Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Mountains Of Mountain Cedar!"

Oh, God! 18,400 is no longer the highest!

WOAI reports:

Today's Mountain Cedar count is 21,300 (heavy). That's the highest it's been so far.

Pollen chokes the air. Heaven help us allergy sufferers.

That's "Little," to you

The poor woman in this KSAT-12 report is understandably shaken up, but I don't think what she said is what she meant.

SAN ANTONIO -- On Tuesday, Judy Alva said she was taken aback by a highway hazard, except this was not one she was prepared for.

“One minute I had a windshield, the next second it was gone,” she said.


She said a large chunk of concrete fell on her vehicle as she drove through an underpass at Loop 410 and Highway 281 near the airport.

“I didn’t know what to think,” she said. “I felt a little like chicken noodle, I guess.”

I think she meant this. Or maybe she meant soup. Who knows?

Monday, January 28, 2008

"Fate Of Boobie Rock Going To Jury Trial"

Next chapter in the Boobie Rock story: the case goes to trial February 11. Stay tuned.

(KSAT-12 angle here.)

"Man Uses Baby Death Story to Get Drug Money"

A Seguin man gets his drug money the really old-fashioned way: he begs for it.

From WOAI:

Police say Fidencio Magallanes, Jr. went door-to-door asking for money to pay for an infant's funeral. Officers arrested the 26-year-old after getting a call from the funeral home's director.

Police say he wanted the money to buy drugs. He's been charged with a probation violation. It's unknown if any additional charges will be filed.

I don't know if panhandling door-to-door is a crime, but it's not very far removed from the people who knock on your door and try to sell you subscriptions you don't want. Really. I've been hit up by guys who have practically begged me to buy magazines from them. OK, actually I mean literally begged me.

At least the infant funeral angle is a new one.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"Mother and Daughter Sentenced in Alleged Sex Slave Ring Case"

Who knew pimping could be a family business?

From WOAI:

Two women accused of forcing other women into prostitution were sentenced this week.

Isabel Consuelo Ochoa and her daughter, Consuelo Pilar Ochoa, pled guilty to bringing teens from Nuevo Laredo to work as prostitutes in the San Antonio area.

According to News Radio 1200 WOAI, Isabel Ochoa, was released with time served, and was placed on probation. Her daughter, Consuelo Ochoa, received a year and a half sentence, plus another three years for drug possession.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

People who should think a little more ...

... so as not to be so conspicuous.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A robber escaped with an unspecified amount of money from a store on the city’s northwest side Wednesday evening while using an unorthodox weapon of choice.

Police said a man walked into a store on the 440 block of DeZavala Road and threatened the employee with a hockey stick. [What's hockey? --ed. I'm not sure. Maybe it's something they do up north.]

While police are searching for the robber, the employee told KSAT 12 News he recognized the person who allegedly threatened him as a regular customer. [emphases added]

"Mountain Cedar Highest Ever"


Today's Mountain Cedar count is 18,400 (heavy). That's astronomically high.

Because our rainfall is less than normal, the cedar tree is absorbing ground water at an alarming rate, which in turn produces more pollen. With every front that blows through, the winds pick up the pollen and spreads like a wildfire. A 2nd wave of cold air is expected tonight and will also carry more pollen.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Naomi Fuentes Pleads No Contest"

Remember Naomi Fuentes, the woman who abandoned her family and skipped town because she stole some money from her employer and was about to be caught? She has chosen not to fight the charges against her.

KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- Naomi Fuentes, a mother of two whose mysterious disappearance touched off a massive search and who was accused of stealing thousands of dollars from her employer, pleaded no contest Tuesday to charges of misapplication of funds.

A judge then ordered a presentencing investigation and scheduled formal sentencing for March 10. Fuentes faces a minimum punishment of probation and a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


During Fuentes' disappearance, it was revealed that her employer, Cox Radio reported thousands of dollars missing. Fuentes has since paid $62,000 back to the company, Rodriguez said.

That's no small chunk o' change.

Monday, January 21, 2008

"3 Dump Truck Drivers Injured"

KSAT reports on an odd chain of events:

Police said a dump truck belonging to Williams Brothers Construction pulled over to the shoulder of the eastbound lanes of Highway 151 near Potranco road after it had stalled.

