Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drill, Obama, Drill

Its about time.

Make no mistake I still believe we need to explore and get going on converting to alternate energy sources for transportation, such as electric, hybrid and fuel-cell technology, among others.

We will still need oil however.

Obama to allow drilling off Virginia Coast
By Phillip Elliott

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a reversal of a long-standing ban on most offshore drilling, President Barack Obama is allowing oil drilling 50 miles off Virginia's shorelines. At the same time, he is rejecting some new drilling sites that had been planned in Alaska.

Obama's plan offers few concessions to environmentalists, who have been strident in their opposition to more oil platforms off the nation's shores. Hinted at for months, the plan modifies a ban that for more than 20 years has limited drilling along coastal areas other than the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama was set to announce the new drilling policy Wednesday at Andrews air base in Maryland. White House officials pitched the changes as ways to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil and create jobs - both politically popular ideas - but the president's decisions also could help secure support for a climate change bill languishing in Congress.

The president, joined by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, also was set to announce that proposed leases in Alaska's Bristol Bay would be canceled. The Interior Department also planned to reverse last year's decision to open up parts of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Instead, scientists would study the sites to see if they're suitable to future leases.

Obama is allowing an expansion in Alaska's Cook Inlet to go forward. The plan also would leave in place the moratorium on drilling off the West Coast.

In addition, the Interior Department has prepared a plan to add drilling platforms in the eastern Gulf of Mexico if Congress allows that moratorium to expire. Lawmakers in 2008 allowed a similar moratorium to expire; at the time President George W. Bush lifted the ban, which opened the door to Obama's change in policy.

Under Obama's plan, drilling could take place 125 miles from Florida's Gulf coastline if lawmakers allow the moratorium to expire. Drilling already takes place in western and central areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

The president's team has been busy on energy policy and Obama talked about it in his State of the Union address. During that speech, he said he wanted the United States to build a new generation of nuclear power plans and invest in biofuel and coal technologies.

"It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development," he warned.
Obama also urged Congress to complete work on a climate change and energy bill, which has remained elusive. The president met with lawmakers earlier this month at the White House about a bill cutting emissions of pollution-causing greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020. The legislation would also expand domestic oil and gas drilling offshore and provide federal assistance for constructing nuclear power plants and carbon sequestration and storage projects at coal-fired utilities.

White House officials hope Wednesday's announcement will attract support from Republicans, who adopted a chant of "Drill, baby, drill" during 2008's presidential campaign.

The president's Wednesday remarks would be paired with other energy proposals that were more likely to find praise from environmental groups. The White House planned to announce it had ordered 5,000 hybrid vehicles for the government fleet. And on Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department are to sign a final rule that requires increased fuel efficiency standards for new cars.

Pure thuggery

Robbing the blind or visually impaired, how reprehensible is that?

Pretty bad IMHO.

Visually impaired man robbed, left unconscious
By Jonathan Munson - Express-News

A visually impaired man in his late 40s was knocked unconscious and robbed early Tuesday morning when he was walking to work.

According to a police report, Juan Cadena left his home about 6 a.m. and was walking on Mission Road to the
San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind when a man approached him and demanded money.

When Cadena refused, he was thrown to the ground, hitting his head on the curb. When he awoke, Cadena was missing his wallet and a black wrist watch, officials said.

The rest of the story:

The face of evil?

My guess is to let him plead guilty to the two count indictment of capital murder and stack them on the 60 year sentence he is currently serving.

At 71 years old he'd probably die before the State would execute him and it would save us a bundle on the cost of prosecuting him and appointing him counsel.

Cold case heats up with indictment
By Eva Ruth Moravec - Express-News

For years, Joe Merrick Thomas refused to talk to Bexar County detectives about the death of a young girl and her mother who were killed just before the woman's sexual assault case against Thomas went to trial.

But in April 2008, when his common-law wife, Alice Fay Olhausen, died of Crohn's disease at age 45, Thomas finally spoke.

He allegedly admitted to two cold case investigators that he and his late wife beat and stabbed the victims to death on March 28, 2000, in a Southwest Bexar County home near Lytle, about a half-mile from the 14000 block of Old Frio City Road.

The rest of the story:

What's that? Uhhh...its just a pipe bomb

Holy smokes!

I'm glad they got the pipe bomb.

Pipe bomb found at Canyon Lake area house


Sheriff’s office detectives are investigating the Monday shooting of 14-year-old male who was shot in the leg with a shotgun in the Canyon Lake area.

Deputies responded to a call of a shooting Monday night in the 15000 block of Cranes Mill Road south of Canyon Lake. They found that a juvenile had been shot with a 12-gauge shotgun, said CCSO Detective Vance Weltner.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they discovered a pipe bomb at the home where the shooting occurred. The San Antonio Police Department’s bomb squad responded and defused the bomb, said Lt. Mark Reynolds, a CCSO spokesman.

Ryan Andrew Huebner, 24, was renting the home. Deputies arrested him on charges of serious bodily injury to a child, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine if convicted.

Huebner is currently in Comal County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Emergency medical workers transported the 14-year-old to University Hospital in San Antonio.

Emergency workers did not provide specifics on the victim’s condition at the time of transportation. The Sheriff’s Office did not release the name of the victim Tuesday and had not determined yet in its investigation whether the shooting was accidental, but did say the victim and Huebner lived near each other.

There was only one pipe bomb at the home Monday, said Detective Weltner, and no other bombs, explosives materials, plans or schematics for bomb-making.

It was unclear Tuesday if Huebner made the bomb or how he planned to use it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An order of BS

No disrespect meant but this ruling of the court  is just......Bullshit.

Marine's dad ordered to pay protesters' court fees
The Associated Press

- The father of a Marine killed in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters from Kansas was ordered to pay the protesters' appeal costs, his lawyers said Monday.

On Friday, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered Snyder to pay $16,510 to Fred Phelps. Phelps is the leader of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church, which conducted protests at Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder's funeral in 2006.

The two-page decision supplied by attorneys for Albert Snyder of York, Pa., offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

Attorneys also said Snyder is struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The decision adds "insult to injury," said Sean Summers, one of Snyder's lawyers.

The high court agreed to consider whether the protesters' message is protected by the First Amendment or limited by the competing privacy and religious rights of the mourners.

