Friday, December 31, 2010

Stanford Ends Uconn's Winning Streak Before Waco Lady Bears

A few days ago, I wrote here that I believed it would be the Waco Lady Baylor Bears who would end the winning streak of the University of Connecticut (Uconn) Lady Huskies team. However, last night - Stanford beat the Lady Baylor Bears to that challenge, so the Uconn winning streak ends at 90 games. No sports team is invincible and no matter how good a team is, they will eventually find their way to defeat. That said, oh what a winning streak it was for the Uconn Lady Huskies - who racked up 90 straight victories. I can only image how the citizens of Waco would feel if our Lady Bears were riding a winning streak of almost 100 consecutive games.

Like millions of other fans around the country, I find myself impatiently waiting for March - when the best college basketball teams meet in Indianapolis to play in the Final Four of lady's basketball. Before last nights surprising victory by Stanford over Uconn, I was expecting to see the Lady Baylor Bears cruise into the finals with only Uconn standing in the way of them winning another national championship. However, I now need to add Stanford to my list of possible 2011 National Champions as they proved their worth "big time" against Uconn last night. Like has been the case in the past, it's hard to predict who might win the Final Four until late in February. Looks like 2011 will be no different.



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Waco Residents Take Up Arms To Defend Life & Property

On Thursday night, KWTX-TV (Channel 10) reported on two incidents, recently, where Waco area residents used firearms to protect their homes and businesses. The sad truth is, that crime is increasing and with law enforcement agencies being stretched thin - some Waco citizens are making the choice to arm themselves against criminals who wish to do them harm. What is happening in Waco right now, is no different than what has happened in the past when criminals are left to wander the streets - because of prison overcrowding and a lack of will among elected leaders to spend the money necessary to keep them locked up.

Just as in the past, most crimes are committed by career criminals who have little to no fear when they are arrested by police. Many times, criminals just work the criminal justice system to the point where they are either given a small prison sentence or no jail time at all. Some in the legal field call this the "revolving door" of Texas prisons, which are overcrowded on most days. When it comes election time, all politicians are on the side of "law and order", but something happens to them when they take office and start to look at what it costs taxpayers to fund long jail sentences for career criminals. Make no mistake, if you are the victim of a crime - more than likely the person who victimized you is a career criminal.

What politicians in Austin and Washington D.C. do not seem to understand is that people in rural states, like Texas, will not take being victimized sitting down. People in Waco and in other communities around Texas are well known for their willingness to take up arms and defend their families and property themselves, when the criminal justice system fails to serve the public. There are people I know that say the crime rate in Waco is greater now because of recession. I don't buy into that theory, because I consider violent crime a problem of character and not one of financial need. I expect more citizens in Waco to start buying guns, if local police and courts do not get career criminals off the streets for good.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Will Baylor's Lady Bears Put An End To UConn's Winning Streak?

As of today, the University of Connecticut (UConn) girls basketball team has won 89 games without a defeat. While this is record breaking news, about one month ago - the Baylor Lady Bears came within one point of ending the UConn winning streak, then. In 2010, there are two great teams, in the country, playing collegiate female basketball and those two teams are the University of Connecticut Huskies and the Baylor Lady Bears in Waco, Texas. If there is one team in the United States that has the potential to defeat the UConn Huskies', in 2010/2011, that team is Waco's Lady Baylor Bears.

The rivalry between Baylor and UConn in girls basketball has been growing for years. When it comes to girls basketball, there are no two better coaches than Kim Mulkey for the Lady Baylor Bears and Geno Auriemma for the University of Connecticut girls team. Even in 2010, with the Baylor Lady Bears ranked number two in the country - the one team that the Bears and everyone else has to beat to win a national championship is Auriemma's UConn Huskies. Waco's Baylor Lady Bears' will certainly have a chance to revenge their one point loss to the UConn girls when the holiday's give way to another season of Final Four games in March. However, will Kim Mulkey be able to lead her Lady Bears to a victory against a UConn team that right now seems unbeatable?

Of course, as a Waco resident - I believe that the Lady Baylor Bears can and will defeat Auriemma's Lady Huskies in the last game of the 2011 Final Four series. Right now, everyone in the sports world has elevated the Lady Huskies' to a level where most people don't believe they are beatable. However, in the world of sports - a huge winning streak like the one currently earned by the UConn Lady Huskies cannot and will not last forever. The big question is, when will the Baylor Lady Bears or some other great team put an end to UConn's undefeated status? Personally, I do not believe any team is good enough defeat UConn's girls basketball team this year - with the possible exception on Kim Mulkey's Baylor Lady Bears. Frankly, I cannot wait for the 2011 Final Four - when I hope that the Baylor Lady Bears stop Auriemma's Uconn Lady Huskies' flat in their tracks.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Am One Of The 7% (Inspirational Video Presentation)

Today, I was visiting Facebook and saw a inspirational video that brought tears to my eyes - because of what it had to say. Later in the day, I visited YouTube and found a copy of this video so I could embed it here for all to see. The holiday season for many is a time of stress and anger, because of the material nature of what Christmas has become in the modern age. After watching the video presentation below titled "I am one of the 7%", I found my heart full of joy and maybe this video will help you too.

Here in the Waco area, the streets are cluttered with last minute Christmas shoppers rushing to the mall to find those last minute gifts. Like in years past, far too many people will spend more money than they can afford on people who really won't be touched by their gifts of love. Those kind of people will always be around to mess up a good thing, like the birth of Jesus Christ, and as I have grown older I have found myself praying for them with compassion - instead of cursing them under my breath, because of their rudeness. The creator of the music video "I am one of the 7%" is asking people to forward this message around the Internet. If you wish to help, please copy and paste this web address: .... http://waconewsbeat.blogspot.com/2010/12/i-am-one-of-7-inspirational-video.html ..... inside an email message and title the subject line "I am one of the 7%". Happy Holidays!



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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Former KCEN-TV Anchor John Gilbert Joins KBTX In Bryan/College Station

Former, KCEN-TV News anchor John Gilbert has announced that he will be joining the news team at KBTX-TV in Bryan/College Station in January. Many Waco area residents will remember John Gilbert from his eight years anchoring the news on Channel 6 in the Waco, Temple and Killeen market. Several weeks ago, John Gilbert announced to views at KCEN-TV that he was leaving his job there and in later interviews he said that he would announce shortly where his new job would take him.

I have been impressed with the reporting and anchoring job John Gilbert has done at KCEN-TV and I have no doubt that he will soon be one of the most respected television news anchors in his new home in Bryan and College Station at KBTX-TV. In some ways, John Gilbert is returning home by moving from the Waco TV market - to just 90 miles south of Waco down Highway 6 to College Station. John Gilbert earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in 1976, so the Bryan/College Station area will be familiar territory for him.

