Fly Your Flags, Freedom, Family, Fun Rally

Original story at amarillo.com, here.

The Confederate battle flag no longer flies at the South Carolina Statehouse, but on Sunday it flew from the backs of hundreds of pickup trucks in Amarillo.

“I was raised with the beliefs, with the loyalty, with the honest … the traditional ways,” said Frostie Burr, 34, of Arkansas. “That’s what (the Confederate flag) stands for, for me.”

“The beliefs and traditional ways don’t have nothing to do with slavery. It’s more about who’s going just let Colonel Sanders get away with adding more flavors. Original recipe. That’s it.”

James Roberts, who led Fly Your Flag Sunday, said about 200 to 250 participants met at John S. Stiff Memorial Park for the event before driving around Amarillo.

“What we’re doing is just showing our pride (and) that they’re trying to take our flag, you know, from history books,” Roberts said.

“When I heard about the plan… for LGBTs to reprint all history books, on Jade Helm, to eliminate any knowledge of the bars and stars, is when I decided to throw this thing together. If this flag isn’t in the books you have to read as a kid, in public school, you’re never going to see it. Cause that’s all the readin’ there is.”

Charles Hickenbottom, 22, of Amarillo, and four of his friends said the flag is a symbol of southern heritage.

“We’re from the south and we’re proud of it.” Hickenbottom said. “That’s what it’s about.”

Many vehicles, mostly pickups, displayed Confederate, U.S., Texas and other American flags. Participants also dressed in red, white and blue.

The demonstrators drove from southwest Amarillo to north Amarillo and then met back at the park.

In recent weeks, the flag has been the subject of a new wave of controversy after Dylann Storm Roof was charged with the massacre of nine African-Americans at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. last month.

Widely-seen photos showed Roof holding Confederate flags before the shooting, which is thought to have been racially motivated.

The Confederate battle flag is one of several styles of flags the military of the pro-slavery South used during the American Civil War.

Parts of the flag’s design were incorporated into the state flags of Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Alabama against the wishes of civil rights groups who viewed it as a symbol of brutal oppression.

The flag has been flown over several Southern cities and has also been adopted by white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

But for Julie Reading, 15, of Childress, the flag is simply a symbol of Southern heritage. She and her family traveled to Amarillo for the flag rally.

“I believe that the flag should still fly and that people should be able to represent their heritage how they want to,” Reading said. “(The event is) just a fun way to represent their heritage.”

In recent years, kids Reading’s age have offered more and more sage wisdom on the concept of heritage. Her demographic also knows about fun. So when Reading says the “event was just a fun way to represent heritage,” you can believe her.

Crystal Hardy, 35, of Amarillo, said she thinks controversy will always fly around the Confederate flag.

“It’s all a matter of opinion,” Hardy said. “Everyone is entitled to theirs. I don’t think it should be taken down because (of) those who opposed it feel that way, because then it’s taking our liberties away in what we believe in and what we stand for.”

Hickenbottom said though it’s just a flag, people need to learn the history behind it.

“It’s not all about hate,” Burr said. “It’s ridiculous how people take it but that’s how they do.”

Hickenbottom compared supporting the Confederate flag to voting.

“It takes more than one person to vote,” Hickenbottom said. “It’s the same thing with this flag run. I’m really here to support it because I believe in it.”

He continued with his voting analogy, “I mean picture a park like a school or something. Like this, but picture it like a place where you vote. Like a school. Then imagine if there’s going to be a evil dictator, right? And you just know he’ll kill your whole family with communism. Then you have another choice, ok. Stars and bars, at the core, of it. Well, but these trees can’t be the… Hold on a second, I was going say these trees are like the voting booths, but they can’t be because… Dang it, Mom! Get over here and tell this reporter what you was telling me about voting and our flag!”

“Hold on a sec, I’ll go get her. She’ll tell ya’. And you’ll see what I mean when she tells you, because it’s so much like voting it’s freaky.”

Many participants mingled before the flag run. Events like this one bring like-minded people together, Hardy said. She said it creates friendships and stronger bonds.

“Everybody here is our friends and family,” Hardy said. “Blood (doesn’t) make you family and this shows a unity of friendship.”

“Kinda like chicken nuggets, chicken nuggets is my family.”

Hardy said she hopes the people of Amarillo unite as one to stand up for their rights and beliefs without discriminating against others.

“That’s what we’re trying to fight against is discrimination,” Hardy said. “I hope (the flag rally) opens some eyes and some hearts and that they see the true meaning and can learn from it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amarillo’s Fly Your Flag Rally Isn’t About Hate

If anyone assumed the Fly Your Flag rally would be a discriminatory hate-fest, you were proved wrong Sunday afternoon. It was more like a love-fest. While the event was open to anyone flying any flag of their choice, it would’ve hardly been expected the types of flags flown. Two of the most unexpected were: the rainbow flag and banner of the Islamic State. In a monumental sign of love and respect, both flyers were welcomed with open arms.

