Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just for fun

I couldn't help but laugh at the expression of the motorcycle driver in this photo.

I don't know what the young ladies are advertising.

The caption accompanying the photo follows.

Bikini girls stroll along Chengdu Street -

Women wear swimsuits with "Sports Models" written on red sashes in a promotion campaign on Chouzhou street in Chengdu, Sichuan province on Sept, 27, 2010, drawing attention from many passersby. [Photo/]

Justice handed down

Justice was relatively swift, harsh and appropriate.

I assume the death sentence with two-year reprieve for the mine owner means he has two years to put his affairs in order.

Courts mete out penalties to 58 over fatal landslide
Xinhua -

TAIYUAN - Local courts in North China's Shanxi province on Thursday handed down sentences to 58 people after they were held responsible for a landslide at an illegal iron ore mine that killed 277 in 2008.

Of the 58, 34 were officials, including several senior county, municipal and provincial officials.

Fifteen courts in Shanxi delivered the sentences.

Zhang Peiliang, the iron ore mine's owner, received death penalty with a two-year reprieve.

Zhang was sentenced for illegally purchasing and selling up to 4,399.63 kg explosives, illegally operating the unlicensed mine, paying bribes of more than 20 million yuan (about $2.98 million) and causing the accident, the Intermediate People's Court of Linfen city said.

Duan Bo, former police head of Yuncheng city, was sentenced to life imprisonment for taking bribes of more than 24.4 million yuan ($3.64 million). The Intermediate People's Court of Taiyuan city also ordered he be stripped of all his assets.

Zhou Jie, Linfen city's former vice mayor, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for taking bribes of more than 2.3 million yuan ($343,796) by the Intermediate People's Court of Shuozhou city.

The others were each sentenced to terms of between one year with probation to up to 20 years imprisonment for either taking bribes or dereliction of duty.

A pile of iron ore at the mine collapsed on Sept 8, 2008, in Xiangfen county, Linfen city, triggering a landslide that destroyed a village, an office building and a busy outdoor market.

On Dec 3, 2008, the government put the death toll at 277 and said another four were still missing. The accident led to the resignation of Meng Xuenong, the then governor of Shanxi.

A bad bunch

Here's how I figure it.

If they're that smart to figure out how to bilk USAA and two credit unions they're smart enough to make an honest living.  No?

I can't figure out how folks do this in the first place, or have the cojones to do it.

7 arrested, 3 sought in bank scam using bad checks
By Eva Ruth Moravec - Express-News

USAA and San Antonio police say they have uncovered a complicated scheme by a group of people who skimmed thousands of dollars from the financial firm's bank and two credit unions over the past year.

Arrested in the scheme, according to Bexar County records, were: Meilee Diaz, 25; Deonte Kershaw, 24; Rhonda Ellison, 27; Takeisha Martin, 30; Shanika Todd, 32; Frances Griffin, 36; and Beverly Ellison, 52.

The seven were arrested without incident Tuesday and Wednesday, police said. Each faces one count of engaging in organized criminal activity with theft from $20,000 to $100,000.

The rest of the story:

Indictment of ex-treasurer

I don't see how this indictment and it coming out now would really hurt the Democrats in Bexar County.

Its not like no one knew about this.  This splashed across the news 10-12 months ago.  Only folks who haven't ever had to wade through the nightmare of auditing accounts and determining where funds went and whether they were misspent sit there and cry politics. It takes a while to figure out what happened and to amass the evidence needed to secure a conviction.

Kudos to the white-collar section of the Bexar County DA's office for putting this all together.

Democrats' ex-treasurer indicted
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

Former Bexar County Democratic Party Treasurer Dwayne Eugene Adams was indicted Wednesday on charges that he embezzled and misused about $202,000 of party funds.

Adams, 55, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of theft between $100,000 and $200,000 and misapplication by a fiduciary between $100,000 and $200,000. Each charge is a second-degree felony.

The grand jury action came as little surprise, Democratic Party officials acknowledged.

The rest of the story:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm all shook up!

Elvis a pedophile drug addict with a squeaky voice?

I think he's confusing Elvis with Jerry Lee Lewis for the pedophile part.

Communists all shook up as Elvis replaces Lenin
by Andy Potts

A cheeky ad campaign has stirred up some revolutionary fervour among Communists in the southwestern Russian city of Voronezh.

City website has taken Lenin down from his pedestal in the city’s central square and replaced him with the king of rock’n’roll in an ad poster intended to show the “courage” of ideas.

But images of a photoshopped Ploshchad Elvisa Presli have done little to woo local Communists who are outraged that their leader has been treated like nothing but a hound dog.

Back-handed compliment
While the Voronezh Communists acknowledge that the images prove Lenin’s enduring place in the public consciousness they won’t love them tender, Lenta reported.

“It’s more like a provocation aimed at the bright image of Lenin,” a report from their regional committee grumbled, adding that the billboard went “beyond political decency”.

But rather than demanding the advertisers do the jailhouse rock, the group will be happy enough to see the offending images removed.

It’s not the first time adverts in the city have had the local leftists checking into heartbreak hotel – last year the group was banned from displaying portraits of Stalin, under the slogan “Victory will be ours” in the run-up to the dictator’s 130th anniversary.

Revolution rocked
Lenin has been troubled by rock stars before: following Michael Jackson’s death in summer 2009 a Moscow promoter thought it would be a real thriller to place the singer’s embalmed corpse in Lenin’s mausoleum.
Alexander Valov wanted the star in his trademark “Moonwalk” pose, while Lenin himself would be discreetly buried elsewhere.

