Monday, April 30, 2007

Car crashes into house

This time, the wreck has a tragic result.


Authorities say they first spotted the silver Dodge truck driving erratically in Alamo Heights around 3:15 a.m. They say the truck refused to pull over for police, but instead sped away. According to officers, several people inside the truck were seen throwing items out of the windows.

The truck finally crashed into a house on Elmhurst near North New Braunfels, in Terrell Hills. Police found a man's body lying outside the vehicle. They believe he was the driver.

"Gator Stops Traffic"

It seems alligators are showing up more and more around San Antonio.


SAN ANTONIO -- An 8-foot alligator created quite a challenge for San Antonio police when it showed up Sunday at Loop 410 on the city's South Side.

The large gator stood its ground against police when they tried to move it off the roadway with some poles.

The reptile became aggressive, hissed at the officers and even chomped down on the bumper of a police cruiser.

I swear, gators didn't used to be so common around here. Houston, yeah; but not here. Now they seem to be popping up in all kinds of places around the city.

Maybe it's global warming.

UPDATE: USAToday picked up on the excitement ("Illegally parked alligator snarls Texas traffic"):
"I don't remember any of this in the academy," police Officer Albert Silva said of the traffic jam early Sunday. "As far as I know, there's no procedure on this other than: 'Don't get bit."'
Sounds like good advice to me.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A chihuahua held aloft by balloons

This is part of the Express-News slideshow featuring the Pooch Parade, among other Fiesta celebrations.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Panties Stolen During Store Robbery"

Well, I hear they do have great merchandise.

News 4 WOAI’s Erik Runge found out that several dozen panties were stolen from the Victoria’s Secret in the Alamo Quarry Shopping Center. The thief also took bottles of perfume.

And, the really strange thing is:

This is the second time the Victoria’s Secret location in the Quarry has been robbed in the last six months. A woman with a gun robbed it back in December.

Like I said, good merchandise.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Just another odd mayor's race VI

The Express-News has a voter's guide for the upcoming elections in San Antonio. Though there are a lot of candidates out there for all the council seats (28 in all), and there's a lot of information in this guide, it's the mayor's race that seems to have the most characters. Phil Hardberger, the incumbent, will most likely get re-elected, but it's fun to take a quick look at the other people vying for his job.

Here are the mayoral candidates, and a brief line from the E-N voter's guide to give you a taste of what we have to choose from in the Alamo City.

R.G. Griffing - "He also sold 'ZonaPair Invisible Underwear' and parcels of land on Mars."

Phil Hardberger - "He came out of retirement in 2005 to run for mayor, ultimately defeating two sitting council members and a handful of other candidates."

Michael Idrogo - "On his campaign Web site, he identifies himself - without further detail - as a 'veteran of foreign wars' and one-time naval commander."

Patrick McCurdy - "Patrick McCurdy, owner of Joseph's Storehouse bakery and restaurant, says he believes God called him to run for mayor 'to lead San Antonio to prayer.'"

Julie Iris Oldham - "Oldham is a frequent mayoral candidate."

Eiginio Rodriguez - "Councilwoman Patti Radle appointed him to the city's Zoning Commission in 2005, but council members initially blocked the appointment, questioning whether he would operate fairly."

Rhett Smith - "Smith ran against U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith in 2004, capturing 35 percent of the vote."

That's a lot to choose from, and I'm sure they've got a lot of promises to give. But, I'm thinking of saving my vote for the one that will promise to keep the elevators running at the Tower of the Americas.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cornyation 2007

Billed as the raunchiest, cheapest event of Fiesta San Antonio.

I've never seen the Cornyation, but, from what I hear, that seems to be a good description of the event.

"Lightning Strike Destroys Church"

This is a little sad, but also a little strange.


Firefighters believe a bolt of lightning sparked a two-alarm fire at a South Side church overnight.

The flames erupted around 3:00 a.m. at Iglesia el Jordan off Loop 410 near Zarzamora.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Medal Mania"

One aspect of Fiesta that is always popular is the wearing of quirky and colorful medals. The Express-News has an extensive line-up of current medals here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

"Women charged with animal cruelty, neglect"

I'm not sure what to think of this story from the Express-News:

Sunday morning, police responded to a home and business in the 2900 block of West Commerce on a report of an injured rooster being kept in a cage with no water or food.


As they got closer to the home, police said they found a pigeon with its heart cut out, and other cages holding chickens, hens, pigeons and turtles.

Police said [Diana Patricia] Martinez then came out to explain the injured rooster, telling police the bird got into a fight with another animal.

However, officers said, as they entered the home, they found evidence that Martinez sacrifices animals for religious purposes, and then eats them. In fact, police said the woman was dissecting a chicken when they responded to the call.

Hm. I know chickens taste good, and you often have to cut them up to cook them. I wonder what the evidence is that the animals were specifically for religious purposes.

