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Court Allows Ezekiel Elliott to Play on Sunday: Your Texas Roundup

Plus: The feds reveal their findings after investigating the fatal Lockhart balloon crash, a tank explosion at a South Texas oil field injures two, and the new-look Rockets start their season by knocking off the Warriors.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY


“Bridge City cheerleaders bleed red!”

—A sign showing the, um, apparently not-so-unique team spirit of Bridge City High School’s cheerleaders, according to the Beaumont Enterprise


BIG NEWS


Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.

Tom Pennington/Getty

Back Again
Well, it looks like Ezekiel Elliott will get to play on Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys running back got a big break on Tuesday night, when a federal judge in New York allowed a temporary restraining order after hearing oral arguments from Elliott’s attorneys with the NFL Players Association, according to the Dallas Morning News. The temporary order holds through October 30, or whenever the New York court holds another hearing on whether Elliott should be granted a preliminary injunction. Adding another complication to Elliott’s serpentine case, the assigned judge, Katherine Polk Failla, was out of town, so she’ll make the lasting decision on Elliott’s suspended status when she comes back. Elliott never faced criminal charges for domestic violence allegations involving a girlfriend in 2016, but the NFL found his actions warranted a suspension in August. In September, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking the suspension, siding with NFL players’ union attorneys who claimed the investigation process was unfair to Elliott, which allowed him to play earlier this season. Less than a week ago, Elliott’s season again seemed in jeopardy when a federal appeals court ruled that the NFL could continue its six-game suspension of the second-year running back.  It now appears as though he’ll get to play at least one more game.


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


Balloon Crash
Over a year after a hot air balloon crashed in Lockhart, leaving the pilot and all fifteen passengers dead, the National Transportation Safety Board finally completed its investigation into the incident. The board revealed its findings during a hearing in Washington on Tuesday, and found that poor regulatory oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration contributed to the deadly crash, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The safety board specifically recommended the FAA require medical checks for commercial balloon pilots, after revealing that the pilot, Skip Nichols, had been significantly impaired at the time of the crash by a cocktail of drugs, including Oxycodone, Valium, and enough Benadryl to have the same effect as drunk driving. Nichols also had prior convictions for drunk driving, but was still able to get his pilot’s license. After the hearing, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, an Austin Democrat, and Senator Ted Cruz issued statements supporting the safety board’s recommendation.

Oilfield Accident
A tank explosion at a South Texas oilfield on Tuesday morning left two workers injured, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The tanks blew up at a Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. production facility just south of Dilley, and the two workers are reportedly in stable condition after being transported to the hospital. Emergency responders created a quarter-mile evacuation zone around the facility, which is in a very rural area, La Salle County acting Fire Chief Daniel Mendez told the Express-News. Other buildings and facilities apparently weren’t affected. A spokesperson for the Texas Railroad Commission told the Express-News Tuesday afternoon that it had an inspector on site, and that the operator had notified the commission of the tank explosion.

Soaring Rockets
The NBA season officially began Tuesday night, and the new-look Houston Rockets started their season with a huge comeback win on the road against the reigning champs in Oakland, California, according to the Houston Chronicle. James Harden led the Rockets, scoring with 27 points, and new addition superstar point guard Chris Paul had eleven assists, but it was two late-fourth-quarter free throws by P.J. Tucker—an offseason free-agent signing known more for his defense than his scoring—that gave the Rockets a 122-121 win over the Golden State Warriors. The Rockets fell behind by as much as seventeen points in the third quarter and were down thirteen heading into the fourth, usually an unsurmountable deficit against the Warriors. But the Rockets hung in there and rallied in the fourth, and emerged the lucky victors after the Warriors’ Steph Curry missed a three-point shot with seconds left and, after Golden State secured the offensive rebound, Kevin Durant swished a jumper that dropped in just after the final horn sounded.


WHAT WE’RE READING


Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.

The Russians apparently hoaxed a bunch of Texans on Facebook Washington Post

146 women in Texas were killed by their intimate partners last year Dallas Morning News

The Astros lost again, so the ACLS is tied at 2-2 Houston Chronicle

The full story behind the Selena Google Doodle Billboard

Residents in Harvey-stricken cities in Southeast Texas still need help Galveston Daily News

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