He was warned of “dangerous consequences” by outspoken splinter group the Communists of St Petersburg and Leningrad Region.

And committee member Viktor Perov told Valov to beat it, saying: “How can you compare the leader of the world proletariat with a paedophile drug addict who sang with a squeaky voice?”

You never know who you're cyber-chatting with

Sounds to me like this fellow won't be getting fresh strawberries for quite a long time after all is said and done.

Poteet man faces new sex charges 
By Vianna Davila - Express-News

Two weeks after Poteet resident Harvey Casias was arrested for soliciting a teenage girl online, authorities booked him on three new charges related to inappropriate behavior with a minor and possession of child pornography.

Casias was arrested Sept. 10 for online solicitation of a minor, following a joint investigation between the Poteet Police Department and the Texas Attorney General's Office Cyber Crimes unit.

He was released from the Atascosa County Jail after posting a $100,000 bail.

The rest of the story:

Buh-bye, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out!

In my opinion Judge MacRae did the sensible thing here.

She sentenced him to 10-years at TDCJ-ID.  He'll have pleanty of time to consider what he did to a family friend and their family.

Alpha Mike Foxtrot.

Sex with minor nets prison for Helotes ex-councilman
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

A former Helotes city councilman who had sex with a 14-year-old girl weeks before he was re-elected to a second term was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.

Deputies took Jeffrey Ellis, 44, into custody immediately after state District Judge Sharon MacRae announced the sentence.

An agreement with prosecutors last month in which Ellis pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child gave MacRae only two sentencing options: deferred adjudication probation or the 10-year term.

The rest of the story:

A happier ending this time

I was 15 years old and living in the Detroit area when Charles Whitman climbed the UT clock tower and shocked the world.

I remember reading and seeing the news and the Life magazine article about the shootings and the heroism of Ray Martinez.

Little realizing that time and life would eventually bring me to Texas and New Braunfels where I have met and spoken with Ray Martinez and his lovely wife.

Funny the paths that life leads us on in our journeys.  Thank God that technology exists to notify students to stay inside and seek shelter.  Sad that it has to be used.

UT shooting stirs memories for former cop
NEW BRAUNFELS — When Ramiro “Ray” Martinez saw the shooting scene at the University of Texas unfold on TV Tuesday, all he could think was, “Thank God for the technology nowadays.”

Back in 1966, on Aug. 1, the UT community lacked the high-tech means to spread the word that a sniper — Charles Whitman — was shooting from the clock tower
The rest of the story:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tweaking glitch

Bad restaurant, Bad!

BTW how do they get customers to not do things?  Well, other than throwing them out?

Michelin-starred restaurant in 'nipple tweak' controversy
By Christine Kellett -

One of London's most prestigious restaurants has found itself at the centre of a homophobic sexual harassment case after a gay waiter claimed he had his nipples tweaked by a customer.

Vincent Ma has complained of workplace discrimination at the Michelin-starred Chinese dim sum teahouse Yauatcha, in London's trendy Soho, claiming he was subjected to homophobic abuse by staff and customers, Britain's Independent has reported.

Ma, 31, has taken legal action against the restaurant, which he also accuses of failing to provide appropriate breaks to accommodate his diabetes.

The rest of the story:

Its a bird, its a plane, its Superstreet!!

I don't get all of the hoopla over the "super street" concept.

I mean its necessary and all that as the traffic along that stretch of Loop 1604, as well as 281 north of 1604, is nightmarish.

However, this same concept was implemented along 8 mile road in Detroit in the early 1970's.  Forty years ago.

I was there.

Second 'superstreet' gets feds' clearance
By Jeorge Zarazura - Express-News

Regional and state transportation officials announced Monday that the Loop 1604 “superstreet” has received environmental clearance from the federal government, clearing the way for construction to soon begin.

The superstreet, a 31/2-mile section between New Guilbeau Road and Texas 151, is the second of its kind in Bexar County, with the first on the U.S. 281 corridor between Encino Rio and Marshall Road.

Terry Brechtel, executive director of the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, which sought the environmental clearance, said the project wouldn't have been possible without the leadership of local elected officials. The $7.7 million project is one of the last American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded projects in the county, according to the mobility authority.

The rest of the story:

The 13th disciple

A 13th suspect arrested.

Are there any more?

Another arrested in Seguin gang-related shooting
SEGUIN - A 13th suspect believed connected to the Aug. 30 shooting of Geoffrey Carrizales turned himself in to Seguin police Thursday and has been booked for allegedly engaging in organized crime.

Seguin Police Detective Lt. Jerry Hernandez said Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Darrell Hunter issued an arrest warrant for Ramon Gonzales, 21, on allegations he engaged in organized criminal activity connected to the death of Carrizales.

The rest of the story:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another hell of a party

What's up with all the death parties?

8 shot, 3 stabbed, 1 dead at East L.A. house party
My Way News -

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Eight people were shot - one fatally - and another three stabbed Saturday after a fight broke out at a birthday party, authorities said.

One man, Steven Lopez, 22, died at the scene and two other gunshot victims were taken to County-USC Medical Center with critical injuries, police said.

A dispute at the late-night house party in the Boyle Heights neighborhood escalated until several people pulled out guns and knives.

The rest of the story:

Hell of a party

This sounds like a bad college movie plot.

But unfortunately its reality.

