Monday, June 29, 2009

Old soldiers take care of their own, keeping watch on VA cemetery

My hats off the these Vets. Still serving their borthers.

By Kevin Reece / 11 News

HOUSTON—Houston National Cemetery on Veterans Memorial Drive is under the watchful eye of several old soldiers and sailors. Korean War Veterans say their second tour of duty has been well worth it.

“And the more I’m out here the more I see what needs to be done,” said Travis Riley, 84, a Navy veteran of both the Korean War and World War II. “ And I’m glad to be out here to help.”

A year ago the Texas Lone Star Chapter of Korean War Veterans answered the call for help after the cemetery was targeted by thieves.

Even on hallowed ground like this, thieves would often rob cars of wallets and purses while widows and survivors visited tombstones and graves.

“Four letters,” said Army Korean War Veteran Jim Duncan when asked to describe the criminals. “Scum. S-C-U-M. That’s the way I feel about it.”

So to fight that “scum” a team of 16 Korean War Veterans, some well into their 80s, keep watch at the cemetery each weekend.

They greet each driver at the cemetery entrance reminding visitors to lock their cars and secure their valuables. They also patrol the cemetery grounds to remind would-be thieves that someone is always watching.

“Nothing really bad has happened in the year that we’ve been here,” said Tom Campion, 79. “So I feel like we have accomplished something.”

“We’re not cocky. And we’re going to assume that something’s going to happen every weekend. But we’re doing our best to prevent it, “said Duncan.”

“I think they’re wonderful they’re doing a great job. I really do,” said visitor Mary Wagner.

They are, after all, still soldiers and still on guard.

“You bet,” added Duncan, “You bet and proud of it.”

“We’re still here,” said Riley, explaining why they volunteer to assist fellow veterans and their families.

They are still here and with a job to do: Keeping watch for the bad guys….again.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Two years later, microwaved baby living a happy life

By Courtney Zubowski / 11 News

HOUSTON—Kaylee Croxton is a bossy, pink-loving, 2-year-old girly girl. But just two years ago, inside a Galveston motel, her biological father put her inside a microwave and turned it on for 20 seconds.

Microwaved baby living a happy life with a loving family
June 25, 2009 View larger E-mail Clip More Video Her biological mother claimed the devil told him to do it.

Kaylee’s dad, Joshua Mauldin, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for the crime.

“When I do think about Josh, it’s kind of mixed emotions and I think for Jeremy, too, because if this hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t have her,” Heather Croxton said.

Croxton and her husband, Jeremy, adopted Kaylee in February.

Kaylee now has three older brothers, who have become pretty protective of her.

She’s been part of the Croxton clan for almost two years, even though the adoption just became official this year.

She was born a cousin to the Croxtons through marriage.

Shortly after the abuse, the Croxtons, who live in College Station, took her in.

“When she says, ‘I love you, daddy,’ I mean, that brings a smile right there on your face,” Jeremy Croxton said.

Kaylee has scars from the burns she suffered in the microwave.

She suffered third-degree burns on her left cheek, ear, shoulder and hand. Her left ring finger was burned all the way to the bone.

She’s had several surgeries and will need several more, because the scar tissue and skin grafts don’t grow with her.

There will be some tough times ahead.

“Obviously, I think we are going to have to tell her, because the whole world knows and if she was to find out from someone else, she would probably be devastated,” Heather Croxton said.

“It’s just so hard to think about it, how – how we’re going to explain it to her,” Jeremy Croxton said.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Band Of Brothers
Band Of Brothers
U.S. Army

Something a little different this week. Instead of profiling a service member, Wednesday Hero will be profiling a movie. Band Of Brothers. It was a miniseries tha aired on HBO in 2001. It follows Maj. Richard Winters, Cpt. Lewis Nixon and the men of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, aka E-Company or Easy Company on their march to Germany. From their training to their battles at Normandy and Bastogne, their liberation of the Kaufering IV concentration camp to their taking of Hitler's Eagle Nest. A great cast and great writing make this one of the best war movies ever made. But it is graphic in visuals and language. And parts of it may be hard to watch, but it is worth it.

