Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dollar Tree theft has major economic impact

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May 23, 2017–Fredericksburg Police Dept. reported a break-in and theft over the weekend at the Dollar Tree located at Hwy 290 West.

A thief or thieves entered the store in mid-afternoon on Friday. Witnesses reported seeing a 10-foot enclosed trailer backed up to the store’s front door around 2:30 pm.

“Yeah, we just thought it was Dollar Tree people getting ready for the holiday weekend,” said Genie Auel, who was walking out of Altos de Jalisco. “They looked like they worked there.”

The amount of goods stolen was significant, according to store manager Justin O’Toole.

“They cleaned out nearly half of our inventory,” O’Toole said. While the financial hit is significant, O’Toole expressed concern for his regular customers. “With the Fourth of July coming up, we are really worried about our regulars who expect the Dollar Tree to serve their need for red, white, and blue paper napkins, glitter centerpieces, and pastel flip-flops for those Fourth picnics. It’s also going to be tough on families needing cleaning supplies and one-ply paper towels.”

The thieves were uninterrupted in their crime spree, as the store had no customers at the time and the lone checker was on break.

Insurance adjusters estimated the financial loss to be around $240.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Misdirected March on Washington

Iowa City, Iowa–Some muddled directions led to a mixup for a local political action group.
A busload of activist women boarded a Greyhound bus in this Iowa university town on Saturday with the intent of joining the throngs marching on the nation’s capitol. Instead of Washington, D.C., the driver took them to Washington, Iowa, a small county seat about 60 miles away.
As the marchers spilled from the bus, there was confusion all around. One rider was heard to comment, "That didn’t take as long as I expected."
On the courthouse steps, local farmers stopping by to pay their property tax bills were speculating on why 80 young women were dropped in their town square.
"The election is over, and the county fair isn't until August," said one.
The misdirected marchers decided to make the best of it, and marched around the square seven times to symbolize the Seven Sisters that are used to symbolize everything from liberal arts colleges to a globular cluster.
By the end of the laps, the women met locals over herbal tea at The Coffee Corner. Plans are to make it an annual event.
"There are nice folks here," said a spokesperson. "Plus, the trip is shorter and they have a lovely fountain."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ethnic group to protest Cracker Barrel name

August, 2013–Crowds plan to gather outside a popular Texas restaurant next weekend, and it won’t be to line up for Grandpa's Country Fried Breakfast®.

No, this meal mashup is part of a nationwide protest against the Cracker Barrel Restaurant chain. Neil Daly, President of White Hispanics & Tan Europeans (W.H.I.T.E), is leading the effort.

Daly–noting the national hoopla over the racist and demeaning names of sports teams such as the Redskins, Braves, and Chiefs–is focused on removing “racist” names of the popular restaurants that line the national interstate highway system.

“They call it Cracker Barrel, for goodness sake!” said Daly, who claims English-Irish descent. “How can they name a restaurant ‘Cracker?’ We all know what that means. It is a demeaning putdown of the newest minority of Texans. Don’t tell me it’s a coincidence. Just step inside any Cracker Barrel anywhere and what do you see? A bunch of older white people eating grits, buying pecan logs, and listening to Boxcar Willie CDs. Don’t tell me that’s not stereotyping.”

A Cracker Barrel spokesman dismissed any racial undertones in the name of the restaurant.

“When our founder chose the name Cracker Barrel, he was referring to the old general store practice of selling crackers, pickles, and sewing needles in large barrels placed by the counter,” the spokesman said. “While we realize the meanings of words change, we didn’t expect there to be any problem with the word ‘cracker.’ Now, ‘crack’ we were worried about. We were afraid patrons might equate that with meth labs, which are often found within a few blocks of many of our restaurant locations. Or ‘Morning Sampler.’ But not ‘cracker.’”

Daly noted that protesters plan to slow down the already “measured” service, by taking longer to decide on whether to order home fries or hash browns with the pancakes on their The Cracker Barrel Country Boy Breakfast®. Protesters also plan to stand outside the front doors of the busy restaurants. Or, as Daly explained, “We might sit in those wooden rocking chairs. Our protestors are a bit older and those rockers are mighty comfortable.”

Even with the access to comfortable seating, Daly cautions this won’t be a quick fix.

“We realize we are facing a big challenge with these methods, as it will be hard to detect any difference from a typical customer experience at Cracker Barrel. But we are willing to make some sacrifices to finally get rid of the ‘C’ word.”

The group does not plan to stop at protesting Cracker Barrels. Daly listed possible future targets such as White Castle, Pale Ale, and any establishment that calls itself a “honkytonk.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bookless Library clever use of Stimulus Funding

