By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Highlights from Hair Balls
A 19-year-old man who allegedly planned to shoot up a Katy school before committing suicide has been arrested after cops were tipped off about his online bragging, police say.
Patrick Joseph Hudson, who works at a Rosenberg Office Max, dubbed himself "SS_Patrick" online in an October 1 posting and praised people who had been involved in school-shooting incidents, court documents show.
The documents indicate Hudson put some thought into how to get the maximum effect out of his plan, in a chilling way. The court documents read:
During the chat session "SS_Patrick" posted, "what better way to go out with a bang than killing a bunch of little kids. "SS_Patrick" then posts "and after that...don't want to live through the trails [sic] and jaile [sic]...so I off myself in the classroom."
Later, in response to another chat that suggested he could shoot his brain all over them (kids), "SS_Patrick" stated that he would leave a few survivors so that a select few would never grow up correctly.
"SS_Patrick" then states "not only did I fuck with dead kids. I fucked with alive ones too."
"The threat did not specify a particular school, but referenced elementary school children," the FBI says.
In his postings Hudson noted the average call time it would take police to respond to an incident, and talked about the camera he wanted to use to document the violence.
FBI agents contacted Hudson, who initially called the postings "a joke" based on song lyrics. Bond has been set at $100,000, the FBI says.
School officials said they were made aware of the threat and that students were not in danger.
The letter Katy ISD sent home to parents:
October 3, 2012
Dear Parents and Staff:
Katy ISD was notified by the FBI yesterday that threatening statements were made by an individual in an Internet chat room towards an "elementary school." While no specific school or district was named, the district was made aware of the situation as the suspect lives in Katy. It was determined that there was no immediate threat to any Katy ISD district campus or facility as the suspect was in the company of FBI agents throughout the day. The individual was later charged and arrested for making a terroristic threat.
The purpose of this message is not to alarm you, but to let you know that potential threats are always taken seriously. Whenever potential threats are brought to the attention of the district, we will work with area law enforcement to determine its credibility and take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all students and staff.
I would also like to stress the important role we all have in keeping our students and schools safe. Research shows that in cases involving school violence, someone knew something about the threat but never alerted anyone. Please take this time to talk to your children about the important role we all have in keeping our schools safe by reporting potential threats to the proper authorities. The safety and security of students and staff members on our campuses is of the highest priority and by working together we can ensure that we provide safe teaching and learning environments.
Superintendent, Katy ISD
By John Royal
I feel that I owe an apology to Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond. It took me a few years before I accepted them as members of the Astros radio crew. Mostly that was due to my affection for Alan Ashby, who was unfairly forced out of the booth.
Once I got in tune with them, I liked them. They knew their stuff. When they worked together on road games, they had a really good chemistry and worked well with each other. The home broadcast was another issue, and it was always uncomfortable listening to them force themselves to give way to Milo Hamilton. I was really looking forward to seeing what they would do when Hamilton was gone.
But we're never going to get the chance to find out.
Yesterday, in the latest of a seemingly never-ending string of PR blunders, the Astros decided to fire Dolan and Raymond. And with the futures of Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies still up in the air, it's looking increasingly like the Astros have decided the best way to move into a new league is to fire everybody and bring in new people.
"We appreciate the work Brett and Dave have done for us over the past seven seasons and wish them well," team president George Postolos said in the Houston Chronicle. "We are excited to begin the search for the new radio broadcast team of the Astros and look forward to finding a great talent to succeed Milo."
While Postolos, Astros owner Jim Crane and their minions are excited by this move, the question has to be asked: Why? Seriously, why? Why all of the continuing efforts to piss off the fans? Why not give the guys a chance to finally own the broadcast after years of having to be second bananas to the increasingly out-of-touch Hamilton?
"It was a unique situation," Dolan told the Chronicle. "It was hard to establish traction, which I guess is the best word, when you're in a situation where Milo casts such a large shadow and you're rotating in and out of the booth. I knew it would be a challenge. You just hope you can make the best of it. But that run is over."
While this move is mystifying, it makes sense when you consider just how clueless and tone-deaf this club and its marketing, business, and PR people have become over the past several months. It's like every good thing done by Jeff Luhnow and the folks on the baseball side has to be countermanded by something that will piss off what few remaining fans the team has left.
There was the erector-set billboard blocking the view in left field. There was inviting people to lunch with Joe Niekro. There's the fact they don't know the players on their own team — they tweeted about J.D. Martinez hitting a home run that was actually hit by Fernando Martinez. Or that they tweeted a photo of the lineup several weeks ago with Jed Lowrie batting leadoff but said he was hitting cleanup, then refused to change it when informed of the error. There was forcing the players to pimp tickets on their Twitter accounts.
In the end, most Astros fan will accept whatever changes the Astros make, just as I accepted Brett and Dave — I never accepted Milo Hamilton, however, who will never be as qualified a broadcaster as Gene Elston was. But that's what fans do, they accept, especially if they're going to keep listening to the games.
And it makes you wonder what's next? What happens with Jim Deshaies and Bill Brown? Is Bob Ford, one of the great PA voices in all of baseball , safe or will he be replaced as the team goes about starting over? Should ushers start looking for new jobs because they have to be replaced — after all, they too represented the team this season.
I've supported a lot of what Crane has done on the baseball end. Jeff Luhnow's done a tremendous job of stocking the farm. Hell, that guy was actually able to trade Carlos Lee twice in one week. And Luhnow's made what appears to be a lot of smart hires in the front office.
But damn it, for all of the good done by Luhnow, Crane and the idiots working for him are making it hard to be a fan of the Astros. Sure the team's getting new uniforms, and a new logo, and new colors. Sure they're probably dumping that damn train and bulldozing that stupid hill, but those are just cosmetic changes; changes that don't mean anything, especially when compared with the things that show utter contempt for the fans, like bad billboards and not knowing which former players are dead, or firing two guys who got stuck working with Milo Hamilton and never received a real chance to show what they can do on their own.