UPDATE: Well, I guess the evidence is clear when the person says so. (also from the Express-News):

"This is Santeria," said Diana Patricia Martinez, who along with shop co-owner Lee Nelly Morales was arrested and charged with animal cruelty Sunday morning after officers entered their home. "It's a religion."

"Plus, we eat them," she later added in an interview Monday.

That just about settles that question.

"Man beaten in early-morning carjacking"

Here's a good idea: don't pick up people late at night, even if you think you know them. And especially if you have been drinking.

From the Express-News:

Police said the victim had just dropped off a friend when he saw two men he thought he knew on Custer at about 2 a.m. Monday.

The victim offered the men a ride, but when they got in, he realized he didn't know them.

They beat up the guy and stole his car. I hope he recovers, but he's lucky something worse didn't happen to him.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"Hardberger signs pact on greenhouse gases"

The mayor wants San Antonio to cut its emissions, as the Express-News reports:

Several years ago, Phil Hardberger the pilot used to fly his plane over San Antonio and marvel at the 30-mile clear visibility. On Saturday, Phil Hardberger the mayor blamed increasing air pollution for cutting that distance to about 5 miles now.

"As a personal pilot, I have seen this with my own eyes — how our air has gotten dirtier and dirtier. ... [sic] You really don't know how bad it is till you're up there and look down and you see this yellow cloud," he said. "It's what we used to associate with Los Angeles."

To show he's serious about climate protection, Hardberger on Saturday became the 465th mayor in the country to sign a document committing him to work to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in San Antonio. ...

Hardberger cited the resolution and several other city initiatives, saying San Antonio is getting serious about going green.

Last week, the city replaced 21 of its fleet cars with hybrid vehicles, bringing to 86 its total number of such environmentally friendly vehicles, he said.

Do personal planes come in hybrids, too?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

One of these things is not like the other

On this page in the Southside Reporter, the editors haved grouped a few religious articles with some religious advertising. That makes a certain amount of sense, thematically. But, the editors apparently didn't have enough filler for the page, so it seems they dropped in whatever they had at hand.

That happened to be Lexus sales figures for March.

I guess this isn't that strange, from a certain point of view.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Holly Golightly Croquet Club ...

... knockin' balls around on the lawn. (slideshow here)

Slide number 3 is quite humorous.

"Woman walking dog finds severed human foot"


The Express-News reports:

Medina County authorities hope that DNA from a severed human foot found beside County Road 151 on April 9 will help them identify from whom it came.

Sheriff Randy Brown said a woman walking her dog in a wooded area near the Holiday Village subdivision located the decomposed foot, which was submitted to the Bexar County medical examiner's office for testing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"Substitute Charged With Terroristic Threat"

After the Virginia Tech murders, school officials are taking threats very seriously. Especially if they come from one of their own.

KSAT-TV reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- Police charged a former Northside ISD substitute teacher with making terroristic threats after they said he threatened to shoot several district employees Tuesday.

Police said they arrested Thomas Kincaid, 60, at his home after he threatened to shoot employees at the Northside human resources building on Grissom and employees at the administration building on Evers Road.

Pascual Gonzales, Northside ISD spokesman, said that after Monday's massacre on the Virginia Tech campus, they did not want to take any chances.

That's good, but I would have hoped that they weren't taking any chances before the Virginia Tech massacre as well.

UPDATE: The guy says he was just blowing off steam.

A Pipe Creek man arrested Tuesday on a terrorist threat charge admitted talking about shooting employees at Northside Independent School District, where he worked as a substitute teacher, but claimed he just was venting and had no intention of harming anyone, Bandera County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Scott Sharp said Wednesday.

I can think of better ways to vent.

Monday, April 16, 2007

El Rey Fido

From the Express-News:

Kyle, a West Highland terrier, was crowned the fifth El Rey Fido on Saturday at the Humane Society/SPCA of Bexar County on Fredericksburg Road. He and his royal court will be ambassadors for the society at the Pooch Parade, the King William Fair parade and other events during Fiesta and throughout the year.

It's Fiesta time.

UPDATE: Coronation photos here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Helotes Horse Dies, Injures Rider"

This is a bit odd.

SAN ANTONIO -- A horse injured a man after it fell on him while he was riding it on Sunday in Helotes, Texas, authorities said.

EMS arrived at a home to find the man trapped underneath his horse that had died, authorities said.

The story from KSAT-TV isn't entirely clear on what happened. But, judging from the headline, it seems that the horse just keeled over while out on a ride, falling on top of the rider in the process.

I'm not a horse buff, so I'm not sure if it is unusual for one to suddenly die while exercising. Do horses have heart attacks? If so, are they common enough to pose a danger to riders?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Car crashes into house

OK, so it's actually a truck, and the building is the Express-News building downtown, but it's still a little weird.


SAN ANTONIO -- A man led police on a high-speed chase before crashing his pickup truck into a San Antonio Express-News building Friday.

Police pulled the man over near Jones and Austin streets, where the man got out of his pickup truck and ran, police said.