What the men of E-Company did will never be forgotten. They are the heroes that helped the cause of freedom.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home owner injured in home invasion, suspects in custody

This is a bit of local news. This is close to my house. We are only a small resident area of about 75,000 and when something like this happens it put everyone on edge. We do have some excellent police assigned to our area, and they really put this one away fast.

Updated: 06.23.09
A 27-year-old Kingwood man narrowly escaped with his life when a gunshot was aimed at his head during a home invasion in the 5100 block of Maple Hill Trail around 6 p.m. Friday evening.

According to Houston Police Department Kingwood Sgt. B.R. Wilburn, a total of three teenage suspects were taken into custody thanks to quick police response. All three, Wilburn said, are illegal immigrants from Honduras who were staying in the Greenspoint area.

Police believe the victim in this case was targeted because his family owns several convenience stores in the area and the suspects likely believed the man would carry large amounts of cash.

“One of the men was a lookout, while the other two entered the residence by breaking a back window,” Wilburn said. “The suspects found the homeowner upstairs in the bedroom. They pulled a pistol on him, tied him up, and began to beat him on the head with the weapon as well as their fists. They kept asking him for money.”

Wilburn said the victim was certain the intruders would kill him and put up a fight.

“He tried to run away from his attackers, and when he did, one of the suspects fired at his head,” Wilburn said. “Luckily, the bullet only grazed his head.”

Just as the shot was fired, Wilburn said, an alarm clock went off somewhere in the house and scared off the intruders, who immediately fled from the home, their pockets stuffed with jewelry.

“The suspects must have thought someone else was in the house,” Wilburn said. “That was incredibly lucky timing for the victim. He's lucky to be alive. If that alarm clock hadn't gone off, no telling what could have happened.”

Wilburn said alert neighbors spotted the lookout as well as the other two suspects as they came running out of the house and called police.

Patrol Officer K. York responded immediately, Wilburn said, and broadcast a description of the suspects and their vehicle.

“Bicycle Officer Jason MacAllister spotted the vehicle on Kingowod Drive at Lake Houston Parkway,” Wilburn said.

The officer chased the car on his bike, Wilburn said, and alerted other patrol units.

“You wouldn’t believe it, but they can get those bikes up to 45 miles per hour,” Wilburn said. “The vehicle was stopped by MacAllister and Patrol Officer Chad Nichols and the suspects were taken into custody without incident.”

Wilburn said the three teenagers were later positively identified by the victim as well as the neighbors who watched them make their getaway.

All three, Wilburn said, were charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. The stolen property was returned to the victim, who was treated at an area hospital for his head wound and later released.

“We don't have a crystal ball, but we do have a good crew here in Kingwood,” Wilburn said. “I have been here for 10 years, and every time something major happened here, the suspects were always caught.”

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Back At Work Today

Well the vacation had to come to an end I guess. I did enjoy myself though. All I did for the past 10 days was nothing. I watched my grass grow, watched the water evaporate from my pool and that is about it. I know now that retirement is not something that I am looking forward to anymore. I think I would go crazy not working. Well the work has piled up for me while I have been gone and my boss handed it all over to me this morning and it should be completed by the end of the day if I stay on it.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Live Info As It Happens From Iran

I have been listening and watching this for a while now, and the updates are realtime. The messages are comming direct from Iran twitters. Info is upadated every 2 minutes. I heard about the besege marking doors for later raids an hour before it was on Fox. Seems a lot of the news on TV is from this site.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Texas hospitals seeing alarming increase in rattlesnake bites

Time for another snake roundup ya'll come on down now ya hea.

SAN ANTONIO -- Hospitals across central Texas said they are seeing an alarming increase in rattlesnake bites.

Hays County has treated five people for the bites in recent weeks, and Travis County reported eleven rattlesnake bites in the last three months.

So, why the increase now?

Experts say it is mating season for snakes. But the drought is also pushing them into residential areas to find water.

EMS officials in the area have teamed up with experts from the Snake Farm in New Braunfels to educate the public on how to be more careful, and what to do if they come across a rattlesnake.