Bad apple in the bunch

Man, if you can't trust the good guys who can you trust?

Not only did he bring shame and dishonor to the department and badge but apparently he's bolluxed up several hundred cases and possibly some innocent folks were convicted.

At the very least some will be re-tried due to this this at additional cost to the public.

Deputy fired in drug case
Express-News -

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office on Friday fired Deputy Charles Flores, whose actions in a drug case nearly two years ago might have put dozens of drug cases in peril, his lawyer, Jimmy Parks Jr., confirmed.

Flores, a 10-year veteran, is alleged by his own agency to have lied about the source of information used to get a search warrant in December 2008.

If indicted, Flores, 31, would be the first deputy prosecuted as the result of separate, ongoing investigations into alleged wrongdoing by current and former members of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office 15-person narcotics unit.

The rest of the story:

Color me skeptical

I don't completely buy the "we were scammed" defense.  They are highly educated folks.

Did they really think they could earn a total of a million dollars over three years and yet only pay $1,721 in taxes?

I mean I guess I can understand why they got probation since they paid the back taxes and all that.  But
just color me skeptical all the same please.

Couple get probation for filing false tax return
By Guillermo Contreras - Express-News 
A former San Antonio doctor and nurse caught up in a fraudulent offshore investment scheme were sentenced Monday to two years of probation for filing a false tax return.

Daniel Luczkow, 44, and his wife, Mary, 42, worked in the emergency room at Baptist Health System in the late 1990s before moving to Massachusetts.

The couple were convicted at a trial in December 2008 on a single felony charge of filing a false tax return for tax year 2000, but were acquitted of three other charges stemming from the sham investment scheme that drew in more than 240 people.

The rest of the story:

Good Police work

Good work Seguin PD!

Police hope arrests will close other cases

SEGUIN — Arrests Friday and Saturday of two local men in connection with an Ellis Street burglary could solve several similar crimes and lead to further arrests.

Seguin Police Detective Sgt. Aaron Seidenberger said officers were dispatched to Ellis Street to investigate a reported burglary in progress after a neighbor reported seeing two young men climbing from a window carrying a large duffel bag.

The caller provided a description, and police located one of the young men, Joseph Cochran, 18, at a home in the 500 block of East Walnut street.

While they were questioning him, a second man bolted from the back of the home and escaped.

Cochran was arrested for alleged burglary of a habitation and theft of a firearm. Recovered in the duffel bag were two knives, a pair of sunglasses, men’s cologne and 80 DVD movies, Seidenberger said.

Cochran’s bail was set at $30,000.

Over the weekend Stephen Medrano, 21, was also booked on an unrelated outstanding warrant, police report. Detectives identified him as the alleged second perpetrator of the Ellis Street burglary. During their interrogation, police reported Medrano admitted the Ellis Street burglary along with several others.

Medrano’s bail had not been set on the burglary allegation early Monday.

Investigation continues.

Hello? Wake-up call

I can understand some folks getting annoyed at getting the early morning phone calls but I think its a great system and I did not know the ability to do this existed.

I think its great; of course however, in the interest of full disclosure I was not one of the folks who got a 1 a.m. wake-up call.

9,700 homes get unwanted 1 a.m. wakeup call

Thousands of local residents were awakened by a late-night call from the New Braunfels Police Department on Monday.

Phones began ringing shortly after 1 a.m. in more than 9,700 homes in New Braunfels on Monday, as the NBPD used its Emergency Notification System to ask for help in locating a missing and mentally disabled 19-year-old woman.

Police said the woman had wandered away from her home, and the potentially “high danger” she was in warranted using the ENS – a “reverse 9-1-1” system provided by Bexar Metro 9-1-1 that automatically calls homes to alert residents in cases of emergency.

Police found the woman at around 2 a.m. in an abandoned building on Rueckle Road, less than a mile from her home. She was unharmed.

“It was a very serious situation,” said NBPD Lt. Mike Penshorn. He said a dozen officers and a Department of Public Safety helicopter searched for the woman for an hour before the police decided to use reverse 9-1-1. “We had already been looking for a long period of time, and with her having the mental capacity of a small child, she could have been in significant danger.

“Unfortunately, it was late at night, but I don’t know how we would have handled it differently.”

Penshorn said the system has been in place since 2002, and has been used on several occasions to seek help in locating missing persons.

Police said the citizen feedback did not lead to any tips Monday, because the woman was located by NBPD officers soon after the calls were patched through to thousands of local homes.

“Was it an inconvenient time, yes, but in a situation like that you want to use all the tools at your disposal,” said City Manager Mike Morrison. “If it were my daughter, I’d want to know that they were doing everything possible to make sure she was safe.”

Some who received the post-midnight call questioned whether it was an appropriate use of the city’s emergency system.

“Why did I need to be woken up at 1:30 in the morning?” asked Kelly, a resident who didn’t want her last name to be used for this article. “I thought the reverse 9-1-1 was supposed to be used for bigger emergencies, like floods or tornadoes, not Amber Alerts.

“I mean, what was I supposed to do?”

The system called everyone living within a five-mile radius of the woman’s address on Rueckle Road.

“I could understand if you want to call in the daytime to find a missing person, but not at two in the morning,” said resident Emiliano Zapata. “I called them today to tell them I want my name off (the reverse 9-1-1) list. I don’t want to go through that again.”

Penshorn said most residents who answered the phone were helpful, with a few saying they looked out their windows to aid in the search.

“That’s what the system is there for, and it’s really a very valuable tool for us in a number of situations,” he said.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not very polite

He however, was not very polite.

Man caught with stolen credit card: ‘those ain't my (expletive) credit cards'
Jeff Barker
Daily News

MARY ESTHER – An 18-year old man was found with a stolen credit card after he was arrested on an unrelated charge.

The owner of the credit card reported that it was stolen between Oct. 18 and Oct. 20, according to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. The man reported two fraudulent charges made at the Exxon on Beal Parkway totaling $63.21.

On Oct. 29, Darrel Jawuan Rodgers was arrested on an unrelated charge, and the stolen credit card was found in his possession, the report said. Rodgers spontaneously said, “those ain’t my (expletive) credit cards and you ain’t pinning them on me…I ain’t no snitch and I ain’t telling you who gave them to me.”

