Chain Gang story of the day

I just … OK. OMG. That’s all I’ve got to say. OMG.

From Huffington Post:

Manuael Ernest Dillow, a Virginia high school teacher, has been arrested for allegedly shooting a blank gun at his students during class earlier this month. He faces 12 felony charges of brandishing a firearm on school property.


“One for each student who was in there. And basically the charges result of inciting fear into the students,” Washington County Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman told WCYB. None of the students were hurt.

But they are all a little stupider for having known him.

Read more.



Art in the park

People. Thousands and thousands of people, with Judy just ahead

 Huge crowds, music, food, and what had to a thousand artists–welcome to Atlanta’s Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park. And check out my blog post on Greg Stones’ Zombie Art if you haven’t already.

We found a great piece by photographer Kyle Spears at the Dogwood Festival today and now it’s on our wall.  If you don’t get a chance to check out his booth Sunday at Piedmont park, you can check out his website and see what he’s up to. He’s from Bloomington, Indiana and travels all over the world. The photo we purchased was taken in the Montmarte district of Paris last year. Judy and I both agree we want to go to there, as Liz Lemon would say. By the way, the red fist you see is part of the Hunter Thompson Gonzo logo on his T-shirt. After we talked about being professionally weird, he thorugh in a bonus print of the good Doctor as a bonus. Thanks, Kyle. May the bats never attack you.

Kyle Spears with our new picture



Zombie art @ Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Greg Stones

Judy and I had a great time at Piedmont Park’s Dogwood Festival. We were looking for something great and found it. There was an endlessa array of arts, crafts, food, drink, and music. Click to see our post, “Art in the Park.”  Our favorite display, besides Kyle Spears’ photography, was the off-kilter gouache art by Greg Stones.

Greg was selling gouache prints; his stuff is offbeat and hilarious, with a sci-fi, Far Side look. He’s also published a book, Zombies Hate Stuffand he was selling one about every two minutes. We absolutely had to buy a copy. Zombies Hate Stuff is published by Chronicle Books, but his first two were self-published.  Scroll down for more pictures.

If you’re at Piedmont Park Sunday, at least get his book—a bargain at any price–and check out his prints, too. They’re funny as hell. (Scroll down for more pictures.)

From the book description:

Zombies hate clowns. They also hate hippies, not to mention zip-lines, penguins, moon penguins, nudists, weddings, sharing, and kittens. They really hate unicorns, and strangely don’t mind Canadians. Each colorful painting reveals an amusing and unexpected scene of zombie disgruntlement, cataloging the stuff that really riles up the walking dead.

If you can’t make it the festival (and you should), checkk out Greg’s website, The Zombie Penguin, where you can order a signed copy of the book.


Zombies hate disrespect

Robot vs. UFO









PTA embezzlement alert: There’s something rotten in Buckhead

There’s money missing from Atlanta’s E. Rivers Elementary School PTA and foundation. The amount taken from the Buckhead parents’ groups hasn’t been revealed, but police are investigating, and reportedly nearly $54,000 has been recovered. A parent and a former Signature Bank employee (same person?) are suspected and authorities are still sorting things out.

From the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

“It is one of our parents,” PTA Co-President Elise Lowry said during the meeting at Covenant Presbyterian Church, across Peachtree Road from the school.

Lowry alerted Atlanta police to the missing money on March 7, according to an incident report obtained by the AJC. Lowry reported that an account audit by the PTA discovered missing check payments from Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

Lowry told police that she confirmed checks in excess of $20,000 were deposited into a bank account at Signature Bank, and that a person suspected in the theft worked at the bank, according to the incident report.

“The money was never taken from our account. It was intercepted before it ever got to us,” Lowry said at the Tuesday night meeting.

The amount of money missing from the school’s account apparently has grown since the initial report. A budget distributed at the PTA meeting showed $53,821.19 has been recovered.

Attorney Steven Dunlevie, a spokesman for Signature Bank, would only say that the individual in question worked at the bank from March 1, 1995, to April 9, 2012. Dunlevie, with the Womble Carlyle firm, would not comment on why the person left the bank.

Read more.

Appeals court hears jaywalking mom’s case

Meanwhile, the new trial she was granted in Cobb County is on hold. 

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

 A woman found guilty in the death of her 4-year-old son when she jaywalked on a busy Cobb County street appealed her conviction Tuesday. 

Raquel Nelson was granted a retrial last fall after a Cobb County jury found her guilty of vehicular homicide in the 2010 death of her son, A.J. Newman.

 Tuesday morning her attorney, Steve Sadow, told the Court of Appeals of Georgia that the Cobb County Solicitor’s office presented insufficient evidence to prove that Nelson was criminally responsible for her son’s death, or to prove that the death wasn’t accidental.

 The driver in this case, Jerry Guy, who was driving while intoxicated , has already served a six-month jail term in connection with the fatal accident.

Prosecutors are displeased with the local court’s decision to grant a new trial and are fighting this thing because they’re fighting “chaos.”

 The Cobb Solicitor General’s office did not provide an oral argument. But in a 29-page brief acquired from the Court of Appeals by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cobb Solicitor General Barry E. Morgan questioned Tankersly’s decision to grant an appeal while defending the evidence used in Nelson’s initial conviction.

“After the trial, the trial court … without providing its rationale, granted appellant a new trial,” the brief said. “The State contends that a jury of [the] Appellant’s peers had ample evidence to support its verdict, and urges this court to deny [the] Appellant’s appeal.”

Morgan’s brief identified two points to support denying the appeal:

1. “The meaning of the term ‘roadway’ in [Georgia’s statute for crossing a road outside a crosswalk] is unambiguous,” and Nelson “was charged with violating this statute because she crossed Austell Road … when it was unsafe to do so.”

2. “To adopt [the] Appellant’s assertion – that a pedestrian has the right of way across all lanes of traffic on a divided highway when she sets foot in the first lane of travel – would create chaos and danger for both drivers and pedestrians. When a pedestrian chooses to cross a divided highway … outside the protection of a crosswalk, she risks her own safety [as] well as the safety of those with her.”

Read more.


Left behind: Georgia edition

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has done analysis of high shool graduation numbers. The facts shout down Gov. Sonny Perdue’s farewell boast of an 80 percent success rate.

According to the AJC:

A new method of calculating graduation rates reveals two things about Georgia high school students: More are dropping out than had been previously counted and a sizable number are taking five or six years to earn a diploma.

Georgia’s 2011 graduation rate plummeted 13 percentage points under the state’s new formula, to 67.4 percent from 80.9 percent. Before the new calculation, which was released last week, school districts often masked dropouts as transfers; they could also count students as graduates no matter how long it took them to finish.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of the new graduation data shows seven metro Atlanta districts lost even more ground than did the state as a whole. In addition, 57 Georgia schools, 20 of them in metro Atlanta, failed to graduate even half of their students.

Click on the link to see the analysis. Read more.