The man then got back into his vehicle and drove off, leading police on a chase, which ended in a crash several blocks later at Broadway and McCullough, police said.

I guess he thought that, after running a bit, the police would forget what his truck looked like.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Trying to curb the growth

San Antonio is a growing city, and, according to Express-News columinst Carlos Guerra, it's growing too fast. In fact, he wants outsiders to stay away.

Fellow San Antonians, the time has come to move to curb San Antonio's explosive population growth. I'm not a native, mind you, but I love San Antonio as if I were, and it is a love born during my childhood, when my family's periodic trips here brought me close to the many magnificent trees this city once had, its architecture and the friendly people.


Alarmed by the destruction now visited by the rapid migration to our city — almost all of from legal aliens from the United States — I am forming the Lesser San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to counter the mindless growth long advocated by another organization of vacuous boosters that I will not dignify by naming.

As the self-appointed executive vice president for communications of Lesser San Antonio, I am also asking that you send me true stories — or halfway believable lies — that we can spread about our city to discourage people from moving here.

Guerra's column sounds a bit tongue-in-cheek, but not by much. I think he truly wishes that not one more person would move to this city, one that he admits he is not a native of.

I disagree with him. Cities change over the years, whether they grow or shrink, and I would rather see more people wanting to move to my town than to see a wave of natives fleeing it. Monitoring and controlling the growth of the city is a good idea, but making outsiders hate it isn't. We don't need to be scaring anybody away from San Antonio.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Fiesta float destroyed by vandals"

Aww, this is just uncool.


After seven months of hard work, the Image Dance Co.'s Fiesta float was destroyed by vandals.


"We walked into our storage facility and this float was beyond damaged. It was demolished," dance instructor Michelle Angulo said. "It was shocking. We had seven props and four of them were demolished and flattened ... [this ellipsis in original] The whole back end of our float and the structure inside, totally demolished."


"Our main thing is to safety [sic], to make sure it's safe for the children," Angulo said.

Won't someone please think of the children?

Monday, April 09, 2007

"Mom Places Ad on MySpace: Kidnap Son for $500"

What's stranger than a woman looking for someone to kidnap her son using MySpace? The people who are willing to do it for as little as $500.


The mother of a 2-year-old boy was locked up Monday because of an online advertisement. Bexar County Sheriff's deputies say she paid strangers to kidnap the boy from the boy's father Saturday night.

Deputies say the boy's mom posted the kidnapping ad online on her MySpace page. She was willing to pay $500 to get the job done.

That ain't a lot of dough, but a man and a woman answered her ad, kidnapped the boy, and accepted the money as payment. For that small amount of money, the two kidnappers have been arrested, as have the boy's mother and her aunt. The boy is now back with his dad, who is seeking to get custody of the other child he has with the woman.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A chilly Easter

It's San Antonio. It's the night before Easter. And it's 35° F.

That's strange.

"Does Campaign Catch Phrase Cross The Line?"

If you were running for the city council of a small Texas town, and if your name was Schindler, would you ask people to put you on their "list"?


Billy Schindler is running is a councilman in Converse and is up for re-election. His campaign signs ask voters to add him to your list, a reference to 1993 movie title "Schindler's List." The movie documents the life of Osker Schindler, a Nazi who helped save more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust.


"I went through many years of people who had a hard time pronouncing my name and spelling it until the movie. Now I go into places, and I tell them what my name is, and I get the reference back from them 'oh, Schindler's list.' "

Would you vote for him?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Protesting his garbage

John Posey is a man who says he doesn't generate garbage, so he shouldn't have to pay the City of San Antonio for garbage pickup. The city says he can't opt out of the trash program; it is a municipal service that everyone gets charged for, including him.

The story is presented by the KSAT-TV Defenders.

I'm not sure I believe this guy produces absolutely no garbage. For one thing, he claims to not take the newspaper, but he proudly shows off by balancing a sheet of newsprint on his chin, which means he obviously has some kind of reading material somewhere. (What does he do after his trick, ask his guests to take the newspaper home with them?) For another, he surely must buy at least the bare minimum of personal toiletries (soap, toothpaste, the like). These things come in packaging, and, unless he's eating the boxes they come in, he has trash that needs disposing.

So, I don't know what Posey is trying to accomplish by protesting his garbage service. It seems like a personal publicity stunt to me. What's next, a refusal of sewer service?

"Man killed after running in front of train naked"

This is a bit strange (from the Express-News).

According to police, Brian Benavides stripped his clothes off around 1 a.m. and ran onto train tracks at 10th and Austin streets.

The conductor saw him and tried to stop the train, but it was too late.

At this point, it seems that authorities are not sure whether this was an accident or a suicide.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's almost that time of year!

Fiesta is this month! Click here to get a list of some sanctioned Fiesta events (there's even a parade for dogs).

What fun in San Antonio!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pillow fighting comes to San Antonio

And, it's for ladies only.

KSAT-TV has a bit here.