Full Extent of Losses in West Still Unknown. Because of volatile chemicals on the site of fertilizer plant that exploded Wednesday night, some areas remain too dangerous for emergency workers to venture into. That’s partly to blame for official casualty counts being difficult to come by. As I type this, various media outlets are reporting anywhere from 10 to 40 fatalities, and I imagine that range will change further by the time you read this. (I’m grateful that the estimates now seem generally smaller than the 60-70 deaths reported the night of the event.) We know the names of some who were lost, first responders who rushed to the scene of the fire at the plant. Among them was Capt. Kenny Harris of Dallas Fire-Rescue, who lived in West.
20th Anniversary of Branch Davidian Standoff. It was April 19, 1993, when the world watched a different compound not far from Waco burn. Cult leader David Koresh and 73 of his followers perished in the flames, ending a 51-day standoff with the federal government. One of the survivors, Clive Doyle, spoke with the Star-Telegram. He still has faith in Koresh: “I believe he was a manifestation, yes, of God taking on flesh,” Doyle said. “God has done that more than once.”
Eric Williams Charged With Kaufman County DA Murders. Williams was formally charged with capital murder the day after his wife Kim confessed to her role in the slayings of Kaufman County district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, and prosecutor Mark Hasse. Authorities say Williams was behind an email confession that threatened more violence. Based on the affidavit, he may have been so concerned about covering up his crimes that he gave police more evidence to use against him. He “recently asked a friend how to get rid of specific gun parts. Those are parts that ballistics experts can use to link a weapon to a crime.”
“He’s the smartest guy in the room, and that’s ultimately what got him into trouble,” County Judge Bruce Wood said in an interview.
This would have been 1987, I think, back when cruising Forest Lane was about the coolest thing you could do on a Friday night. We were juniors in high school. At the intersection of Forest and Marsh, there was a Kip’s Big Boy restaurant, and one night, we stole the Big Boy. It was a well-planned, surgical strike. A kid named Moondog was our wheelman. Moondog drove an old pickup, and three of us rode in back. He pulled up to the front door of the restaurant, and we leaped out of the truck, grabbed the surprisingly light Big Boy, and threw it in the back of the truck. We executed our raid sometime before curfew, so the restaurant and the parking lot were packed. Stunned onlookers watched as we sped away, doing our best to cover the Big Boy with a tarp. Lying on his back in the bed of the pickup, Big Boy’s arm remained visible, holding aloft a hamburger on a plate.
We stashed the Big Boy in a wooded area near Moondog’s house, not far from Medallion Center. Our plans for it at that point were not set, but there was talk of hauling the thing up to school and placing it on the football field. The next day, though, Moondog went to check on our Big Boy, and it was gone.
Well, I have a message for Moondog and the other members of our team: our Big Boy may have surfaced. The Lakewood Advocate reports that a Big Boy is now standing in a front yard less than a mile away from where we stashed ours those many years ago.
Regulators, mount up!
Fort Worth real estate agent Drew Myers and his wife already have the first name of their daughter picked out. Ily will come into the world in August, with an abbreviation for a name: Ily = I Love You. Problem is, they don’t have a middle name for their daughter. That’s where you come in.
The couple’s had difficulties conceiving in the past, unsure if they’d be able to have another baby to team up with their son Crash. Then Tanya got the good news — pregnant — and they started counting their blessings:
TK and I are thrilled that God blessed us with another child, but we’re also excited that we get an opportunity to use this name, which carries so much significance for us.
So…with our daughter’s first name taken care of – we’ve shifted gears to the middle name.
From her Facebook page this morning:
I find it sad to see that flags aren’t flying at half staff for this American hero. We’re surrounded today by American patriots here in Texas – by Chris’ fellow veterans and active duty warriors. In honor of them, I hope our commander in chief pays his respects in some gesture of condolence for their comrade in arms who sacrificed so much to keep him and all of us safe.
We may never know to what extent Chris kept us free or how many lives he saved by his brave actions in the line of fire. But his fellow warriors know how important he was. My son Track couldn’t meet Chris when Todd and I first met him because Track was deployed to Iraq. Then when we got to know Chris even better, our son was deployed in Afghanistan. We’ve met a lot of people in recent years, and Track has been privileged to meet them as well. But he said about Chris, “Mom, he’s the ONE person in the entire world I would be star-struck to meet. He’s it.”
The service starts at 1 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium; it could end up being the largest memorial service for a military member in state history.
From the Morning News’Â Scoop Blog:
No injuries were reported, but fans of snack food were in for a scare overnight after an 18-wheeler carrying thousands of Little Debbie snack cakes caught fire on Interstate 35E near the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Two men were driving the truck from Arkansas to San Antonio when the check engine light came on shortly after midnight. The driver pulled over to find the truck’s cab was on fire.
Like a saint among the sugar-deprived, the driver disconnected the trailer, pulled the cab forward down the highway and attempted to extinguish the fire himself, but soon required the help of Dallas Fire-Rescue after the cab was fully engulfed.
Get those men some medals.
The other night, Martellus Bennett caught an overzealous fan who fell over a railing at MetLife Stadium. Great job, Martellus! Explain what it was like!
“I caught him and then I was about to set him down gently, kinda like when Lois Lane is caught by Superman and then he kind of takes her down and sets her down so she can land on her feet,” Bennett said.
Wait, wasn’t it kind-of more like an X-Men scene?