My sister attended Texas A&M in the early 1980's on a full tennis scholarship and she and her husband have called College Station, Texas home ever since. On special occasions and holiday's, my wife and I visit she and her family and I look forward to watching John Gilbert on television in College Station during our future visits. In my opinion, KCEN-TV's loss is KBTX-TV's gain in hiring a first class news anchor in John Gilbert. If memory serves me correctly, KCEN-TV was/is still a part of the cable television line-up in College Station, so many local residents there have most likely already seen Gilbert in action.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Long Delays When Renewing Texas Drivers License

The wait time to receive a drivers license renewal in the mail from the State of Texas is currently around 45 days. Luckily, for most Texans - they only need to renew their drivers license every six years. For months now, I have heard horror stories from friends and coworkers about the hours of wait time when visiting the Texas DPS office in Waco. So, when my drivers license was about to expire in early December - I decided to use the online service provided by the State of Texas at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/. It took only a matter of a few minutes to renew my Texas drivers license there, so I expected that my renewal permit would follow in about three or four weeks.

When I renewed my Texas Drivers License on the Texas Department of Public Safety website, I was told that my renewal drivers license would be mailed within three to four weeks from the day I ordered it. However, it really took almost six weeks before my license finally arrived in the mail - which was about a week after the my old drivers license expired. Friday night, I checked that Texas DPS web page again at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/customer_service/Contact.asp and it now it says that Texas drivers licenses are taking between 35 and 45 days to arrive in the mail. I'm glad the DPS revised their website, because it is impossible to reach them on their posted telephone number of 512-424-2600. I tried to reach someone at that number for days, but it was always busy.

I know that the State of Texas, along with almost every other government agency in the country is trying to save money. My guess is that the reason it is taking so long waiting in line to renew a drivers license in Texas is because of budget cuts. However, even during tough economic times - the State of Texas needs to run a good ship - where state requirements, like a drivers license's, are handled in a professional and timely manner. Just be advised that if you are renewing your Texas drivers license in person, be prepared to wait in line two hours or more and if you have the choice of renewing online - please do so, but be aware that it will still take almost 45 days before your new or renewal Texas drivers license arrives in the mail.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Waco Women Arrested On Identity Theft Charges

Four local women are in custody tonight after a joint local and federal investigation found that they allegedly committed identity theft. Angela Cuellar, Yolanda Ramos, Diane Rivera, and Christine Elifritz are all in police custody after their arrest today. The criminal complaint against these four Waco women claims that while Angela Cuellar was employed by Integrated Biometrics Technology, she stole background applications from the company, which should have been destroyed. Angela Cuellar was employed by Integrated Biometrics Technology from March through July of 2008. It is unclear right now, how much damage was done to the credit histories and reputations of the people who found their most personal information (Social Security Numbers and Dates of Birth) in the wrong hands.

If these charges are eventually proven beyond a responsible doubt to a jury, all four of these women could face 15 years or more in prison. Early reports suggest that many of the applications that were allegedly stolen by Cuellar were from applicants in the field of education. Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) is a service that is used by administrators in education to check out the background information of people they are expecting to hire as employees. The information that is required for these background checks, includes a persons Social Security Number, Date of Birth and other private information. I wonder why a new employee was granted unsupervised access to all this private information and also why there were not better checks and balances to make sure the information was not removed from this business?

Identity Theft has become a billion dollar problem in the United States and it appears that this serious crime is not slowing down. For thousands of people each year, the unwanted news that someone they don't even know has stolen their identity and racked up thousands of dollars worth of debt without their knowledge - must be a horrifying thing to experience. My personal opinion is, that with the popularity of easy/fast credit in recent years, the act of identity theft has grown quicker simply - because most retailers want to sell their products to consumers without any wait time. More on this story as it develops.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Police Arrest Jose Maria Garcia After Crime Spree Yesterday

The alleged man behind a violent crime spree in the Waco area yesterday was arrested today in a traffic stop in Killeen, Texas. Jose Maria Garcia was taken into custody, after his ex-wife called police and told them where he was located. Yesterday afternoon, during an attempted traffic stop - Jose Garcia allegedly ran from a deputy who was trying to stop him, wrecked his car and then proceeded to drive his damaged vehicle into the deputy - trapping him between his car and the door. A short time later, Garcia showed up at a Bruceville, Tx Cefco convenience store where he shot a man from Tennessee several times and stole his car. The deputy was treated and released from Scott & White Hospital, but the man who was shot is still a patient at Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco.

As of right now, no one seems to know why Jose Garcia allegedly decided to go on a crime spree Monday afternoon. However, folks in and around the Bruceville-Eddy area will certainly sleep better tonight knowing that an arrest has been made in this case. Garcia is a temporary contract for Northrop Grumman on Fort Hood. The injured parties in Monday afternoons crime spree are, Falls County Sheriff’s Deputy Lou Lourcey and the civilians name who was shot before his car was stolen is Clark McCabe from Nashville, Tennessee. At last report, Mr. McCabe was still listed in serious condition at Hillcrest Medical Center.



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Monday, December 13, 2010

Extreme Home Makeover Salado (100th Episode)

Sometime in February, the ABC hit show Extreme Home Makeover will celebrate it's 100th episode and that show will profile an injured solider (Patrick Zeigler) and his new bride (Jessica Zeigler). On Sunday, local Waco ABC television station KXXV-TV (Channel 25) was on hand when Extreme Home Makeover host Ty Pennington spoke his trademark phrase: "Move That Bus". For almost one week, thousands of volunteers from Central Texas and beyond - pitched in with free labor to turn a home that was not friendly to a wounded warrior - into a classic homestead that any human being would be proud to call home. Knowing that my own friends and neighbors from Waco, Temple and Killeen were willing to show up and give of their time to help out this brave American, gives me goose bumps.

I am not a regular viewer of Extreme Home Makeover on ABC-TV, but you can bet that I will be watching in February when the Zeigler families new home is profiled on national television. According to broadcast reports from KXXV-TV, thousands of people were on hand Sunday afternoon when Extreme Home Makeover filmed the last segment of their show about Patrick Zeigler. Another positive aspect of Extreme Home Makeover's visit to Central Texas was the fact that for the first time in my memory, KWTX-TV covered an event where another local television station was being made the center of attention. While Waco's Channel 10 did not mention the name of the TV show that made Patrick Zeigler's dream of a home makeover possible, they did cover the story and and in doing so did the right thing during this holiday season.



