Late in the day on Tuesday, a military jury found Master Sgt. Brad Grimes, who is stationed at Ft. Hood, guilty of conspiring to patronize a prostitute and solicit adultery. But the revelations that came out of the trial are much more troubling.
Would you let the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration take a blood sample from you for $50? Or swab your cheek for ten bucks? What about just blowing into a breathalyzer as a freebie, if the goal is to complete a comprehensive survey to determine the number of drink- and drug-impaired drivers on the road?
Some probably would, while others would probably choose to keep their saliva, blood, and breath to themselves. But if you were in your car, ushered off of a busy road by police, and asked by a federal subcontractor for the samples in question, you might not really feel like you had a choice.
That's something that motorists in Fort Worth found themselves encountering last week, as off-duty police officers hired by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation—a subcontractor with the NHTSA—set up roadblocks to assist the company in acquiring the samples. The federal agency is spending $7.9 million on the survey, which is being conducted in 30 cities over three years. According to an NBC 5 investigation, the administration claims that "participation was '100 percent voluntary' and anonymous."
No one knows what happened to Alfred Wright, the 28-year-old married father of three from Jasper who disappeared in Sabine County on Thursday night. What we do know is that his truck broke down in Hemphill, where the home health physical therapist may have been visiting a patient; that a witness reported seeing him walk away from his truck after talking on his cellphone; and that his clothing, his watch, his keys, and his credit cards were found in a pasture that was the opposite direction from the one the witness says she saw him walk.
Without any more evidence than that, it's impossible to claim to know the nature of Wright's disappearance. But Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox, who called off the search for the missing man on Monday night, told KTRE News that "there is no evidence in this investigation that leads authorities to believe that there is foul play involved," and "Alfred Wright is just a missing person," whose case will be treated as such.
It's election day! Have you voted? Did you bring your ID? A pen to sign an affidavit affirming that you're the person you say you are, in case your ID features a different name than the one you registered to vote under? Because that's been a part of the experience for some prominent Texans—and, presumably, a lot more whose names don't make headlines.