district, citing recent complaints about the Bikini Car Wash in Councilwoman Jennifer Ramos' District 3 and the now-closed Mariposas Cafe in in Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan's District 5.

"It's sprouting all over, whether it's in other district or in mine in particular, and so we will muster the support and do the investigations and move forward," she said.


Really, don't they have anything better to do than to save us from sexiness? How long until waitresses have to start wearing burqas in San Antonio?

Franchesca O'Neal revisited

Remember Franchesca O'Neal, the San Antonio College student who sued a professor over a B grade and included rather violent language in her suit? A commenter on the original post tipped me off that The Ranger, the student newspaper for San Antonio College, has more on this case.

The Alamo Community College District was successful today in obtaining a temporary injunction against a former student of this college.

Franchesca O'Neal, a 26-year-old political science major, was barred from making contact with staff, faculty and students of the district and from entering district property through a temporary restraining order that was issued Sept. 3.

Today's ruling by 57th District Court Judge Joe F. Brown Jr., essentially keeps intact that order concerning faculty and staff, which was set to expire. The prohibition against talking to students was too far-reaching, Brown said.

A final hearing on a permanent injunction is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 8.

I wonder if any students are actually talking to her.

Car crashes into bedroom

Driving mayhem continues; abodes threatened.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- An elderly couple was injured early Thursday when a sport utility vehicle driven by a suspected drunken driver crashed into the bedroom of their apartment on the city's southeast side.

Maria Elena Zamora, 79, was pinned in her bed underneath the vehicle and had to be extracted, police said. She was transported to University Hospital in serious but stable condition, police said. Her husband, Reymundo Zamora, 82, was thrown from the bed. He suffered a minor injury and was hospitalized for observation.

Police said a man was speeding around 1 a.m. when he lost control of his Chevrolet Suburban and crashed into the Highland Hills Apartment Homes in the 3000 block of East Southcross Boulevard.

The bad news is someone got hurt this time. The good news is that some witnesses caught the driver before he could get away.
"I started chasing him down and tripped him," said Casey Jones, who helped stop the driver. "He tried to get up and I shoved him down again and my friends arrived and we roughed him up."

Don't mess with Casey!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Parents and Sitter Blame Each Other For Baby's Injuries"

Someone's going to pay for this. I just wonder who it will be.


SAN ANTONIO, TX -- A 2-month-old baby was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries on Monday.

Police are trying to figure out who is responsible for abusing the baby, who has broken bones, bruises, and bleeding inside his skull.

The child's parents and his babysitter are putting the blame on each other. The boy is being cared for at Christus Santa Rosa Children's Hospital.


The babysitter said the child's mother dropped him off at her house and told her that the child had a fever. Doctors discovered the little boy had broken legs, head trauma, and bruises on his face and back.

"I'm not blaming her. It could have happened anyhow," said the babysitter. "I don't know. I don't know how that baby has broken legs and a fractured skull. But accidents happen."


"I'm afraid for my family and stuff. I don't want to be blamed for something I didn't do," explained the babysitter. "I tried to help her and that was it."

It seems a little odd that the babysitter is willing to talk to the news media while the mother remains silent. At least in this story.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back to strangeness ...

... thanks to Dave at Silver Creek 78250.

For your puzzlement, two dogs in a graveyard, and they are obviously ignoring the warning signs.

Not strange in San Antonio; helpful instead

There's not much to report on the strange side lately. I'm sure there are some odd items out there, but they are just not getting any media play. That's mostly because of Ike. The hurricane did a number on the Houston/Galveston area, and stories from there have been dominating the news cycle. That's OK; the people there need our help and prayers.

And it's good to see the local response. A lot of evacuees made it to the Alamo City, and citizens here have been showing that San Antonio can do at least one thing right, and that's helping our fellow Texans in need.

Check out this story from KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- After spending one night at Port San Antonio, Mirasol Hernandez, her mother and young daughter decided to try and head back to Houston.

But after learning going back home wasn't a good idea, Hernandez and her family spent Friday night in their vehicle at a gasoline station off Interstate 10.

On Saturday morning, two San Antonio women saw what Hernandez was going through and decided to open up their home to a total stranger.

"We saw them and said, 'Hey, you know, you're more than welcome to come to our home if you need somewhere to stay if you don't want to be out here,'" Janie Ramos said in an interview with KSAT 12 News.

Makes me proud.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strange headline of the day

As Hurricane Ike roars ashore, KSAT-12 has a bold headline followed by an unmatched second hed.

AP: About 1M Stayed Behind
Authorities in three counties alone said roughly 90,000 stayed behind, despite a warning from forecasters that many of those in one- or two-story homes faced "certain death."

There's a big difference between 1,000,000 and 90,000.

Since the home pages of the news stations have been changing frequently, I include the screen capture for illustration purposes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brothers of the Flame

Have you ever eaten at Sam's Burger Joint next to U.S. Highway 281? Did you know afficionados of fiery perfomances gather under the highway there on Monday nights?

WOAI-TV blurb here.
Video of the fire art here.

A bit crazy, but it looks cool. And it's a better outlet for creativity than tagging up the place.

"CPS Energy Employee Finds Woman's Body"

This is not something a utility worker should expect to see while on the job.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- The body of a woman was found in south Bexar County on Tuesday.

Sheriff's officials said a CPS Energy employee made the discovery in the 10000 block of Fowler Road at 10 a.m.

The victim's purse was found in a nearby pickup truck that was still running.

The police are treating this as a homicide.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Waiting for Ike

Did you hear? There's a storm coming. Name's Ike.

From KSAT-12:

Ike is expected to blow ashore early Saturday somewhere between Corpus Christi and Houston, and some forecasts said it could become a Category 4 storm, with winds of at least 131 mph.

Four counties south and east of Houston have announced mandatory or voluntary evacuations, and authorities are moving weak and chronically ill patients by bus to San Antonio.

South Texas is already getting ready for Ike. Some schools have called off classes through the end of the week, and medically fragile residents are getting on buses to head north.

We'll have a few visitors in town this weekend.