Paxton Says Eminent Domain is Okay to Build Trump’s Border Wall: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: A high school hazing scandal rocks La Vernia, the Texas Rangers unveil new additions to a heart-stopping ballpark menu, and Plano stinks.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We gonna do it this year though. I know that for a fact.”
—Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in a Facebook Live broadcast on Monday, according to the Dallas Morning News. Cowboys fans should start planning their post-victory celebrations, because Bryant said it’s a “fact” that his team will win the Super Bowl.
OK With AG
Attorney General Ken Paxton said it’s perfectly fine for the federal government to invoke eminent domain in order to make room for President Donald Trump’s wall, according to the Dallas Morning News. This is weird for a few reasons. First, as the Morning News notes, “that Paxton is aligning with the federal government on anything is a sure sign of a new era in Washington.” Second, Paxton is usually an ally for Texas private landowners in eminent domain disputes. But this wall situation is different, according to Paxton, because in taking land to build the wall the feds are serving “a public purpose providing safety to people not only along the border, but to the entire nation,” the AG told the Morning News. He was also adamant that the government pay a fair price for snatching border-dwelling Texans’ property. “I want people to be treated fairly, so they shouldn’t just have their land just taken from them,” Paxton told the Morning News. “They need to be compensated fairly.” The Texas Observer first reported in mid-March that Texans on the border had received legal notice that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was planning to build a wall on their land. One homeowner was offered $2,900 for 1.2 acres of land in the Rio Grande Valley, land that’s been in the same family for at least five generations.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Friday Night Yikes
Nine students at La Vernia High School, near San Antonio, have been arrested and charged with sexual assault in connection with hazing that has allegedly gone on in the school’s athletics programs for at two years, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The scandal has rocked this town of just more than 1,000 people. “It’s a black eye for the city,” La Vernia Chief of Police Bruce Ritchey told the Express-News. “What I’m concerned with right now is providing the help and healing for those victimized… Hazing is not uncommon, but hazing to this extent is uncommon.” The alleged hazing primarily involved students in the football program, though the basketball and baseball programs were involved too. More arrests are expected. Officials haven’t yet released any more details about the hazing, but last week a mother of a La Vernia student told FOX affiliate KABB that her son had been pinned down in the locker room while other students sexually assaulted him with Coke bottles, deodorant bottles, broom sticks, and baseball bats.
Buy Me Some Peanuts And…
It’s almost baseball season, which means its time for the Texas Rangers to unveil the latest insane food items to its wild ballpark menu. We’ve come to expect a lot from the evil culinary geniuses who have brought us gut-busting gems like the “Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Dog” or “The Popcornopolis Pita,” and this season’s additions do not disappoint. The headliner is the M.V.T., or the “Most Valuable Tamale”: A two-foot long tamale swaddling the Rangers’s famous two-foot long hot dog, The Boomstick, a menu mainstay since 2012. This Frankenstein’s beast of ballpark food comes covered in chili, nacho cheese, and sour cream, and though it will cost $27, it serves more than one, according to the Dallas Morning News. Then there are the Texas Snowballs, which are basically fried brisket cakes. No, really. Brisket balls are deep-fried in funnel cake batter, then topped with powdered sugar. Disclaimer: Eating one Texas Snowball may or may not reduce your life expectancy by one year (but it’ll totally be worth it). The third and final addition is a little more mainstream. It’s just a normal chili hot dog topped with kimchi, cilantro, teriyaki sauce, and Fritos. You know, for the more traditional appetites out there.
A Smelly Smell That Smells
Plano stinks, and residents are suing the city for more than $1 million in damages because of it. According to the Dallas Morning News, four residents are taking the city to court, alleging that the city’s failure to stem the stench from a long-running sewage problem has led to health issues. According to the lawsuit, the city didn’t help them clean up sewage spilling from a toilet in one of their Cross Creek neighborhood homes and from a nearby manhole, supposedly resulting in airborne “toxins” that have caused stress and illnesses like severe nausea, headaches, dizziness, and rashes. The city, for its part, said that it is trying to fix the poo problem, but the lawsuit alleges that the city’s efforts have not been sufficient. “The city of Plano has taken only temporary stop-gap measures to address violations as they occur rather than implementing the necessary system-wide improvements,” the lawsuit alleges. Meanwhile, life has been a putrid hell for these folks. “I have to flush the toilet fifty times a day… just to get rid of the smell for a while,” one resident told KTVT in January. “It works for like an hour then it keeps coming back.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
How an conservative Christian mother became one of Texas’s most outspoken advocates for transgender-inclusive school bathrooms Fusion
Who’s more deserving of a Texas music museum, Austin or Houston? Houston Chronicle
The husband of a Mexican police chief who famously stood up to drug cartels as a twenty-year-old is in an El Paso jail on drug trafficking charges El Paso Times
Midland County Commissioners voted against allowing nuclear waste to be transported through their county Midland Reporter-Telegram
A Nacogdoches family’s horse just turned 38, which is more than 100 in horse years KETK