Monthly Archives: April 2008

Jason Castro now one of ‘Idol’s’ top four finalists!

Although his reviews for singing Neil Diamond songs were far from his best, Rockwall’s Jason Castro just keeps on winning! On tonight’s show, he became one of the top four finalists on American Idol, when Brooke White was eliminated.

Will Jason, his dreadlocks and guitar actually win the whole contest? Thousands of TV sets all over Rockwall will be tuning in again to see next Tuesday as American Idol goes Rock ‘N Roll.

Former Mayor Ken Jones still getting photographed holding cute babies!

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Former Rockwall Mayor Ken Jones (right) may not be a politician anymore but he’s still getting photographed holding cute babies! Ha!

In this picture, we were just fortunate enough to be able to catch up with him at the Aspasians Arts & Crafts Fair today with the toddler’s proud mom and dad, successful Rockwall-based criminal defense and family law attorneys Kenda Culpepper and former Dallas County Judge Jim Pruitt.

Ken said he’s staying busy as owner and operator of popular country music radio stations KHYI 95.3 FM “The Range” and KXEZ-FM 92.1 “The Possum.” Check them out at, or give a listen like I do from time to time. The Range plays great “Hard Country” Texas music, and The Possum plays some excellent classic country tunes.

Jason Castro reaches “Idol’s” top five!

He did it again! Now he’s one of the top five finalists on American Idol!

Rockwall’s native son Jason Castro sang Andrew Lloyd Webber’s song “Memory” from “Phantom of the Opera” Tuesday night and, although none of the judges felt it was his style of song, he still won millions of votes – enough to keep him alive for one more week in the competition against other remaining finalists David Archuleta, David Cook, Brooke White and Syesha Mercado.

Congrats and best wishes from Rockwall, Jason!

Jason “Castromania”-watching party Tuesday nights at Hilton Hotel

Everybody’s welcome to attend the Jason “Castromania”-watching party every Tuesday night to cheer on Rockwall’s native son as he attempts to become America’s next “American Idol.” Over 300 people have been showing up lately, now that Jason has reached the top six finalists. From today’s Dallas Morning News you can read about the parties:

ROCKWALL – The crowd that gathers on most Tuesday nights at the new Hilton Hotel in Rockwall is on a mission.

Sure, they’re surrounded by balloons, large TV screens and much laughter, but this is serious business. The 350 or so people are there to watch local Jason Castro perform on American Idol – and then to get him through to the next round.

“Everybody gets on their phones like crazy at the end of the show,” says Jennifer Wasserman, the hotel’s sales and marketing director. “There are people who have two phones going at once.”

Rockwall has become the center of Castromania as its native son has made it into the final six on America’s most-watched television show, which airs tonight at 7 and Wednesday night at 8 on Fox (Channel 4). And with his puppy-dog eyes, distinctive dreadlocks and laid-back demeanor, there are high hopes that he could become North Texas’ second American Idol champion, following in the footsteps of Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson of Burleson.

You can read the whole story and see a video about the Castromania party on the Entertainment page at

Did God and Moses really perform the miracles associated with the Passover?

Yesterday Jews around the world celebrated the Passover, commemorating obtaining their independence centuries ago from Egypt. I just watched a portion of the movie “Prince of Egypt,” which reminded of those miraculous occurrences when God sent Moses and those many plagues to convince the Pharaoh to “let His people go.” Finally, after Pharaoh stubbornly refused to free the Hebrew slaves, God directed Moses to tell his people to paint lamb’s blood above their door frames which would be a sign to the Angel of Death to “passover” their home when he would slay the first-born sons – according to Pharaoh’s own direction – that fateful night.

So…how many of you actually believe that these miraculous and supernatural events really occurred? I do, although I must confess after seeing the movie that there certainly were some extraordinary miracles performed – like the parting of the Red Sea – which I can understand might cause skeptics or non-believers to raise their eyebrows and question the accuracy of the Passover.

So again…how many of you actually believe in those miracles recorded in the Bible about the Passover? Let’s take a poll.

