Friday, April 29, 2011

Eric Ernest Damm Arrested For Waco Bank Robbery

Back on April 22, 2011 - the Compass Bank on Valley Mills Drive in Waco was robbed. Shortly after that robbery, the Waco police department arrested the wrong man for that crime and soon thereafter let him go.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Waco 97.5 Radio Announcer Darren Taylor Indicted

In an expected indictment on Wednesday, former Waco morning radio personality Darren Taylor (William Darren Prater) was indicted for failure to stop and render aid in a September 2010 traffic accident he was involve in.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

24-Year-Old Michael Benavidez Killed In Traffic Accident

In a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, 24-year-old Michael Benavidez was killed Wednesday afternoon when two suspects ran from Waco police officers and eventually crashed their vehicle into a Waco City Bus.

Tornado Warning In Waco On Tuesday Night

Residents of Waco just finished a long night of severe thunderstorms that included, at least, one tornado warning from the national weather service.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Logan's Roadhouse Restaurant Weekend Specials

On Easter weekend, my wife and I visited Logan's Roadhouse Restaurant in Waco. More then likely we would have gone there this weekend anyway, but like they often do on holiday weekends - Logan's offered a buy one meal and get one free coupon on Easter Sunday. I learned a long time ago, that when it comes to Waco consumers - nothing will get them to show up in large numbers at an eating establishment more then a buy one/get one free offer. On Sunday, Logan's Roadhouse was busy - but there was no wait to be seated.

I love the taste of the food at Logan's Roadhouse Restaurant, but I must admit that it is the service we get from their excellent waitresses and waiters that keep us coming back. Over the years that we have visited there, my wife and I have got to know many of their regular employees and find them not only young and full of energy - but also extremely motivated and eager to serve the customer. On Sunday, I ate their 12 oz. ribeye steak and it was cooked just right and I did not even need to put steak sauce on it to improve the flavor. I know everyone has their favorite place to eat in Waco and one of mine is Logan's Roadhouse Restaurant located at I-35 and Highway 6 near Best Buy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Waco Winds Cause Power Outages On Friday

Once again, the winds blew on Friday in Waco and this time those winds caused more then just property damage. Power crews were out all day and into the night trying to return electricity service back to scores of Central Texas customers. Friday night, my wife and I ate out and even at 9pm - the winds in the central part of Waco were still very strong.

In addition to causing power outages, Waco's high winds on Friday continue to make fire danger one of the top concerns of local leaders. As the weekend gets started, please remember to be careful with fire as no rain is in the forecast. Rusty Garrett said on Friday night that there is a small chance of rain on Monday and we should all hope that his forecast turns into real rainfall next week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rapoport MCC Donation For First Generation Students

One of Waco's wealthiest couples, Bernard and Audre Rapoport, announced on Tuesday the largest single donation ever given to McLennan Community College (MCC). The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation will donate one million dollars over the next several years to help students attend college where there is no family history of collegiate attendance.

For decades the Raoport's have been big donors to scores of Waco causes and this latest gift to MCC just adds to their charitable legacy. I wish more people would donate money to MCC. In my opinion, MCC is one of the best small colleges in the nation and I have no doubt that they will put this large donation to good and proper use.

Space-X Rocket Test Scheduled For Tonight

It should be an interesting sight when Space-X in McGregor tests one of their new rockets tonight. The last time I remember them conducting such a test, it was front page news in Waco - because the public was not notified. The Waco area should have clear skies tonight, so the noise should not carry as far as it did when we were under heavy cloud cover the last time.

The western part of Waco should be able to see a dark orange glow on the horizon when this test gets underway this evening. Recently, Space-X was granted a large contract to develop rocket engines for NASA and tonight's test will be on one of those new rocket engines. I love the idea of space exploration and also look forward to witnessing tonight's big test.

Kari's Law Problems Could Delay Passage In Austin

A law that is being debate right now in Austin is named for the late wife of convicted murderer Matt Baker. Put simply, if this law goes into effect - anyone who was ruled died from suicide would have their body autopsied at taxpayers expense. This law is being promoted by the family of Kari Baker and others who firmly believe that her husband almost got away with murder.

