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  • Article

    Merry Xmas, Mr. Waldhauser - A hearing officer finds that a convicted killer did not violate parole

    Things appear to be looking up for Walter Waldhauser Jr. After being convicted of playing a central role in a gruesome triple murder-for-hire in Houston in 1980, he was released from prison in 1990 after serving a third of his plea-bargained sentence...

    by Thomas Korosec on December 24, 1998
  • Article

    Let's Go Lobby - Midwives to laws you might not like

    With the state legislative session set to unfold in the new year, some of the best bullshitters in Texas, a.k.a. lobbyists, are honing their pitches on behalf of governments, industries and individual clients. There's a world of Lone Star State laws ...

    by Tim Fleck on December 24, 1998
  • Article

    Pass the Gas for Garza

    You can't fault Enron Oil & Gas chief executive Forrest E. Hoglund for lack of enthusiasm about recently elected Railroad Commissioner Tony Garza, the Republican secretary of state under Governor George W. Bush. In his zest for raising late-train cas...

    by Tim Fleck on December 24, 1998
  • Article

    News of the Weird

    Lead Stories *A November Associated Press dispatch described the work of commercial leech and maggot suppliers that sell to hospitals for medical treatments. A Welsh firm, Biopharm Ltd., moves about 20,000 three-inch-long leeches a year at $17 ea...

    by Chuck Shepherd on December 24, 1998
  • Article

    Letters

    Good Dream and Bad Perhaps my greatest disappointment in reading Brad Tyer's article about the crack and chip repair curbside business entrepreneurs ["Risky Business," December 10] was not that the Norrises were victims of extortion by a neighbor...

    on December 24, 1998
  • Article

    All Good Dogs Go to Heaven - The connection between pets and their owners doesn't necessarily end with death

    Shadows from the oaks sweep down across these few green acres of Southwest Houston, where barking guard dogs summon forth an unshaven man in a faded T-shirt. Caretaker John Alpert silences the canine sentries and shows a visitor the Houston Pet ...

    by George Flynn on December 17, 1998
  • Article

    King of the Pile - Butch Forrest lives off the land. Need a used doughnut fryer?

    Butch Forest is 53, on the tall side, gregarious, strong, nondescriptly handsome, with the sort of casually bearish bearing and the sort of textured skin tone and the sort of thatchy blond forearm hair that begs he be described as sandy. Central cast...

    by Brad Tyer on December 17, 1998
  • Article

    Carbonated Cash - Drink up, kids. Keep those soda dollars coming.

    Late in the fall, the Center for Science in the Public Interest released a "Liquid Candy" study warning that soaring soft drink consumption by kids constitutes a very real long-term health threat. Forty years ago, kids drank twice as much milk a...

    by Kimberly Reeves on December 17, 1998
  • Article

    Battle of the 'Bots

    The point of ELEC 201, Dr. John Bennett said, is to prove that engineering, and engineers, aren't dull. Explaining the joys of creation, Dr. Bennett quoted Sartre ("to do is to be"); he quoted John Stuart Mill ("to be is to do"), and he quoted Sinatr...

    by Randall Patterson on December 17, 1998
  • Article

    Coming Down to the Liar - The second sting trial ends where the investigation began

    Former city councilman Ben Reyes dabbed wearily at his shadowed eyes and momentarily seemed on the verge of tears. As a defendant in the city hall bribery conspiracy sting trial, his last stint on the witness stand inched toward a conclusion last wee...

    by Tim Fleck on December 17, 1998
  • Article

    News of the Weird

    Lead Stories *The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (Alberta, Canada) announced in November that this year's single permit to hunt an Alberta big-horn sheep was won by Sherwin Scott of Phoenix with a high bid of $405,000 (U.S.). The foundation will u...

    by Chuck Shepherd on December 17, 1998
  • Article

    Letters

    18-Wailers I read with some bemusement your recent article on the difficulties encountered by Pasadena police when trying to get trucking companies to obey the law ["Semi Safe," by Bob Burtman, December 3]. A couple of years ago, the Internal Rev...

    on December 17, 1998
  • Article

    Pass the Gasfor Garza

    You can't fault Enron Oil & Gas chief executive Forrest E. Hoglund for lack of enthusiasm about recently elected Railroad Commissioner Tony Garza, the Republican secretary of state under Governor George W. Bush. In his zest for raising late-train cas...

    by Tim Fleck on December 17, 1998
  • Article

    Secrets of the Sonora Aero Club - A tale of UFOs, art collectors and the shadows of history

    In 1899, Charles Dellschau, a grouchy retired butcher, began to paint amazing airships. His intricate collages show shiplike decks supported by striped balloon pontoons; they show bright-colored helicopters and evil-looking striped dirigibles outfitt...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on December 10, 1998
  • Article

    The Truth is Out There - Pharmacist Garland Gross says Deer Park police have abused him for ten years. Police say Gross is a jerk who harasses them.

    Someone is lying in Deer Park. Pharmacist Garland Gross says he's been subjected to a decadelong campaign of police harassment -- he's seen teams of cops periodically storm into his store for no reason, their guns drawn on startled and baffled em...

    by Richard Connelly on December 10, 1998
  • Article

    Balancing the Bench - Will race and bad blood play a part in the Guv's judicial picks?

    Texas Governor George Bush now has a chance to address the huge racial imbalance in the Harris County judiciary. Whether he does or not depends on a tangled set of judicial appointment considerations, including candidate resumes, party loyalty and fe...

    by Tim Fleck on December 10, 1998
  • Article

    The Thoughts of Chairman Brown

    Mayor Lee P. Brown must be getting tired of hearing that his administration can't communicate, because at a recent senior staff confab he unveiled a new weapon in the war for little minds. Brown's aides handed the assembled bureaucrats laminated pock...

    by Tim Fleck on December 10, 1998
  • Article

    Letters

    Courtside Manners I applaud you for your investigative enthusiasm ["Risky Business," by Brad Tyer, November 26]. You seem to have related a fair and objective story. It appears that the Norrises have been (and I hope still are) working well withi...

    on December 10, 1998
  • Article

    News of the Weird

    Lead Stories *Calgary, Alberta, construction worker Michael Pearse, age 22, an admitted hothead, pleaded guilty to making threats in 1996 while trying to find a friend's ex-girlfriend, but at his sentencing hearing in November 1998 he claimed to ...

    by Chuck Shepherd on December 10, 1998
  • Article

    D.on't - P.olice S.emis?

    Pasadena Police Sergeant Loni Robinson shuffles through a stack of hair-raising photos -- a truck with a c-clamp covering an air leak, another with frame cracked to the point of collapse -- and pulls out a picture of a wheel coated with oil from a le...

    by Bob Burtman on December 3, 1998
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