They said if you get bitten call 911 immediately, because a rattlesnake bite can be deadly.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We The People Stimulus Package

This kind of sticks in our faces. It should be listened to and acted upon.

Bob Basso author of "Common Sense" plays the role of Thomas Paine to ignite the fire of change in America. Patriotism and Pride for America lead Thomas Paine to help take back America!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Pvt. William Long
Pvt. William Long
23 years old from Conway, Arkansas
D Company, 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry
June 1, 2009
U.S. Army

"My brother taught me valuable lessons and made me the man I am today," said Pfc. Triston Long, brother of Pvt. William Long. "My commander said, 'Make your brother one of us.' I will miss my brother with all that I am, and I serve in honor of him."

Pvt. William Long had just completed basic training and was set to ship out on June 8 to his first duty station in Korea when he and Private Second Class Quinton Ezeagwula were shot outside a Little Rock, Arkansas Army-Navy Recruiting Center by Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad. They were in Little Rock to speak to with potential recruits about their experiences.

Pvt. Long's father, Daris Long, a former Marine, wrote a letter to give to him when he shipped out for South Korea. In that letter he wrote, "Your day only ends when you’ve done your duty. You and your brother … are both heroes for having the moral courage to stand up when your country needs you most. You are in my hopes and my thoughts and my prayers. You are my son, you are my hero. I love you. Semper fidelis."

Along with his father and brother, Pvt. William Long is survived by his mother, Janet, who had served in the Navy herself.

All Information Was Found On And Copied From RedState, Sipsey Street Irregulars & Army Times with help from Kathi

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Still On Vacation

I am still hanging around the house with 5 more days to go. I could get use to this. Watching TV and veds, drinking beer and not really doing anything. I haven't even been on the blogs much. Just to lazy to really do anything. I did go to the Pool shop today and pick up my repaired Polaris. I hooked it up and she is doing her job. It's just to damn hot to even go outside. It's 98 right now, and that is in the shade. I guess I will have to increase my intake of refreshments. I did cook some very good Souther Fried Chicken yesterday, and the kids loved it. I don't cook often, but I do cook. Both kids work, so it's kinda do for yourself. Any how back to relaxing.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Houston Tea Party

This asshat should have know better than to have come to Houston.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

It's A Little Warm In Houston Today

Well I am on vacation till the 22nd, and what perfect weather. Cold beer, cool pool and nothing to do except chill out. It's very quiet around here though, what with the wife overseas, but I am making the best of it.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marc A. Lee
Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marc A. Lee
28 years old from Hood River, Oregon
August 2, 2006
U.S. Navy

"Marc was amazing. He was my best friend, my love," his widow, Maya, said.

Petty Officer Marc A. Lee joined the Navy in 2001 and became an AO after completing Naval Air Technical Training. Later that year he attempted to complete the grueling BUD/S program but caught pneumonia and had to drop out. He tried again in 2004 and completed the course.

On August 2, 2006, Marc A. Lee became the first SEAL to be killed in combat in Iraq when he was fatally wounded in a firefight in Ramadi, Iraq. The following is from the award citation:

"During the operation, one element member was wounded by enemy fire. The element completed the casualty evacuation, regrouped and returned onto the battlefield to continue the fight. Petty Officer Lee and his SEAL element maneuvered to assault an unidentified enemy position. He, his teammates, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrams tanks engaged enemy positions with suppressive fire from an adjacent building to the north.

"To protect the lives of his teammates, he fearlessly exposed himself to direct enemy fire by engaging the enemy with his machine gun and was mortally wounded in the engagement. His brave actions in the line of fire saved the lives of many of his teammates"

"It was so like Marc to give up his life to save his friends," his mother, Debbie Lee, told the Hood River News. "I am so proud of him. He is my hero."

Petty Officer Lee was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star with combat "V" for his actions in Iraq during his team’s combat tour and the Purple Heart medal.

All Information Was Found On And Copied From

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Car Owner Fatally Shoots Burglar

Texas Justice at it's finest.

Car Owner Has Concealed Handgun License

POSTED: Monday, June 8, 2009
UPDATED: 11:31 am CDT June 8, 2009

HOUSTON -- A car owner fatally shot a man who was breaking into his car, police told KPRC Local 2.