Witness describes 'hell' at NJ party shooting
By Beth DeFalco - My way news

EAST ORANGE, N.J. (AP) - A Seton Hall University student who attended an off-campus house party at which five people were shot said the gunman stood on her back as she lay on the floor and didn't appear to be targeting anyone during the chaos she described as "hell."

"He was just shooting he had no intended target," said a text message from the woman, whose friend was the only person killed.

The woman spoke Sunday by BlackBerry instant messenger on condition of anonymity because she feared for her safety while the shooter remained at large. She said she was too upset to talk over the phone.

The rest of the story:

Shooter on the loose

This is strange.  Who was the shooter?

Man fatally shot on city's South side
By Michelle Mondo - Express-News

A man was shot and killed Sunday night when he and two others were visiting a secluded, wooded property along Leon Creek on the city's far South Side, officials said.

The shooting occurred around 6:45 p.m. on private property tucked behind the Palo Alto Village subdivision and Spicewood Park off Texas 16.

Police said the three men were on the property with the owner's permission. It wasn't known if the victim was a friend or relative of the property owner.

The rest of the story:

Tragedy on Blanco Road

This tragedy occurred just a couple of miles north of me on a stretch of road only made dangerous because folks like the teenage driver get impatient and want to drive at freeway speeds.

That is my opinion and I am entitled to it.

I am terribly sorry for the losses of the family.

Woman, son killed in head-on collision
By Michelle Mondo - Express-News

A woman and her young son were killed Sunday night in a head-on collision in North Bexar County, officials said.

Sgt. E.M. Conger of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said the woman, 42, was with her 7-year-old son traveling south in the 28600 block of Blanco Road around 7:30 p.m. when an oncoming vehicle crashed with her Mercedes.

Conger said an 18-year-old man, who was northbound on Blanco Road in an Acura, was attempting to pass another vehicle in front of him when the accident occurred.

The rest of the story:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Take me to your leader

Okay then.

What's up with this?

Do they know something we don't know or are they just adding to their bloated bureaucracy?

UN to appoint Earth contact for aliens

THE United Nations was set today to appoint an obscure Malaysian astrophysicist to act as Earth’s first contact for any aliens that may come visiting. 

Mazlan Othman, the head of the UN's little-known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), is to describe her potential new role next week at a scientific conference at the Royal Society’s Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire.

She is scheduled to tell delegates that the recent discovery of hundreds of planets around other stars has made the detection of extraterrestrial life more likely than ever before - and that means the UN must be ready to coordinate humanity’s response to any “first contact”.

During a talk Othman gave recently to fellow scientists, she said: “The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials.

"When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination.”

Professor Richard Crowther, an expert in space law and governance at the UK Space Agency and who leads British delegations to the UN on such matters, said: “Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a ‘take me to your leader’ person.”

However, he thinks humanity’s first encounter with any intelligent aliens is more likely to be via radio or light signals from a distant planet than by beings arriving on Earth. And, he suggests, even if we do encounter aliens in the flesh, they are more likely to be microbes than anything intelligent.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but.......

Play nice everyone, play nice!

Young cleared of racial slur
Sydney Morning Herald -

St George Illawarra hooker Dean Young has escaped sanction over an alleged racial comment and is free to play in next week's NRL grand final.

On-field audio failed to pick up comments made during the altercation between Young and Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah in last night's preliminary final, the NRL match review committee left with little option but to clear the Dragons No.9 when the Tigers declined to make an official complaint.

Farah declined two opportunities to make a complaint to on-field referee Ben Cummins, but could be heard accusing Young at a scrum minutes later of calling him a " wog."

"The on-field audio provided no evidence to confirm if any comment had been made," the match review committee said in a statement.

"The on-field audio does contain an accusation from Farah and a denial from the St George Illawarra player.

"The Wests Tigers have today declined a request to provide any further information that may assist the match review committee.

"Having assessed all the available information, the match review committee does not believe there is sufficient evidence to warrant a charge."

There was good news too for two other grand final combatants with Sydney Roosters playmaker Todd Carney and Dragons lock Jeremy Smith both charged with grade one offences but free to play in the decider with early guilty pleas.

Carney's was a careless high tackle charge for a hit on Gold Coast skipper Scott Prince while Smith was charged with making dangerous contact with his knees in an incident which left Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri with suspected broken ribs.

Suspected honor killings

A tragic Romeo and Juliet melodrama set in India.

Couple found dead in fields, honour killing suspected
The Times of India -

SIRSA (Haryana): The bodies of a young man and woman were recovered from cotton fields in this Haryana district and police on Sunday said they suspected it to be a case of honour killing.

The victims were identified as Inder Pal, 22, and Maya, 18, and they were said to be in a relationship for the last many months. Their bodies were found in the fields in Phoolkan village on Friday night.

"Inder Pal and Maya were neighbours in Phoolkan village and they wanted to marry. They went missing on the intervening night of September 17-18. Police found their decomposed bodies from the fields on Friday night," Devendar Singh, investigation officer of the case, said on Sunday.

"It seems they were hit by some hard object or a baton to kill them. We suspect a honour killing and we are recording the statements of their family members. We have also gathered some clues from the crime spot and very soon we will arrest the accused," Singh said.

Maya was a Class 11 student whereas Inder Pal was a labourer in the fields. Their family members were against their relationship and Inder was forcibly married to another girl two months back.

Maya's brother Brij Lal, however, alleged that his sister was abducted by Inder's family.

Brij Lal said: "Inder's family members abducted Maya while we had gone to attend a religious function. We are sure that they killed my sister."

Crocodile tears

You did the crime now do the time, you big wuss.