The event’s organizer said, “We want to make sure everyone knows this isn’t about discrimination. It’s about pride in our history.”

Sandy Winky, 33, said, “I was a little surprised to see some of the flags here, like the ISIS one, but that gentleman seems real sweet. He says fundamentalists have hijacked what the Islamic State stands for. And I can understand that, lots of racists have hijacked the stars and bars. It’s really about being proud of shared history. The Umayyad Caliphate was the world’s 5th empire and they were a proud and advanced culture. They actually worked with the Christians against the Romans of the 7th and 8th Centuries. The Umayyad Caliphate will rise again, according to some. They were treated unjustly.”

Many Levant dwellers who back an Islamic State are doing so to re-introduce a new Caliphate like the Umayyad. They say their way of life has been infringed upon by modernity and political correctness. They wish to see a return to the days of moral rule of law, days many associate with loyalty, courage, and the right to watch dogs tear humans apart for transgressions of depravity. It’s a history that’s being lost every day under the scourge of civil rights.

The rainbow flag flyer was also welcomed with open arms by several men with sleeveless shirts and hairy shoulders.

Jamie Robert, the events organizer said, “I just want everyone to know that a flag is not offensive, that’s why we’re happy to see ISIS and LGBT here. People’s rights are to wave flags. That’s what America’s all about. Nothing else. Just flags. It’s about freedom. Freedom for me to go over there and kiss the man with the rainbow flag like I done.”

Buzz Chops, 19, said, “I kissed him too, he had smooth face and that’s something you don’t experience everyday. Least not with my old lady.”

Robert expects an even bigger turnout next year and wants to see at least four times the amount of rainbow flags next year.

“It gets old smoochin’ the same person all day. Even if their cheeks are smooth.”

Amarillo Flag Rally

A Rubbery Robbery and Taxi Cab Escape

Original story at Amarillo.com, here.

A man was arrested after police said he robbed a northeast Amarillo adult bookstore Tuesday morning and then used a taxi as a getaway vehicle.

Duane Lamont Alexander, 46, was arrested on a charge of aggravated robbery and booked into Potter County jail. Officers found Alexander in a green minivan taxi near the intersection of East Amarillo Boulevard and North Grand Street with a bag containing cash in the rear seat of the cab.

Police said it was easy to locate the vehicle, because Amarillo only has one taxi cab. However the officer was initially fooled by what appeared to be a full vehicle. He was told the suspect was traveling in the cab alone.

The officer said, “When I looked in the back of the cab there were four twin females and one male sitting between two of them. But as I interrogated the passengers, only the male responded. The four females just sat there with their mouths open the whole time. I thought it was strange, so I radioed a possible 561… Or “unresponsive females”. I was getting pretty worried about their overall state because their skin had a glare to it under my flashlight, and their eyes were hollow, happy, but hollow, which usually indicates physiological distress.”

“We didn’t know they were blow-up dolls until the EMTs arrived. Well, all of them but the male. He was real.”

At 2:31 a.m., police were dispatched to Studio One Adult Bookstore, 9000 Triangle Drive, on reports of a robbery. A store employee told police a man, later identified as Alexander, had entered the store while appearing to have a firearm concealed in his clothing.

“He definitely had something concealed in his clothing… And one of the best jokes around here is, ‘Hey is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?’ Well, it was a gun. That was the first time it’s ever been a gun… And I ask that to everyone for a laugh. It never gets old.”

Alexander announced the robbery and demanded money from the register, then walked behind the counter when the employee did not immediately comply, opened the register and took money from it. The employee then grabbed a handgun from the counter and pointed it at Alexander while ordering him to stop.

“I honestly just grabbed the closest thing behind the counter first, and it wasn’t a gun. When I realized what I was about to point at him, I LOLed, chucked it, and found the gun.”

Police said Alexander then walked out, followed by the employee. The employee fired a shot in the air and then another at the minivan’s tire, trying to stop it, and then called police.

“Maybe I’m just an employee, but I’m not about to let a guy make away with a bag full of toys, our last four blow-ups, our virtual reality headsets, and our only copy of the rare, Build Your Own Cyborg: A Complete Manual with Schematics. We waited months for that, and I learned how to solder. Plus, haven’t you wanted to fire warning shots in the air? Haven’t you wanted to shoot the tires flat Dirty-Harry-style?” As he finished making this statement the employee said it again, “Dirty-Harry style… That reminds me of something. Hey, I gotta run back inside. Got everything you need here?”

Then he literally ran back inside repeating himself, “Dirty-Harry-Style”. 

After police found Alexander, the cab driver confirmed he had driven Alexander to the store, waited outside and then drove him away. The driver told police he thought there had been an argument between the employee and Alexander, but did not know there had been a robbery.

