QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You want beef Wendy’s? You’ve got it!”
—The sign board outside Pure Water Ice and Tea Company in Lubbock, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Apparently the store has been engaged in a lighthearted (but still savage) sign battle with the Wendy’s restaurant across the intersection. The beef began when Pure Water posted a message on its sign that “Kliff Kingsbury drinks for free,” and Wendy’s responded with its own sign offering the head football coach at Texas Tech free food and drink. Kingsbury hasn’t taken either joint up on their offers.
The cities of San Antonio and Austin have joined the legal battle against Senate Bill 4, Texas’s new law targeting sanctuary cities. Both cities announced on Thursday that they have filed suit against the state of Texas, according to the Texas Tribune. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed the federal lawsuit suit Thursday against Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton on behalf of San Antonio City Councilman Rey Saldaña and non-profits La Unión Del Pueblo Entero, the Worker’s Defense Project, and the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education. Austin’s city attorney will file a motion to join the suit on Friday, but has plans to use its own attorneys and make some claims that are specific to Austin. MALDEF’s president Thomas A. Saenz told the Tribune that the suit makes “arguments against each and every provision in SB 4,” alleging the law violates the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Abbott signed SB 4 into law May 7, and the lawsuit is an attempt to grind things to a halt before the law goes into effect on September 1. The law allows law enforcement officers to ask about the immigration status of people who are being detained or arrested, which critics say could lead to racial profiling. It also gives the state the ability to crack down on local jurisdictions who don’t fully cooperate with federal immigration agencies. SB 4 has faced criticism from civil rights advocates as well as local police chiefs and sheriffs. San Antonio and Austin are the largest cities so far to sue over SB 4. El Paso County, Maverick County, and the city of El Cenizo in Webb County filed lawsuits in May.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that the U.S. will leave the Paris climate accord, an exit that removes the U.S. from its leadership role in the world’s fight against global warming. Environmentalists, Democrats, some Republicans, the Catholic church, a handful of members of Trump’s advisory team including Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, big energy companies including Exxon and Conoco, corporate giants like Google and Nike, European leaders, and Trump’s daughter Ivanka had all previously expressed their support for the U.S. to stay in the pact so it can work with other nations to reduce carbon emissions. According to the Houston Chronicle, Trump’s decision to leave was cheered by Texas politicians in D.C. San Antonio U.S. Representative Lamar Smith, a Republican and a staunch global warming skeptic, said in a statement that Trump “freed America from a bad deal.”
A Fort Worth police officer who shot and injured a mentally ill African-American man won’t go to court again after a mistrial was declared last week, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson filed a dismissal of the charge against officer Courtney Johnson, who is white. Wilson wrote in the motion to dismiss that “any subsequent retrial is unlikely to result in the return of a unanimous jury verdict.” The first trial ended after the jury deadlocked at 5-to-7 (we don’t know which way the jury was leaning). Johnson testified that when he shot and wounded 56-year-old Craigory Adams in 2015, he thought Adams had a knife. But it was just a barbecue fork. Dashcam video shows that Adams complied with Johnson’s orders, dropped the fork and gone down on one knee, but Johnson still shot him. Johnson and the Fort Worth Police Department claimed the officer’s shotgun went off by accident. Johnson’s attorney told the Telegram that his gun and badge have been returned, and he was already back at the shooting range on Thursday to recertify. “I don’t feel good about it,” Adams’s cousin told the Telegram. “It is what it is. That’s the system.”
Guardians Of Balmorhea
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department launched an environmental study of the San Solomon Springs in Balmorhea State Park out of concern for the area after Houston’s Apache Corp. announced that it plans to drill a massive oil patch surrounding the West Texas reserve last year. The Houston Chronicle is calling this study an “unprecedented” move to protect the park, using park biologists, hydrologists, geologists, and administrators to conduct a massive, multi-year effort to monitor the park’s plants, fish, insects, and water. The researchers will “cordon off habitat, overturn rocks, get out nets and count samples from every important species that depend on the San Solomon and other local springs,” with the hope that their findings will help hold Apache accountable if their drilling causes any problems. This is the first study of its kind in any of Texas’s state parks. “We have a rare and endangered resource there at the San Solomon Springs,” Director of State Parks Brent Leisure told the Chronicle. “There’s no doubt about it. It’s an oasis. We just want to make sure it’s protected.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Non-profit RideAustin has seen its users drop by a third since Uber and Lyft returned to Austin KXAN
The Astros are on pace for one of the best seasons of any MLB team ever Houston Press
A 60,000-ton Navy “supercarrier” received a fitting send-off before being recycled in Brownsville McAllen Monitor
An 84-year-old allegedly shot and killed his 80-year-old neighbor in Killeen after a years-long feud Killeen Daily Herald
About a hundred animals still need homes after being orphaned by the Canton tornadoes KYTX