The problem in Austin with this new law is not based on the merits, but instead on the thousands of extra dollars the state or local government would be forced to spend on the autopsy of suspected suicide victims. I believe "Kari's Law" makes sense when it comes to catching murderers who make their crimes appear to be suicide. However, I doubt if it will pass during this congressional session in Austin - because of a lack available spending money.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Texas Disaster Declaration Requested After Fire Loses

Governor Rick Perry has asked President Barack Obama to declare much of the State of Texas a disaster area. This request comes as dozens of wildfires continue to burn around the state and new ones ignite everyday. It is difficult to even go outside in the Waco area without experiencing breathing problems due to the smoke in the air.

On Monday, the wind did not seem to blow as hard as it did over the weekend. Maybe that break in the wind will help firefighters gain the upper hand on all of the grass fires. What is really needed right now more then anything in Texas is a good soaking rain, but sadly nothing like that is in the short term forecast.

75 MPH Speed Limit In Texas A Good Idea?

It is looking promising that the Texas Legislature will increase the speed limit in the state to 75 MPH in some rural areas. Some folks think this change is a good idea, while others believe it is completely insane. I personally think increasing the speed limit on rural roads is a good idea and I hope this new law goes into effect.

Let's be honest with ourselves and admit that most drivers on I-35 are already driving at speeds of 75 MPH or higher right now. Many older Texans remember well when Washington imposed a national speed limit of 55 miles per hour on everyone a few decades ago in order to save on energy costs. Today as it was in the past - most Texans don't want a uniform speed limit statewide and that is why I believe this law will pass.

Praying For Rain A Popular Topic In Waco

After a weekend that put most area firefighters into overtime, many resident of Waco are starting to openly pray for rain. Frankly, I think praying for rain is a good idea and while we are at it maybe we should pray that the winds calm down a bit too? I feel terrible that a firefighter in North Central Texas was killed late last week and I was devastated when I heard the news tonight that instead of being killed by the fire - he was instead run over by a large vehicle as he fled the flames.

I grew up in the Texas Panhandle as the son of a cotton farmer. I know all too well about praying for rain, because we use to do that all the time before Dad sold the farm and left the area. Grass and wildfires are so bad right now in Texas, that it might take divine intervention to help get things back to normal.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grass Fires Continue to Devastate The Waco Area

It was a windy weekend in and around Waco and when our current dry conditions were put into that mix, many grass fires started and were hard to put out. Not only did Waco see it's fair share of grass fires last weekend, but huge fires continued to burn near the Metroplex just west of Fort Worth.

Then on Sunday, a huge grass fire was spotted near Austin, Texas and at the present time paid and volunteer firefighters are trying to bring that blaze under control. It goes without saying that everyone should be extra careful with anything flammable right now, because even a small fire will grow into a large one because of the high winds.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Large Temple Fire Destroys Recycling Facility

Late Thursday night, there was a huge fire burning in Temple, Texas. Reports are still coming in, but as of right now - the blaze has consumed a large recycling facility and near-by buildings are also in danger catching fire. According to the KWTX website, all fire stations in the Temple Fire Department have dispatched equipment to fight this fire.

It's still to early to know if anyone has been injured or killed in this fire, but according to witnesses - flames could be seen in many parts of the city. At the present time, members of the Temple Fire Department are trying to stop this hot burning fire from spreading to other buildings in the same area. It could be hours before this massive fire is brought under control.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goodbye Waco Teachers As School Board Makes Cuts

As was predicted a few days ago, almost 200 teachers either resigned or were terminate on Wednesday in the Waco ISD. Money or should I say the lack there of has caused Waco ISD and others around the state to search for ways to save money, after the State of Texas has cut back on the funds they normally provide to school districts.

It's frankly sad that short sighted politicians are shortchanging the youth of our state in order to save money. Sadly, the State of Texas is sitting on a "rainy day fund" containing billions of dollars - but Governor Rick Perry refuses to use that money to keep education funded. What in the world is he saving that money for? The economy is in the tank and the last thing anyone wants to see is a new generation of young Texans who will be less educated then they are today.

39-Year-Old Shari Shull Killed In Car Accident

Tuesday night, there was a one car accident on Highway 144. After drifting off the road, Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials claim, Shari Shull's vehicle overturned and killed her. DPS says that she was not wearing a seat-belt.

