Sunday, July 30, 2006

Old man busted for drugs

If you're 68 years old, you're transporting $1.5 million worth of heroin through San Antonio, and you need to change buses downtown, you might try looking a bit more relaxed.

From WOAI:

Narcisco Rodriguez-Jaimes has been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance over 400 grams, an arrest report stated. ...

Plain-clothes officers approached Rodriguez-Jaimes early Saturday afternoon during a random check at the Greyhound Bus Station on St. Mary’s. When police asked to see his identification, he started acting "very nervous," according to the report. Officers discovered drugs in packages on the man’s body when they searched him.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Seymour Perkins makes art, and gets inspected for his troubles

This is definitely strange.

A 75-year-old man feels like he's being persecuted by San Antonio's code compliance department, despite the fact that he has numerous code violations -- some dangerous -- on his property.

But please don't tell him to straighten things up. He is an artist, after all.

After the inspection, which included a dog trained to sniff out drugs, [Seymour] Perkins was issued citations for “accumulation of trash and debris,” “electrical hazards,” “gas lines not being used needing to be capped,” and “operating a church without a permit.”

It's so bad that even Perkins's daughter thinks the place should be cleaned up.

For Perkins, the inspections represented a slap in the face, a city declaration that his art is merely trash and his ministry is invalid. His voice nearly cracks with emotion every time he discusses the subject. For his family members, however, there are more pressing concerns than bruised feelings.

“We need someone to help us move all these things,” said Perkins’s daughter Chris, appealing to the reverend’s friends in the local art community. “We can’t do it alone.”

But, this being a story from the San Antonio Current, of course the man is just a misunderstood artist. (Oh, and he's not really a reverend. He just calls himself one.)

Perkins is living the sad contradiction faced by many so-called “outsider artists,” compounded by his advancing age.

Did I mention that Perkins also believes his home will be the northern end of a tunnel railroad to Mexico that will lead to "a Latino takeover of the Americas in 2010"? And that he has a "pregnant hookers' bench"?

And did I mention that this whole thing is strange?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Strange in Mexico City

I don't know what to think of this photo by Daniel Aguilar from Reuters. Acrobats on a police force?

Strange, indeed.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Naomi Fuentes Captured"

They caught her, the woman who was using a battered women's shelter to cover her tracks as she ran from the law.

From WOAI:

Naomi Fuentes was captured in the state of New York this morning.

News 4 WOAI learned that a task force made up of officers from several law enforcement tracked down Fuentes in Niagara Falls. Federal marshals took her into custody shortly after 11 a.m.

She'd started a new life in Niagara Falls, including getting herself a new place to live and a new job as a receptionist.

How nice. But it's good to know that someone who abuses a much-needed resource to hide from the police can be brought to face the charges against her.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Glue almost kills dog

Keep your pets away from the glue. They're curious, and it's apparently dangerous.

From KSAT:

SAN ANTONIO -- Amber Flores said she wants animal lovers -- and parents -- to be aware of her dog's nearly fatal encounter with a bottle of Gorilla Glue. ...

"I made the incision in the stomach. We actually tried to get it out of the stomach," said [Flores' veterinarian, Dr. Kristen] Rohde. "It was just like a big old, water-logged, soggy mass of rubber. It was like a rubber ball that had been in a swimming pool too long."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

"Soldier Arrested In Internet Sex Sting"

OK, this story from KSAT is not strange in its content. In fact, it is simply another example of someone trying to solicit sex from underage people online (and the trend of law enforcement to seek out and capture these sexual deviants before they can actually do harm). But, what makes it strange is how one of San Antonio's crack news teams refers to the accused.

SAN ANTONIO -- A soldier was placed under arrest for trying to have sex with a minor, according to the San Antonio Police Department.

It's the second time that an alleged Internet sex traveler has been arrested in recent weeks.

Mark Kolacinski, 26, said he was sorry about what happened.

Police believe Kolacinski attempted to have sex with a 15-year-old girl he met off the Internet.

He was charged with criminal solicitation of a minor.