When asked if he thought it strange there were four additional riders in the cab, he replied no. “They were quiet and I always appreciate that. Plus they were happy. If I get my fares what do I care, you know?”

No weapon was found and police did not find impact sites of the shots the employee fired, but the money taken was recovered.

As was the other merchandise.

Breaking: Two Suspects Evade Capture in Olsen

A white female and dark male evaded capture in the Olsen neighborhood this afternoon. The 4200 block of Erik near Western was on lockdown while authorities strategized to apprehend two disgruntled canines.

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Animal Control Special Forces Unit (QSA)
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Backup Arrives

Animal Control’s elite wing, Quick Strike Apprehension (QSA) unit, rolled out a stunning variety of psy-op tactical methodologies. She placed kibble on the sidewalk (no-dish as is customary for most gypsy insurgents), she spoke softly, she laid in the grass. She barked like a dog. She panted like one, too. She hiked her leg at a tree. The two suspects were not apprehended, though. They had street smarts, and while they may have been curious enough to let the QSA agent lie in the grass several feet away from them, they weren’t about to fall for that crap when she walked near. They darted west away from Western.

Once backup finally arrived, the special forces unit began sweeping houses down the street. Families stood at the end of their driveways pointing. “They went that way.” Everyone waited with baited breath as the unit moved West down the street. They had nets, straps, poles, combat boots, cargo pants, gloves, kibble. They were loaded for bear.

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The chase continues

Right after this photo was taken, the white female streaked across the road just feet away from the elite unit member. She was taunting them now. Running circles around them, even.

Godspeed you two gypsies living off the grid… Godspeed.

Folks Say What They Think About Mark Nair Asking For City Manager’s Resignation

Original story at amarillo.com, here

Several people at Center City of Amarillo’s High Noon on the Square event Wednesday on the Potter County Courthouse lawn were questioning newly minted Amarillo City Councilman Mark Nair’s request that City Manager Jarrett Atkinson resign.

A few hours after he was sworn in at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Nair asked for Atkinson’s job status to be put on the agenda for the next meeting. The proposed agenda item had the support of councilmen Randy Burkett and Elisha Demerson.

At High Noon on the Square, most people said they were surprised by the move.

“I can’t think of any reason to replace Jarrett Atkinson,” said Sharon Jelinek. “I was actually a little shocked. No. 1, (Nair) would come in in his first meeting and do something outrageous.

“I don’t think a shakeup is needed. If there’s a change needed, let it be in individual spots.”

What Jelinek meant by “individual spots” is a little vague, even to us here at the Amarillo Probe-Ruse. City Manager is an individual spot. It doesn’t matter if it’s Cracker Barrel, Casey Carpet One, or baseball’s Texas Rangers, all managers are singular individuals… in a spot. When our reporter asked a follow-up for more clarity, Jelinek threw her Chick-fil-A and scaled the courthouse wall.

Joann Crum was also surprised at Nair’s move.

“I think Jarrett has done a really good job as city manager,” Crum said. “I can’t see anything that he’s done wrong. I think (Nair’s) just kind of going in there rocking the boat.”

And it’s a boat that clearly does not need to be rocked. Everything was fine before the FBI started investigating multi-million dollar downtown deals. Most of the problems are related to the federal government, like always. Everything was fine when the City agreed to let Wallace-Bajjali develop downtown. Maybe they had a proven track-record of theft, but Amarillo is a place for second chances. And third and fourth ones if you’re old-money, like Stanley Marsh III.

Crum said she is not impressed with Nair because of the changes he is pushing to make.

“Just everything all at once, I think it’s negative,” Crum said.

“I need change to be so incrementally slow that I’m dead before I see the slightest signs of an end result. Then it’s positive.”

Also Tuesday, Burkett asked for an agenda item to discuss the potential removal of the entire board of directors of Amarillo Economic Development Corp. That board is appointed by the City Council.

On her way back to her vehicle, our reporter says Jelinek showed up again to give a last remark. This time she jumped out of an old elm tree’s canopy carrying a new bag of Chick-Fil-A.

“I think that they’ve done a good job,” Jelinek said. “Maybe some (AEDC board of directors members) are better than others, but just to take them all out in one fell swoop seems a bit much.”

Nair said the city needs a new direction.

“I feel like we need a change, the people need a change, and this is what they elected me to do,” he said Tuesday.

Kevin Mitchell said before making huge decisions, the council should make sure it has all of the facts and does a full analysis.

He cautions a thorough analysis that could take years, though. Decades even. But he cautions against any kind of shorter analysis. Mitchell, if you’re wondering who he is and why he’s relevant to this story, is an analysis expert with seals of approval from both the American Statistical Society (ASS) and PatriotsForFullAnalysis.com.