Houston police said the car owner physically removed Darryl Milton Franklin from his car in the 1100 block of Langwick Drive on Saturday morning.

The car owner told Franklin to leave before he called police.

Investigators said Franklin left but tried to break into several other vehicles into the area. He tried to carjack a resident at the apartment complex, police said.

The first car owner called police and approached Franklin again, investigators said.

Franklin jumped on the car owner and the two got into a struggle, detectives said. The car owner's wife hit Franklin several times to try to get him off her husband.

The car owner, who has a concealed handgun license, pulled out a gun and shot Franklin in the chest, police said.

Detectives said the car owner and his wife called for medical assistance.

The case will be referred to a Harris County grand jury.

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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

I just wonder what this glare is all about.

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West Bank teen arrested in rape and murder of 8-month-old

This story is probably one of the worst I have seen in a long time. Justice will find him at the end of a rope.

A 17-year-old Terrytown man was arrested on charges of aggravated rape and first-degree murder of an 8-month-old child Saturday afternoon, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said.

Arnold T. Ross, of 136 Friedrichs Road in Terrytown, was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Facility. No bond is available on the first-degree murder charge.

Ross was arrested after officers responded to a call of an unresponsive infant at 1656 Gary Court, Apt. B, near Gretna.

The infant, Da-Von Lonzo, was taken to Ochsner Westbank where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, according to a release issued by Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

The death was initially unclassified, but the Jefferson Parish coroner's office later reported it as a homicide after an autopsy of the child's body revealed multiple fractures consistent with a beating and tears in the anus.

Ross, who said he was the boyfriend of the infant's mother, initially told detectives that the baby fell down the stairs while he was babysitting, Fortunato said. But a neighbor reported hearing loud noises coming from the apartment, and investigators noted inconsistencies in Ross's account.

Ross later admitted that he beat the infant repeatedly when he would not stop crying, Fortunato said. When the child began to defecate on himself, Ross said he tried to clean it up, causing the tears, according to the release.

Ross has a record of previous arrests for possession of crack cocaine and marijuana, obscenity, battery on a correctional officer, three counts of battery on a teacher, three counts of theft, illegal carrying of a weapon and assault.

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Acapulco tourists were close to crossfire

June 7, 2009, 10:19PM

Soldiers hold a position during the gunfight in Acapulco, Mexico, on Saturday in a tourist area frequented by Americans on cruise ships and residents of Mexico City and its suburbs.

MEXICO CITY — Mexican soldiers killed 16 suspected gangsters and lost two of their own during a fierce battle in the resort city of Acapulco, military officials said Sunday.

Nine other soldiers and at least three civilians were reported injured in the shootout, which erupted Saturday night in a once-fashionable and now-shabby part of the city.

The clash is the latest blow to the resort city, which has been battered by the U.S.- spawned economic crisis and this spring’s swine flu outbreak, which have caused national and foreign tourism to plummet at all Mexico’s beach destinations. Cruise ships had only begun calling again at Acapulco in mid-May.

Soldiers arrested five suspected mobsters. They also detained four Guerrero state police officers found handcuffed but alive inside a house. The policemen claimed to have been kidnapped by the gangsters, whom officials linked to the Beltran Leyva narcotics smuggling syndicate.

“If they were kidnapped, as they say, then we rescued them,” said an army colonel who gave local reporters a tour of the shootout scene, according to the Associated Press.

Soldiers also seized 36 assault rifles, two grenade launchers and 13 pistols and 3,500 rounds of ammunition from the scene, the Defense Ministry reported.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Local D-Day veteran receives Legion of Honor medal

Decades passed before Houston’s Clyde Combs told his children he was part of the massive D-Day invasion when Allied troops fought past Nazi mines and machine guns to storm France’s beaches and march on to liberate Europe.

Neither did he mention he was aboard a superfast attack craft on June 6, 1944, and helped protect the west flank of invading forces as they established a beachhead, fished dead sailors out of the sea, and hunted for German soldiers fleeing in the darkness.

