QUOTE OF THE DAY
“At some point, God is telling you to move.”
—U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling to CNBC on Thursday. Hensarling, a Dallas Republican, said taxpayers should not have to pay for at-risk homes that have continually flooded. He suggested that homeowners in flood-prone areas should either take steps to flood-proof their homes or get up and leave instead.
A three-judge panel in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Friday on Texas’s anti-sanctuary city law, Senate Bill 4. A lower court blocked most of the law from going into place last month, after a group of Texas cities including Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and the small border town of El Cenizo filed a suit against the state. Attorneys for the state of Texas will argue that the law is key to public safety and should not have been blocked, according to the Texas Tribune. A federal judge in San Antonio overturned most of the law’s major provisions in August, including many of its most controversial measures. Those included parts of the law that would punish local government officials who didn’t comply with federal immigration enforcement and mandated that local police enforce federal immigration law. The ruling left a measure in place that lets police ask about immigration status while investigating another crime. Texas is asking the court to lift the block while the case moves through the appeals system. “SB 4 is wholly valid, and the state has every right to prohibit its own localities from having sanctuary city policies,” Scott Keller, the Texas solicitor general, argues in the state’s motion to lift the injunction, according to the Tribune. “Moreover, the order even threatens existing and legitimate local voluntary cooperation with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration law.” A rally is also planned outside the court building before the hearing, organized by civil and immigrants’ rights groups who oppose the legislation, including the ACLU, the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, and the Congress of Day Laborers.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Ahead of next week’s scheduled ground-breaking, the Texas Rangers unveiled the latest renderings of the new Globe Life Park on Thursday, according to the Dallas Morning News. It looks pretty spectacular, a true mansion of Major League ballparks. The renderings depict a 41,000-seat behemoth complete with grand arched columns, clear views of the field from every part of the concourse, and—perhaps most importantly for a ballpark in Texas’s hot summer climate—a retractable roof. Notably, the roof actually slopes downward at certain points in a way that makes it appear somewhat understated to fans as they arrive at the ballpark. “Everybody still talks about Camden Yards, which was finished in 1992,” lead architect Bryan Trubey says, according to the Dallas Morning News (Camden Yards is the Baltimore Orioles’ ballpark). “With the exception of Globe Life Park, all the ballparks built since then have been more similar than they are different, and we think it’s time for another transformation.” All told, the stadium will take up 1.7 million-square feet and thirteen acres, at a cost of $1.1 billion. It’s set to open in time for the 2020 season.
Water, Water, Everywhere
The city of Liberty is laying claim to the unofficial rainfall record during Harvey, according to the Houston Chronicle. Although Houston received an astonishing 51 inches of rain during Hurricane Harvey, setting the previous Harvey record, the new hour-by-hour rainfall data collected by the National Weather Service shows a gauge in Liberty that recorded 55 inches of rain during the storm. According to the Chronicle, that measurement passes the previous record of 52 inches of rain from a tropical storm recorded in Hawaii in 1950. As the Chronicle notes, the record could be broken again as meteorologists continue to analyze rainfall data from Harvey. “The flooding Harvey caused from the rainfall was a historic event,” Scott Overpeck, an NWS meteorologist, tells the Chronicle. “For that reason alone, we need to make sure we get the rainfall amounts correct and understand how much rain actually fell.”
The first dog of Texas has died, according to the Dallas Morning News. Governor Greg Abbott announced the death of Oreo, his thirteen-year-old border collie, in a tweet on Thursday. “Sad news at the Governor’s Mansion today. Our border collie @OreoAbbott passed away after 13 wonderful years,” Abbott writes in the tweet. Despite Oreo’s absence, the governor’s mansion will still be roamed by Pancake, the Abbotts’ golden retriever that they added to the family in 2015. Abbott would sometimes share updates on his two dogs on his Twitter account. According to the Morning News, Oreo and Pancake were pictured hugging on National Pet Day.
WHAT WE’RE READING
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A Texas A&M track athlete is making money with his personal YouTube account, and the NCAA is on it Dallas Morning News
One in three Texas kids are obese or overweight Houston Chronicle
The Army Corps of Engineers will investigate flood control regulations in Harris County Houston Chronicle
A shoplifting suspect escaped from police custody after slipping out of a hospital bathroom Waco Tribune-Herald
More than 100,000 gallons of untreated domestic sewer water spilled from a wastewater treatment plant in Lumberton Beaumont Enterprise