I know you weren't sobbing for the victim or his family.

Reputed triggerman guilty in '07 slaying 
By Craig Kapitan - express-News

A San Antonio man accused of shooting a Quiznos employee sunk his head to his attorney's chest and began to sob uncontrollably Friday as a jury found him guilty of murder.

It took jurors nearly 13 hours over two days to return the verdict for John McBurnett, 22, who will be sentenced next month by state District Judge Ron Rangel. He faces up to life in prison.

McBurnett's attorneys said throughout the trial that their client was framed by his friends. Family members repeated that claim as they were asked to leave the courtroom because their loud crying was interfering with court proceedings

The rest of the story:

Cutting Kitties

Why are they here?

Or Why are they still here?

19 years old and cutting up kittens, nice.  What'll they do for entertainment next cut up children or women?

Police charge two in kitten mutilation
By Brian Chasnoff - Express-News

Police have arrested a man accused of mutilating a neighbor's kitten in Seguin.

Gerardo Herrera, 19, a Mexican national, was charged Wednesday with animal cruelty after someone sliced off the kitten's ears and tail, Seguin Police Sgt. Aaron Seidenberger said.

Herrera “ultimately then confessed,” Seidenberger said.

The rest of the story:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Horse whisperer

Seems reasonable to me.

POLL: Judge says Estates woman can never own horses again


— A Golden Gate Estates woman’s dream of running a horse rescue foundation in Collier County came to a bitter conclusion on Wednesday when a judge barred her from ever owning horses again.

Tina Ciancaglini, a self-described horse lover who has been called an “animal hoarder” by county officials, was deemed incapable of caring for horses by a Judge Rob Crown after Collier County Domestic Animal Services reported she has consistently failed to provide for her horses.

DAS had been monitoring Ciancaglini’s Estates horse ranch since 2007 when there were reports of neglect. Officers with DAS reported finding consistently thin horses, but worked with her to improve conditions.

The rest of the story:

What in the hell?

You've got to be kidding me.

16-year-old sterilized in Jharkhand
The Times of India -

RANCHI: An unsuspecting 16-year-old was made to undergo a sterilization procedure here allegedly by a neighbour and a paramedic staff, who also pocketed some of the award money he received from the government.

Pawan Nayak, 16, a resident of Sukurhuttu village, was allegedly sterilized July 31.

Pawan had gone to Kanke primary health centre of Ranchi for treatment along with his neighbour. There he was allegedly made to put his thumb mark on a paper on which his age was shown as 28 and with a wife and two children. The neighbour who accompanied Pawan and a para medical staff are reportedly involved in the case.

"I was asked to put my thumb on some papers, which I did. Some medicines were administered to me and I was given Rs.1,100. Two people who were instrumental in everything took Rs.500 and Rs.200 from me," Pawan told reporters.

Pawan came to know the truth three days ago when the paper on which he had put his thumb was seen by his neighbours. They informed him about his sterilization. A shocked Pawan brought the matter to the notice of the doctors.

A medical team Friday conducted a check up on Pawan and confirmed he had been sterilized.

The only relief is that the sterilization was done without surgery. "We are taking measures to neutralize the sterilization as it was done through medicines," BK Singh, civil surgeon of Ranchi, told reporters.

The highway to hell

An interesting concept isn't it?

A display of dead drivers and you get to choose your favorite.

All in the hope this will deter dunk driving.  Good luck with that.

Yekaterinburg cops ask drivers to vote for their favourite corpses
by Tom Washington - The Moscow News

Dead and mangled, the wreckage of Yekaterinburg’s worst car accidents is up for public display.

But far from a provocative art stunt this is an official initiative by the Ural city’s traffic cops – who are asking people to vote on their favourites.

The police say it’s a public safety campaign aimed at deterring drink drivers rather than encouraging rubber-neckers.

But others have dismissed it as the crude antics of a madman.

Different opinions
“I think this is savagery,” railed Za Prava Cheloveka (For Human Rights) leader Lev Ponomarev. “We will sort out this situation. It will not remain without its consequences,” he vowed, urging the interior ministry to medically examine the people who put the pictures up. 

But Vyacheslav Lysakov, leader of the motoring movement Svoboda Vybora (Freedom of Choice) told Interfax he was OK with the scheme.

“Our website has a selection of photos and video clips with all the details,” he enthused. “This should show people.”

Setting standards
The quest to shock can be taken too far, some claim. “We are often confronted with the statements of MPs and ordinary citizens about the need to observe standards in the media,” journalists at said. 

“Sometimes journalists can be shocking in their pursuit of sensational material.” Nonetheless government institutions are clearly guilt of the same practices, they said.

The website’s Ivan Bargin went so far as to venture that there be a code of conduct, which applied to government press services as well as much as to journalists. The information that official sites publish is available, he said, not just to professionals but to the general public including children.

Although strong images can play a role in encouraging responsible driving they should be chosen with some degree of common sense. And it is one thing to show twisted wreckages but quite another to show mutilated bodies in pools of blood, still more to vote on them, KP reported.

But Lysakov thinks the pictures don’t go far enough. He calls for real punishment to discourage drunk drivers and fines do not do enough, he says. He notes with regret that the worst rule breakers are not made to go to preventative sessions.

“Punishment should not only hurt the purse, but wasting these people’s time would also be very effective. In these documentaries they should show footage of car crashes,” he said, although he did not say whether they should then vote on them. “According to research by psychologists up to 60 per cent of people amend their behaviour after watching these videos. This is a very good way to sober people up.”