Shull's body has been sent to Dallas for an autopsy. The accident happened around 7:30pm on Tuesday night near Walnut Springs Texas. According to DPS reports, Shari Shull was thrown from her vehicle as it overturned resulting in her death.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fat Ho Burgers Is Waco's Most Popular Place To Eat

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new restaurant in Waco called "Fat Ho Burgers". Since that time, thousands of people from all over the USA have traveled here to taste some of their old fashion burger favorites. With menu items like "Supa Fly Ho Burger's", "Fat Chicken Ho Sandwiches" and their huge "Bad Mamajama" burger with bacon - what's not to like about "Fat Ho Burgers"?

Unlike many new restaurants, "Fat Ho Burgers" is still doing a great business at South 11th Street and I-35. Fat Ho Burgers has a telephone number, but I would not recommend you call it right now - because they are too busy serving customers to answer the phone. Since most businesses have been hurt by the current recession, it's nice to see "Fat Ho Burgers" bucking that local and national trend.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Melissa Jones WNBA Might Come Calling

In a write-up in the Waco Tribune Herald recently, there was a discussion on the prospects of Melissa Jones being drafted to play in the WNBA. According to people close to Jones, she seems to be interested in playing there if a team comes calling. All Baylor Lady Bears fans know and love Melissa Jones and if she wants to play in the WNBA, I hope a team gives her a chance to compete.

As coach Mulkey said many times during the 2011 season, Melissa Jones was the glue that held that great team together and I have no doubt she would do the same thing for a WNBA club as well. The newspaper said that her best shot at a WNBA draft offer might come from the Phoenix Mercury. Good luck, Melissa.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rusty Garrett Storm Predictions For Early Monday Morning

A few minutes ago, I watched the 10pm news on Channel 10. Lead weatherman, Rusty Garrett said that some parts of the Waco area could see severe thunderstorm and hail some time during the early morning hours on Monday. At the time of this posting (11pm Sunday), most of the severe weather is located about 60 miles west of Waco - but as the night turns to early morning those storms are expected to continue to move eastward.

It's likely that while you are sleeping Sunday night, you will be awaken by some thunder, heavy rain and even some hail hitting the top of your home. So far, the size of the hail is reported around dime sized - but it could increase to quarter sized before these storms arrive in Waco. It might be a good idea to keep an eye on the weather tonight.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Steven Barker/Gwendolyn Greene Arrested For Kidnapping

31-year-old Steven Barker and 19-year-old Gwendolyn Greene have been arrested for the kidnapping of 57-year-old Catherine Jackson Greene. In a strange turn of events, Barker and the younger Greene were involved in an automobile accident last week near Copperas Cove. Both were injured and taken to a local hospital. Their car caught fire and later a body was found in the trunk of the car, which has been identified as the older Greene.

According to late news reports on Saturday night, Steven Barker and Gwendolyn Greene allegedly kidnapped Greene's mother and she was in the trunk of their car when the accident occurred. It is not yet clear whether she was killed as a result of the traffic accident or in the fire that followed. Many aspects of this story are still not completely understood. Hopefully, law enforcement will release more details next week when the results of an autopsy are finished.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Waco ISD Cuts 200 Jobs, Mainly Teachers

It's a bad time to be a teacher as Waco ISD has decided to cut the jobs of 200 teachers in the school district. While this news is terrible for teachers, it is also bad news for Waco students who will be forced to attend classes that are over crowed.

Another thing that angers me is the way politicians in Austin are cheering their no new taxes pledge, when in reality they are just passing the tax burden back down to local communities like Waco - who will be forced to raise property taxes to make up the difference. Politics should be left out of the classrooms in Waco and the rest of the State of Texas.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Zack & Jim Sign New 3-Year-Deal

According to the Waco Tribune Herald, morning personalities Zack Owen and Jim Cody have inked a new contract with WACO-100, which will keep them on-the-air for another three years. In addition to continuing their work at WACO-100, their morning show on Aggie 96 in College Station will remain as is, as well.

I have always enjoyed listening to Zack & Jim and I'm glad they were able to reach an agreement with Clear Channel to remain on-the-air in Central Texas. I have met both of these fine men several times over the years and to me the charitable work they do for our community should not go unnoticed, either. Thousands of people will now continue to wake up in the morning to the good humor of Zack & Jim on Waco's number one radio station - "Waco-100"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waco Wildfires Increase Due To High Winds/Dry Conditions

The danger from wildfires is very real around the Waco area right now. A lack of rainfall and high sustained winds are causing dry underbrush to quickly ignite - if exposed to fire or extreme heat. It's unusual for Central Texas to be this dry during March and April. During the late winter to early spring, there is usually an abundance of rainfall in this area.

