Entries in Dallas (18)

Saturday
Oct202012

Big Tex Goes Down in Flames at the State Fair of Texas

Big Tex, the 52-foot-tall cowboy whose slow drawl of ‘‘Howdy, folks!’’ made him an icon of the State Fair of Texas for 60 years, was destroyed Friday when flames engulfed his Dickies.

This year’s fair, which closes tomorrow and had been celebrating the towering structure’s birthday, went on despite the fire — just as Big Tex would want it.

‘‘Big Tex is a symbol of everything the state fair stands for,’’ fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding said. ‘‘Big Tex is where my parents told me, ‘If you get lost, meet at Big Tex.’’

The cowboy always was easy to spot, with his 75-gallon hat and 50-pound belt buckle.

Mr. Wolf attends the State Fair of Texas once every decade. Wednesday, was my first time back since 2002.  We tweeted from the State Fair, and there was even a rare Wolf in the wild (south Dallas) photo posted on Twitter. 

Photos of both the Wolf and Big Tex on Wednesdays outing are posted below. This was the final appearance at the State Fair of Texas for both of us . In honor of Big Tex, 2012 will be the Wolfs final State Fair of Texas.  Catch me at the annual Stock Show in Fort Worth. We attend regularly.

Gooding said she didn’t know what caused the fire, but noted that electrical controls move Big Tex’s mouth and head. Early reports indicated that Big Tex suffered an electrical short in his shorts that quickly spread to his Dickies.

There is no truth to the rumor that Big Tex suffered a fatal heart attack and was cremated at the Fair Park.   It is estimated that  Big Tex consumed over 10,000 pounds of fried butter, fried ice cream, fried snickers, fried twinkies, fried bacon cinnamon rolls, fried cotton candy, fried sugar, fried Samonas (the cookies not the people) fried Kit-Kats, fried red velvet cupcakes and other deep fried concoctions while attending every single day of the State Fair of Texas for sixty years.

Bill Bragg, the voice of Big Tex who read scripts from a nearby trailer while the giant cowboy’s mouth moved, said someone came in and told him the structure was on fire. He stepped outside the trailer and watched Big Tex burn.

‘‘It was a quick end,’’ said Bragg, who is a radio engineer outside the three weeks a year that he works at the fair. Big Tex quickly succumbed to smoke inhalation, which kept him from suffering for long.

Several Big Tex backers say he will return next year, including Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who tweeted that the icon would be rebuilt ‘‘bigger and better for the 21st Century, using fire retardant Dainties and Dickies.

The structure was removed later Friday in essentially the same way workers put it up every year — with a crane that slowly lowers it. Only this time, the steel skeleton was covered with a tarp and taken away in  funeral-like procession.

Stanley Hill, who supervises a deep fried peanut butter stand that has been located near the structure for 18 years, said he noticed smoke coming from Big Tex’s neck area  and heard Big Tex say, Howdy folks, my Dickies are on fire.  Hill then watched for about 15 minutes as the giant cowboy burned. ‘‘I couldn’t believe it,’’ Hill said.

RIP Big Tex 1952-2012


 

Monday
Oct152012

Commuter Alert: Dallas is One of the Most Dangerous Cities in USA

Dallas police are looking for a suspect who shot and killed a security officer on Friday night.

The family of Rufino Hernandez said he died doing his job trying to protect the innocent who lived in a high crime apartment complex.

Cassie Hernandez couldnt hold back the tears as she shared pictures and talked about her beloved father. I just called him Smiley, because he was always smiling really big, she said.

The father of two was killed Friday night in the guard shack at the Pecan Way Apartments in South Dallas. Police said someone robbed him, stole his gun, and shot him. Its absolutely senseless with him, said friend Brandon Moreno. He had no enemies.

Hernandez’ family said he wanted to open his own security firm because thats what he loved to do. “He wanted to make sure that people were safe around him, Moreno said.

Hernandez knew his job was dangerous. The apartment complex he guarded is considered by Dallas police to be among the most dangerous in the city. Dallas police officers dont respond to calls there until at least four officers can enter together. Welcome to Dallas!

The apartments are north of Interstate Highway 20 between Highway 67 and 75. All three highways are major commuter routes to downtown Dallas and points north. Law-abiding commuters should seriously considering carry a fire arm in their vehicles. Non prohibited persons do not need a permit to carry a concealed handgun in their vehicle in Texas. Arm yourself and always be aware of your surroundings.

On Saturday morning, WFAA News 8 observed half a dozen squad cars respond to a minor incident at the complex.

The police actually said he was crazy for being there by himself in those complexes, Moreno said.