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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Best Steaks In Waco Found At 135 Prime

For the second time in as many years, my company Christmas party was held last night at 135 Prime Restaurant in Waco. When it comes to high end dinning, there is no better place to eat than 135 Prime. At last years Christmas party, I dinned on a New York Strip steak and this year I picked their delicious Filet steak. Both the New York Strip and the Filet were easily the best steak meals I have enjoyed in Waco in the past 25 years. Last night, my wife thoroughly enjoyed the Salmon at 135 Prime. The drinks, appetizers and atmosphere were outstanding as well. While there are many good restaurants to enjoy a meal at in the Waco area, there are only a handful of places that even come close to a restaurant like 135 Prime - which I consider to be at least four and maybe even a Five Star establishment.

Everyone who loves to dine out, knows that great food is only one part of what makes a restaurant exceptional. At Waco's 135 Prine, not only is the food second to none in the area - but the atmosphere is perfect, especially around the holiday season. There are backrooms available at 135 Prime, which have expanded seating for large parties - like the one my company held this weekend. It's extremely easy to lose yourself from the first minute you enter 135 Prime. The front door entrance gives a full display of most of the restaurant, but the dim lighting causes this very open experience to seem very personal - even though other patrons are very near by.

Finally, I would like to complement the waiter staff that took care of us at 135 Prime. No one could ask for a better group of people than the ones who waited tables at 135 Prime during our company Christmas Party. There are probably one hundred restaurants or more in the Waco area that serve steak. Over the past 20 plus years I have sampled most of them. Like many of you, I consider a great steak dinner just another part of enjoying a Texas lifestyle. If you are looking for cheap steak, then 135 Prime is not the place for you. However, if you really what to pull out all the stops and take a special person to an outstanding restaurant in the Waco, Texas area - then 135 Prime is the place to go.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dan Henderson Of Uncle Dan's BBQ Is A Waco Legend

Friday night, the wife and I visited a local Waco restaurant where we received a great meal and a wonderful dining experience. We have eaten at this restaurant many times over our 20 plus year marriage and we have never been disappointed with either the service or the food. The name of this restaurant is Uncle Dan's Barbecue, located on Lake Air drive just past Valley Mills. While the food is always good when we visit Uncle Dan's, the reason we keep returning to this establishment is because of it's owner Dan Henderson. Dan is a Waco legend, because he has served his famous dishes and outstanding BBQ sauce to regular and famous people all over the world. Sadly, with all the restaurant choices now available in the Waco area - it has been several months since our last visit to Uncle Dan's.

While we were going through the serving line, on Friday night, owner Dan Henderson came up and shook my hand and I commented to him that he never seemed to age that much. While we were dinning on brisket, sausage, turkey and their delicious yellow potato salad, we were entertained on the piano by a nice lady who was playing Christmas music. Unlike national chain restaurants, where there is a long line when waiting to be seated on a Friday night, Dan's BBQ in Waco, while busy - got us through the serving line quickly, so we would have time to enjoyed some of his wonderful BBQ meat and sauce. I also love to eat the cherry pie at Uncle Dan's. Unlike other restaurants, Uncle Dan's deserts seem to be made fresh at all hours of the day and night.

As we were leaving Uncle Dan's BBQ on Friday night, I remember feeling a little bit guilty because it had been several months since we had visited there for a meal. Uncle Dan's owner Dan Henderson is one of the hardest working men I have ever met. In addition to running his business on Lake Air Drive in Waco, he also owns another BBQ restaurant in Hewitt - that has one of the best drive through businesses in the area. Some folks may remember that Uncle Dan (Dan Henderson) served many special occasions at the President Bush family ranch when he was President of the United States. However, many of you might not remember that Uncle Dan has also catered many special events outside of Waco and even in foreign countries. If you have not visited a good home grown restaurant in a long time, one of your best choices is Uncle Dan's BBQ on Lake Air Drive in Waco and on Hewitt Drive in Hewitt.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Did Waco Woman Start Fire That Almost Killed Her?

On Thursday, the Waco Fire Department issued an arrest warrant for Jennifer Matthews who was badly burned in a house fire in March of this year. Originally, Matthews told police that she had been kidnapped. For months, Jennifer Matthews underwent treatment for her severe burns at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. According to TV news reports on Thursday night, police have been unable to question Matthews about the fire that injured her to date. While Matthews has not been available for questioning by Waco police and fire department officials, investigators have been busy putting together exactly what happened that day in March when neighbors rushed to save Jennifer Matthews life after she ran from the garage of her own home engulfed in flames.

An employee of a gas station located at Valley Mills and Hilltop Drive told police that he remembered Jennifer Matthews when she came into his store to buy a gas container the day a fire, started with gasoline, broke out at her home. Police also, reportedly have video surveillance from the same gas station, which shows Matthews buying that gas container and filling it with gasoline at the same station shortly thereafter. According to Waco Fire Department officials, they have been trying to get Jennifer Matthews to turn herself in - but so far they have not heard anything from her. Fire department officials told reporters on Thursday night, that they hope Jennifer Matthews will turn herself in.

I still remember when I first heard about this story back in March. At the time, I remember hearing friends and coworkers talking about being afraid - because an alleged kidnapper was at large in Waco. I still hold out hope that Jennifer Matthews did not bring this tragedy on herself and I also hope that she will come forward and either help clear her name or face the truth of what she did. In addition to facing justice in a court-of-law, if Jennifer Matthews did start the fire that critically injured herself - she also owns the citizens of Waco an apology for creating a sense of fear and danger among Waco residents that did not really exist.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Extreme Home Makeover Comes To Waco-Temple-Killeen

As most of you probably already know, the hit ABC TV show "Extreme Home Makeover" is filming in Central Texas this week. The show, searches around the nation to find families in need - who are living in substandard or worse housing situations. Patrick Zeigler and his fiance Jennifer Hansen are currently on an all expense paid vacation in Las Vegas - while scores of local residents and home building experts are putting a face-life on Zeighler's home near Salado, Texas. I have watched Extreme Home Makeover in the past and I think the work they perform for the needy is outstanding. While vacationing in Las Vegas, Patrick Zeigler and his fiance Hansen received another surprise, when Extreme Home Makeover producers surprised them with an all expense paid wedding when they return home to Central Texas.

Patrick Zeigler is an injured member of the United States Armed forces. Injuries he suffer in war while defending our country have made it very difficult for him to live in his current home, without some major modifications. Like they have done so many times before, Extreme Home Makeover has brought all the right people together to completely remodel the home of Patrick Zeighler within the span of only a few days. Until Extreme Home Makeover decided to help Patrick Zeigler, I don't recall a remodeling effort by them in the Central Texas area. When it comes to US soldiers who are injured in the line-of-duty, there is no limit most Waco area residents will to go to in order to help these brave citizens.

