QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’m the luckiest black man in America. I had two resurrections in less than 30 days: Easter, and yesterday.”
—Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price on Saturday, according to the Dallas Morning News. The embattled longtime commissioner was acquitted by a jury of bribery and mail fraud charges, and the jury was hung on Price’s four tax evasion charges, six years after the FBI first raided his offices.
At least four tornadoes swept through East Texas on Saturday night, leaving death and destruction in their wake. As of Monday morning, the death toll stands at four, with two people still missing and dozens injured, according to the Dallas Morning News. The storms covered a wide swath of East Texas, with twisters touching down in Van Zandt, Henderson, and Rains Counties. Worst hit was the city of Canton, where all four known deaths occurred. Here’s what we know so far about how the storms went down: according to the National Weather Service, an EF0 tornado hit Grand Saline at 4:15 p.m, followed an hour later by another EF0 which briefly snaked along the west side of Canton; an EF3 was recorded in Eustace at 5:30 p.m., and another EF3 began at about 5:41 p.m. near Caney City in Henderson County—that final tornado could possibly have been on the ground continuously for 51 miles, according to the Weather Service. It’s possible that the Weather Service will find that even more tornadoes hit the area Saturday night. “You see the tragedy of what these tornadoes can do,” Governor Greg Abbott said at a news conference in Canton on Sunday after touring the area to survey the damage, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “I’ve seen the rubble of what used to be homes—not houses, but homes… suddenly ripped away from them by wicked winds that are gone the next second. We as Texans come together to help our neighbors.” Some truly miraculous stories have emerged so far. About 45 people survived the storms while praying in a hallway of their church—even as a tornado literally ripped apart the exterior of the building—and somehow did not cause any injuries, according to CNN. Hundreds attended an outdoor mass the next day. A group of good samaritans freed an unconscious baby and toddler from a vehicle that had flipped over in fast-moving water and were able to revive both children, according to WFAA, with the harrowing incident captured on a bystander’s cell phone video.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
A police officer fatally shot a fifteen-year-old black teenager on Saturday night in Balch Springs, near Dallas. The victim has not yet been officially identified, but family and friends say his name is Jordan Edwards, a freshman at Mesquite High School. His family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, told the Dallas Morning News that the teen was leaving a party when a Balch Springs Police officer fired at the vehicle Edwards was in, striking Edwards in the head through the passenger’s side window. According to a press release from Balch Springs Police Department, police were responding to a call reporting drunken teenagers in the area. When the officers responded, they allegedly heard gunfire, and “there was altercation with a vehicle backing down the street towards the officers in an aggressive manner.” That’s when the officer shot at the car. The officer has yet to be publicly identified and is currently on administrative leave while the department investigates the shooting. According to Merritt, Edwards and the others in the car were not the teens police were originally alerted to and they had not been drinking. He also disputed the claim that the car had been driving aggressively. Balch Springs police officers have been equipped with body cameras since 2015, but so far no footage has been released to the public.
President George H.W. Bush was discharged from the hospital on Friday, according to the Texas Tribune. Not like we expected any other result for the tough-as-nails 92-year-old, who was admitted to Houston Methodist on April 14 after he couldn’t shake a cough. He was diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia as well as chronic bronchitis, but he kicked both ailments and made it through just fine. He’ll continue with aggressive respiratory treatments to deal with his bronchitis at home. “President and Mrs. Bush are very pleased to be home spending time with family and friends and grateful for the outstanding care provided by his doctors and nurses,” family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement. This was the second major hospitalization for Bush so far in 2017. The first one, in January, included a lengthy stint in intensive care while battling pneumonia. He made a full recovery after that one and was strong enough to participate in the coin flip before the Super Bowl in Houston.
The Central Texas city of Buda held its twentieth annual Wiener Dog Races this weekend, which is exactly what it sounds like: a glorious footrace among arguably the least-aerodynamic breed of all. About 10,000 people attended the races and accompanying country fair this year, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The theme of this year’s races was “Wienertopia,” and hundreds of dogs competed, according to Spectrum News. There were about 50 elimination races held on Saturday, followed by a few more elimination heats Sunday morning before the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals Sunday afternoon. “The idea of wiener dog races is absolutely insane,” Buda Lions Club president Mike Jackson told the Statesman. “This is weird enough to draw a lot of people out here.” One wiener-lover brought his dog from San Antonio, but the pup apparently experienced some performance anxiety. “He runs real fast, but he just stood around and looked around at everything,” he told KVUE. “It’s the first time he’s come out here, so I guess he’s not used to racing.” Here is a video including footage from some of the weekend’s races. You are welcome.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
A federal judge found Harris County’s bail system is unfair to poor people Houston Press
The Cowboys used a draft pick on a person who is currently facing a misdemeanor domestic violence charge Dallas Morning News
A great story following a mother as she brings her young son to Houston for a risky brain surgery Houston Chronicle
A United Airlines (yes, those guys again) flight made an emergency landing in Lubbock due to fumes Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
The winter growing season was a disaster for cabbage and other leafy green harvesters in the Rio Grande Valley Valley Morning Star