The 84-year-old former Navy PT boat crewman didn’t tell, he said, because he didn’t think anyone cared.

“It wasn’t considered a big deal,” said Combs, who still has a full head of hair and is probably lean enough to climb into his Cracker Jack uniform. “You were in the war, and you made it back and whatever,” he said. “No, I didn’t discuss it.”

On Friday, Combs was inducted into France’s prestigious Legion of Honor to commemorate the battle’s 65th anniversary today.

With the passing of time, as the offensive was pushed into history books, public interest grew in events surrounding the D-Day invasion. A massive fighting force, including more than 150,000 personnel, 5,000 ships and 11,000 planes, pushed across the English Channel and roared ashore along the Normandy region’s coastline.

“The invading armada was one of the largest armadas in the world’s history,” Combs said. “And to have been a small, tiny part of it in any way is such a privilege.”

Just the thought of being recognized as a veteran and induced into the legion, which was created by Bonaparte, makes Combs throat tight.

“I … am so humbled,” he said haltingly as he looked away and choked up.

Combs, who moved to Houston in 1949 and retired from the engineering and construction business, has come to see preserving D-Day’s place in history as a central purpose in his life.

He has kept a friendship up over the years with a villager who was a 15-year-old boy when PT 515 tied up at a small, isolated port. Combs said he phoned him last week to see if they could get together, since it could be for the last time.

Though aging World War II veterans are dying, Combs said he has never spent a day in a hospital. The former barbershop quartet singer can still tap out his name in Morse code.

He can also rapidly recite 30 digits of pi, which most people learn in high school as simply 3.14.

Combs speaks to students, veterans and their children to ensure people don’t forget June 6, 1944.

“We remember the Alamo, we remember Pearl Harbor, and we need to remember D-Day,” he said. “So many young people have forgotten what happened that they couldn’t tell you want Normandy was.”

But Combs will stand on the edge of Omaha Beach today. And he will know.

Washington correspondent Stewart M. Powell contributed to this report.


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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Only Two Days Until D Day

Now this was a real President. No teleprompters do I see. Red blood American style. I hope to God we get another one just like him. If we don't we are lost as a country. Take Five minutes and watch this speech. After all we owe it to these men.

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Austin mom accused of trying to poison daughter

What kind of a sick and twisted mind could come up with something like this. This woman should be locked up for the rest of her sick life.

AUSTIN — An Austin woman has been accused of repeatedly smearing human waste on her 3-year-old daughter’s intravenous feeding line, potentially causing life-threatening infections.

Emily Beth McDonald, 23, was charged with felony injury to a child.

According to an arrest affidavit, a surveillance video at Dell Children’s Medical Center captured McDonald placing feces from a soiled diaper on the cap of a tube with a direct link to the child’s bloodstream.

McDonald was released on a $100,000 personal bond Wednesday. The Austin American-Statesman reported she must wear an electronic monitoring device and comply with a police protective order that prevents her from seeing her three children.

She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Bob Phillips, an attorney representing McDonald, told the newspaper she is a “fine young woman from a fine family who loves her children very much.”

“I believe that as the facts unfold, the impression people have of this young woman will change for the better,” Phillips said.

The affidavit said that the child was admitted to the hospital April 15 with a high fever and “a long history of chronic diarrhea.” She had a catheter and doctors conducted a blood test, which was positive for foreign bacteria common in feces.

Doctors inserted a feeding tube.

“The medical records showed the child would start getting better, and feces mostly likely would get introduced,” Austin police child abuse Detective Chris Hallas said.

The arrest affidavit also said that hospital staff had to replace the child’s intravenous lines several times because of infections or clots in the lines.

The affidavit said that hospital staff placed a camera in the room based on their concerns and it recorded McDonald’s actions. They reviewed the tape Sunday.

According to the affidavit, police interviewed McDonald, who confessed to wiping the end of the tube with feces five times during the child’s hospital stay and knew that it could make the child severely ill and possibly even kill her.

Officials said relatives are caring for McDonald’s 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

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Got Your Permit To Study the Bible? By Chuck Norris

Recently a California pastor and his wife were required by San Diego County officials to obtain a permit to hold a Bible study in their home.