“Cyclops has super powers,” Bennett said of the X-Men leader whose mutant power is firing an optic blast from his eyes. “He’s caught people. He caught Jean Grey a couple of times. But all superheroes catch people at some point in time. Otherwise they’re not as super as they think they are.”
Good point! Martellus, is this the first time you’ve saved someone’s life?
Bennett said “this is probably like my fifth person I’ve saved in my life.”
No way! Was one of them a child at a Texas A&M basketball game?
“Everybody was jumping on him,” said Bennett, a two-sport standout at Texas A&M. “And I saw him down there. I wanted to keep jumping and celebrating. But I looked down, then I looked at everybody else. So I did the righteous thing, and I picked the kid up and carried him off the court. He had like a broken arm and a broken wrist.”
Wait a second. You’re a certified lifeguard, too, right?
“I’m a certified lifeguard,” Bennett said. “Me and my brother (Michael) that plays for the Bucs. We are certified lifeguards. He did more lifeguarding than me.
“I just save lives. I actually saved about 12 people but only like four of those were drowning. Some people was about to drown; they just didn’t know it yet.”
I’d like to thank ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk for holding on for dear life during what sounds like the greatest interview in history.
A North Dallas woman is claiming that the water from a Walmart toilet scalded her while she sat on a Walmart toilet. Sat on a Walmart toilet. Again, this whole situation seems like it could’ve beenÂ avoided by not sitting on a Walmart toilet.
…she bought a thermometer from theÂ store and went back to the bathroom stall to check the temperature of the toilet water.Â
She told police the thermometer read 109 degrees.Â Â Burns said sheÂ did notify the manager before making the police report.Â Â She was not seriously hurt.
- woman sits on toilet, does something that forces water to splash upon her bottom
- woman leaps off toilet, runs to thermometer department
- woman returns to bathroom
- woman sticks hand back in the toilet that bit her
- woman determines that the water was 109 degrees, a temperature at which most would consider their coffee luke-warm
- woman files police report
What a great country.
Grandma, Baby Survive Wild Middle of The Night Adventure Unscathed: Elizabeth Smith’s grand baby was sick, and so early Saturday morning around 3 a.m. she headed to a 24-hour pharmacy in Pleasant Grove. On the way back, a man in a passing truck stopped and told her to get in his vehicle. Smith refused, the man pulled a gun, and the grandmother ran, finding shelter near a church and calling the police. When the police arrived, Smith and baby got in the squad car, only to be suddenly swept up in a three mile high speed chase.
Storm Causes Chaos At Hospital, Lake: Yesterday’s afternoon storm knocked out power at the Doctors Hospital near White Rock Lake. Then the backup generator failed, leaving the hospital without power for nearly two hours. On Lake Ray Hubbard, the storm reportedly caused panic, as sudden winds and waves stranded and capsized boats.
If Three Shots Are Fired in Downtown Dallas, How Many People Will They Hit? The answer is zero, but this is not a joke about the business district’s lack of vibrancy. In fact, hundreds of people were reportedly hanging out downtown early Sunday morning when the shots were fired at Dallas police officers by 23-year-old Daniel Cortez (an obviously brilliant young man who was later arrested). In addition to the gunfire, fights were breaking out as clubs spilled their cliental onto the city streets. Which is encouraging, right? More and more people are finding their D-Spot.
Jason Kidd Arrested for DWI: The former Maverick, current Knick ran his car into a telephone pole in Southampton Sunday. He was arrested and released without bail. The charge could carry up to a year in jail, but something tells me that’s not going to happen.
More Texas Doctors Not Accepting Medicaid: According to a survey by the Texas Medical Association, only 31 percent of Texas doctors say they are accepting new patients who use Medicaid, a 11 percentage point drop from 2010. In 2000, 67 percent of Texas doctors accepted Medicaid. Doctors complain about red tape and low pay, but with 6 million new people projected to join Texas Medicaid, a physician shortage looms.
Henderson Ave. Rape Victim Seeks Attacker: It has been a year since Ashley Green, 31, was attacked on the way to her car after watching the NBA championship at a bar on Henderson Ave., the man who raped her leaving Green for dead, naked in the street. But now Green is trying to find information about the assailant, walking the streets with friends and posting flyers. Police have no leads.
Southlake Man Tracks Down Stolen Car After 42 Years: In 1968, Bob Russell’s 1967 Austin Healey 3000 was taken from his Philadelphia apartment complex. On May 11, 2012, Russell found the car listed for sale on eBay by a dealer in Los Angeles. After a few weeks of haggling with the dealer and digging for the old stolen car report, the vehicle is now back in his possession.
In the June issue of D Magazine, I wrote about a woman named Lois Pearson. She was kidnapped, raped, and tortured by a former neighbor named Jeffrey Maxwell. Maxwell also torched her house and car. (You can read the story here.) Several people have written to ask how they can help Ms. Pearson out. Some want to send flowers. Others have asked about donations. Well, I have some answers.
There is a fund set up in her name at theÂ Legacy Texas Bank in Weatherford. Â The phone number there is 817-613-1554. The church that got her the new trailer she’s living in now — the same church raising funds to buy her a car — is theÂ South Main Church of Christ, in Weatherford. The address is 133 College Avenue,Â Weatherford, TX Â 76086 and the phone number is 817-594-3030. Â The contact person there is Loree Ellis.