The State of Texas: April 29, 2014
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Kai Langer, a five-year-old who’s being billed as “The Woodlands’ cutest kid” appeared on Ellen to promote his latest fashion wear, his forth-coming opening act (a baby sister), and his skills at covering Katy Perry. This kid is clearly going places, and not just kindergarten:
The Houston Press did some serious Internet investigative journalism to find The Ten Weirdest Terms That Use “Texas” on the Urban Dictionary. An appropriate definition for use this summer: “Texas Air Conditioning—cold beer held in crotch while driving.”
Perry Good News — Texas just got a new job. Toyota announced yesterday that its turning the city of Plano into the new Motor City. On paper, at least. The car company will be consolidating all its regional offices and turning them into one megalot Texas-located U.S. headquarters. The move won't happen as fast as one can usually sell a Toyota—the company needs about two years to finish construction of the headquarters. About 4,000 new and used employees are expected to come hither once the final inspection is complete. As expected, Governor Rick Perry, our Salesman-in-Chief, is celebrating, and everyone—from the Dallas Morning News to the New York Times—seems to readily concede that the "move is a victory for Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and his campaign to woo businesses." Forbes appears to be one of the few major outlets to drive on the opposite side of the road. Its story said Toyota "relied on its own in-house analysis of 100 cities, rather than sales pitches, in deciding to move its headquarters to the Dallas area from Southern California." What's not overlooked by anyone, however, is the "the state-supported Texas Enterprise Fund has offered Toyota $40 million in exchange for the jobs and capital investment." Expensive, to be sure, but hopefully the investment will put a muffler on critics who say the fund is little more than Texas chrome (refer to Urban Dictionary terms above).
Nightmare Scenario — What could have been another horrific school shooting, this time in San Antonio, was thankfully averted. "A 17-year-old boy who hid a loaded AK-47 assault rifle in a school bathroom and two loaded handguns in his backpack intended to 'commit a violent act,'" according to a Madison High School official who spoke to the Associated Press. "[B]ut the plan was foiled when his parents discovered the weapons missing at home and alerted school administrators." The San Antonio Express-News reported that the student had a "12-inch knife ... a .45 caliber and .22 caliber, with additional magazines in his backpack." The whole incident happened relatively fast. After the boy's parents discovered their son (and their guns) missing around 6 a.m., they "rushed to the school" to inform administrators. "[W]hen he was confronted by administrators and his parents, the boy said he intended to make a series of demands during morning announcements. If those demands weren't met he vowed to use the weapons ..." The school went on lockdown, which ended by 11:30 a.m. The event's conclusion is obviously an unimaginable relief to the alternative. "We can have every safety tool possible but at the end of the day what it comes down to is students, staff, parents, everyone being alert," said a school official. "And if something seems out of place then letting someone know. And that's exactly what happened in this case."
Come and Talk 'Bout It — When Governor Perry said the widely covered land dispute in Arizona was "a side issue" compared to the Texas situation, it appears he wasn't exaggerating. The Texas Tribune has a great piece detailing just how complicated (and litigious) the fight is between ranchers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management over a 116-mile stretch of the Red River.The Red River dispute goes as far back as 1919 with the latest major litigation being about thirty years ago. "Texans ... have long managed some of that land. They hold deeds to it and have diligently paid taxes on it. The BLM has not fully surveyed the area, so it is not clear how many acres the locals have claimed and how many sat untouched." Confusing the issue is "avulsion and accretion — terms that describe how a river’s path might change over time." As anyone who's read Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi knows, a river's topography isn't set in stone. And "how a river moves matters mightily in boundary disputes."
BASEketball — Monday was a great day for anyone who loves American sports that start with "B" (sorry, badminton lovers, you'll have to go to abroad for your fix). After a year of stadium construction and seven months of mild teasing because of their new name, the El Paso Chihuahuas made their Triple-A debut to a sold-out crowd of 9,245 people. Fans got their money's worth, time-wise, in the thirteen-inning game. Unfortunately, the lil' pups lost to the Fresno Grizzlies in a game with the kind of score normally seen in hockey. For Texas basketball lovers, the San Antonio Spurs put a damper on the Dallas Mavericks's hot streak to win Game 4 of the playoffs. As the two Texas teams are now tied in an awesome playoff battle, Lone Star basketball fans of all stripes are winning. Scoreboard aside, the teams also came together to support for the LA Clippers brethren working for Donald Sterling. It wasn't the grandest of gestures, but it was "the first time anybody could remember the Mavericks wearing black socks," according to the Dallas Morning News.