"What?! Is this a joke?" I wondered as I heard the news for the first time. It was no joke. Rather, it's a First Amendment nightmare and possibly a foreshadowing of what's to come.

Are you prepared for a future in which you hear, "Got your permit to study the Bible?"

On April 10 (Good Friday), a county code enforcement officer visited the home of David and Mary Jones after receiving a complaint about their Christian gatherings. The Jones' attorney, Dean Broyles, president of The Western Center for Law & Policy, conveyed in disbelief, "The county asked (Mrs. Jones), 'Do you have a regular meeting in your home?' She said, 'Yes.' 'Do you say "amen"?' 'Yes.' 'Do you pray?' 'Yes.' 'Do you say "praise the Lord"?' 'Yes.'"

The officer then warned the family to "cease and desist" the "religious gathering" or they would face weekly fines. A few days later, the county delivered a citation claiming that the Joneses were guilty of "unlawful use of land" and mandating them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit."

The officer then warned the family to "cease and desist" the "religious gathering" or they would face weekly fines. A few days later, the county delivered a citation claiming that the Joneses were guilty of "unlawful use of land" and mandating them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit."

At first, I thought, "They must have a large congregation meeting in their home to warrant this type of citation and prompt this type of commotion, right?" Actually, according to their lawyer, the Joneses have been hosting weekly Bible studies in their home for about five years, with an average attendance of only about 15 people.

Broyles appropriately responded, "If the county thinks they can shut down groups of 10 or 15 Christians meeting in a home, what about people who meet regularly at home for poker night? What about people who meet for Tupperware parties? What about people who are meeting to watch baseball games on a regular basis and support the Chargers?"

Well, this past weekend, barraged by hundreds of complaints after WorldNetDaily broke the news to the international community, San Diego County officials informed the world that they'd backed down from requiring the Joneses to obtain a permit. Despite their retraction (based solely upon public pressure, I might add), however, I am appalled at how far the county's enforcement and encroachment crossed the constitutional line and became a flagrant disregard for Americans' right to exercise their religious faiths. And I'm concerned that we will see far more of these overreaching governmental actions in years to come.

As Mary Jones shared with Fox News: "The implications are great because it's not only us that's involved. There are thousands and thousands of Bible studies that are held all across the country. What we're interested in is setting a precedent here -- before it goes any further -- and that we have it settled for the future."

I'm not expecting county officials to be constitutional lawyers, but they should be aware of these basic precepts of America's makeup. For example, prior to the San Diego officials' recanting their position regarding the Joneses' Bible study, Chandra Waller, the general manager of the county's Land Use and Environment Group, declared, "The Bible studies are one that's probably in a very gray area."

"Very gray area"? Is there anything "very gray" about the First Amendment?

I agree again with Broyles, who explained further to Fox News: "The government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion. I believe that our Founding Fathers would roll over in their grave if they saw that here in the year 2009, a pastor and his wife are being told that they cannot hold a simple Bible study in their own home."

Part of the genius of America's Founding Fathers was to provide and secure a foundation for our freedom of religious belief. The First Amendment simply reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Could it be any clearer that government may not prohibit "the free exercise thereof"?

Now more than ever, we need to be like the Joneses! Fight for the First Amendment and your freedom to exercise your religion.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Killer of 5 put to death

What else is there to say. He got his just dew. You Kill in Texas and this is what you get.

HUNTSVILLE — A self-described “non-caring monster” who took responsibility for killing five relatives was executed Tuesday evening for the slayings of his two stepchildren.

“I am sorry for what I’ve done and for all the pain and suffering my actions caused,” Terry Lee Hankins said from the death chamber gurney, his voice wavering. “Jesus is Lord. All glory to God.”

Eleven minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow, he was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m. CDT.

Hankins, 34, surrendered at his girlfriend’s Arlington apartment in 2001 after a five-hour standoff with police who wanted him for gunning down his estranged wife, Tammy, 34, and her children, Devin Galley, 12, and Ashley Mason, 11. Hankins then told officers he’d also killed his father and half-sister almost a year earlier.

