Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Monday Mutt Shot

Memorial Day

Pausing to Remember

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


SYLVA, N.C. -- A mother whose son died of heat exposure in her car while she worked a double shift at nursing home was found not guilty Monday of charges related to his death.

A jury deliberated about four hours before returning the not guilty verdict in the case of Michelle Gibson of Asheville on Monday, the one-year anniversary of the death of her 8-year-old son, Devin Gibson.

"My heart, my soul and my mind is grateful," Gibson said after the verdict. " ... I want to go on and rest and let my son rest."

They jury considered charges of second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter. The jury also considered two counts of felony child abuse or two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

Prosecutors said that for at least some of the time that Gibson worked, Devin was kept in the trunk of her 2001 Ford Escort. Gibson testified Thursday, denying that she locked Devin in the trunk of her car but saying she was responsible for his death.

Gibson told investigators that she had no one to care for Devin while she worked a 16-hour shift as a nursing assistant at the Jackson County nursing home, so she took him to work with her that day.

After the verdict was returned, Gibson said she would work as an advocate for child care for the working poor.

Assistant District Attorney Roy Wijewickrama said Gibson used her words -- not a lock or restraints -- to make Devin stay in the car.

"She told him to stay in the vehicle and use the diapers if he needed to go to the bathroom," Wijewickrama said. "And he did. He died listening to his mom."

The murder charge carried a sentence of up to 16 years in prison.


Not Guilty? Responsibility was admitted? How oh how could such a verdict be just?

Surpassing a Goal

Monday Mutt Shot


Saturday, May 20, 2006

"... Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace--many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth--that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice."

President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Duct Tape: One of the Lesser Known Uses

Muzzling a 12-foot, 700-pound alligator

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

National Police Officer's Memorial

Remembering Jon

I wish there was a way that we could help dry up the tears. I guess the best way I can help is to say, we love you and we thank you for the sacrifice of your loved ones.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monday Mutt Shot: Hide'n Go Seek

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Turning Points

Benefits and compensation have been discontinued for indicted/suspended Mayor LaRue Alford.

His henchman, [former] City Administrator, George Simmons, has been terminated.

Previous efforts by council members to terminate the administrator were thwarted by an executive decision of Alford's...a decision made in error according to the Office of the Attorney General of South Carolina.

Previous Posts

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


There are days when I realize we a far too dependant on modern conveniences.

I really should know better than to confuse the grocery cashier by using a coupon for a free item…especially when the free item is subject to a “two for” sale.

The coupon is scanned, and the computer instructs the cashier to enter the amount of the item.


She says, “Like, there’s no price tag.”

I say, “They’re on sale. Two for $5.00”

She displays a blank stare for a moment, then reviews the printed receipt and says, “Yeah, but like…” and offers another blank stare.

I say, “Yeah, like $2.50 each”.

She says, “Like, oh my gawd, thanks!”

The Kid, having quietly observed this interaction, waits until we’re in the parking lot before erupting into a laughing, sing-song imitation, “Like. Oh. My. Gawd. I’m only like, in high school. Like, how was I supposed to know half of 5 is 2 1/2!”

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Mutt Shot

No Pictures, Please

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Show Me the Money

A mother who works outside the home would earn an extra $85,876 annually on top of her actual wages for the work she does at home, according to the study by Waltham, Massachusetts-based compensation experts


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

In Memory

...when I talk about Tiger [tears fill his eyes], sometimes I do get emotional. That's the deep, personal love that we have for each other. The respect and trust that we have and we've earned it. It's just a bond.

How well I understand.

Godspeed, Proud Parent, Godspeed.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Wal-Mart Verdict

A jury has determined Wal-Mart was not negligent in hiring a registered sex offender who fondled a child.

The claim of damages was exorbitant and exaggerated.

Massey [the Plaintiff's attorney]told jurors that, based on Randall’s hiring wage of $8.75 per hour, his client would be entitled to actual damages ranging from $1.7 million to $5.3 million over an expected 70-year life span.

Using another model, Massey suggested a figure of at least $1.3 million, though he added any lower award would be a “half-cup of injustice.”

Using a computer video presentation, Massey told jurors the girl remains withdrawn, fears men, has never had a boyfriend and wears oversize clothes to “draw attention away from her female features.”

[the Defendant, Wal-Mart's attorney]told jurors the girl hasn’t been in counseling for several years and is active in church and school. He also pointed out she didn’t appear to be traumatized when interviewed last year during a videotaped deposition that was played for jurors.

“If she was guided into having those kinds of symptoms for the benefit of a lawsuit, she has been wrongly labeled,” Morrison said.

Massey says the girl's mother, Maria Hollins, is "devastated" by the verdict.

I think she is, but sadly, I believe her devastation to be based on greed, not fact.

"Slurpy, Soggy" State Snack

The Boiled Peanut

Monday, May 01, 2006

Monday Mutt Shot