Never a dull moment in the Land Up Over and to the Right.  A troubled country star’s story comes to a tragic end, a speedy racer finally has something to go with all that publicity, and Maker’s will go back to hitting the Mark (after a strong backlash from aficionados).

Outside of her successful Country Music career, Mindy McCready was struggling with addiction and mental health issues.  Cops in Arkansas say the 37-year old lost that struggle.  They found her dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, 3 weeks after the suicide of her boyfriend.  McCready’s two sons were already in foster care and did not witness the horror, although she reportedly shot and killed her dog before turning the gun on herself.

A Chicago woman was shot and killed on the same day that her younger sister sat behind President Barack Obama at Hyde Park Academy High School for a presentation in which he called for tighter gun control legislation.  18-year old Janay McFarlane leaves behind a three-month-old baby boy.  CPD is reportedly questioning two suspects.  Last month, a teenage girl who marched in the President's anaugural parade was shot and killed by suspected gang members.  Gang-driven gun violence has been out of control on Chicago south side for a while now.

An Idaho man is facing federal assault charges for allegedly striking a 2-year old boy and calling him a racist epithet on an airline, before being subdued by other passengers.  The little fellow was crying, as babies will, because the pressure changed on the aircraft.  60-year-old Joe Ricky Hundley reportedly screamed at the kid’s mom to “shut that n----r baby up,” and slapped him.  He’s been relieved of his position at an airplane parts manufacturer pending investigation.

Danica Patrick finally did something on the racetrack.  After years of fame without a lot of victories, she put the pedal to the metal (Ooooh I hate that expression) and hit 196 miles an hour on the qualifying run for the Daytona 500, becoming the first woman to earn the Pole Position. 

Makers Mark will keep its recipe just the way it is.  The Kentucky Bourbon distiller last week announced it would cut the alcohol content from 45 to 42 percent.  Drinkers didn’t take that too well.  After being inundated with angry protests, Maker’s Mark says its Bourbon will stay at  45 percent alcohol, or 90 proof.