Sometime around the beginning of this weekend, Extreme Home Makeover will be finished with their work on Patrick Zeigler's home. I saw a few photographs on the Internet today of the progress being made out in Salado on his home and already I can tell that something special has been going on this Christmas right in our own backyard. To the people behind ABC Extreme Home Makeover, the dozens of volunteers who are giving of their time and Patrick Zeigler who was injured while serving this great country during war-time, I would like to say thank you. I have known that the Waco/Central Texas area has been a great place to live for well over 25 years now and the reason I continue to call this area my home is because of residents and professionals who are doing the right thing in Salado this week.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

KCEN-TV (Waco) Replaces John Gilbert With Doug Currin

KCEN-TV announced yesterday that Doug Currin will be joining their 5,6 & 10pm news beginning in January of 2011. A few weeks ago, former KCEN-TV news anchor John Gilbert announced that he was leaving the station after eight years of service. According to a bio, recently released on the KCEN-TV website, Doug Currin most recently worked in the news business for WBRE-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In addition to his anchoring duties at WBRE, Currin has interviewed many famous and important people over the years including: Hillary Clinton, John McCain and former President Jimmy Carter.

Not long ago, KCEN-TV was sold to Dallas based "London Broadcasting Company". Since that change in ownership at KCEN-TV, there have been two big departures from their Waco-Temple-Killeen station. The first person was a well liked lady by the name of Kelley Barr - who was fired from her position over one year ago. Then about a week ago, the other half of that anchoring team - John Gilbert decided to quit his job. It's not clear whether or not London Broadcasting wanted to change both news anchors at KCEN-TV, but in hindsight that is exactly what happened. While I don't wish any ill will on current anchor Myra Arthur or Doug Currin who will replace John Gilbert in January - I will say that both new KCEN-TV news anchors have some pretty big shoes to fill.

I have lived in Waco since 1983. Over that period of time I have seen large market media companies come and go in the Waco-Temple-Killeen TV market. Many times in the past, new owners of TV stations in the Waco area have mistakenly thought that well polished, good looking news anchors are just what this market needs. However, large media companies many times underestimate the loyalty Waco-Temple-Killen residents place in anchors who have been around and stood the test of time. In Dallas, Houston or San Antonio it might make sense to bring in nice looking and well polished news anchors to improve the ratings at a TV station - but that same system does not work in Central Texas. The decision to fire Kelley Barr and now with the voluntary choice to quit made by John Gilbert, my hope is that London Broadcasting will give Myra Arthur and Doug Currin enough time for local residents to get to know them, before they make another change.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five People Save Four Lives In Marlin Texas Fire

On Monday, a Christmas miracle came early in the City of Marlin, Texas as five new hero's were born. Instead of walking away when a neighbor was in need, five citizens of Marlin, Texas put themselves in harms way to save someone else. The names of those brave Marlin residents are - Pearlie Mitchel - Jammie Steele - Carlton Haynes - Rodney Scruggs and Lahazel Davis. On Monday afternoon, sometime around 2pm, a house caught on fire at Commerce and Conoly in the City of Marlin, Texas. Inside that home were four people - an adult woman and three children. When these new hero's arrived on the scene, the woman and a child were laying in the doorway of the burning home - while the other two children were still inside the burning house.

Without a thought for their own personal safety, five regular citizens took it upon themselves to rush into the flames of a fully engulfed house fire and save this woman and three children from possible death. The fire chief in Marlin, Texas (Curtis Keener) became emotional as he told reporters at the scene about the bravery of these five citizens who saved the lives of four other people before the fire department arrived. Fire Chief Curtis Keener said the he will call attention to the bravery of these remarkable citizens the next time the Marlin City Council meets. Someone told me once that no human being really knows exactly what they will do when called upon to risk their own life to save someone else until that time comes. This story bares out that wisdom.

The City of Marlin is located about 30 miles from Waco, Texas. I have traveled through there on many occasions in my travels to visit friends and family in the Bryan-College Station area. Little did I know during those trips through Marlin that there were some future local resident hero's that did not even know they existed before Monday. In the spirit of Christmas, nothing makes me feel better about the Waco area than knowing that we have hero's living around here - who will put their lives on the line to save people they do not or hardly know. Once again, the names of these new Central Texas hero's are ( Pearlie Mitchel - Jammie Steele - Carlton Haynes - Rodney Scruggs and Lahazel Davis) and may God bless them all.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Did Waco Police Make Mistakes In Thanksgiving Death?

Rodney Green, of Waco, is dead and three Waco police officers are on administrative leave after a strange traffic accident on Thanksgiving Day 2010. 36-year-old Rodney Green was involved in a one car traffic accident on Thanksgiving Day and shortly thereafter he was none responsive, taken to a Waco hospital and declared dead. It's what happened in the middle of this story that is making some Waco resident wonder if three local police officers acted within police department guidelines that day. The most troubling part of this story is that when a person is involved in a traffic accident, Waco police are send to the scene to gather evidence and help injured people. However, rather than helping Rodney Green - their actions might have lead to his death.

According to Waco police reports, when they arrived at the scene of Rodney Green's traffic accident - he was not acting right and became combative with the police. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, one Waco police officer drew his or her taser weapon and shocked Rodney Green to try and get him to comply with their commands. This tasering of Rodney Green occurred after he was placed in leg restraints, which he broke apart according to police reports. Shortly after Waco police used a taser weapon against Rodney Green, he stopped responding at all to police officers and at that point an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital where he later died.

There were some suggestions that Rodney Green may have been under the influence of some type of drug at the time of his traffic accident, but those reports have not been confirmed at this time. Mr. Green's body was sent to the medical examiners office in Dallas for an autopsy and full toxicology screening that might take up to 12 weeks to be completed. Right now, the biggest question is whether or not these three Waco police officers followed proper department procedure in this case? Time and further investigation will determine, if all or any of these police officers overreached that day. There are strict rules on the use of deadly and less than deadly force in the Waco Police Department and a full investigation by the Waco PD, DA's office and Dallas Medical Examiner will hopefully get to the bottom of what really happened that day.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

KCEN-TV (Waco) Anchor John Gilbert Quits News Job

Tuesday night, KCEN-TV's John Gilbert told views that he would not be returning as an anchor on the 6pm and 10pm news. I am sorry to see John Gilbert leave the Central Texas TV market, because I thought he was doing a fantastic job anchoring the news on KCEN-TV. A little over one year ago, John Gilbert's co-anchor Kelley Barr was fired from KCEN-TV and replaced by Myra Arthur. Soon, there will be two new faces on KCEN-TV news and I wonder if that is really such a good thing for the TV station? Most people who watch local TV for their news in the Waco area tend to like consistency and not constant turnover - especially in the people who sit in the anchor chair.