Rodgers was charged with dealing in stolen property and is due in court May 4.

The exceedingly polite car jacker

At least he was very polite.

Man carjacks car, apologizes profusely
Angel Mc Curdy
Daily News

CRESTVIEW — A 24-year-old man was arrested March 11 on charges of carjacking, theft and aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony.

A woman told officers she was standing next to her vehicle with the door open after having left her mother’s home when a man came up to her asking for the time, according to a Crestview Police report.

The woman looked at her watch to tell him the time and when she looked up the man, later identified as Charles Blake Jackson, she saw he had a black-handled knife, which he placed against the woman’s ribs.

Jackson then said, “I need your keys ma’am. Please, and you won’t get hurt. I’m sorry,” the report said.
Jackson got into the vehicle and again said “I’m sorry.”

The woman then asked the man if she could have her day planner and work papers from inside the car. Jackson handed the woman the items.

She went on to ask if she could have her purse and Blackberry, but Jackson responded, “No ma’am, I need them too. I’m sorry, I’m going to leave it somewhere,” the report said.

The woman estimated the items stolen from in her vehicle at around $4,000.

DPS to investigate

I think this is a wise decision on the part of the Police Chief and City Manager.

Although I am sure others believe it will all be white-washed anyway.

DPS to investigate officer-involved fatality
By Michelle Mondo - Express-News 
Police Chief William McManus, with approval from the city manager, has asked the Texas Department of Public Safety to conduct its own review of a fatal crash involving San Antonio police Sgt. Gabe Trevino, following concerns that the investigation could be clouded because of the professional relationship between the two.

McManus said in a telephone interview Sunday that he and Sheryl Sculley discussed the matter last week, and on Friday he contacted the director of DPS to ask if the agency would review the case.

The chief said the agency could get involved as early as today.

The rest of the story:


Excuse my expression if you're easily offended.

Oh my God!  Have we really gotten to this place?

People complaining that their diploma says in the year of our lord?  You went to a school named Trinity for Pete's sake.

I'm Jewish, I am not complaining.  Hell, I was exceedingly happy to get my diploma at all.  Why don't you just use White-out if you don't like it?

This is just more intolerance, soft-pedaled, but intolerance nevertheless.

Also while we're at it do you want to change the name of the city of San Antonio because its named after a saint?

How about Corpus Christi or the Sangre de Christo mountain range in New Mexico?

Students want "Our Lord" phrase off Trinity diplomas
By Melissa Ludwig - Express-News 
A group of students at Trinity University is lobbying trustees to drop a reference to “Our Lord” on their diplomas, arguing it does not respect the diversity of religions on campus.

“A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes,” said Sidra Qureshi, president of Trinity Diversity Connection. “By having the phrase ‘In the Year of Our Lord,' it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.”

Qureshi, who is Muslim, has led the charge to tweak the wording, winning support from student government and a campus commencement committee. Trustees are expected to consider the students' request at a May board meeting.

The rest of the story:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Missing lawyer sorta found

Apparently they don't like lawyers in China either.

China missing lawyer is 'free'
Al Jazeera

A Chinese human-rights lawyer who had been missing for over a year appears to be alive and staying at a Buddhist mountain retreat in northern China.

Close friends of Gao Zhisheng said on Sunday that the former Communist party member, who angered authorities by taking on rights cases that targeted the government, was in good health.

There had been fears since his disappearance that he had been tortured or killed.

The Associated Press reported Gao as saying by phone that he was "free at present".

"I just want to be in peace and quiet for a while and be reunited with my family," Gao was quoted as saying.

"Most people belong with family, I have not been with mine for a long time. This is a mistake and I want to correct this mistake."

'Good' health

Friends confirmed that Gao was well.

"I spoke to Gao this afternoon," Li Heping, a friend and fellow lawyer, was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

"He is in Wutaishan [in Shanxi province] but he would not say his exact location. I asked him what his situation was like, how his health was, and he said 'good'."

Gao, a self-taught civil liberties lawyer, who has had several spells in jail, disappeared in February last year, a month after his wife and children fled to the US as refugees.

Gao's case has drawn international attention, with both the US and the EU calling on China to investigate his disappearance.

David Miliband, the UK's foreign minister raised Gao's case in talks earlier in March with Chinese leaders.

Abuse claims

Gao was previously arrested in August 2006, convicted at a one-day trial and placed under house arrest. State media at the time said he was accused of subversion on the basis of nine articles posted on foreign websites.

During detention in 2007 he was allegedly abused by Chinese security forces.

In a statement made public just before he disappeared, he described severe beatings, electric shocks to his genitals and cigarettes held to his eyes.

He was kept under intense surveillance by the state, but after he went missing, the government said it did not know where he was.

A foreign ministry official prompted speculation earlier this year when he said that Gao "is where he should be".

Chinese state-run media have not covered the case.

Runs with scissors?

Okay then.

Glad he's okay.

Man stabbed in back with scissors
- Express News

A man was hospitalized Saturday after he was stabbed in the back with scissors outside a Northeast Side motel, police said.

Ryan J. Westbrook, 20, was taken to University Hospital after suffering a puncture wound to his lower back, a police report states. He was in stable condition.

Westbrook told police he was driving with his dog when he stopped at a motel in the 9500 block of Interstate 35 North to allow the pet to relieve itself, the report states.

The rest of the story:

A lot of pot?

Its California and its the 9th Circuit Court.

I bet they'll say they can possess a lot.

Many felony pot cases getting tossed out of court

By PAUL ELIAS  - Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Police in a northern California town thought they had an open-and-shut case when they seized more than two pounds of marijuana from a couple's home, even though doctors authorized the pair to use pot for medical purposes.

San Francisco police thought the same with a father and son team they suspected of abusing the state's medical marijuana law by allegedly operating an illegal trafficking operation.
But both cases were tossed out along with many other marijuana possession cases in recent weeks because of a California Supreme Court ruling that has police, prosecutors and defense attorneys scrambling to make sense of a gray legal area: What is the maximum amount of cannabis a medical marijuana patient can possess?

The rest of the story:

Frustrating Sunday

Quite a day today.

It has taken me all day to de-louse my computer before I could even get to post this.

Everytime I would log in I would get the page re-loading and go off to blanl screen land.