by Nick Bottom

While some complain that the recently-renovated Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library has shed about 20% of its books, writing letters to the editor and generally complaining, few realize how clever the culling of those books really is.
"Sure, we've had to part with some great books," said Tommy E. Reader, head librarian, "like most of Dickens, Tolstoy, and Jackie Collins. But the absence of books is only part of the real story."
Indeed, many library patrons, after visiting the shiny new library have remarked the renovations look great, but have asked, "Where are the books?"
It seems a little-known part of the massive federal stimulus bill provides funding for libraries to remove books.
"It's a little like the farm subsidy program," the head librarian noted. "Instead of getting paid not to plant a crop, we're getting paid to not shelve books."
In fact, the library staff has grown since the remodeled library re-opened.
"With these federal dollars rolling in, it made sense to hire more folks, especially in these hard times. A job is a job. When the federal government will pay you to not shelve a book, we figured we could also get paid to not check out a book, not repair worn books, and not point out books to patrons seeking information or enlightenment."
The future looks bright at the bookless library. Since the non-books do not take up space, nor weigh anything, there are plans to open up branch libraries in the future.
A branch library containing, say, 100,000 non-books would take up the same amount of space as a small linen closet. "We hope to open a branch in every neighborhood in the county," said Reader. "Of course, they'll be small branches, but they'll have the same number of books as the main library."
And since the non-books have no weight, several bicycle-based "Bookmobiles" are planned.
"Just imagine all the kids we will be able to serve this summer," he continued.
"Imagine children running to the book-mobile bicycle, smiles on their faces, being able to take home as many non-books as they imagine they can hold."
Bookless libraries are just the start of a great economic trend. In fact, many school districts are studying the idea of student-less school districts, while local governments are hoping to adopt politician-less city councils.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Woman builds grottos to her 5 husbands

September 19, 2011 - Cleo Patrick has found a unique way to honor the five husbands she has lost over the past decade. The Frisco widow has built an elaborate rock grotto in memory of each one.

Five solid rock arches, planters, benches, and crosses dot the widow’s suburban backyard. Patrick just completed her latest structure, a limestone barbecue, in honor of her fifth husband.

“I just find it therapeutic to work out my frustrations and anger by digging holes, stacking stone, and slinging mud,” she said.

All of her husbands have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While police have suspected foul play, they have not been able to turn up any evidence that would stand up in court.

“We’ve dug into Patrick’s past, but just can’t find anything that places her as a suspect,” said Detective Sander Adams, who was enjoying a hamburger hot off Patrick’s latest project. “It’s like they were just swallowed up by the earth.”

Shortly before the loss of her first husband, Patrick signed up for a “Building with Rock” course offered at her local community education center. After he disappeared one spring day, Patrick built her first project - a stone bench - utilizing the skills she learned there, with the help of her instructor, whom she later married.

“I find that a good marriage - like a good grotto - starts with a solid foundation,” Patrick said. “First you have to dig deep, then fill in the hole with several feet of cement. That way no old skeletons can come up; and no marriage can fall down.”

Patrick is currently engaged to Detective Adams, who is eager to help his new wife start on her latest project.

“She’s drawing up plans for a fish pond,” said Adams. “I’m hoping I can be a part of that project.”

Monday, September 12, 2011

Save Inn has earthquake

Sept 12, 2011 - Diners at a local restaurant in Kerrville got a real shake up on Tuesday when they heard a loud boom and felt the tables shaking. Some residents believed it was an explosion at the nearby gas station, but officials with the U.S. Geological Survey say, no, it was an earthquake that registered .6 on the Richter Scale.

“We were just finishing up the lunch special when we felt the table shake,” said Vic Hammit. “I just sat there, watching the salt shaker shift over about a quarter of an inch.”

Waitresses quickly restored calm and served everyone a free cup of peach cobbler.

USGS officials pinpointed the epicenter of the quake under the front steps of the popular restaurant. The incident was extremely localized, with no effects felt at nearby businesses.

With global warming and redistricting, experts predict more of these localized earthquakes. “You might be sitting in your Lazy Boy recliner, and feel a temblor, while your spouse on the couch would be unshaken,” said one official. “We’ve even seen cases where a mini-quake shakes up someone’s bowl of Cheerios while a bowl of oatmeal at the same table doesn’t even quiver.”

In other news, across town, diners on the patio at Francisco’s experienced a severe thunderstorm.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Texas couple calls for ban on straight marriage

Aug 13, 2011 - Texans Lester and Marie Hackberry have started a grassroots campaign calling on Congress to ban heterosexual marriage.

The Jasper couple, who have been married 42 years, have hired an attorney and begun contacting media outlets to promote their issue.

“We see the double standard in our culture,” said Lester. “Gay couples have enjoyed non-marriage forever; we believe us normal, God-fearing Americans should have that same right to live together without being under contract by the state.”

An attorney for the Hackberrys listed the benefits that accrue to gay couples.

“Look, they can live together without the commitment and fear that a legal, binding marriage certificate creates. When they get tired of each other, they don’t have to go through a lengthy and contentious divorce; they just go find another partner. They don’t have to have kids. They enjoy two incomes, and they agree on how to shop. What married couple wouldn’t love that setup?”

There has been a mixed reaction from the one local gay couple that lives in Jasper, who agreed to be interviewed without giving last names. “It just doesn’t seem fair,” said Herb. “I mean, the one institution we gay couples enjoy in this country is the right to not be married. It’s practically in the constitution, and definitely in the Baptist bible. Straight couples should just stick to their vows and not mess up things for the rest of us.”

Herb’s partner, Theodore, takes a different view. “I say, if straight people want to break the bonds of matrimony, who are we to stop them? Let them not eat cake.”

For Marie and Lester, the dream of non-marriage, while tempting, remains elusive. “I look at our gay neighbors, grilling on the deck, entertaining other couples, changing partners, not having to visit their sick spouses in the hospital, and I say, Why can’t we straight folks enjoy relationships like that? No, we are stuck ‘til death do us part.’ Modern marriage is slavery!”

In a related story, a white couple is lobbying to bring back slavery. “We’ve lost our jobs, our home is under water, and Slim’s Motor Sales repossessed our Jeep. At this point I’d pay to be somebody’s slave. At least we’d have a job, a place to sleep, and know where our next meal was coming from.”