Should Rockwall ban illegal immigrants from working or living here?

Within ten minutes yesterday afternoon I noticed three trucks owned by a local landscaping business filled with what appeared to be illegal immigrants from South of the Border. There were 6-8 men jammed into each truck. Since I heard a news report the other day about Immigration officials raiding Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing plants and apprehending over 300 illegal immigrants, I started wondering what our policy is – or should be – in Rockwall about these people and this issue. What do you think, Rockwall?

Outgoing County Commissioner Bruce Beaty replied to my email about this issue some months ago, when it was being hotly-debated in Farmer’s Branch. He said Rockwall County was waiting to see the outcome in FB before taking any action – or not – locally. As far as I know, a federal judge banned FB from preventing employers from hiring illegals and apartment owners from renting to them.

So, since that’s still up in the air, what should our fair county’s or city’s policy be? Should we allow companies to hire illegals, or punish employers for so doing? Should we allow apartment owners to rent to them, or ban them from doing so? Should we expect them to learn to speak English? Ever been in Ross or Wal-Mart and heard so many people speaking Spanish? Sometimes, when I hear and see so many obviously illegal immigrants, I think I’m actually in Mexico!

We recently took our grandson to the Helping Hands health clinic and had to wait for 3-4 strictly Spanish-speaking women who were there ahead of us. Since we all know that hospitals and clinics have gone out of business in CA because they were overwhelmed by illegal immigrants, should that be a consideration here? Is that even an issue for our health care facilities?

I personally empathize deeply for those who were born in poverty in Latin American countries. I can understand how desperate they are to have a better life or provide one for their children. But, in my humble opinion, something does need to be done to prevent at least the masses from moving across the border. Our nation and at least some states and communities obviously can’t accommodate them all.

So do we live and let live in Rockwall? Is it or might it be a problem? Should we do something different about all of our new neighbors from the South?

“Psychic Friends say Jason Castro could win this thing!”

E! (Entertainment) Online’s American Idol-watching critic wrote this past Wednesday in her “Watch With Kristin” column:

“For the record: David A. and David C. still seem very much the front-runners, but the Psychic Friends say that Jason Castro could come outta nowhere and win this thing. (Right, Santa Claus?)”

Although his performance last Tuesday night didn’t earn him the raves that his performance last week did with the late “Bruddah Is” version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” (see and hear below) he did nevertheless seem to do justice to Mariah Carey’s music.

So…Jason has now earned his way into the top six finalists of the 2008 Idol. Quite an accomplishment – whether he wins ‘this thing’ or not, wouldn’t you say?

Attorney G. David Smith found holding hands with wife at Hilton Hotel

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Rockwall personal injury and criminal law attorney G. David Smith and his wife, Diane, were found holding hands while enjoying time together in the Hilton Bella Harbor Hotel Friday evening when we snapped their picture in front of this impressive water fountain in the hotel lobby.

Talented “Diamond Duo” performing on Blue Canyon patio

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The talented “Diamond Duo” of Erica Zanetti and Dwain Herford (from Rowlett) performs regularly now on the Blue Canyon Wine Bar patio overlooking Lake Ray Hubbard at The Harbor Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons, 4-8 pm. Both have great singing voices and Dwain plays several instruments, as well. When I first wandered into the area, I thought a popular CD was playing, since they sang so well. Erica has sung with Lyle Lovett, Vince Vance and the Valiants and is working on her first solo CD. They will appear on the patio regularly in the future, according to Blue Canyon. Go check them out and enjoy !

Rockwall “Superlawyers” discovered at Hilton Hotel Friday

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Rockwall “Superlawyers” John Browning (left) and Bob Lyon were discovered enjoying time with a group of attorneys Friday evening after the Rockwall Attorneys Association finished their conference at the Hilton Bella Harbor Hotel. Both attorneys have earned this noteworthy distinction by achieving great success in their respective fields of law. We’re lucky to have such distinguished attorneys living in Rockwall!