“I believe he meant it,” Ruthie Hedleston, who survived a beating by Hankins, said after watching him die. Her ex-husband was Hankins’ good friend and he lived with them for two years, she said.

“The reason I was there was to make the feeling I’ve had for seven years go away — the fear of him,” she said. “He has haunted me for seven years.

“I believed him that he’s sorry but that doesn’t mean I can forgive him for what he did.”

Hankins was the 16th condemned prisoner executed this year in Texas, the nation’s most active death penalty state. The lethal injection also was the 200th during the tenure of Gov. Rick Perry, a milestone denounced by capital punishment opponents.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Sgt. Pablo A. Calderon
Sgt. Pablo A. Calderon
26 years old from Brooklyn, New York
1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division
November 30, 2004
U.S. Army

"He wanted to fight for his country," said his heartbroken younger sister, Lilliana Calderone. "He always wanted to be there."

Pablo Calderon joined the Army in 1997, right out of High School. "He went straight to the army from high school," said his sister. "He wanted to improve himself. He was proud. He loved his country."

Sgt. Calderon was killed when an IED was detonated near his vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq. Also killed in the attack was Sgt. Jose Guereca of Missouri City, Texas.

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These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Pistol-packing patron shoots robbery suspect in Texas City game room

This is what CCL is all about. You only need it once. 77 Year Old Vet.. Outstanding.

07:49 AM CDT on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

By Chris Paschenko / The Daily News

TEXAS CITY, Texas — A 77-year-old Korean War veteran fired one round Monday, wounding one of two masked men suspected in the robbery of a game room on the outskirts of the city, authorities said.

There were about 12 patrons inside Players Paradise, 4801 state Highway 146 Suite B, when a frequent guest knocked on the door, Capt. Brian Goetschius of Texas City police said.

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Video Slideshows Blogs The game room, which was robbed at 12:44 a.m., was open only to members, Goetschius said.

“They looked through the monitors and recognized him as being there before,” Goetschius said. “They ordered everyone to the ground, went through several wallets and got the apron from the attendant.”

The veteran, Robert Hays of Texas City, was thrown to the ground, and then a suspect went through his wallet, Goetschius said.

“The 77-year-old concealed gun permit carrier drew his .38-caliber revolver and shot one of the crooks,” Goetschius said. “The crook immediately fell to the floor, and he dropped his gun and he lost a shoe.”

The men fled through the back door with an unknown amount of cash, and at 1:18 a.m. police were notified of a man suffering from a gunshot or stab wound checking himself into Clear Lake Regional Medical Center.

There were no other injuries or shots fired.

Tyreese Ross, 34, of Texas City, suffered one gunshot wound to his right shoulder. He has not been charged in the game room robbery, Goetschius said, noting the investigation was ongoing Monday evening. Ross was under armed guard by police at the hospital. A call to the hospital seeking his condition wasn’t returned.

Police did, however, arrest Ross on a contempt-of-court warrant charging him with nonpayment of child support, Goetschius said. The charge carries no bail.

Ross pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in 1995 in the 56th District Court in Galveston.

Hays, who hasn’t been charged, had a permit to carry a concealed handgun, Goetschius said. Having a valid permit makes it lawful to enter a game room with a firearm, Goetschius said.

“We believe he acted within the confines of the law,” Goetschius said. “When our investigation is completed, the results will be turned over to the district attorney’s office for them to review for any charges.”

The game room’s parking lot is in the city limit of Texas City, but the building is in unincorporated Galveston County. Texas City is working the case with the sheriff’s office.

Of the game room robberies reported to authorities, this is the first instance of a patron shooting a suspect, according to the recollection of Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo, a sheriff’s office spokesman.

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Execution set today for Texas man who killed 5

Please take a seat and we will notify you when your table is ready. Standing room only in Huntsville.

Associated Press
June 2, 2009, 6:14AM
Terry Lee Hankins’ surrender to police for the slayings of his estranged wife and two stepchildren opened up two more homicide investigations when he told authorities in Tarrant County he also was responsible for killing his father and his half-sister — almost a year earlier.