For the past eight years of John Gilbert's employment at KCEN-TV, I have tuned in nightly to their broadcast to catch up on what has been happening around the Waco area. Now that both Kelley Barr and John Gilbert are no longer anchors on KCEN-TV, I will consider watching either KWTX or KXXV for local news in the future. I am one of those middle aged folks who likes to see consistency in the position of news anchor and with two news anchor departures at KCEN-TV within the past year - there won't be much consistency left for local viewers to appreciate. From all outward appearances, John Gilbert left KCEN-TV on good terms - but his contract with the TV station will not allow him to work at another TV station in the Waco market for the next year.

Change is just a normal part of life, but after Kelley Barr's firing and now the voluntary choice of John Gilbert to quit as anchor on the prime-time edition of KCEN-TV news, I really wonder what is going on behind the scenes at this television station now that it is under new ownership. Sometimes new owners of television stations, what to make quick changes in on-air personalities with the hope that their efforts will translate into higher ratings and increased advertising revenues. Sadly, many outside owners of local Waco television stations make the mistake of thinking that well polished bubble headed anchors that do well in larger markets like Dallas - will somehow also help their ratings prospects in Waco and the rest of Central Texas.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baylor Bears Outmatched In Stillwater Battle With OSU

The 2010 Baylor Bears football team has proven to many people around the nation that they are a much improved team, but as was witnessed in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday - the Bears still have a bunch of improving to do before they move from a good team to a great one. There will be many things written about the Baylor/OSU game on Saturday, but the truth is that the Baylor Bears were beaten by a much better team.

It's hard for me to write those words because my blood is filled with Baylor football fever. However, one thing I took away from the "blowout" beating the Bears took at OSU yesterday - was that it is much more painful to lose a college football game when a team is having a winning year - than during years when everyone expects your favorite team to lose. It has been a long time since I felt such eagerness and excitement at watching the Baylor Bears play football on Saturday afternoon during the 2010 season.

When the Baylor Bears defeated the Texas Longhorns - I was on "Cloud 9". However, after watching Baylor get punched by OSU Saturday - I learned that Baylor still has a lot of growing and work to do over the next few years. I hope that all Baylor Bears football fans continue to support the team though the rest of this season. It could very well turn out that at seasons end, OSU will be declared one of the very best teams in the nation in 2010 and that fact will transform Baylor fans present disappointment into pride for this years team.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Channel 10 Anchor (KWTX) Julie Hays Is Pregnant

Monday night on the Channel 10 (KWTX) news, co-anchor Julie Hays announced that she is pregnant. I want to be one of the first people in Central Texas to congratulate her on this exciting news. Julie Hays has been around Channel 10 for a long time and since her promotion to co-anchor on the KWTX-TV 5, 6 and 10pm news, she has done an outstanding job. For several weeks, my wife and I thought that Julie Hays had been wearing maturity cloths on the newscast - but we were not 100% sure of the good news until Monday night.

Channel 10 made a big deal out of Julie Hays pregnancy on Monday night and it became clear listening to her that there will be more news to come in the weeks and months ahead on Channel 10 as her pregnancy develops. With all the worlds negative news reported daily, it was nice to hear a little bit of good news on Monday night and I for one am happy for Julie Hays, her husband and extended family as a new member joins the rest in the year 2011. If you would like to watch Rusty Garret and Gordon Collier help celebrate Julie Hays good news, there is a video link at the bottom of this blog post.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Baylor Football Fever Arrives In Waco Texas

Last night, the 2010 Baylor Bears football team accomplished what many people thought to be impossible when they traveled down Interstate 35 and beat the Texas Longhorns in front of almost 100,000 unfriendly fans. Before the 2010 Baylor Bears football season got underway, there was an ad campaign for the team - which proclaimed that they would "Rise Up" this season.

For once - the team, coaches and marketing folks at Baylor University got it right and I am so happy to see our hometown team compete and win in the Big 12 conference. During last nights Baylor game against UT, I found myself switching back and forth between that game and the World Series where the Texas Rangers won their first World Series game in the history of the team. So far, it has been a great weekend in Waco and if the Dallas Cowboys win today - it will turn out to be a perfect weekend for me.

While it is true that without starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Baylor Bears would not be able to pull off this years winning power offense. There is much more to the 2010 Baylor Bears football program than just having the best quarterback in all of college football. This year, special teams and the Baylor defense are also a power to be reckoned with. After passing last nights big test against UT, the sky is the limit for this years Baylor Bears football team.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Matt Baker 48 Hours Update On Saturday

My wife and I have been waiting for many months for the CBS show "48 Hours" to do an update on Matt Baker since he was convicted of murdering his wife. Many months ago, it was front page news across the nation as disgraced preacher Matt Baker went on trial here in Waco, Texas.

At first, I believed the story that Matt Baker had proclaimed for years that his wife committed suicide. However, as I followed his murder trial at the McLennan County Courthouse - I was convinced that he did indeed murder his wife and for a man of God to act in such a disgraceful moral way was also unforgivable.

There was another person in this whole preacher Matt Baker mess and her name is Vanessa Bulls. As Matt Baker's murder trial unfolded, it became clear that he not only solicited Ms. Bulls into an adulterous affair - but he also confided in her that he wanted to kill his wife. However, during the years after the murder of Matt Baker's wife - Vanessa Bulls remained silent and hoped to one day be the next Mrs. Matt Baker.

To me, the fact that Vanessa Bulls made a deal with the McLennan County District Attorney's office to not face jail time in order to gain her testimony - is still something that bothers me to this day. If I had my way, both Matt Baker and Vanessa Bulls would each be sitting in a jail cell in a State of Texas prison.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Will Chet Edwards Win Again In 2010?

In less than a week we will know if long term Central Texas Congressman Chet Edwards will win again in his race against Bill Flores for the US Congress. Honestly, I don't see how Chet Edwards has a chance this year against Bill Flores, but anyone who has followed Chet Edwards career in the Congress has seen him pull out some long shot election victories before.

The biggest thing working against Congressman Chet Edwards in 2010 is the party he is affiliated with (Democratic) and the fact that a vast majority of Central Texans believe that President Obama is doing a poor job as our leader. In some ways, Chet Edwards has tried to separate himself from the President of the United States - especially with his vote against Obama Care. However, there are other votes that Congressman Chet Edwards has made that have left him in hot water with Central Texas voters - especially with his support of the TARP law that bailed out big banks and Wall Street.