A second dump truck driver pulled over to check out what was wrong and was standing outside the stalled-out truck when a third dump truck crashed into the stalled vehicle, police said.


The impact sent the second driver onto the grassy shoulder, police said. The driver of the third truck had to be cut out of the wreckage. The victims were transported to Wilford Hall Medical Center.

Watch out for those dump trucks.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Fate Of "Boobie Rock" Strip Club On Hold"

A Boobie Rock update from WOAI:

The fate of a San Antonio strip club is on hold -- again.

'Boobie Rock' was supposed to open near I-10 and Huebner last year. But a covenant between that land owner and the building next door to the club stopped that opening and the dispute ended up in court.

So, what's next for the defense and the plaintiff in this now infamous strip club saga?

Both sides had very strong arguments Thursday and could not come to an agreement. Now, the judge in the case will have to consider all of the information and try to come to a decision.


With Monday being Martin Luther King Day, the judge said he will not reconvene until Tuesday. We'll then find out if Boobie Rock will be built, will close before it opens, or whether the dispute will go on to a trial by jury.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bringing people here

Alan at Blogonomicon and Dave at Silver Creek 78250 have both done posts about odd search requests that people have typed in that pointed to their blogs (Examples: Blogonomicon, Silver Creek 78250), and that got me to thinking: How strange can a search request get that directs people to a blog that promises strangeness?

Well, here are a few recent search strings that pulled up posts on this blog. Judge for yourself.

Is it legal to carry my bow and aroows in public Texas? -- Result.
Dangers in the San Antonio River -- Result.
Man in dress picture -- Result.
What are the causes of raw sewage? (C'mon, I think we all know the real answer) -- Result.

True stuff.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

"EMT Trainer Connected to Accident Victim"

OK, this is odd.

From WOAI:

Another strange twist in the case of a woman left for dead after a car accident: a connection between the victim, Erica Smith, and the EMT trainer on call.


Paramedics called Geof Smith for help. During the phone call, he learned someone in the other car was asking for him. The driver, Sabrina Shaner, is his Goddaughter.

Smith's wife Cori told News 4 they have known two people involved in the accident, Sabrina Shaner and Erica Smith, their whole lives. Geof Smith picked Sabrina Shaner up when she was released from jail after a DWI charge.

"This was a terrible chain of events. The tragedy that started that morning has had a snowball effect. That continues to become more and more negative," said Cori Smith.

A strange and profoundly sad situation for all invovled.

[Covered previously here.]

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Councilwoman wants change in definition of restaurants"

Councilwoman Diane Cibrian just can't leave well enough alone. Not only is she making things difficult for a new strip club -- which is a perfectly legal enterprise, by the way -- she wants to make it difficult for anyone to open a restaurant in the future.

From KENS-5:

Councilwoman Diane Cibrian is proposing changes to the [Unified Development Code]. She wants to make sure adult[] clubs, like the Boobie Rock, aren’t serving more than just food.

“Just because you provide food, doesn’t mean you’re a restaurant,” Cibrian said.


Cibrian wants to define how the city classifies restaurants. It’s a definition that currently doesn’t exist.

“So if it’s a not a restaurant, it’ll move to a night club. When they apply for night club zoning, they’re going to have to get a special use permit, so that at least we have notification,” she said.

Granted, I don't know a whole lot about the zoning process, but I predict that, if Cibrian is successful, such a change will affect more than just new strip clubs. It will also affect any entrepreneur that attempts to open any establishment that serves food. Cibrian certainly doesn't appear to be pro-business in this case, something the voters in District 8 might want to keep in mind come next election.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Mother Jailed For Alleged Retaliation Against Teenager"

KSAT-12 tells of a woman who doesn't want you to mess with her kids, even to the point of denying them.

Monica Gonzales, 37, is in the Bexar County Jail Thursday evening after Bexar County sheriff’s officials said she allegedly retaliated after a 14-year-old boy shoved her 12-year-old son.


Investigators allege Gonzales, along with her three sons, drove up to the 14-year-old and blocked his escape. Once cornered by Gonzales, deputies said, her 21-year-old son, Jose Gonzales Torres Jr., attacked the 14-year-old with a baseball bat.


The victim was able to escape and called deputies, but when confronted, Gonzales refused to implicate her eldest son, even denying she had one, investigators said.

