Abbott Appoints Close Adviser to Texas Supreme Court: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: The Astros cash in, a Texas bump stock maker has Cyber Monday sales after the product was used to kill 58 people in Las Vegas, and another storied college football program in Texas fires its head coach.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Tater didn’t hear a thing. And he’s got good ears.”
—Nathan Dowd of Austin, to KVUE. Dowd and his wife, Natalie, woke up to find massive damage to their garage door, glass smashed from the windows, a beam shattered, much of the yard apparently run-over, and car parts strewn all over the place. Dowd said he slept through the night and didn’t hear a thing, and neither did his dog, Tater.
Governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday that Jimmy Blacklock, the general counsel in the governor’s office, will replace Judge Don Willett on the Texas Supreme Court as soon as Willett’s nomination to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is approved by the U.S. Senate. Blacklock is one of Abbott’s closest advisers, and he’s worked with Abbott for about ten years, serving as deputy attorney general for legal counsel and in the solicitor general’s division back when Abbott was attorney general, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “He will be a conservative vote on the court who can help influence the court’s decisions through his legal skills as well as through his insightful understanding of the law,” Abbott said at a press conference Monday. Abbott also said Blacklock played a big role in the state’s legal battle over the Affordable Care Act and in fighting against abortion rights. Blacklock will serve for the remainder of Willett’s six-year term, which expires at the end of 2018. He doesn’t need to be approved by the Texas Senate because the legislature is not in session, according to the Statesman. He’s got big shoes to fill, as Willett was one of the most popular personalities in state politics, and had gained a national reputation for his quick-witted tweets—the Texas House ceremonially named him the “Tweeter Laureate of Texas.” Blacklock, meanwhile, doesn’t have a Twitter account, and apparently uses a flip phone.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The Houston Astros are still riding the wave of the franchise’s first-ever World Series championship title earlier this month, and now the team has a massive influx of money to work with. According to the Houston Chronicle, Major League Baseball announced on Monday that the full postseason shares for the Astros were each worth $438,901.57, which is a record for a World Series champion. Sixty Astros players and staff members received full shares, and the team issued 9.23 partial shares with four cash awards. The players had met before the start of the playoffs to decide who would receive full shares as opposed to partial shares. The previous record for a postseason share was $392,006.36, which the San Francisco Giants received after winning the World Series in 2014. The 2016 champions, the Chicago Cubs, received full shares worth $368,871.59.
Slide Fire, the tiny company based in Moran, Texas, that produces bump stocks, offered the product at a discount on Cyber Monday, according to the Dallas Morning News. Slide Fire has faced criticism ever since the bump stock it makes was found in the hotel room of Stephen Paddock, who used it to kill 58 people and injure more than 500 in Las Vegas last month. Bump stocks are a device that someone can attach to the end of a semi-automatic rifle to make it fire at nearly automatic rates. “We will have a wide variety of products available for sale on Cyber Monday!” Slide Fire Solutions announced in an email on Friday, according to the Morning News, adding that inventory is limited and shipping will take up to two weeks. “At 12:00 a.m. CST on November 27th, items will begin to be listed for sale.” Slide Fire’s owner, Jeremiah Cottle, suspended shipments of the bump stock immediately after it was used to massacre nearly 60 people in Las Vegas, but now he’s apparently back in business.
A day after Texas A&M cut ties with its head football coach Kevin Sumlin, yet another storied college football powerhouse in Texas has fired its head coach: David Bailiff is out at Rice, according to the Houston Chronicle. OK, so maybe Rice isn’t exactly a powerhouse program (they have won just one game this season), but Bailiff had actually done a decent job at a school that has played in just 12 games in 104 seasons. Bailiff was 57-80 in eleven seasons and led Rice to four bowls, including three straight from 2012 through 2014. He was named Conference USA’s coach of the year twice, in 2008 and 2013, and his 57 wins are second in school history behind Jess Neely. Bailiff shepherded Rice to two of the program’s ten-win seasons—Rice previously hadn’t won that many games in a year since 1949. He also saw eight players selected in the NFL draft. But ever since Rice won its first outright conference title in 56 years in 2013, Bailiff’s teams have been progressively worse, finishing 8-5, 5-7, 3-9, and now 1-11. The team’s only win this year came against UTEP, which finished 0-12.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
A million gallons a day of partially treated sewage could soon be released into Plum Creek in Kyle Austin American-Statesman
The city of Pharr settled four sexual harassment claims against its city media director KGBT
Here’s what happens after people are deported back to dangerous, unfamiliar countries Houston Chronicle
Starr County approved a resolution opposing a border wall McAllen Monitor
Beto O’Rourke officially filed to challenge Ted Cruz in 2018 The Hill