A United Russia project ‘Safe Roads’ is soon to discuss the issue of visual deterrents and other ways to promote legal driving. 

Tunes only he hears

The Dude is awesome to watch.

Pizza hawker whets appetites with his skills on air guitar
By Roy Bragg - Express-News

NEW BRAUNFELS — From Major League slugger Lance Berkman to legendary political heavyweight Bob Krueger, this Hill Country town has produced its share of celebrities.

Neither, however, is as popular as “Rock'n” Ronnie Epstein, known on Facebook as “The Guy Who Plays the Cardboard Guitar on the Corner by Little Caesars.” For 2 1/2 years, he has used his air guitar mastery to hawk take-out pizza on one of the town's busiest intersections.

As reliable as the sunrise and as uplifting as a basket of puppies, Epstein can be found most days at the corner of Walnut Avenue and West San Antonio Street, rocking out to music that only he can hear.

The rest of the story:

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Family Business

Actually a good job by George Dombart in keeping the house from seizure and foreclosure.

Father and son sentenced in drug case
By Michelle Mondo - Express-News

A father and son arrested last year on federal drug charges after a high profile bust at their East Side home were sentenced Wednesday following plea agreements entered in June, officials said.

Both John Beltran Sr., 59, and his son, Andrew Beltran, 34, appeared before U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez for sentencing on a charge of aiding and abetting in the distribution of less than 500 grams of cocaine, according to federal court officials.

Andrew Beltran also was facing time for a revocation of supervision charge because, when arrested in 2009, he was on parole for a 2005 drug charge.

The rest of the story:

Painful matter

I cannot imagine the pain this is causing the parents of the deceased.

Parents scoff as Boerne shooting ruled suicide
By Zeke MacCormack - Express-News

BOERNE — Though they demanded a review of investigators' findings that their son committed suicide 20 months ago, Robert and Angela Dilday boycotted the long-awaited death inquest Thursday.

The Illinois couple walked out, saying their presence would lend credibility to a proceeding where they expected skewed evidence to be presented to show that John M. Dilday, 21, took his own life.

After three hours of testimony, Justice of the Peace Debby Hudson ruled the death a suicide, saying, “I cannot come to the conclusion that anyone assisted Mr. Dilday in his death.”

The rest of the story:

Back from Conference

Dear Readers;

I apologize for the light blogging this past week.  I was attending the Texas District and County Attorney's Association Conference at South Padre Island.

So time to get busy.


Man o' Law

Build it and they will come

Congratulations to all who applied and thank you for volunteering of yourselves for the community.

Good Luck!

Officials to choose Justice Center committee members Oct. 14
NEW BRAUNFELS - Comal County Judge Danny Scheel said Thursday Commissioners' Court plans to make appointments to the 15-member Comal County Justice Committee on Oct. 14.

Thirty-two residents applied for the committee, which will work with county officials to develop a comprehensive plan for the creation of a justice center.

The rest of the story:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hopefully it will be for a long while

Pretty pitiful predator.  Hope y'all enjoy your stay.

Man charged in scam on elderly
By Guillermo X. Garcia - Express-News

A second man has been charged in a “pigeon drop” swindle targeting the elderly.

Ernest Donnell Milton, 62, faces two felony charges of theft over allegations he participated in a scam that swindled David Vasquez, 89, out of $18,000 on June 25.

He was being held in Bexar County Jail on Wednesday under bail totaling $65,000.

The rest of the story:

He prison

The answer to yesterday's question of does he stay or does he go.

Death penalty avoided, cold case solved
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

The punishment phase of John Fennell's capital murder trial ended abruptly Wednesday after prosecutors agreed to stop seeking the death penalty.

In exchange, Fennell pleaded guilty to another capital murder, of a retired McAllen police officer killed during a robbery, that had gone unsolved for more than eight years.

Fennell, 33, will serve a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2007 shotgun slaying of Juan Saldivar. He will serve a concurrent life sentence for the 2002 shooting death of Darrell Davis.

The rest of the story:

LOL.....Dude ur so bstd!

I don't know how it would be enforced but I applaud the effort.

Universal City bans driver texting
By Peter J. Holley and Josh Baugh - Express-News

It is the public safety issuedu jour, one that is sweeping the nation faster than the thumbs of a texting 20-something.

Many cities and almost two dozen states have outlawed texting while driving, and now one of Bexar County's smaller municipalities has followed suit.

Universal City has banned texting while driving in its 6.2-square-mile jurisdiction and will begin enforcing the new ordinance Oct. 4, just a few days before the San Antonio City Council is poised to adopt a similar measure.

The rest of the story:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I mean how cool is this?

Kicked out by an entire country??

Maybe they'll remove all of the Hilton Hotels as retaliation for kicking out Paris?........Naah!

The drama continues.

Paris Hilton denied entry to Japan over drugs conviction

Paris Hilton was denied entry to Japan today, two days after she pleaded guilty to a drug charge in Las Vegas. -
A Japanese immigration official said she was denied entry Wednesday after six hours of questioning.

Japan has strict immigration laws that bar entry to those convicted of drug offences, although exceptions are occasionally granted. The country has taken a tough line with famous figures in the past, although it also grants occasional exceptions.

The socialite appeared unmoved by the decision. "I'm going back home, and I look forward to coming back to Japan in the future," a smiling Hilton told reporters at Tokyo's airport.
The rest of the story:

Should he stay or should he go?

Is his past behavior going to sway the jurors to give him the death penalty?

