Coca-Cola Buys Topo Chico: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: Texas reacts to the Las Vegas shooting, Houston homeowners sue the state over Harvey flooding, and the renaming of San Antonio’s Robert E. Lee High School gets silly.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It felt like there was going to be a bullet in our back any minute.”
—Teri Guerra, of Fort Worth, to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Monday. Guerra was at a concert in Las Vegas on Sunday night when a gunman opened fire, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500 others.
Topo Chico, the sparkling water brand beloved by Texans, was bought on Monday by Coca-Cola, according to the Dallas Morning-News. Coca-Cola bought the rights to the Mexico-based glass-bottled beverage for a cool $220 million. As the Morning News notes, sparkling water seems to be having a moment right now, and Topo Chico is king in Texas. More than $2.3 billion worth of bottled sparkling water is sold every year nationally, and about 70 percent of Topo Chico’s sales are in Texas. Matt Hughes, vice president of incubation at Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands unit, pointed out Topo Chico’s popularity in Texas as one of the main factors that caught Coca-Cola’s eye. “As we accelerate our evolution to a total beverage company, we’re investing in brands that are on trend,” Hughes said, according to the Morning News. “Topo Chico is a fast-growing brand with a lot of passion behind it and growth runway ahead.” Though the product’s hipster clientele may be a little upset that their favorite sparkling water sold out to Big Soda, this seems to have been part of the business plan for Topo Chico all along. Gerardo Galván, the head of Topo Chico’s American arm, told the Morning News in February that he hoped to expand the drink in more markets, from New York to San Francisco. “This is a big brand. It’s going to be huge. And it’s just a matter of time,” Galván told the Morning News.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Witnessing Las Vegas
After a man opened fire at a country music concert in Las Vegas late Sunday night, killing 58 people and wounding over 500, Texans who witnessed the deadly mass shooting reacted with disbelief, prayers, and a call for change in gun legislation. Several Texans were injured in the shooting—a 23-year-old Lubbock resident and recent Texas Tech grad was shot and required surgery, and the Seguin Police Department’s Deputy Chief of Police sustained a minor injury when his hand was struck by shrapnel. The Josh Abbott Band performed on the stage hours before the shooting, and one of its members posted a thoughtful note explaining why he now supports gun control after witnessing the shooting. Texas officials, including Governor Greg Abbott and Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, expressed their sympathies for the victims, offering thoughts and prayers. The suspected shooter, Stephen Paddock, who was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, has ties to North Texas. According to the Dallas Morning News, he lived in Mesquite during the late 1990s and early 2000s, where he managed an apartment complex. He did not accumulate a criminal history while in Mesquite, except for a traffic ticket.
Dam, Enough Already
As the Houston area continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey’s damage—the latest in a long string of devastating floods—some homeowners have had enough, according to the Houston Chronicle. About sixty homeowners filed a lawsuit against two state agencies on Monday, alleging that two decades of mismanagement of the Lake Conroe Dam has caused their homes to flood repeatedly, including during Harvey. According to the suit, the San Jacinto River Authority and the Texas Water Development Board have been “intentionally flooding” their homes with releases from the dam and reservoir, starting in 1994. The agencies allegedly violated a clause of the Fifth Amendment which requires governments to provide “just compensation” for any private property taken for public use. Residents allege that in at least seven different instances, the agencies spurred “catastrophic floods” that have “turned pristine homes into mold hazards” and “turned family neighborhoods into wasteland,” without ever compensating homeowners for damages.
In the process of renaming San Antonio’s Robert E. Lee High School, one of many public institutions memorializing Confederate leaders across the nation, the North East Independent School District must query the public for suggestions. So, of course, there are some jokesters out there who proposed totally ridiculous school names. Here are some suggestions, obtained by the San Antonio Express-News on Monday after a district spokesperson said the full list of submissions would not be posted online because some were “highly offensive”: the tortillas, nothing special high school, Lil’ Wayne, p—s sucking training academy, Dildo High School, School of don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, snowflake high school #1, the Confederacy, the Hillary Clinton school of tolerance, sunshine and leprechan [sic] farts, and—perhaps most offensive of all—Jar Jar Binks High School. There were, however, some very good names, including Kawhi Leonard School of Silence, Gregg Popovich High School, Schooly McSchoolface, and, of course, “booty.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
A transgender woman says a bar on Austin’s Sixth Street wouldn’t let her use the woman’s restroom KUT
Jose Altuve of the Astros is probably going to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award Houston Chronicle
The Las Vegas shooter’s father once escaped from a federal prison in El Paso El Paso Times
Here’s how many rapes were reported on Baylor’s campus last year Waco Tribune-Herald
A fourteen-year-old in Denison was arrested for allegedly planning a school shooting Sherman Herald Democrat