Very frustrating.  Still some problems but hopefully I will get them all resolved.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ride your bike to work

Okay, great I'll ride 30 miles on my bike to work, in 100+ degree heat, then ride home 30 miles.

Yup, that'll work out real well.

I hope they have a hospital bed reserved for me, if they'll allow it under the health care plan.

Transportation Department embraces bikes, and business groups cry foul
The New York Times

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced a “major policy revision” that aims to give bicycling and walking the same policy and economic consideration as driving.

“Today I want to announce a sea change,” he wrote on his blog last week. “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of nonmotorized.”

The new policy, which was introduced a few days after Mr. LaHood gave a well-received speech from atop a table at the National Bike Summit, is said to reflect the Transportation Department’s support for the development of fully integrated transportation networks.

It calls on state and local governments to go beyond minimum planning and maintenance requirements to provide convenient and safe amenities for bikers and walkers. “Walking and biking should not be an afterthought in roadway design,” the policy states.

The rest of the story:

Assault of guard at jail

Wow I sure am glad the inmate was housed in the special management lockdown unit at the jail.

You know so he wouldn't be able to get loose or attack a guard.

Who by the way I hope will be better soon.

Jailer hospitalized after assault
By Valentino Lucio - Express-News 
A Bexar County jail guard was treated and released from the hospital Friday afternoon with head injuries after an inmate attacked him, officials said.

The jailer, Ray Quintero, was taken to Christus Santa Rosa Hospital with a slight concussion after a mental health inmate assaulted him at about 8:45 a.m. during the inmate's one-hour recreation period, said Linda Tomasini, a spokeswoman for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

It's not known what prompted the assault, but Tomasini said the jailer, a six-year employee, was kicked in the head multiple times. After the attack, deputies found the inmate in his cell.

The rest of the story:

Round up the usual suspects

Jeeze its really great that we are not going to let the Feds run all of our Health Care.

I mean putting 1/6th of our GDP in their hands would only possibly lead to massive fraud and waste. 

WHAT!?? They passed it? ..............err.............................never  mind.

Fed's Energy Star program fails fraud test 
By Frederic J. Frommer - Associated Press 
WASHINGTON — Fifteen phony products — including a gasoline-powered alarm clock — won a label from the government certifying them as energy efficient in a test of the federal "Energy Star" program.

Investigators concluded the program is "vulnerable to fraud and abuse."

A report released Friday said government investigators tried to pass off 20 fake products as energy efficient, and only two were rejected. Three others didn't get a response.

The rest of the story:

The city grill

You had to figure it would only be a matter of time before the authorities got looking very closely at the building inspectors and their records after the Pulte/Centex retaining wall mess-up among other things.

Police and FBI quiz city official
FBI agents and police detectives Friday questioned an assistant director of the city department that issues permits for real estate development and seized his computer and files as part of a joint investigation.

“We're looking at a number of improprieties,” Police Chief William McManus said, declining to discuss further details.

Investigators interviewed Fernando De León at police headquarters for several hours, but he was not arrested, McManus said. Calls to De León's cell phone were not returned Friday evening.

The rest of the story:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Holy Cow!


How can our economy withstand this?

90% of GDP?


CBO report: Debt will rise to 90% of GDP
President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.

In its 2011 budget, which the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Feb. 1, the administration projected a 10-year deficit total of $8.53 trillion. After looking it over, CBO said in its final analysis, released Thursday, that the president's budget would generate a combined $9.75 trillion in deficits over the next decade.

"An additional $1.2 trillion in debt dumped on [GDP] to our children makes a huge difference," said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "That represents an additional debt of $10,000 per household above and beyond the federal debt they are already carrying."

The rest of the story:

Third time's a charm?

Oh brother Harry.

Are you confused?

Reid casts wrong vote on health care a second time

Washington (CNN) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid mistakenly called out "no" Thursday when asked for his vote on the health care reconciliation bill, setting the chamber howling with laughter.

Reid voted the wrong way when the clerk called for his vote, realized his error and quickly changed his vote to "yes."

"He did it again," someone said amid laughter.

Reid, who spent months persuading fellow senators to vote "yes" on President Obama's top domestic priority, made the same mistake December 24 when voting on the original health care bill.

His office said Reid made the gaffe because he was so focused on getting health care passed.

The reconciliation measure, also known as the "fixes" bill, makes changes in the broader health care overhaul measure that Obama enacted Tuesday.

The Senate had to vote again on health care after Republicans forced two minor provisions involving student loan funding to be stripped from the bill. The final vote was 56-43 for approval, after which it was sent to the House, which also passed the measure.

The "fixes" bill now goes to Obama to be signed into law.

Bell County Jail to get Hasan

Let's get this case moving.

$207,000 to hold Hasan in Bell jail
By Guillermo Contreras - Express-News 
It's going to cost the Army about $207,000 to house the Fort Hood shooting suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, in the Bell County Jail until September, according to contract documents released this week.

Bell County Commissioners Court finalized a contract modification last week that allows the military to transfer Hasan from Brooke Army Medical Center to the jail in Belton, about 20 miles east of Fort Hood.

Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith said no notice will be given of Hasan's move until he is already at the jail.

The rest of the story:

Is a Pole Tax unconstitutional?

Uncovering the legal arguments.

Who knew you have a constitutional right to dance nekkid with a pole?

State high court weighs strip club 'pole tax'
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News 
The state Supreme Court made a rare group appearance in San Antonio on Thursday to determine the fate of Texas' embattled “pole tax” on strip club patrons.

The justices heard oral arguments at St. Mary's University School of Law for the 2007 legislation, which instituted a $5 fee for each person at a nude dancing establishment where alcohol is served.

But so far, a state district judge in Austin and the 3rd Court of Appeals have agreed with the Texas Entertainment Association — a lobbyist group for the strip clubs — that the tax is unconstitutional.

The rest of the story:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why is this convicted man sitting on Death Row smiling?

You'd be smiling too at receiving a last minute reprieve.

I'm glad that his execution was halted.  Test the evidence.  If its his then he's outta here and properly so.

If not, we didn't execute someone who may not have committed capital murder.

Either way isn't it a win-win situation for all concerned?