I'm thinking perhaps not. Don't get me wrong, he's no choir boy but with juries now able to assess life without the possibility of parole I think they may take it.

Prosecutors: Execution candidate had violent history
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

Convicted killer John Fennell was no stranger to incarceration before his arrest for capital murder three years ago, and his behavior behind bars was less than stellar, prosecutors said Tuesday as the punishment phase of his trial began.

Fennell, 33, was found guilty Monday of capital murder in the attempted robbery and slaying of carpenter Juan Saldivar, a stranger, on Aug. 29, 2007. Jurors now have only two options for his sentence: Life in prison without parole or death by lethal injection.

Prosecutors Julie Wright and Todd Winslow declined to give an opening statement Tuesday, instead beginning the hearing by documenting Fennell's prior jail time and prison terms.

The rest of the story:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A simple "Where's the Restrooms?" would have sufficed I'm sure


Cops: Man urinates on police station, walks in

Detroit Free Press -

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) -- Authorities said a man urinated on the side of the Royal Oak police station, and then walked inside one afternoon last week. Lt. Gordon Young told the Detroit Free Press that "after urinating, the suspect entered the station in an attempt to file a police report on an undisclosed matter."

That's when witnesses informed the police at the front desk of the man's activities while outside.

Deputy City Attorney Mark Liss said the man was issued a citation and likely will serve no jail time but pay a fine and court costs of $250.

Let the finger-pointing begin

Is he Guilty?

Check back soon.

Defendant blames friend for Quiznos murder
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

Murder defendant John William McBurnett wept briefly Monday, telling jurors he was out of his element and terrified three years ago as he watched a group of friends beat up a Quiznos employee and then shoot him outside the North Side sandwich shop.

“I didn't think anything was going to happen,” he said of getting into a Ford Bronco with four friends that night to meet the employee, Nathan Ramirez, 20. “All I knew was ‘Clay' (co-defendant James Clayton Kelly) was going to meet with the guy and get his clothes. That's it.”

Prosecutors, however, have said McBurnett, 22, was the triggerman during the June 9, 2007, altercation.

The rest of the story:

Bomb case thrown out

This certainly has been a bizarre case from the get go.

Charge against mom tossed
By Eva Ruth Moravec - Express-News

A judge has dismissed a federal pipe bomb charge against a San Antonio woman accused of trying to target her ex-husband's Northwest Side home.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo signed a motion submitted by prosecutors Thursday to dismiss the case against Tami Lyn Hernandez, 36.

Hernandez, also known as Tami Lyn Williams, was arrested Aug. 30 and charged with illegal possession of an unregistered destructive device after a pipe bomb was found under the SUV of Tlahuilt Manuel Hernandez in his driveway.

Good Job Comal County Republican Women!

Now this was a worthy meeting.  Allowing the candidates to have a diagram and to show where each of them are in the system and how it works.

When I was running in Bexar County there were so many running and so little time I'm afraid it all was a blur to many of the guests.

GOP hopefuls explain judicial system
By Eric J. Weilbacher The Herald-Zeitung

NEW BRAUNFELS — The consensus among judges and justices at the New Braunfels Republican Women’s candidate forum Monday was simple — voters do not know enough about the Texas judicial system.

The more than 100 guests, most members of New Braunfels Republican Women, were given flow charts explaining the judicial system to better illustrate where each judge fits.
The rest of the story:

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Dynamic Drugged Duo

Do I see a new reality TV show starring her and Lindsay Lohan in Drug Rehab together?

Let's call it The Simple Drugged Life

I bet it'd be a hit!

DA: Paris Hilton to avoid felony in Vegas arrest
LAS VEGAS – Paris Hilton has agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanors stemming from her arrest last month at a Las Vegas resort, a Nevada prosecutor said.

Under the terms of a plea deal worked out with prosecutors, the celebrity heiress will serve a year of probation and avoid a felony conviction, Clark County District Attorney David Roger said Friday.

A plea agreement obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows Hilton will plead guilty to drug possession and obstructing an officer. She must complete a drug abuse program, pay a $2,000 fine and serve 200 hours of community service.

The rest of the story:

So, what else is new?

This is rapidly becoming one of life's little certainties.

The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Winter is colder than Summer.

Thirty days has September .......

Lindsay Lohan failed another court-ordered drug test.

Lohan tweets she failed court-ordered drug test
LOS ANGELES – Lindsay Lohan has confirmed on her Twitter page that she failed a court-ordered drug and alcohol screening, and she said that if asked, she is ready to appear before the judge in her case and face the consequences for her actions.

In a series of messages posted late Friday, the actress said "Regrettably, I did in fact fail my most recent drug test."

She also said, "Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn't go away over night. I am working hard to overcome it." Lohan often posts updates with the account that's verified by Twitter as belonging to the actress.

The rest of the story:

Wild about coffee!!

The caffeine defense debuts.

Good thing he wasn't eating Twinkies too; who knows if all hell would've broken loose then!

Kentucky trial: man claims caffeine insanity
By BRETT BARROUQUERE, Associated Press Writer

NEWPORT, Ky. – A Kentucky man accused of strangling his wife is poised to claim excessive caffeine from sodas, energy drinks and diet pills left him so mentally unstable he couldn't have knowingly killed his wife, his lawyer has notified a court.

Woody Will Smith, 33, is scheduled for trial starting Monday on a murder charge in the May 2009 death of Amanda Hornsby-Smith, 28.