Hernandez would have been 43 on today. His family was planning a birthday celebration that now will be a funeral. “He always treated everyone good…, Hernandez told WFAA, adding the two of them joked around as she drove him to work on his final night. She takes comfort in that. I said, I love you. Take care. But I know hes with me and always going to be, and I know that, she said.

Dallas police did not have any suspects in the murder of Rufino Hernandez. Dallas is a very dangerous city and murders happen almost daily in Dallas County. 

Wednesday
Jul252012

Beating A Police Officer Until He Fears for His Life Will Get You Shot

You can murder a person with your bare hands.  If you try to beat an armed person to death, the odds are youre going to die.  You may want to consider this before you attempt to beat someone, especially a police officer to death.  The criminal justice system will be left to figure it all out while youre burning in hell.  Adios MOFO.

Texas Penal Code:

Sec. 9.32.  DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.  (a)  A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

(1)  if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and

(2)   when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A)  to protect the actor against the others use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

(B)  to prevent the others imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

A Dallas police officer shot and killed James Harper, a well know south Dallas drug dealer and convicted felon on Tuesday.  This prompted angry neighbors near Fair Park to take to the streets in protest.

The shooting happened at about 5:30 p.m. at a known drug house in the 5300 block of Bourquin Street while, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, police were responding to a kidnapping call.

Brown said four suspects fled the house via various means, including by breaking windows. He said officers saw a gun on a table in the house and that crack cocaine was also present.

According to Brown, eight-year DPD veteran Officer Brian Rowden chased James Harper, fighting the suspect three times. Rowden was losing fight and was exhausted when, according to Brown, Harper said, Youre going to have to kill me.

Rowden feared for his life and fatally shot Harper, Brown said.

Word of the shooting quickly spread through the neighborhood as family members and the curious rushed to the scene, eventually amassing in the hundreds and prompting police to call for additional crowd control, including SWAT. In fact, officers armed with pepper ball guns and shields forced the crowd back amid reports of people trying to cut through fences to gain access to the shooting scene.

Immediately following the shooting and throughout most of the evening, a chaotic crowd swelled, diminished and regrouped. At one point, a fight broke out between among the protesters.

Brown said much of the drama could be due to a family feud in the neighborhood. In fact, he said, a 911 call that initially drew police to the scene was likely bogus and an intentional, retaliatory act.

Despite the incitement to riot, there were no reports of arrests or injuries.  The results of this investigation will be presented to a Grand Jury to determine if the officer acted within the law.  Unfortunately, the prosecutor in the George Zimmerman case, intentionally bypassed the Grand Jury process, because she feared Zimmerman would not be indicted. 

There will be no such miscarriage of justice in this case.

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Thursday
Feb232012

Current Dallas ICE/HSI SAC Dines with Ousted SAC Chakwin

Sources tell me that ICE Homeland Security Investigations SAC/Dallas Dave Marwell is a friend of ousted SAC John Chakwin Jr.  Chakwin was given the option to retire or be transferred from Dallas.  He went kicking and screaming and even threatened to file either an EEO complaint or a lawsuit against ICE.  He later negotiated a settlement, where he would be allowed to stay at home and burn sick leave for almost a year, then retire in good standing, with his high three as an SES SAC.

I was told that Chakwin planned on returning to Florida after he retired on December 31, 2011. But numerous agents have told me Chakwin still lives in the metroplex.

Chakwin was recently seen recently dining with Marwell and retired ASAC Nancy Kratzer at Humperdinks.

Sources tell me he is  friends with the new SAC.  There is some speculation that he may have even had a hand in selecting Marwell.

I have also been told that Marwell has agreed to extend the contract of Pete Delasandro, a retired annuitant, hired by Chakwin.  SAC/Atlanta agents know the story on Pete.  Ive been told its another case of an ICE management official being pushed out of the door before he wanted to go.  Pete himself told me that he retired suddenly. 

I dont know Marewell but I do know Chakwin.  I personally believe that Chakwin is the least trustworthy person who I have ever met in law enforcement.  If Chakwin told me water was wet, Id get a second opinion.  Nancy Kratzers continued relationship with Chakwin also speaks volumes.

Marwell was previously based in Denver which was responsible Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah but unlike Dallas, Denver is not an SES SAC position.  Marwell was previously assigned as the ICE attache in Bern, Switzerland.

Marwell earned his bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University in Boston, the alma mater of former Dallas ASAC Tim OConnor, who currently resides in Colorado.

ICE top level management is primarily staffed by a tight knit core of former Customs Office of Investigation agents who worked closely with Marcy Forman .  Chakwin is, based on my experience, a vengeful, vindictive man with no redeeming qualities.  Consider yourself warned, SAC/Dallas HSI agents. 

Wednesday
Jan042012

2011-2012 Dallas Cowboys Commemorative Poster