Convict's execution halted at 11th hour
By Allan Turner - Houston Chronicle 
The U.S. Supreme Court stopped the execution Wednesday of Henry Skinner, just one hour before he was to be put to death for the 1993 murders of his Pampa girlfriend and her two adult sons.

The stay will remain in effect until the high court rules on a second petition filed by Skinner's attorneys asking for a review of an appellate court decision denying a request for DNA testing of bloody knives, material beneath the dead woman's fingernails, rape kit samples and other items from the murder scene.

Skinner's request for testing was denied because it was filed as a civil rights claim.

The rest of the story:

Police Chief to retire

Enjoy your retirement Chief Everett.

You deserve it.

Police Chief Everett to retire on April 30


New Braunfels Police Chief Ron Everett announced his retirement Wednesday afternoon effective April 30.

Everett’s announcement follows a weeks-long review by the city into the department’s promotion practices and operations, which City Manager Mike Morrison said found no instances of wrongdoing.

City staff met with Everett and decided “mutually” on the resignation, Morrison said Wednesday.

“I’m pursuing some key opportunities which can provide me a challenge, including some non-law enforcement opportunities,” Everett said.

During Everett’s tenure, the department added several programs and increased bicycle patrols, community response programs and traffic enforcement units, among other projects.

The volume of projects meant Everett was not as accessible to co-workers as he should have been, Morrison said. In addition, the programs and projects created “stress” and, while Morrison felt the programs were successful, the city and department “could have done a better job with team work.”

Everett denied his resignation had anything to do with the February review and that his “name has been cleared, and there was no wrongdoing,” he said.

There’s also nothing Everett would have done differently at the department if given the chance, he said.

“Throughout my career, I have never looked back,” he said. “It’s a great department and a great city.”

Everett became the police chief of the New Braunfels Police Department in June 2007. He followed Ron Johnson as chief, who retired almost four years into his tenure, something he planned to do when he started work as the chief, said Mayor Bruce Boyer.

Everett worked 26 years with the Dallas Police Department and also served as the assistant police chief in Haltom City, near Fort Worth. He started working with law enforcement when he was 19, Everett said.

“The citizens are fortunate to have such quality men and women who serve and care about them every day,” Everett said of the NBPD.

The city has not chosen an interim replacement, but one will be announced before April 30, Morrison said.

“We’ll handle the search internally,” he said. “In the past, we hired search firms, but now we have the staff to do it ourselves,” he said. The city’s Human Resources department will be involved in an internal search, he said.

In addition, the city could list the job opening with professional organizations, including the Texas Police Chiefs Association, the Texas Municipal League and some state and national advertisements, Morrison said.

Staff plan to follow a similar procedure to the one used three years ago when the city hired Everett by speaking to department employees and the community about what issues and qualities to look for in a new chief.

Before hiring Everett, Morrison said the community expressed concern about drug and alcohol abuse by minors, which the department responded to with programs such as Operation Intervention, a joint venture with the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission to purchase alcohol with minors, resulting in seven arrests at area businesses.

“As we went through the review of what had been accomplished in the department, we felt (Everett) had accomplished a great deal,” Morrison said. “Now, perhaps it’s time to go in a different direction and build on what he has done.”

Assailant identified

Nice, he's out on bond and allegedly does this.

I think he'll be in jail awaiting his misdemeanor trial when found.

Of course if not, and he doesn't appear for trial you can probably add bail jumping to his list of pending criminal matters.

Contact the New Braunfels Police Department at (830) 608-2179 or Crime Stoppers at (830) 620-8477 if you have any information on  Andrew Victor Rosales' whereabouts.

Police identify suspect in stabbing of teen

New Braunfels Police released the identity of a man suspected of stabbing a 17-year-old male Tuesday afternoon.

Police are searching for Andrew Victor Rosales, 25, who they believe fled on foot Tuesday in the 100 block of Morales Ct. near Texas Highway 46 after officers found the stabbed teen. Police are currently looking for Morales, who is about 5 feet 5 inches tall and also goes by the name “Fifty,” according to a statement released Wednesday.

Emergency workers airlifted the victim, who had been stabbed at least once in his abdomen, to University Hospital in San Antonio.

Police did not find a weapon at the scene, said Sgt. Stephen Hanna.

Investigators did not release the victim’s name Thursday, nor his condition, but he was at least acquainted with Rosales, said Lt. Mike Penshorn.

The two started fighting outside a home in the subdivision before Rosales pulled out a knife, Penshorn said.

Rosales is scheduled for a trial in another case on May 5 in County Court at Law No. 2 on charges of criminal trespass with a deadly weapon, a class A misdemeanor.

Musings for the day.

Everyone Calm Down Please

I feel compelled to write this morning about the dangerous trend which seems to be occurring even more frequently in our rather fractious political system.

I am talking about the rather frightening things going on because of the Health Care Bill (HCB) passing.

Since when does death threats, spitting, racial and sexual preference slurs substitute for political discourse?

Yes, some say that the HCB will ruin the country, drive the economy into the tank, and result in the rationing of health care.  I tend to agree with that assessment.  However, having said that i also believe there are some admirable things in the bill.  Things like no cap, transferability of health insurance, and even to some degree coverage of folks with pre-existing medical health conditions.  I do not like forced mandates, no legal tort reform, the probability of tax-payer funded abortions, and the fact that you cannot purchase health insurance across state lines.

I believe we can work to tweak this monstrosity to better serve us, the Public, rather than us servicing it.  But we can't do that when the nut-roots are screaming, not only at the opposition but also at anyone on their own side who would even suggest that a middle ground might be reached. 

It is this that will tear apart the country and presents, in my mind anyway, a more clear and present danger to the Republic than the HCB.

Don't get me started on the Cap and Trade bill.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Up in Smoke

In another vein (no pun intended) I always thought it'd just be a matter of time for government officials to seize upon the idea of legalizing drugs like marijuana and even cocaine and tax the heck out of them to raise revenues.

State Dems want to legalize medical marijuana to help plug budget gap

BY Glenn Blain
NY Daily News

ALBANY - Senate Democrats are counting on a pot of gold!

They want to legalize medical marijuana as a way to generate nearly $15 million in licensing fees to help plug the state's $9 billion budget gap.