Defense attorney Shannon Sexton filed notice with the Newport court of plans to argue his client ingested so much caffeine in the days leading up to the killing that it rendered him temporarily insane — unable even to form the intent of committing a crime.

The rest of the story:

The Castle Doctrine - at work for you

She's lucky she wasn't shot by the homeowner.

Homeowner subdues suspected home invader
By Eva Ruth Moravec - Express-News

A homeowner repeatedly struck a woman on the head with a piece of metal Sunday morning, when the woman reportedly broke into a home in a gated far North Side community.

The woman, in her early 20s, began ringing the doorbell and banging on a door in the 8400 block of Magdalena Run around 8 a.m. Sunday, said San Antonio police Sgt. Michael Oliva.

Police said she appeared to have been up all night, under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was yelling that birds were in her house, while wearing all-black and ringing the doorbell, according to an incident report.

The rest of the story:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Okay, this is something that George Bush can be blamed for.

A different George Bush, not the former President.

One-legged man escapes on foot

-- He can't run, but he can hide.

Deputies in Orange County, Fla., are trying to track down a one-legged man who evaded authorities on foot.

The strange story began as a routine traffic stop on Sept. 14, when officers pulled over the suspect, George Bush, who is believed to be either 47 or 48 years old, according to

But the motorist sped off, reportedly driving recklessly through a residential community before smashing his car into a power pole.

Witnesses say police were chasing the driver when he nearly hit a group of children waiting for a school bus and crashed into a pole. But law enforcement officials say they called off their pursuit when the motorist began driving erratically.

After the crash -- which shut off electricity to several nearby homes -- Bush allegedly climbed out of his vehicle and made his way into a wooded area, giving authorities the slip.

Later that day, deputies on horseback attempted to track the suspect, but according to the station, Bush's whereabouts remain unknown.

It's also unclear why Bush fled in the first place.

Not exactly cow chip tossing


I don't think they'll shake hands and make up.

Ill. woman charged in dog poop-infused meltdown
From Associated Press

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Dog owners, beware: If you live in suburban Chicago and don't pick up after your pet, you might get tossed an unpleasant reminder. Police in Naperville said a woman who stepped in dog feces outside her apartment appears to have retaliated by heaving it at the door of her neighbor who owns a dog.

Susan Miller was charged with disorderly conduct after her bizarre protest Wednesday.

The Naperville Sun reported that police say Miller also uprooted a sign telling residents to pick up dog waste and placed it on the neighbor's patio. Miller was arrested after the neighbor called police.

An unapologetic Miller said that if she can pick up the poop from her 80-pound dog, her neighbor can pick up after a 20-pound dog.

Naperville is about 30 miles west of Chicago.

To Kill a Drilling Well

Sometimes killing something is a good thing.

Blown-out BP well finally killed at bottom of Gulf

The well is dead. Finally.

A permanent cement plug sealed BP's well nearly 2.5 miles below the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico, five agonizing months after an explosion sank a drilling rig and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's point man on the disaster, said Sunday BP's well "is effectively dead" and posed no further threat to the Gulf. Allen said a pressure test to ensure the cement plug would hold was completed at 5:54 a.m. CDT.

The rest of the story:

The underbelly of campaigning

I cannot even begin to tell you how many hundreds of signs of mine disapeared in my campaigns.

Having signs stolen or taken down is a pain in the royal keister.

Election signs serious business
By Greg Jefferson - Express-News

Henry Farias bows his head in mock reverence.

“Look how beautiful she is,” he says as his son, Pablo, hauls off a 4-by-8 campaign sign emblazoned with the face of Republican Judge Lori Valenzuela. Pablo drops it facedown onto the pile of campaign signs.

They're working in the backyard of a rundown house overlooking Interstate 35, near Division Street on the South Side.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

On the lookout in Sydney

Here's hoping they catch these fellows.

Sydney gang sex attack 
Sydney Morning Herald -

An 18-year-old woman was held down by a gang of men and sexually assaulted in Sydney's southwest.

The victim was on a park bench at the intersection of Norfolk and Carlisle streets, in Ingleburn, when three men approached her just after midnight on Friday, police say.

They held her down while one of the men carried out the attack.

Detectives have reviewed CCTV footage from the area and are appealing for help catching the men, who are described as Caucasian and in their 20s.

This perp needs to be schooled

I am assuming that the man was something akin to a school bus driver.  Whatever.

He needs to be locked away.

Rapist school cab driver attacked by angry kin
The Times of India -

NEW DELHI: A school cab driver accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl and her two brothers for over a year and a half was assaulted by angry family members and neighbours of the children while being taken to the court Saturday.

The accused driver, Lalit Ratawal, 32, was being taken to the court by police officials when members of the victims' family slapped and beat him.

"My childrens' future is ruined. The police are not at all sympathetic and not taking any strict action against the culprits," the mother of the children told reporters.

The accused, a resident of Bapa Nagar in Karol Bagh, would take the siblings to unknown destinations where he along with his four associates, aged below 18, would rape the girl and sodomise her two brothers, aged seven and 13, police said.

Ratawal had threatened to kill the children's mother if they spoke of the ordeal to anyone. Hence, the heinous activities continued for more than a year, said a police official.

The girl told her mother a few weeks back, but the mother was scared and did not report to the police. It was only after a neighbour intervened that the police were informed.

A medical examination on the girl confirmed sexual assault, police said. Ratawal was arrested Friday, but his associates are absconding.

Agitated family members gathered at the Prasad Nagar police station near Karol Bagh in central Delhi since early morning and also pelted stones at the school van owned by Ratawal.