Right now, with one week left to go before Election Day - most polls show Bill Flores in the lead against incumbent Congressman Chet Edwards. However, if Edwards is able to pull out even a small victory in the congressional elections of 2010 - he will be in a similar situation to the late Senator Robert Byrd who remained in Congress until his last breath.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Congressman Chet Edwards Plays Nice In TV Ad

Tonight, for the first time, I saw a television ad paid for by the reelection campaign of Chet Edwards that was very nice in it's delivery. Like many other people, I get angry at all the negative campaign ads that are run during election years that try to demonize an opponent. In 2010, Congress Chet Edwards has run his fair share of negative campaign ads and his challenger Bill Flores has done so as well.

Tonight's new Chet Edwards television ad featured Congressman Edwards standing in what appeared to be a wheat field - talking about how his efforts in Washington D.C. saved the Waco VA hospital from being close down. Unlike other ads from Chet Edwards and Bill Flores, this new positive ad from Chet Edwards was 100% truthful, because I believe the Waco VA would have been shutdown without the pressure put to bear on the Veterans administration by our local Waco representative.

Over the past 30 years, TV commercials run by both Republicans and Democrats have become so nasty that most people just turn their brains off to politics, because they don't trust either side. I have supported Congressman Edwards in the past, but I believe he has an uphill battle in 2010 - simply because he is an incumbent running in a year where a "throw the bums out" attitude is extremely high. That said, I want to thank Congressman Edwards for at least running one positive political ad during this election season.

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Waco Tribune Herald Announces Online Plus

Like thousands of other Waco residents, I subscribe to home delivery of the Waco Tribune Herald newspaper. For the past several years, everyone has been able to pretty much read everything that is found in our local paper via the Tribune Herald website - but that has now changed.

For seven day per week subscribers of the Waco Tribune Herald, free access to their entire website is now included in your subscription price. However, Waco residents who do not subscribe to the Tribune Herald will now be limited to only certain sections of this newspapers website unless they pay a subscription.

Newspapers around the nation are looking for new ways to replace the lost revenue they have experienced over the past five or six years. The current US recession has all but dried up many national newspaper advertising resources, so the Waco Tribune Herald and hundreds of other newspapers around the country are desperately seeking new sources of revenue. It will be interesting to watch and see if the Waco Tribune Herald's "Online Plus" feature is successful.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sarah Palin Brings Pro-Life Message To Waco

On Tuesday night, former Governor of Alaska and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin gave a speech about the importance of Pro-Life issues in Waco. A large crowd showed up to hear Sarah Palin speak on Tuesday night, but the big news surrounding Palin today did not originate here in Waco - but about one thousands miles away in the State of Delaware where a Sarah Palin backed candidate won over a well funded GOP backed insider.

While most members of the liberal media establishment take great pleasure in putting Sarah Palin down at every turn, grass roots Americans not only like Sarah Palin as a person - but they love her message of replacing decades long career politicians in Washington with some new uncorrupted citizens. As Sarah Palin was speaking in Waco on Tuesday night, the grass roots party of regular citizens she supports (The Tea Party) were busy turning out frustrated voters to the polls where they carried out a mini house cleaning.

Here in the Waco area, long time Congressman Chet Edwards could find himself the victim of voters in November, who more closely aligned themselves with Sarah Palin's message than his. Congressman Edwards is in the wrong place at the wrong time when it comes to being an incumbent in 2010 and I believe he could find himself turned out of office in November - if major "Tea Party" figures like Sarah Palin decide to back his challenger Bill Flores.

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Will Bill Flores Finally End Chet Edwards Career?

It's hard to know for sure, if Bill Flores will be successful where other GOP hopefuls have failed in their attempts to defeat long time Congressman Chet Edwards at the polls in November. In the past, I have said that it would be a mistake for anyone to bet against Chet Edwards on election day - because of his ability to take an opponent and turn them into hamburger with slick TV campaign ads that exploit any mistake they have made in their lives.

However, 2010 is a different kind of election year and with redistricting in Texas favoring GOP candidates and an extremely angry electorate - Congressman Chet Edwards days might be numbered in the US House of Representatives. That said, I would still not bet good money against Congressman Edwards winning in November - because he has proven himself time and time again to be one of the best political campaigners in the country.

I have watched carefully the TV ads that have been run from both the Bill Flores and Chet Edwards campaigns for Congress so far and I must say that I have not seen an ad yet from Congressman Chet Edwards that I would consider a "knock out punch" in his battle for reelection against Bill Flores. There are two things that give Bill Flores a better chance at winning against Chet Edwards in 2010 than previous GOP candidates have had. First, Flores lives in the Bryan/College Station area and he should carry that area with a high percentage of the vote and second, I have never seen the voters in Central Texas more angry at Washington incumbents as they are right now.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Zeb's Backyard Grill | Good Eating In The Waco Area

My wife and I visited Zeb's Backyard Grill in Hewitt last night. We both had been talking about eating at a new restaurant recently and Zeb's was our choice. Let me start off by saying that our experience at Zeb's Backyard Grill was excellent from a food quality standpoint, but the service or lack there of was not good at all. While I ordered their rib eye steak, my wife decided to try their cheese burger. Both of us were very satisfied with the taste of our food and for me, I am usually very picky about rib eye steak quality when dining out.

One of the nice treats I received while dining at Zeb's Backyard Grill in Hewitt was a dinner salad which was delivered to our table several minutes before my rib eye steak was brought out. I was very impressed with my salad from Zeb's, because it was loaded with much more than just lettuce. In fact, there were so many different vegetables put into that salad - I was hard pressed to discover all the ingredients before I had finished eating it. My wife's cheese burger from Zeb's Backyard Grill was large and very tasty. In fact, her cheese burger was so big - she brought half of it home and I ate the other half later in the day.

Compared to when I moved to the Waco, Texas area back in 1983 when there were few choices when it came to eating out. In 2010 there are restaurants on almost every street corner. I would highly recommend a trip to Zeb's Backyard Grill the next time you are hungry for a good hamburger or a rib eye steak. Their prices are affordable, but don't visit there with high expectations of friendly service. Our meal was affordable and the restaurant was clean when we visited.

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1886 Panoramic Map of Waco, Texas by Norris, Wellge & Co.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Will Baylor Bears "Rise Up" Campaign Lead To Victory?