"It is the right thing to do and there is revenue attached to it," said state Sen. Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan). Duane and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) are behind the plan to make it legal for folks with serious medical woes to score limited amounts of weed from state-certified distributors - or grow it themselves.

The Senate still needs to approve the provision, though Dems included revenue projections from the sale of medical marijuana in their 2010-2011 budget proposal. "It's ludicrous," needled Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn).

Golden and other Republicans said the Democrats' budget proposal is laden with one-time-only gimmicks, including raising $700 million through the refinancing of tobacco bonds first issued in 2003.

The $136.2 billion plan contains most of the spending cuts proposed by Gov. Paterson, but rejects new taxes on cigarettes and sugary sodas. Paterson was pleased the Senate accepted his cuts, but worried their revenues were unrealistic.

"One of the things we're going to have to avoid in this process is creating revenues that aren't real," Paterson said.

Paterson said he was encouraged that Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada (D-Bronx) has relented on his opposition to placing tolls on the East River bridges to ease the MTA's budget woes.

"Just the fact that he and other senators are considering it is very helpful," Paterson said.

Meanwhile yesterday, a coalition of good government groups reported that most New Yorkers - including city residents - aren't getting their fair share of pork projects tucked into the budget.

The groups found that residents who live in 49 of the city's 64 Assembly districts, and 11 of the city's 26 Senate districts, receive less than the "fair share" or the average-per-district amount doled out on member items.

"The guys who get the most money are the leaders, the ones who hold all the political power," said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Nearly 18,000 dead in ongoing drug wars south of the border

My heart goes out to the families of these two officers of the law.

Just two more victims in an increasingly violent drug war which threatens to get out of control.

Mexican officers dismembered, put in bags

MEXICO CITY - The pre-dawn discovery of two bodies cut into pieces and shoved into two black bags brought a tragic end Monday to a search for two missing police officers in the southern state of Guerrero.

Law enforcement officials say the bagged body parts were found at 3:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m. EDT; 0915 GMT) outside police headquarters in Guerrero's capital city, Chilpancingo.

One of the victims was a regional commander, the other a state police officer. Notes written on yellow cards were attached to the bags, but police refused to disclose what they said. Drug cartel killers frequently attach messages to bodies.

In the nearby resort of Acapulco, police later found another two mutilated bodies and a threatening message outside the house of the city's former deputy traffic police chief.

The victims were identified as the former deputy chief's nephews, the Guerrero state Public Safety Department said in a statement. Police also found a message threatening supporters of the Beltran Leyva cartel, it said.

Police officers have been targets, and are sometimes complicit, in drug-related killings, which have claimed 17,900 lives since President Felipe Calderon stepped up the drug war in December 2006.

On Sunday, Rodrigo Medina, governor of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, announced that he was firing 81 state police officers suspected of corruption.

Also in Nuevo Leon on Sunday, the police chief of the city of Santa Catarina narrowly avoided being killed by gunmen believed to be connected to drug traffickers.

The assailants attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying Police Chief Rene Castillo Sanchez and other authorities shortly after the arrest of several suspected drug dealers. One of Sanchez's bodyguards was killed and three people in the convoy were wounded, said a police spokeswoman who, under department rules, was not authorized to give her name.

The Mexican military set up a checkpoint between Acapulco and the city's airport Sunday evening after a man was killed in a shootout between gunmen riding in separate vehicles.

The gunbattle followed the deaths of five men who pulled guns on each other during an early morning fight that began as an argument at a wedding Saturday night.

Death by bad deal?

Drug deal gone bad?

Someone shot and killed?

I'm shocked, Shocked!

Man found shot to death in locked home
By Eva Ruth Moravec - Express-News 
A man was fatally shot in his home just north of downtown early Tuesday during a botched drug deal, authorities said.

The man, whose name was not released, was shot in the chest in a house in the 800 block of East Euclid Avenue about 4:20 a.m., according to a San Antonio police report.

A woman who was with the victim when the shooting occurred walked to San Antonio Police Department Headquarters at 214 W. Nueva St. to report the shooting about 6:30 a.m., said Capt. Mike Gorhum.

The rest of the story:

On the lam

I hope the suspect will be caught and arrested soon.

Teen stabbed Tuesday, flown to San Antonio


A 17-year-old male was stabbed Tuesday afternoon in southeast New Braunfels by a man who fled on foot before police arrived.

Officers found a teenager with at least one stab wound “in his side” at about 3:46 p.m. in the 100 block of Morales Court, off Rosa Parks Drive, said New Braunfels Police Sgt. Stephen Hanna.

Emergency workers airlifted the victim to University Hospital in San Antonio, Hanna said. At press time, his condition was unknown.

Witnesses told police they saw the suspect run away before officers arrived. They described him as an Hispanic man in his 20s wearing a white T-shirt and dark shorts.

Officers did not find a weapon at the scene, Hanna said.

Police were unsure Tuesday whether the victim knew the suspect.

Officers were concentrating on finding the suspect late Tuesday. Hanna said patrols would most likely be increased in the neighborhood off State Highway 46.

Police did not release the victim’s name Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meanwhile in Australia

Sounds to me like this guy needs to be put in the booby-hatch.

You should pardon the expression.

Hunt for serial 'breast grabber'

GLENDA KWEK- The Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney women are being warned to beware of a suspected serial breast grabber.

Police believe the man has indecently assaulted three women in Sydney's north-west in a fortnight.

The first woman was grabbed by the man on Birmingham Street, Merrylands, about 7.20pm on March 11, police said. She screamed and he ran away.

On March 21, another woman told police she was indecently assaulted at Railway Terrace, Guildford about 5.30pm. The man also ran away when she screamed.

A third woman was assaulted in Guildford Road, Guildford, about 1pm yesterday.

In all three incidents, the man asked the women for directions before grabbing their breasts, Inspector Adam Phillips of Merrylands police said.

The women described the assailant as a thin man of Indian appearance, aged between 25 to 28, of average height, with black, short, unkempt hair, a wispy black beard and a large nose.

Inspector Phillips said the man wore "a polo-style collared shirt with dark-coloured stone-washed pants".

Police will try to analyse CCTV footage from Guildford railway station, which is near where two of the assaults occurred.

Police want other women who might have been assaulted or anyone with information to phone Merrylands police on 9897 4899 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Courthouse restoration nixed in Medina County, Texas

The Medina County Courthouse to remain unrestored.