He said there’s nothing wrong with change, but making bold and cavalier statements can cause trouble and disruption within the community.

“Yeah, we do need change, but I don’t think we just redo our city government,” Crum said. “If you want changes, do it slowly … not all at once.”

“Like, reeeeeeal slowly. Like, if someone says walk slowly, they might want you to walk like this…” Then Crumb walked pretty slowly, maybe the slowest this reporter has ever seen.

“But if I say walk slowly, I want you to walk like this….” Then Crumb focused all her energy on moving the slowest that this reporter has ever even imagined. It took all she had. It was mesmerizing. Until…

“Oh no, not again!” She yelled as her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell back into the bushes near the sidewalk.

She passed out from walking so slowly.

6/27 Amarillo Garage Sale Report: In Photos

Amarillo Garage Sales : June 27th 2015

AmarilloGarageSalesGarage Sale season is in full swing in the Amarillo area. Drive down any avenue, parkway, or neighborhood street and you will see no shortage of handmade signs, people milling about, and parked cars. You’ll also see plenty of people driving by very slowly, staring intently, and pretending it’s not creepy. But for some reason it is.

Some residents find that kind of garage sale “window-shopping” downright offensive.

A Bivins neighborhood resident said, “I’ve seen a 1998 Geo Metro drive by three times! They had duct-tape for a back window and vise-grips for a passenger-side door handle… I just can’t believe they didn’t want to stop here, when I know I’ve got tools they could use.”

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People Milling About.
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To find garage sale, walk toward this sign and take a hard right.
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Sandals Only Garage Sale

Here are Some of the Weekends’ Best Finds!

Best find without photo representation:

Product: Dr. Scholl’s Corn Cushions

Price: $0.75 (That’s over 50% off what you’d pay at Walgreens or CVS)

Place: The Wolflin Home pictured above in “People Milling About”

Best finds with photo representation:

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Swiffer knock-offs

Product: 2- Scrub Buddies (unopened)

Price: $1.50

Location: Wolflin

Product: Several metal thingys

Price: Negotiable

Location: Wolflin


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50 Shades… Expertly placed to catch every eye.

Product: E. L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey

Price: $1.00

Location: An 80 year old woman’s Wolflin sale


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Outdated. Obsolete. Obscure. A hipster’s gold mine.

Product: Vintage Media

Price: $2, unless you want the whole box

Location: Wolflin


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Handcrafted Floral Holiday Arrangement

DEAL OF THE DAY**

Product: Handcrafted natural, realistic flowers

Price: Only $20 !!! (Originally retailed at $129.99!!)

Location: Wolflin near 34th


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1999 limited run Bucilla Jeweled Calendar. *RARE*

Product: Pre- Y2K Analog time monitoring device

Everyone knows Bucilla calendars could be jeweled before be-jeweling was one of today’s hottest trends.

Price: $1.00 – won’t take less because someone already offered 1, they just had to go to the ATM.

Location: Wolflin


Some of the Weekend’s Wisest Overheard Commentary


“Onez manz trash is an udderz treazure, what they say, right? Amma rite?”

“Rich people think they have the best $#!T. Money doesn’t buy taste though.”

…Amen

It’s shaping up to be another bargain rich year in Amarillo Garage Selling. As always, Amarillo Probe-Ruse will bring you the hardest hitting yard sale exposes all summer long. Know of a situation where people are gouging customers? Let us know, investigative public service is our only goal. What’s news in Amarillo if it isn’t yellow?

34th Near Georgia Street Re-opening

Story from Amarillo Globe-News. Found here.

A section of Southwest 34th Avenue remained closed Thursday after a water main broke Wednesday, but city crews anticipate the road will reopen Friday evening.

Although, they’re quick to add they do not like getting wet. So if things get too messy, they promise they’re going to work in a sandwich or two and some Angry Birds in Space while water levels subside.

Amarillo Probe-Ruse - Round Town
Green means go… NOT!!!!!!!!

On Thursday, workers began repairs to 34th Avenue, which will remain closed between South Ong Street and the Moss/Travis traffic signal from both directions, city spokeswoman Sonja Gross said in a release.

The incident left two customers without water about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, but their water service was restored shortly before 7 p.m., Assistant City Utilities Director Floyd Hartman said.

“It was minimal as far as customers being out with a main of that size. That is not typical,” Hartman said.

The two customers were livid. This, coming on the heels of the recent Amarillo Utilities scandal ingeniously called ‘Water Gate’, is just too much for some area residents. One angry customer said, “I know it’s Harpole and his downtown mafia.”

Workers stabilized the pipe Wednesday night, Gross said, and repair crews are made repairs to the sub-grade portion of the street Thursday. Plans to replace the asphalt surface will begin Friday.

The road should reopen after 5 p.m. Friday when the road repairs are completed, officials said.