A Man Being Sued by the Owner of the Dogs Who Killed His Beagle in His Yard Won't Settle

Pit bulls get a bad rap. They can be the sweetest and most loyal dogs in the world, full of love and a desire to please their owners. Like any dog, though, they can also be vicious and mean in the wrong circumstances. We don’t know a lot about the four pit bulls who entered through the fence of Texas City’s Steve Baker and killed his pet beagle, but what is being reported about about their owner, Emerald White, is sparking outrage. 

Is Net Neutrality Really “Obamacare for the Internet”?

Yesterday morning, President Obama made a call for Net Neutrality—something that many on the Internet have been lobbying the President to do for years. Shortly thereafter, Senator Ted Cruz weighed in with a tweet that quickly attracted a lot of attention. 

The Nurse From Texas Who Has Been Quarantined In New Jersey Is Being Released

Kaci Hickox became news over the weekend when the UT-Arlington graduate wrote an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News with the help of Dr. Seema Yasmin, who writes for the paper and also worked with Hickox at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hickox, a nurse who had worked with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone to treat Ebola patients, found herself in a confusing situation at Newark Liberty International Airport after she returned to the U.S. 

Horrible Video Shows a Cleburne Police Officer Calling To, Then Shooting, a Tail-Wagging Dog

Over the past few days, a video that was taken by a Cleburne police officer’s body camera went viral. To say that it’s disturbing is an understatement—we’d strongly advise against watching it. It involves the officer in question walking through what appears to be a residential neighborhood and approaching two dogs that are some distance away, near a drainage ditch. The officer attempts to summon the dogs by clicking his tongue against his teeth (you know, with “here, boy!” kissy noises) and then, as the dogs look up at him, tails wagging, he fires three times before we can see what happens: One of the dogs lies on the ground, while the other runs away from him. As the second dog backs away, the officer pursues it, and then both the dog and the officer stop. The officer raises his gun again, his radio makes a noise, and the video ends.

Houston City Attorneys Subpoenaed Sermons from Pastors They Suspect Fought the Ordinance from the Pulpit

Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a law designed to ban discrimination, has been controversial since before it was signed into law by Mayor Annise Parker on May 28, largely because of protections it offers the LGBT community. (The most controversial aspect of the bill, which involved public restrooms, was stripped from the final language two weeks before the bill passed.) City leaders fervently debated it while various organizations—based both in and out of the city—lobbied them against the bill. Noted non-Houstonian, former Presidential candidate and Fox News host Mike Huckabee urged his viewers to register their opposition with the city council and Mayor Parker. 

After the bill passed, the backlash intensified. Opponents promised to challenge it with a ballot referendum in the fall. As the Houston Chronicle reported at the time

The Supreme Court Has Finally Gotten Involved in the Texas Abortion Battle

For over a year now, the players in the battle over abortion in Texas have been clearly identified, and so has the power differential: The majority of the legislature supported the new laws that had the effect of shuttering most of the state’s abortion clinics, while most of the few Democrats in both the state House and Senate opposed them. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who is the first person to hear the lawsuits surrounding those laws, sympathizes with the plaintiffs, while the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals—the judicial body to which those cases get kicked up upon appeal—tends to side with the state. 

All of that has been well covered, but for the past year and a half, those have been the only players on the board, which has made the entire process feel like something akin to kabuki theater: Democrats in the lege would use stall tactics, including Wendy Davis’s famous filibuster, to try to prevent the majority from voting on the bill, but they’d ultimately lose. Abortion rights organizations would sue, get the response they wanted from Judge Yeakel, and then see that result overturned by the 5th Circuit. Ultimately, if the most powerful players on the board support HB2, then HB2 is going to happen, and all of the orange-shirted protesters, well-timed filibusters, and rulings from the lower district court can’t ultimately change any of that.

Does Wendy Davis's Ad Cross the Line in Mentioning the Accident that Put Greg Abbott in a Wheelchair?

Wendy Davis’ latest campaign ad was released on Friday. It opens by explaining that Republican Gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott was disabled after a tree fell on him in 1984, before describing cases in which Abbott, as Attorney General, sided with the relatively powerful, rather than the victims of various acts of negligence. That sounds straightforward, but the ad was, to put it mildly, the source of some controversy. Texas Monthly’s own Erica Grieder called it “mean-spirited,” while a breathless post on the otherwise-sympathetic-to-Davis lefty magazine Mother Jones insisted that what the ad is really about is “basically calling Abbott a cripple.” Abbott himself told the San Antonio Express-News that it was Davis’ choice “if she wants to attack a guy in a wheelchair.”

What's Next For Abortion In Texas?

Last summer, after the shouting died down and the omnibus abortion bill HB2 was signed into law by Governor Perry, the future of abortion access in Texas moved from the legislature to the courts. So far, the pattern seems to function almost like clockwork: Opponents of the law file suit in the Western District Court of Texas, in Austin, that has initial jurisdiction. Judge Lee Yeakel, whose ear seems to be sympathetic to their arguments, grants injunctory relief. Texas Attorney General (and gubernatorial hopeful) Greg Abbott petitions the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of that injunction, which that court—whose sympathies seem to align with the AG’s arguments—grants, preventing Judge Yeakel’s injunction from taking effect. Then, eventually, the case is heard on its merits by the Fifth Circuit.

CPS Visited an Austin Woman Whose Kids Were Playing Outside Unsupervised

Over the past few months, the debate has intensified between parents who believe in so-called “free range children”—or allowing their kids to roam outside the house unsupervised, as children who grew up in decades past often did—and those who think that practice is criminal. 

The contentious issue reached critical mass over the summer, after Debra Harrell, a 46-year-old McDonald’s employee from South Carolina, was arrested and temporarily lost custody of her nine-year-old daughter for letting her spend time by herself in a nearby park while Harrell was at work. Harrell became something of a cause célèbre on the issue (a crowdfunding account on the website YouCaring.com raised over $45,000 for her legal defense and future childcare), which has been simmering at least since the 2010 publication of the book Free Range Kids, by Lenore Skenazy.

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