Allowed to fall into decreptitude?

The photo is how the courthouse looked in 1939.  Note it had a clock-tower at the time which has long since been removed.  I think it was a handsome courthouse with the clock-tower. 

Oh well.

Medina courthouse restoration project loses steam
By Zeke MacCormack - Express-News

HONDO — Medina County commissioners balked Monday at committing to a $5.7 million courthouse restoration project, citing other pressing capital needs, public opposition and fears that a state grant had strings attached.

Audience members applauded the absence of a motion to accept a $372,000 state grant for design work on the project that required removing two wings added 70 years ago to the 1893 courthouse.

One of nine public speakers Monday backed demolishing the additions which, built by the Work Projects Administration in 1938-40, were themselves hailed as historically significant.

The rest of the story:

Murders in Fujian Province, China

What an unspeakable horror!

Those poor children.

Those poor families.

Ex-doctor stabs eight children to death
China Daily

Eight children have been stabbed to death by a former doctor at an elementary school in east China, according to Xinhua news agency.

Five other students were injured after the former community medic stormed the building armed with a large knife.

The attacker was identified as Zheng Minsheng, aged 41, believed to have a history of mental health problems, and recently resigned from his post at a community clinic.

Eight children from Nanping City Experimental Elementary School in Fujian province were killed, and five were being treated at a hospital. Six died at the scene. The school was closed after the attack and students were sent home.

Zheng, who was arrested after the 7:20 am attack, was born in April 1968, and was a native of Nanping working at Mazhan community clinic before he resigned in June 2009, according to Huang Zhongping, spokesman with the city's public security bureau.

Murder in Seguin, Texas

Obviously some sort of domestic quarrel.

My condolences to her family and her children who now stand to lose their father as well if he is found guilty and sent to prison.

My heart goes out to them.

Husband arrested in stabbing death

SEGUIN — A 45-year-old Seguin man was arrested on a murder allegation Monday evening in connection with his wife’s stabbing death.

Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Edmundo “Cass” Castellanos issued a murder warrant calling for the arrest of Jose Ramos Paz, 45, just after 6 p.m. for allegedly stabbing his wife, Olga A. Paz, to death in their Bauer Street home.

Seguin Police Detective Sgt. Aaron Seidenberger said Olga Paz was found dead at her residence at the intersection of Bauer and New Braunfels just before 8 a.m.

Her husband told officers he’d taken the victim’s children to school and returned to find his wife’s vehicle parked in the driveway with its engine running and its driver’s side door open.

Paz told police he went into the residence, found the woman, and called 9-1-1 from a neighbor’s home, Seidenberger said.

“We have a 31-year-old Hispanic woman found deceased in the home,” Seidenberger said. “We’ve started processing the crime scene.”

Seidenberger did not say where in the home the woman was found or describe her injuries further than to say they were apparent multiple stab wounds.

No weapon had been recovered Monday.

“We’re getting search warrants for the house and the vehicles so we can do everything properly,” Seidenberger said.

Early in their investigation, police stopped short of saying Jose Paz was a suspect in the killing. Paz spent much of Monday being interviewed by Seguin Police Detective Sgt. Curle Price, police said.

“He’s a person of interest, and so far he’s been cooperative,” Seidenberger said. “He’s down at the station, talking to us now.”

Seidenberger also didn’t say whether police had ever been called to the Paz home before.

“We have no knowledge of previous calls,” Seidenberger said. “We’re looking into that. It’s still early in our investigation. We’ve only been here about one and a half hours.”

Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Edmundo “Cass” Castellanos said a physician had pronounced Olga Paz dead at the scene shortly after Seguin EMS arrived in response to the 7:45 a.m. call. Castellanos said he’d ordered an autopsy that would be conducted today.

“They’re going to do it at 9:30 in Lockhart,” Castellanos said.

The body remained where it was found for much of Monday while police, the Texas Rangers and 25th Judicial District Attorney Heather Hollub and her investigators reviewed the scene. At around lunch time, a mobile crime lab from the Texas Department of Public Safety pulled up at the residence to continue the investigation as news crews, neighbors and family members watched from across Bauer Street.

Late Monday night, police closed down the home and left officers standing guard outside.

“The crime lab is going to leave tonight and come back,” Seidenberger said. “They concentrated on the house today, but ran out of light. We’re going to have officers here 24 hours guarding the vehicles.”

Seidenberger said Jose Paz was at the home when officers arrived in response to a 7:46 a.m. call — and the door was open on Olga Paz’s vehicle, which was running. Police marked several spots on the ground next to the vehicle, which was parked on a concrete driveway, and took photos from several angles.

Monday’s stabbing death was the first killing in Seguin this year.

On Oct. 16, 2009, Garland Taylor was shot in the head during a melee on Anderson Street police believe was a confrontation between the Mexican Mafia and the 74 Hoover Crips criminal street gangs.

A month-long investigation resulted in more than a dozen arrests, including those of Michael DelaGarza, 33, and David Buitron Jr., 37, who were booked on allegations of engaging in organized criminal activity and first-degree felony murder.

Both men remain in county jail awaiting trial.

Seidenberger said the SPD averages about one homicide each year in its service area.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yo, you! Get out of the car!

Looks like he picked the wrong time and car to do this.

Potential car-jacker messes with the wrong vehicle

KIRKLAND, Wash. - A car-jacking suspect messed with the wrong vehicle Friday night in a Kirkland parking lot.

A pit bull rescued earlier from an illegal dog-fighting ring was sitting inside in the car - and that dog wasn't taking any more passengers.

The dog's foster mom, Amber Melena, explains what happened.

She says Victor the pit bull was due to be put down a few months ago after he and more than 20 other dogs were found living in horrific conditions - beaten, forced to fight and chained inside filthy kennels.

But a dedicated rescue group believed this dog could be saved and - after months of rehabilitation - placed him with Amber and her family.

On Friday night, Victor had a chance to return the favor in a grocery parking lot.

Amber says she stopped by the store on a routine shopping trip and brought 3-year-old Victor along for the ride.

"I opened the door like this and put the groceries in," she says.

"I was just reaching for my seatbelt, and right as I was turning to click it in, this door flew open. And he was just standing right there."