The accused's mother has denied the allegations against her son, saying: "No one ever complained about my son. He has not done anything wrong and is innocent. He is being framed."

The children's father had died two years ago and the family's source of income was the rent it got by letting out six rooms of the house.

A hunt has been launched to nab the four minor associates of Ratawal.

Drug War battle

Things appear to be heating up in the Great Drug War down South.

Reports of violence shake Matamoros
By Lynn Brezosky - Express-News

BROWNSVILLE — Northern Mexico's surge of gangland bloodshed continued Friday in Matamoros, with shootouts reportedly leaving streets strewn with dozens of corpses and rumors flying that Mexican forces might have taken down “Tony Tormenta,” a reputed Gulf Cartel capo who is the brother of the imprisoned boss Osiel C├írdenas.

Reports in the Brownsville Herald, La Reforma, and El Norte used unnamed law enforcement sources and witnesses to describe three battles starting about 1 p.m. The Blog del Terror, one of the numerous blogs serving as anonymous forums on the drug violence, reported sniper fire from military helicopters.

As of late Friday, the Mexican government had not confirmed the reports.

The rest of the story:

Brought a knife to a gunfight - part 2

I bet his family regrets calling in on him now.

Clearly this was going to end badly.  Mind you I am not blaming anyone other than the deceased who obviously chose wrongly.  He put himself into harm's way by threatening the deputy.

Man with knife shot by deputy
By Guillermo X. Garcia - Express-News

A routine call turned deadly Friday when a Bexar County deputy sheriff shot and killed a man who pulled a knife, cut himself and then threatened emergency personnel, including his sister.

It was a chaotic scene that greeted emergency responders arriving in the 7500 block of Karen Skye Court just inside the county line near Leon Springs at 6:36 p.m. They were summoned by the man's elderly mother, who reported him intoxicated and passed out.

Deputy Dale Bennett said the man was assisted by volunteer firefighters, but after he was revived he became belligerent, pulled out a knife, and began to cut himself.

The rest of the story:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sentencing Guidelines proposed in China

As a former Judge I appreciated the discretion we were allowed in sentencing.  Of course this was in Texas not in a country the size of China.

Legal reform takes baby steps and this one certainly seems appropriate and familiar to Western Jurisprudence.

Allowing the attorneys to "advise" and recommend to the Judge what a convicted defendant's punishment should be and then allows the Judge to review the circumstances of each case on its own is probably a welcome change.

Guidelines make sentences more transparent, standardized
By Wang Jingqiong (China Daily)

SANYA, Hainan - Judges across the country are urged to follow more specific and strict standards while meting out sentences for criminals, and listen to advice from prosecutors, lawyers and victims on the sentence, according to a guidance the top court issued on Thursday.

The guidance, to be implemented on a trial basis across the country on Oct 1, standardizes punishments and makes them more transparent. Before, the sentences were the judges' decisions, based on laws with a wide range in penalties.

The guidance gives specific basic sentences for 15 types of charges, including traffic offenses, intentional injury, robbery, theft and drug dealing. These charges take up about 90 percent of all criminal charges in the country, according to the top court.

According to the guidance, a prosecutor, as well as the defendant's lawyer, are authorized to advise the judge on a defendant's sentence.

The judge has to listen to both sides' advice or debate, and make a final decision by the following three steps, according to the guidance. <

First, after the basic sentence for the charge is established, the judge should add to the penalty according to the circumstances. Finally the judge should add or reduce the sentence taking into account 14 possible scenarios for the accused, such as if he or she is a minor.

For example, for a person who rapes a woman one time, the basic sentence is between three and five years. If the person rapes more than one woman or is a recidivist, the sentence should be increased. However, if the person confessed to the crime, the sentence can be reduced.

The guidance stipulates that if a person confesses, the sentence should be reduced by 40 percent. If one gets the victim's forgiveness, the sentence can be reduced by an additional 20 percent.

"China had no such detailed and mathematic base for discretion of punishment before," said Xiong Xuanguo, deputy chief judge of the Supreme People's Court (SPC).

Many problems existed in the discretion of punishment before, especially when the same accusation got different sentences in different courts. Also many people tried to bribe judges for less punishment, Xiong said.

The country's Criminal Law usually gives a wide range for sentencing a convicted criminal, which sometimes can result in a difference of 10 years in jail, he said.

"This is a milestone for China's legal reform," said Dai Changlin, a criminal court judge from the SPC. "To some extent, it reduces the power that judges once had in sentencing. However, we don't see it as limiting judges' rights, but standardizing and regulating sentencing."

Some judges were against the reform, arguing that giving the procurators the right to advise on the sentencing challenges the judges' authority.

"However, after we conducted experiments in more than 120 courts since last year, more judges tend to accept the new procedure now, mostly because defendants would be more convinced of their sentences," Dai said.

Lawyers welcome the new guidance as they see it as a solid base for them to ask for less punishment for their clients.

"Lawyers argued with judges on sentencing quite often, but such a practice actually lacks legal backing," said Tang Hongxin, a lawyer from the Beijing-based Yingke Law Firm.

"If this sentencing standardization is fully implemented, I can be more confident asking for light sentences for my clients," Tang said.

Chen Weidong, a law professor with Renmin University of China, said conviction and sentencing have been complicated issues for a long time in China.

"Courts usually pay more attention to convictions and ignore sentencing, but the accused and the public care more about sentencing," he said. "The new guidance might be a prelude to separate conviction and sentencing phases in trials."