"Affluenza" Teen Ethan Couch's Dad Has Been Arrested for Pretending to Be a Cop

North Richland Hills Police Department
It seems like Fred Couch wasn't considering the consequences of his action.
You likely remember Ethan Couch, the then-16-year-old boy who, while drunk and stoned on Valium, drove his car into four people, killing them, and then got 10 years probation because of his privileged upbringing that the judge termed "affluenza"? Yeah, pretty sure you remember him.

Well: His father, Fred Couch, was arrested Tuesday morning and accused of (very poorly) impersonating a police officer.

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Plano Developers Won't Let Homeowners Install Solar Panels Because They're Just So Ugly

Categories: The 'Burbs

Plano developers think solar panels like these aren't very pretty, and would prevent sales.
Darn those young vegan-organic-diet, yoga-loving hippies with their electric cars and their solar panels. They must all be moving up to Plano from Austin, and frankly the Plano home builders and developers won't stand for it.

In 2011, state legislation forbade Home Owners Associations from banning solar panels on homes. But a fine-print clause pushed by the Texas Homebuilders Association stipulates that if a neighborhood is still under development, neighborhood developers and the HOA have the right to stop homeowners from installing solar panels.

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Dallas' Police Union Really Doesn't Want DA Craig Watkins to Investigate Police Shootings

DPA President Ron Pinkston doesn't think having two investigations at one crime scene will work out.
Last week, Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins announced the formation of a new Civil Rights Unit, a two-person team that will investigate shootings by officers independent of the police department. Chief David Brown supports the unit. "You can't have enough oversight when it comes to police-involved shootings," he said at Monday's town hall meeting. By being more open to the public about police shootings, the unit is meant to help restore the public's trust in law enforcement, Watkins said.

Engendering public faith in police officers is a goal Ron Pinkston, the Dallas Police Association's president, says he can get behind, but he doesn't take kindly to the fact that, come October 1, two non-police officers will have the full-time job of investigating when one of his members uses deadly force. On Monday, before the town hall meeting, the DPA released its own plan, which Brown can listen to or not, to improve the transparency of the department when one of its own shoots a suspect.

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In Fight Over Dallas' Racist Housing Policies, HUD Threw the Whistleblowers Under the Bus

Categories: Schutze

Wait. How do you know when you have the right Castro?
If the editorial in The Dallas Morning News this morning has any credibility, and I am sure it does, HUD has agreed to throw the whistleblowers under the bus in the Lockey/MacKenzie racial segregation complaint against the city of Dallas.

It's not a surprising outcome, because paying off the two developers who first accused Dallas five years ago of having a secret racist housing policy has always been the city's sticking point.

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Greg Abbott Shoots Down Local Rep's Call for Independent Watkins Investigation

Categories: Politics

Thumbnail image for Craig_Watkins_061910.jpg
Sam Merten
Craig Watkins
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott rejected a request from Republican state Representative Jason Villalba to investigate Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins' use of asset forfeiture funds to make good on a February 2013 traffic accident Watkins caused. Abbott told Villalba that he can't initiate an investigation based solely on a request from a legislator.

That doesn't mean Villalba is giving up just yet.

Debbie Denmon, spokeswoman for Watkins, says the district attorney was driving a county SUV to a law enforcement gathering to give a speech. On the Dallas North Tollway, Watkins glanced at his speech, Denmon says, and rear-ended another vehicle. Repairs to both vehicles, as well as the other driver's medical bills, were paid with forfeiture funds Watkins controls.

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Rick Perry Wisely Strikes Back with Video Targeting Travis County DA

Categories: Buzz

That image you see above is of a surprising email that just hit my (and probably yours) inbox from RickPac, Governor Rick Perry's federal political action committee.

The surprising part isn't that Perry's PAC is using his recent indictment to solicit contributions. All's fair ... when life gives you lemons ... etc. In fact, one wonders what took his people so long to throw this together. The indictment came down Friday, and here it is Tuesday already. Did someone have weekend plans?

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In Ferguson's Wake, Dallas' Law Enforcement Leaders Faced an Angry Crowd Last Night

Sky Chadde
DA Craig Watkins talks to families of victims of police shootings after his town hall meeting Monday night.
Zion Hayes, 14, stopped wanting to become a police officer last month. Until then, he had so much enthusiasm that he had his mom, Audrey Hayes, threw him a police-themed birthday party. But a run-in with a real Dallas officer changed Zion's career goals. Following a noise complaint at the house where he lives with his mom and two younger brothers-- Hayes says her sons had friends over who where playing loudly -- Zion says two white officers knocked on the door, and one younger brother let them in.

The officers walked to the back room, where Zion sat. He says he turned away from them, but the female officer tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. When Zion turned back, he says, "I had a very, very strict face on." But, "I was careful not to ball my fists," because, he says, "if I ball my fists then you feel like I'm threatening you." Zion kept his arms down and his palms open.

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Rick Perry, Second Coming or Poker-Cheating Cannibal? Who the Hell Knows?

Categories: Schutze

Governor Rick Perry, demonstrating the number of minutes it'll take to beat the indictment against him.
This is a first. In an editorial this morning The New York Times is defending Rick Perry. Sort of.

They offer major caveats, calling him, "one of the least thoughtful and most damaging state leaders in America, having done great harm to immigrants, abortion clinics and people without health insurance during his 14 years in office."

But then they say, "bad political judgment is not necessarily a felony," leading them to conclude that, "given the facts so far," Perry's recent indictment on criminal charges, "appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution."

They're actually willing to give the Perry indictment a little more credibility than I have been. Based on reporting I have been doing on an unrelated Austin story, the impeachment of Texas university system regent Wallace Hall, I figure it's not possible to come to any conclusion at all about the legitimacy of anything that happens in Austin, good, bad or interplanetary.

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TWU's On-Campus Housing Is So Overcrowded Students Have to Live at Holiday Inn

Emily Mathis
Ever wish you had maid service for your freshman dorm? Yeah, these kids might actually get that.
This year marks the third year in a row that Texas Woman's University in Denton will contract with a local Holiday Inn to provide housing for students. More than 100 students will be assigned to the off campus hotel that has been haphazardly labeled as campus housing.

"Students who have not completed 60 credit hours are required to live on campus," says TWU spokesperson Amanda Simpson. "So that's considered most freshman and sophomores. So basically there are more students than beds. Some students are in triple rooms. There are approximately 164 students that have been assigned to overflow housing, 114 of which are assigned to the Holiday Inn."

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Highland Park Lacrosse Player Beat Up Chef After Being Kicked Out of Party, Suit Claims

A previous iteration of the Cornell University lacrosse squad

Dallas caterer and restaurateur Andrew Ormsby, who operates an eponymous catering company out of the Cityplace tower and is one of the people behind the Ku De Ta day resort, filed a lawsuit in Dallas County accusing Domenic Massimilian, a Cornell University lacrosse player, of assault.

Massimilian, who played high school lacrosse at Highland Park High School before heading to Salisbury, a Connecticut prep school, and then Cornell, attended an event held at Ku De Ta, which is part of a compound that includes Ormsby's home, on May 29. During the event, Ormsby says, the teenager both drank and smoked pot. Ormsby claims he kicked Massimilian out of the party, but the teenager returned, punched Ormsby and then stomped and kicked him after he fell to the ground.

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