Amber found herself face-to-face with a possible car-jacker. The man spooked Victor, too - but the dog was quick to act.

"He turns around and lets out just this gigantic woof," says Amber. "And this man throws himself backwards, trips on himself and falls down."

Police later arrested the man. And thanks to Victor, Amber wasn't hurt.

She says Victor still bears the battle scars from being routinely beaten and forced to fight before he was saved last October from a dog-fighting ring in Graham.

"He's got tears inside his ears; his biggest one is the lip. This lip is supposed to be attached, not kind of poking out," Amber says.

Bullseye Dog Rescue and other shelter workers put the dogs through months of rehabilitation. Ultimately, most had to be put down.

"They didn't make it. They had some various behavioral problems ... because of the victims that they were, the cruelty they endured," says Lorrie Kalmbach of Bullseye Dog Rescue.

Victor was the exception - and Amber says he proved himself exceptional against the car-jacker.

She'd keep him if she could, but for now has agreed to be his foster mom until he can be placed.

"Bullseye has given him a second chance. I think he might have given me a second chance. He's definitely my hero," she says.

Victor and two other pit bulls named Hope and Phoenix have gone through months of rehabilitation and are ready and willing to be adopted into a good home.

Rest in peace Sierra

A terrible accident to happen to one so young and full of life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

May Sierra rest in peace.

Churchill High School student dies in car accident
By Jonathan Munson - Express-News 
A Churchill High School student was killed and another teenager was injured early Saturday when the car they were in veered off the road and struck several trees on the North Side, authorities said.

Sierra R. Felan, 17, and her passenger, Dominic Rodriguez, 16, were northbound on Wurzbach Parkway in a black Toyota Scion TC when it missed a curve near Blanco Road just after 1:30 a.m., according to a police report. The car hit several trees before it ended up in the middle of the road.

When officers arrived, Rodriguez was sitting on the side of the road, according to the report. He was treated at North Central Baptist Hospital and released. Felan was pronounced dead at the scene.

The rest of the story:

Falling for you

Good lord!   Read this comment to the post in the Express-News.

Has it really come down to this? :

"Any bets that he already
has been contacted by a lawyer? "son, it's not your fault the
store owner didn't have the AC unit better secured, and a warning sign
about falling, and poor lighting inside where you fell, and the rescue
squad had to go down through the roof to give you aid and you thought
the store was open and wanted to make sure the AC was running so you
wouldn't get hot inside...."  - Quote by righton

Suspected burglar injured after fall from ceiling
By Eva Ruth Moravec - Express-News

A suspected burglar was hospitalized under San Antonio police supervision after he was knocked unconscious when he fell from a building's ceiling early Sunday morning.

The man, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to University Hospital after officers found him lying on the floor of a Northwest Side store around 2 a.m. Sunday, according to a San Antonio Police Department incident report.

Burglar alarms alerted police to several businesses in the 3700 block of North Loop 410 West around 1:15 a.m., when officers found damaged back doors at the former campaign office of Farouk Shami, an unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and Don's Gun Shop. Officers also found a broken front window at Turquoise Turkish Grill, police said.

The rest of the story:

Buckle up its only just begun

Okay.  The health care bill passed.

Now the law suits will begin.

There are many things which are okay about the bill and much, much more which aren't.  So get busy and fix it.

Congress clears historic health care bill
Associated Press - 
WASHINGTON -- Summoned to success by President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled Congress approved historic legislation Sunday night extending health care to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and cracking down on insurance company abuses, a climactic chapter in the century-long quest for near universal coverage.

"This is what change looks like," Obama said a few moments later in televised remarks that stirred memories of his 2008 campaign promise of "change we can believe in."

Widely viewed as dead two months ago, the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote. Republicans were unanimous in opposition, joined by 34 dissident Democrats.

The rest of the story:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Catch and wreck playground game.

What in the world have we gotten to?

I mean WTF?

Two attacked in Philadelphia’s violent playground ‘game’

Two residents of Southwest Philadelphia were injured - one of them seriously - in separate, recent attacks by youth engaging in a violent game they have dubbed "Catch and Wreck," police said tonight.Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said tonight a 12-year-old girl has been charged with aggravated assault and related offenses in connection with an attack on a 42-year-old woman Friday night, and additional arrests are expected.

In the game, a group of children between the ages of nine and 15 congregating at the Finnegan Playground at 69th Street and Grovers Avenue beat, strike and stomp adults they believe may be homeless, Walker said. He said neither victim in the two attacks was homeless.

Vincent Poppa, 73, remains hospitalized at Methodist Hospital a full week after he was hit in the back of the head with a gun, knocked unconscious and stomped by a group of four or five male youths near the playground around 9 p.m. March 13.

Poppa, who suffered a heart attack either during or shortly after the beating, was on a ventilator until Friday afternoon, Walker said.

Walker said Poppa is in the intensive care unit in serious condition.

Methodist Hospital officials tonightdeclined to report Poppa's medical condition.

According to Walker, Poppa, a resident of a nearby senior citizens apartment complex, was attacked when he was returning from buying soda.

When he arrived at Methodist, medical personnel found footprints on Poppa's head and sneaker marks on his body.
"They were stomping him pretty hard," Walker said.

The second assault occurred Friday at 8:30 p.m. when a large group of male and female youths surrounded Belinda Moore, 42, as she took a shortcut through the playground on her way home from a cleaning job.
She was struck with sticks, punched and hit, but Moore managed to break free and run to a nearby home where a resident called 911.

Walker said Moore had injured a knee and hurt her head. She delayed seeking medical attention to help police in their investigation.

Police Friday night arrested a 12-year-old girl who hit Moore with a stick and were expecting to arrest at least two other girls and boy in connection with the attack on Moore.

The police are continuing their investigation into the attack on Poppa. Authorities believe there may have been other attacks that have not been reported.

Walker said police learned about the "catch and wreck" game when they brought a large group of neighborhood youths to Southwest Detectives for questioning Friday night after Moore was assaulted.

"They were all saying the same thing, laughing at us, like we didn't know what it meant," Walker said. "They said, 'It's something stupid we do for fun.'"

Police, he said, believe it's a new phenomenon.
"It's bizarre mindset these kids have developed," Walker said. "We're hoping we can nip it in the bud."