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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 1-14-16: Delaying Adulthood

You might have to be at least 21 to buy tobacco where I am here in Chicago soon. On Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance raising the minimum age from 18 to 21. The measure includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. So at this point are you really an “adult” at 18 anymore or are you basically still a kid until you turn 21 since you’re not actually able to make decisions for yourself?

Mayor Emanuel is also introducing an ordinance to keep taps on people renting out spaces on Airbnb. The ordinance would require units that are rented out fewer than 90 nights per year to be registered for free online. The city would track these units and respond to complaints about them. Oh year, there would also be a 2 surcharge by the city.

Someone has started a Facebook group asking people to help push Trump Tower into the Chicago River. So far about 7,000 people have signed up for the event, which would be on January 29th. Maybe there’s a structural engineer out there who could tell us how many people would have to push on a building for it to fall over?

It looks like the war between the Ricketts family and the Wrigleyville rooftop owners may officially be over. The Cubs just bought three more of the rooftop clubs around Wrigley Field. That means they own 10 of the 16 rooftops. They’ve even started a new website to keep all of their business together.

Ted Cruz has picked up the coveted Duck Dynasty endorsement. He has a new video on his website with Phil Robertson explaining why he is the logical choice for POTUS.

Meanwhile, a Constitutional law professor has written a detailed article for the Washington Post explaining why Ted Cruz is *not* eligible to be President of the United States. tl;dl – the common law definition of “Natural born” citizen is someone who was physically born in a country, when the Constitution was written they believed that allegiance came from your country of birth and intended to specifically require that all Presidents be born here.

Really, America? Sales of the shirt El Chapo was wearing when he was photographed with Sean Penn are skyrocketing. What about the shirt El Chapo was wearing when he handcuffed that guy in a bathtub and chopped him up with a chainsaw?

A Wisconsin man has been convicted of threatening to kill President Obama… with a slingshot. Actually, he just threatened to shoot the President, and it turned out the only weapon he had in his possession was a slingshot.

Not to harp on the Steven Avery thing, but his ex-fiance, who was featured in Making A Murderer says that he was guilty. She also claims she asked the filmmakers not to use her in the film, but they did anyway. She also says that while they were still together, Avery threatened her and told her to “make him look good… or else.” Oh yeah, he was also abusive in their relationship.

You think the budget situation is bad here in Illinois? In Nigeria they don’t have a budget because the parliament lost their budget documents.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

Follow Keith Conrad on Twitter

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 1-13-15: Making A Murderer

Steven Avery has filed to have his murder conviction appealed by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, riding the wave of public sympathy brought on by Making A Murderer. He says the search warrant used to gather evidence was invalid, and his conviction should be thrown out because one of the jurors allegedly said he was “effing guilty” and also because they seated an alternate juror because one had to be dismissed. That last one is interesting, because the defense team actually advised the judge to go with the alternate juror. The seem to be grasping at straws.

One of the guests at the State of the Union? Kim Davis. Are we basically doomed to having her show up and worm her way into the news every couple of months from now on?

Donald Trump was meeting the adoring throngs at a diner in New Hampshire when he was heckled be a woman who shouted“Enjoy your burger, racist!” The woman said she felt like if she hadn’t said something, she would have been agreeing with him tacitly.

A massive glut of people buying tickets has pushed the Powerball up to $1.5 billion. Odds of winning the grand prize are 1 in 292 million, and no one has won it since Nov. 7.

More information on the Cook County Jail lockdown: 142 of the 794 workers took the day off, that’s almost 1/5 of the workforce.

The owner of Piatto Pronto got into some hot water last week when a picture of him wearing a t-shirt reading “I can breathe. I obey the law” started floating around. Apparently he decided to make the statement months after the phrase was actually in the news, but that’s beside the point. He’s been flooded with angry messages, phone calls and even a threat or two, while some people are calling for a boycott of his business. Amazingly, since the photo started making the rounds, business is actually up.

A federal appeals court has ruled that wearing unearned military medals is protected by the first amendment. Basically, they ruled that if you’re wearing the medals, you’re trying to convey a message and that rises to the level of protected speech.

Remember the Pennsylvania couple that was trying to sell their house… that just happened to be the house from Silence of The Lambs?They are having trouble finding a buyer. They’ve lowered the asking price from $300,000 to $250,000.

The Chicago Cubs have removed Kyle Schwarber’s homerun ball from high atop the right field video board at Wrigley Field. They haven’t decided what they will be doing with it, but they say it is safely in their possession.

Verizon Wireless gave a Seattle man a cell phone number that was once Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s back in 2012. To this day he gets raunchy texts from people thinking it’s still his number.

Following up on our “Guess what happens to the chicks at MSI after they hatch!” post yesterday, guess what they do when they have to euthanize a beached whale. Apparently they blow them up.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

Follow Keith Conrad on Twitter