If you live anywhere near Waco, Texas - it is impossible not to hear on the radio or see on television dozens of commercials declaring that in 2010 the Baylor Bears football team will "Rise Up". I must admit that these new commercials are appealing, but they are going to look stupid if the 2010 Baylor Bears football team does not come through on the field once the season gets underway. The first few "Baylor Will Rise Up" commercials I saw on television profiled some of the players the team has great faith in this year. In recent weeks, the head coach of the Baylor Bears has been shown making the same "I will rise up" pledge.

No one in Waco wants the Baylor Bears football team to win games more than I do, but I am afraid that the media hype about how well the team will play this year does not leave Baylor University much wiggle room if the football season turns out to be a disaster. To me, the "I will rise up" campaign was created by Baylor to sell as many season tickets this football season as possible - but if the Bears don't win this year, what will promoters at Baylor University try next season? The truth is that no one at Baylor knows yet how well the football team will play this year, so that makes this "rise up" media campaign nothing more than hype for money.

There is only one way to make sure the seats are filled to capacity for all Baylor Bears home games and that is for the team to start a winning tradition. If that happens, there will be no need for media hype to sell season tickets, because fans from Waco and all over the country will flock to see their games without a concern for how much those tickets cost. I love Baylor athletics and while many sports at Baylor University have become competitive nationally, the football program still lags far behind. I hope that in 2010 the Baylor Bears football program will "rise up" and if they do there will be no need to hype season ticket sales for home games next year, because every game will be sold out before the football season begins.

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Time-Warner Cable Waco Battles Networks Again

For years now, major cable television providers like Time-Warner Cable (Waco) have been battling major cable networks like ESPN over the fees that are charged to carry their programming. Now, Time-Warner Cable subscribers in the Waco area are facing another blackout threat - if Time-Warner Cable does not pony up even more money for powerhouse channels like ESPN and Disney. For cable subscribers in Waco proper, there is another cable television choice available in Grande Communication and through several satellite companies.

In years past, big cable company's like Time-Warner Cable were able to hold the line on some of the rate increases demanded by popular cable channels like ESPN. However, in more and more cities - there are secondary cable companies who would love to steal customers away from Time-Warner Cable - if they decide to let major channels like ESPN go off their service. These new contract issues between Disney and Time-Warner Cable in Waco will not effect our other major cable television company Grande Communications and I can only image how high the jump in subscribers at Grande would be, if Time-Warner Cable were stupid enough to lose ESPN from their line-up.

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Oilfield, Texas A Tex Waco Novel by Larry Hill (Oil Field, Texas A Tex Waco Novel by Larry Hill)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Night Let Down Texans Beat The Cowboys

As I turned down the A/C and got a big bag of chips ready for the Dallas Cowboys / Houston Texans game tonight, my mind already had the Dallas Cowboys winning this preseason game by a large margin. Oh well, I was wrong and as everyone now knows the Texans defeated the Cowboys by a wide margin. All Dallas Cowboys fans, including one very depressed one in Waco, want "America's Team" to do well this season because for the first time ever - the DFW area will be hosting a Superbowl game and we want the Cowboys to be playing in it.

It was nice sitting in my cool Waco residence tonight, drinking Coke and munching on potato chips - but as tonight's game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans went from bad to worse - I finally switch the channel to something else. Sadly, the 2010 preseason for the Dallas Cowboys has not proven to be anything special to me. In fact, I am concerned anytime the Dallas Cowboys are blown out whether that game be in the pre or regular season. Let's just hope that the Dallas Cowboys work through their issues before they play the Redskins in the 2010 regular season opener.

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Dallas Cowboys Southpaw Back Pack

Breakfast In The Afternoon At Tommy B's Waco

For the past three months, my wife and I have been enjoying breakfast in the afternoon each Saturday. Our restaurant of choice is a place called "Tommy B's" on Valley Mills Drive in Waco. Before we discovered how good the food is at "Tommy B's" we use to travel all the way to I-35 to enjoy breakfast in the afternoon at IHOP. However, now that we have found a restaurant closer to home that also offers breakfast in the PM we now go there instead of driving miles out of our way to IHOP.

"Tommy B's" in Waco is owned by Tommy Brashier who use to own Regal Car Wash. When we travel there to eat breakfast on Saturday afternoons we usually order the Tommy B's Breakfast Special. On it we get two eggs, cooked anyway you want them, hash browns, crispy bacon and either a biscuit or toast. The price is around $6 per person, which is very affordable considering all the food at Tommy B's is not made until the customer orders it. In addition to being able to order breakfast all day long, "Tommy B's" in Waco is also famous for their old fashion hamburgers and fried catfish.

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Simply Serving

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday Thunderstorms In Waco Caused Many Problems

Tuesday afternoon, my wife and I saw a normal hot day in Waco turn into a nightmare before the day was over with. As a mid-afternoon thunderstorm entered the Waco area, it created high winds after cool air from the north hit the 107 degree afternoon temps that day. In the aftermath, there were downed trees from downtown Waco to torn up fences in the Hewitt, Woodway and Robinson areas. Where we live, near Valley Mills Dr. in Waco, Tuesday's thunderstorm caused us to lose electricity from about 3pm on Tuesday till around 5pm on Wednesday afternoon.

Let's just put it this way, I have not been as miserable as I was Tuesday night in a long time. Thankfully, that night was not as hot as previous ones - but it was still very hot in our house when we tried to get some sleep around 11pm. Using a flashlight, I saw that our inside digital thermostat read 90 degrees for most of the evening hours. Folks, I would have given $100 for a working fan before the night was over. Sadly, we were not alone as hundreds of other Waco resident survived without power for the entire night. Finally, the early morning hours of Thursday morning brought Waco temperatures down to a range where we could get a few hours of sleep.

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Smoky Mountain Synthetic Waco Western Boot - Size Toddler 6.5 Crazy Horse Brown

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Killeen, Texas Laundry Room Rapist Caught?

For most of the summer of 2010, there has been a young man who has been attacking and raping women while they do their laundry in the Killeen, Texas area. Early in the summer, there were a series of rapes at Killeen Texas laundry locations. However, as the summer went along - those rapes stopped until last weekend. Then, out of the blue, the rapes started up again and with the help of witnesses - a man is now sitting in jail and he could be charged with all of these Killeen rapes within the next few days.

What made the Killeen, Texas rapist so scary was that he committed his crimes in broad daylight in a very public place. Right now, police in Killeen do not know for sure - if the man they have in custody is guilty of one rape, multiple ones or none at all. It's still far too early for woman in Killeen, Texas to feel safe when they do their laundry in public laundry locations. My hope is that police have caught their man and if he is found guilty, in a court-of-law, that he spends the rest of his days in a small prison cell somewhere in the State of Texas prison system.