“Because of her lack of cooperation at the scene, we could not identify the other male,” [sheriff’s investigator Aaron] Vonmuldau said. “When we finally got him identified, he's already on the run."

That's one mean mama.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More Mexican candy recalled

More candy from Mexico is being recalled due to concerns over lead. For the third time!

From KSAT-12:

AUSTIN, Texas -- Another Mexican candy is being recalled due to elevated levels of lead that could cause health problems.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said a San Antonio company voluntarily recalled a third candy imported from Mexico.

Villa-Mex Imports recalled Miguelito Azucar Salada Enchilada Acidulada.

The candy is a reddish powder in a clear cellophane packet with blue lettering.


Villa-Mex earlier voluntarily recalled Barrilito and Tarritos.

It's almost as if lead was a seasoning. Villa-Mex needs to put forth some serious public relations efforts.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

"Country Scientist: Winds may have forged old link between Japan, Texas"

Forrest M. Mims III writes in the San Antonio Express-News about an ancient link between Texas and Japan.

Each spring, powerful wind storms sweep across China and Japan. The storms carry dust from the Gobi desert over the Pacific Ocean and sometimes all the way to Texas.

These wind storms may explain why one of the world's rarest mushrooms is found in only two locations on opposite sides of the globe. In the distant past an ancient windstorm may have blown spores from the rare mushrooms to Texas.

The mushroom is known to botanists as Chorioactis geaster. In Texas it's known as the devil's cigar because of its appearance when it emerges from the soil and the smoke-like cloud of spores it emits. I prefer its newer name, the Texas star.


Chorioactis geaster is very rare in Texas and even rarer in Japan, where it is designated as "critically endangered."

In Texas, it is found growing from cedar elm stumps and roots along creeks between Arlington and Guadalupe County.

In Japan, it grows from the mossy stumps or trunks of decaying oaks on steep, heavily wooded slopes along a few streams on the island of Kyushu.

A little strange, but also pretty cool.

Tooting their own horns

WOAI reports on a home invasion, and in the process seems to suggest that the criminals had a musical bent. [emphases added]

Three masked men kick down the door of a home on the east side. The family inside was held at gunpoint, robbed of their money, identification and even their car.

The woman who was asleep inside that home shared her story with News 4.

The woman, who wished to remain unidentified, said she was scared for her life. The mother of four said she was sound asleep Friday night when three men, all dressed in all black, kicked in her door.

"They put us on the floor with blankets on top," said the woman. "They took my babies in the back and [told] them to lay down on the floor too,'" she continued.

The woman said the masked {men} demanded money and drugs. But the woman told the buglers she didn't have any drugs.

"They said you're lying you're lying and I said no, the only money I have is in my purse," explained the woman.

The buglers took her purse along with her IDs, Social Security card and her truck.

Here's a helpful link for the writer/editor.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Seymour Perkins reprieved

Seymour Perkins, outsider artist par excellence, has gotten a temporary restraining order that keeps the City of San Antonio from tearing down his home.

WOAI reports:

The city wants to tear it down, but a judge has ruled the house - that is known to attract drugs and prostitutes - will remain standing for now.

The house is on Hackberry. Neighbors call it a "haven for crime." But Seymor Perkins, 78, say[s] it's his art school, his home, and he's fighting to save it.

The city was supposed to tear the house down last week. Neighbors said they are frustrated it's still standing.

"The idea was finally something's being done to clean up the neighborhood," said Reverend Otis Mitchell of the Mt. Zion Church.

Neighbors supported the city's plan to get rid of the folk artist's house, where police say prostitutes and drug addicts gather.

His house's stay of execution is for two weeks.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Smoke on the water -- or lack thereof

Tourists on the San Antonio River Walk? Sure.

Restaurants? You bet.

Water? Not while it's being cleaned.

Smoke? I guess.

From WOAI:

Call it a “smoke out” along the River Walk for the next few days! Go down to the River Walk during the day this week and you’ll find a bunch of smoke being pumped up through the exposed pipes in the dried riverbed.

With the river drained for its annual cleaning, the San Antonio Water System is checking to make sure they know exactly what's going into the river and where it's coming from. So they just blow smoke into the pipes and look for where it comes out.

At least the river isn't on fire.