The Waco Fire Department and others around Central Texas are urging citizens to be extra careful right now with any outside burning. Burn bans are are in effect in most counties. I grew up in the Amarillo area and I must say that the high winds here the past two weeks more resembles the Texas panhandle then Waco and Central Texas. Be careful with fire.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tony Sanders Arrested For Murder Of Timothy Smith

On March 27, 2011 a domestic dispute occurred in Waco. When all the dust settled, 28-year-old Timothy Smith was dead and his accused killer Tony Adell Sanders was found beaten and unresponsive at the same location. According to police and media reports, Sanders and Smith got into an argument and Sanders shot Smith with a handgun.

Later, Smith's uncle beat Sanders with a metal pipe in what police describe as self-defense. At this time, all that is known is that Timothy Smith is dead and Tony Sanders has been arrested for his murder. After spending several days recovering in Hillcrest Medical Center, Sanders was released and then arrested by Waco police. He is current in custody at the McLennan County Jail.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weed (Pot) Seized In Lorena On Saturday

On Saturday morning, there was a huge amount of marijuana seized in the City of Lorena. Around 7:30 in the morning, a Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper stopped a large truck for a traffic violation on Interstate 35 (I-35). Soon thereafter, the trooper felt like something was not right - so he asked to search the truck and after obtaining permission - he discovered almost 2,000 pounds of marijuana inside.

Every day, all types of illegal drugs make their way from Mexico up I-35 through Waco. Only a small amount of those drugs are found and confiscated, while the vast majority of them get to their intended target - which are junior high and high school kids around the United States. Sometimes - a police officer gets a gut feeling that something is wrong after talking to a driver and apparently that is what happened in this case, as well.

Victor Guerrero III A Good Man Who Always Smiled

Over 20 years ago, I met a good man by the name of Victor Guerrero. At the time I was in my 30's and Victor was in his early 20's. Then, Victor was working at the Golden Fried Chicken restaurant in Hewitt, Texas. Later - the owner of that restaurant Keith Bush changed the name to what most people know today as "Bush's Fried Chicken". The first time I met Victor he was smiling and the last time I saw him before his death he had that same smile on his face.

There are some people in life who make a positive impression on the people around them. Victor was that kind of man and when I learned that he has passed away on Tuesday night at the age of 42, I was completely shocked and deeply saddened. To Victor's family I want to extend my condolences and to also say that Victor was one of the most well liked and respected men in Waco.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Is It Worth The Wait Time To Eat At Fat Ho Burgers?

Last Saturday afternoon, my wife and I headed over to Fat Ho Burgers to try out the food at Waco's newest restaurant. When we arrived at 2pm, there was a long line of people just waiting to get in the front door. Already very hungry, we decided to leave without eating there. I know a little bit about hype, so I was wondering if the food at Fat Ho Burgers is really that great or is it the name alone that is bring in all those customers?

We are thinking about eating at Fat Ho Burgers this Saturday, but before we stand in line for up to an hour - I was hoping a few of my fellow Waco citizens might offer some feedback about the quality of their food. There is a comment link near the bottom of this page. Please let us and everyone else know what you thought of the food at Fat Ho Burgers. You may remain anonymous or post your name. Help us and others with your feedback.

Violent Crime Rate In Waco Is Out-Of-Control

Violent crime in Waco is soaring out-of-control as the murder rate here is skyrocketing. No one really knows what is causing murders in Waco to reach historic levels, but everyone would like to see it stopped. It seems like every morning, there is a new report of someone else being murdered in Waco the night before. I have live here since 1983 and still believe Waco is one of the best places to live in the world. However, some parts of town are definitely safer then others.

I'm from the old school, so my primary reason for blame at the jumping Waco crime rate has everything to do with how children are raised at home. There are just too many kids now days who are not taught that killing another human being is not only wrong, but a moral crime against God as well. 30 years ago, when two men had a dispute they could not settle by sitting down and talking it out - a fist fight would start and at the end someone would win. Today in Waco, few people are using their fist to settle disputes - but instead rushing to get a firearm and settle that problem in a permeate and self destructive way.