According to investigators, Kolacinski traveled from the Corpus Christi area where he was stationed with the U.S. Navy. [emphases added]

That would make him a sailor, not a soldier in the Army. It disappoints me that our local journalists (who work in a city that has several active military installations) would get such a distinction wrong. Quite strange.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Mother and Son Arrested in Meth Lab Bust"

How nice. They're just keeping it in the family.

From WOAI:

Police arrested a mother and son after discovering a meth lab in their home on the Northwest Side. ... The mother was arrested on several counts. Her 16-year-old son is facing a possession of marijuana charge.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Police: Man Exposes Himself, Leads High-Speed Chase"

From KSAT:

SAN ANTONIO -- A man allegedly exposed himself and sent police on a high-speed chase on Interstate 10 before being caught, KSAT 12 News reported. ...

After the man was arrested, he admitted to KSAT 12 News that he was under the influence of drugs [Dude! --ed.].

Police found the man's shorts and a crack pipe in the front seat of the car.

He also said he should have stopped when police tried to pull him over the first time.

It's good when a man can see the error of his ways.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


From WOAI:

A baboon escaped from a local research center on Thursday.

The baboon was on the loose, running wild across a busy stretch of Loop 410. Thursday afternoon, workers at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, near Culebra Road were trying to figure out how the baboon got out.

That baboon apparently climbed a fence at the research center, crossed the access road, and 8 lanes of traffic on Loop 410.

Witness Rick Watkins was riding his motorcycle when he saw what he thought was a really big dog.

"Then out of the street and up to the center median, jumped this baboon," Watkins told us. ...

It took workers 30 minutes to capture the baboon. They shot him with a tranquilizer, and say he's resting comfortably in his cage, which is now securely locked.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Toilet Seat Museum

His name is Barney Smith. He is 85 years old. He lives in Alamo Heights. And he has a garage that houses the almost 800 toilet lids he has decorated with his artistry for the past 35 years.

The Express-News has the story.

Smith started the project when he was looking for a mount for deer antlers and found the idea of tacking junk to a toilet cover interesting. Since then, he's crafted designs on hundreds of seats (technically, they're lids) and hopes to get to No. 800 by the time he turns 86 next May.

He's also a celebrity of sorts. Smith, who dons a work apron in his museum and speaks with a Southern drawl, has shared his crafty creations on ABC's "The View" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

"'Missing' U.T.S.A. Student Now a 'Wanted' Woman"

Remember Naomi Fuentes? The UTSA student who disappeared, thus sparking an all-out effort to find her? And she turned up in a battered women's shelter up north, only to disappear again after police talked to her, and the shelter would not reveal where she went in order to "protect her privacy"?

Turns out she embezzled money from her company, and now an arrest warrant has been issued for her.

From WOAI:

An 'arrest warrant' was issued on Wednesday for Naomi Fuentes. Investigators believe she faked her own abduction to cover up a crime.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Windcrest police filed a warrant for the arrest of Fuentes. The investigation against her revolves around the misuse of a company credit card.

"From what we know on the credit card, there was initial usage of the card to almost $50,000 and about $47,000 for the total usage," said Detective Scott Purcell of the Windcrest Police Department. ...

The crime didn't surface until this spring. Two days after her boss was contacted by authorities about the card, Naomi Fuentes disappeared. She was last seen at the Downtown U.T.S.A. campus. Authorities later found out she had left by choice. ...

Windcrest police are now contacting authorities in New York and Canada to see if they can find Naomi Fuentes. They plan to bring her back to face charges.

The battered women's shelter was a convenient way for her to evade the law. That's low, and that shelter should help the police find this criminal instead of covering for her in the name of privacy. Such actions will only encourage other female criminals to abuse a valuable resource in order to further their crimes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When cartoons attack

From KSAT:

Police said that Debra Tijerina struck her uncle and her cousin over the head with a 10-pound frying pan after the pair had allegedly stabbed the woman's husband and her father outside a home in the 6200 block of Birch Valley at 10 p.m. Monday.