I learned long ago, that there are many different types of rapists. Some are cowards who sneak into womens homes after dark and use a weapon to get what they want. However, there are other types of rapist who seems to get off on the thrill of committing their crimes during daylight hours and in very public locations. The later type of rapist is who has been on the loose in Killen, Texas this summer and hopeful his days of terrorizing women in that area are over. Police were on the late local news in the Waco-Temple-Killeen area last night warning women not to mistakenly believe that the laundry room rapist was for sure in custody. Police investigations take time and it could be several more weeks before law enforcement officials know for sure if they got the right man.

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Aerial Photography Map of Killeen, Texas 2008 TX

Monday, August 23, 2010

Waco Judge Ralph Strother Too Tough Or Just Right?

When you talk to people who call Waco, Texas home and ask them about their opinion of Judge Ralph Strother you will find yourself getting conflicting opinions about this judge who rules over Waco’s 19th State District Court. There is no doubt that Judge Strother is a tough judge and for many people in the Waco area that is exactly what they expect to see in one of our biggest criminal court rooms. However, there are other people in Waco who believe that Judge Ralph Strother is too tough and they believe he also lacks a certain fairness when he decides cases.

In recent days, Judge Ralph Strother has been under attack by a former defendant in his court room by the name of Darlene Gentry. Gentry was sentenced to a long prison sentence for the murder of her husband and she is now claiming that she should be granted a new trial and requesting that Judge Ralph Strother not be allowed to preside over it. In the most recent past, millions of people around the United States got to know Judge Ralph Strother when he was the judge in the Matt Baker murder trial. Through national TV shows like "48 Hours" and "20/20", Judge Strother has become a household name around the nation.

Only one week ago, Judge Ralph Strother presided over a case where a legally blind woman by the name of Trena Mitchell was convicted of manslaughter when she drove her car into a motorcycle rider and caused his death. In a pre-trial plea agreement, the Waco District Attorney's office and the defense in that case had agreed to make a deal that would not send Trena Mitchell to prison. However, when that plea agreement landed on Judge Strother's desk - he refused to sign it and when Mitchell went on trial she was found guilty and was then sentenced to many years in prison.

When it comes to how Judge Ralph Strother runs his court room, it's likely that opinions will continue to vary wildly depending on what a person believes a judge should and should not do in a criminal case. There have always been and always will be different viewpoints among the Waco public when it comes to the fairness of a judge in a case when a defendants personal freedom is at stake.

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Waco, Texas - Panoramic Map Giclee Poster Print, 9x12

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Man Kills Self In Hewitt After Bellmead Shots Fired Call

On Saturday, a man that allegedly fired shots in the City of Bellmead killed himself in the parking lot of a Hewitt, Texas convenience store after local police tried to approach him. After receiving a 911 call of "shots fired" at a Bellmead residents, police responded only to find that the suspect had fled the scene. A short time later, a police officer in Hewitt discovered the suspects vehicle driving down I-35 - so he followed the suspect until he pulled into a convenience store (Valero) inside the city limits of Hewitt.

The name of the man who killed himself tonight has not been released at this time as police try to search for a reason for his rampage and also to check the Valero location to see if this incident was caught on their many surveillance cameras. Over the past couple of weeks, there have been several robberies which have resulted in the deaths of convenience store employees and then on Saturday there was another death at a local Waco area convenience store by suicide. It has been a deadly summer in the Waco area at convenience stores either via robbery homicide or now this case of alleged suicide.

Raw video of Saturday's crime scene at the Hewitt, Texas Valero where this suicide took place is made possible in the video box below by Waco television station KWTX-TV (Channel 10).

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Cole Cross Reference Directory : Waco Texas

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Legally Blind Driver Convicted By Waco Jury

In the beginning, the verdict from today was not even in the cards for a legally blind woman who drove her car into a motorcycle rider last year and caused his death. At that time, the District Attorney in the Waco area decided to make an offer of settlement - but when that offer, which mainly compromised of probation, hit Judge Ralph Strother desk - he refused to sign off on it. Then it was up to the McLennan County District Attorney's Office to take the defendant Trena Mitchell to trial for motorcycle rider (Richard "Hat Trick" Schroeder's) death.

Yesterday, a Waco jury took less than one hour to find Trena Mitchell guilty of manslaughter in the death of Richard Schroeder. Why the McLennan County District Attorney thought that this case would be better settled out of court, through a plea deal, rather than by taking Trena Mitchell to trial is something I don't understand. The defendant in this case (Trena Mitchell) is a black woman and her family members have been all over the local Waco area news media claiming that she was put on trial simply because of her race. So, are their charges of race bias relevant to this case. I don't think so.

The fact that Trena Mitchell is legally blind and made the choice to drive without a valid Texas drivers license is the only fact that mattered to a jury of her peers. It didn't make a difference to them - if Trena Mitchell was black, white, brown or some other color. Her choice to drive a car, while legally blind and without a Texas drivers license, was the only thing that should and was considered in this case. If Trena Mitchell had not made the choice to drive a car while blind, there is no doubt in my mind that Richard Schroeder would be alive today. The jury got it right, she should have been convicted of manslaughter.

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Cole Cross Reference Directory : Waco Texas

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Robert Griffin Baylor Bears Quarterback Returns

To say that Baylor football fans are expecting a great year from the "Bears" in 2010 would be a huge understatement. For a long time, both old and new Baylor Bears fans have found themselves at this time of year expecting great things - but when October rolls around, the same old losing record is alive and well. So here we are again in mid-August and the Baylor football hype is in high gear with TV commercials and on-the-field interviews with the players. There is a saying that "every dog has it's day" and maybe 2010 will be the year when the Baylor Bears football program breaks out with a winning record.

I must admit that I am starting to get excited as well. Last year, starting quarterback Robert Griffin was a breath of fresh air to the Baylor football program before a season ending injury took him down in the third game. This year (2010), Mr. Griffin is back at full speed and my hope is that he will be able to work his magic with this years Baylor Bears team. I know there is a great deal of pressure on the Baylor Bears football program to win, especially when winning programs in girls basketball and mens tennis are pretty much a foregone conclusion each year. Everyone in Waco is asking the question, when will the Baylor Bears football team start playing like the "Lady Bears" or the Baylor Mens Tennis team?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe a great starting quarterback like Robert Griffin is exactly what the doctor ordered for Baylor football. Without a leader on the field, no college football program will ever reach it's full potential. Robert Griffin is both a leader and an outstanding quarterback on the field. If he is fortunate enough to escape serious injury this season, there is nothing holding the Baylor Bear back from a winning record and a birth in a top bowl game this fall.

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Baylor Bears Adult Adjustable Hat