When officers went to the mobile home of 55-year-old Earnie Lee Hankins, they found him shot to death and his decomposing body in a recliner, surrounded by air fresheners. Then they found the remains of Pearl “Sissy” Stevenstar, 20, Hankins’ half-sister, stuffed into a plastic ice chest hidden in a car at his father’s auto repair shop. She’d been fatally beaten with a jack stand. Court documents later would show Stevenstar was the mother of Hankins’ child and was pregnant again by him.

“It was a very unusual set of circumstances,” said Sheila Wynn, the assistant Tarrant County district attorney who prosecuted Hankins for capital murder. “I don’t even know how to put it into words.”

Hankins, 34, was set to die today evening for the 2001 slayings of Kevin Galley, 12, and Ashley Mason, 11, children of his estranged wife, 34-year-old Tammy Hankins. All three were gunned down inside their mobile home in Mansfield, about 20 miles southeast of Fort Worth.

He would be the 16th prisoner executed this year in the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.

His appeals were exhausted and no last-minute attempts to delay the lethal injection were expected, William Harris, Hankins’ attorney, said.

“I don’t have anything I can think of in this case that stands any kind of chance of doing any good,” Harris said.

Hankins declined to speak with reporters from death row.

“What else is there to say?” Harris said. “I think he regrets what he did but I also think he’s fatalistic about the fact he can’t change it.”

Before his arrest, Hankins had told people he’d sent his half-sister to a home for pregnant mentally challenged women and that his father had moved out of state.

He did not testify at his trial, but police found a note Hankins wrote on a bank envelope.

“I guess to sum it all up, I’m guilty of murder, incest, hatred, fraud, theft, jealousy, envy,” he wrote.

When Tammy Hankins failed to show up for work at a Burger King restaurant she managed and her children failed to show up at school, her mother, Linda Sheets, and a sister went to her trailer to see if something was wrong. A pile of clothes was on Tammy Hankins’ bed.

“I pulled the clothes down, and there was Tammy,” Sheets told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a story published Sunday. “We found Ashley under a bunch of clothes on a sofa in her living room, and we found Kevin in his bed, covered over.”

Police already were familiar with the home. They’d been summoned to the trailer park four times over four months for domestic disturbances, fighting and breaking and entering.

Terry Hankins was tracked down to Arlington where his estranged wife’s car was parked outside his girlfriend’s apartment. He surrendered after a five-hour standoff with police.

In a diary recovered by officers, Hankins wrote he had become a “non-caring monster.” He rambled about his troubled childhood with a divorced inattentive father and two stepmothers who molested him and taught him sex acts.

“I just didn’t like myself,” he wrote, saying he didn’t know why he killed his wife and stepchildren. “People always told me I was nothing and wouldn’t amount to anything. I guess they hit the nail on the head with that one.”

Hankins was tried only for the deaths of his two stepchildren, who were shot while they slept.

“I don’t want revenge,” Sheets said. “And I don’t think other people should judge him, either. He was judged already by a jury of his peers. They found him guilty and gave him the death penalty. And now he is going to meet his maker.”

Death penalty opponents planned protests for what would be the 200th execution of Rick Perry’s tenure as Texas governor.

“Perry has allowed more executions to proceed than any other governor in U.S. history,” said Scott Cobb, of the Texas Moratorium Network.

“The governor, like most Texans, believes capital punishment is the appropriate penalty for those who commit the most heinous crimes,” said Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle.

At least five other condemned Texas inmates have execution dates in the coming weeks. Scheduled to die next, on July 16, is Kenneth Mosley for the 1997 shooting death of a Dallas-area police officer during a bank robbery.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Hooking Up With Old High School Classmates

Isn't the internet amazing. Who would have thought that several of my school classmates have gotten in contact with me over the last few days. Thanks to Facebook, I am no longer hidden. Just kidding. I was contacted by one girl that I went to high school with and she sent me a listing of all of our graduating class, with email, phone numbers and a short bio. My class is scattered to the four winds and yet can still be contacted. I love it. I have gotten email from folks I haven't heard from in 43 years. I graduated in 1966. I plan on keeping in better contact in the future.

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