"You do what you got to do to protect those that you love," Tijerina said.

Strange, in a Looney Tunes sort of way.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tolling like a tea party

Oh, I can't believe I haven't pointed this out yet: The San Antonio Toll Party.

To get you caught up, the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, is considering putting in some toll roads here in San Antonio. There are currently none in this city, though Houston and Dallas have some.

There are some people who are adamantly opposed to toll roads in the Alamo City, and Terri Hall is one of them. She is an open and vocal critic of TxDOT and the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, or RMA (the group tasked with handling local toll projects). Ms. Hall denounces anything having to do with toll roads, and she has started the San Antonio Toll Party as "a non-partisan, grassroots movement to STOP the DOUBLE tax tolling of our existing FREEways and rights of way" [capitals in original].

Fine and good. Ms. Hall is entitled to her opinion on toll roads (I am neither pro- or anti- on the issue), and she has the right to voice that opinion. But the way she presents those arguments -- and the tactics she uses -- can be a bit off-putting.

For one, the tolling of a road seems morally neutral to me, yet Ms. Hall refers to people who are against tolls as "good guys" and people who are not sufficiently anti-toll as "bad guys". I fail to see how you can persuade anyone to see your point of view if you start them off in the bad guy camp.

For another, the Toll Party has teamed up with environmental groups to file a lawsuit to stop construction of toll roads on U.S. Highway 281 north of Loop 1604. This is odd, since Ms. Hall seems to want road improvements on U.S. 281, just of the non-tolled kind. And, an environmental lawsuit would probably halt all construction for a long time, whether of tolled roads or "free" roads. That's not going to win very many people over to Ms. Hall's side, especially if they like toll roads or don't care as long as some kind of upgrades come along.

The Toll Party also has ready-made fliers that refer to the whole planning process (complete with public involvement) as "madness" and "highway robbery". The higher-ups at TxDOT and the RMA may not be elected officials (the main sticking point with the Toll Party, it seems), but calling them insane criminals is not the best way to present your case.

In short, Ms. Hall and the San Antonio Toll Party seem to be low on reason and acumen and high on raw passion and invective. The debate is heated (check this link to Pat Driscoll's blog to see some of the arguments on both sides), but Ms. Hall's approach is blowtorch hot. I don't see her winning over many undecided citizens with that approach, but I don't think that's her ultimate goal. She just wants zero toll roads, no matter what anyone else may think.

Car crashes into house

I haven't seen in on the station's Web site, yet, but WOAI-TV reported tonight that another car crashed into another home.

I wonder how prevalent this is in other cities. Seems to be somewhat common here, and that can be strange.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"San Antonio Woman Finds Furry Rodent In Canned Green Beans"

Sorry, but after that whole flap about the woman who slipped a human finger in her Wendy's chili to try to make a little money off the company, I'm taking these kinds of stories -- at least at first blush -- with just a little skepticism.

From WOAI:

One mom says she opened a can of green beans like this..and gave her kids some of them out of the can. When she poured them out, she says she found a creature inside.

Stabbings in San Antonio

Wow. What's with all the knife attacks?

A man stabs his girlfriend in front of her kids.
Carjackers slash a woman.
Two men force two women off the road and cut them.
A man bites and stabs a teenager.

All in the past 24 hours. Calm down, people.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"Stolen Birds Are Returned"

Good for the birds.

From WOAI:

A pair of exotic birds are safe and back in the hands of their rightful owner. The parrots were stolen over the weekend from a west side pet shop.

According to workers at Pets R Us, the birds were found dumped in a box. Now police are trying to figure out exactly what happened.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

More stolen birds

Bird burglar strikes again in San Antonio.

From WOAI:

A bird bandit was on the run Sunday night after stealing two rare parrots from a pet shop on the northwest side, News 4 WOAI learned. ...

"Whoever did this, knew what they were doing,” store manager Justin Sullivan said. “They knew what they came in for. They went straight for the bird cages, didn't hesitate.”

Strange, indeed. Is a pattern developing?