QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It was the only wet spot around until liquor sales changed. It had an illustrious strip club called Wispers.”
—Dallas real estate broker Mike Turner, to the Dallas Morning News. Turner is trying to sell the tiny town of Mustang, a 76-acre patch of land that sits Interstate 45, about five miles south of Corsicana. Although Mustang’s time as a wet oasis are over (and Wispers gone with it), Turner says Mustang still has a little store, a warehouse, some mobile homes, and “a handful” of residents.
Saved By The Bell
A statue of Robert E. Lee in Dallas’s Oak Lawn neighborhood, which city council voted almost unanimously to remove on Wednesday, was saved by a federal judge’s last-minute ruling, according to the Dallas Morning News. Work crews had the 14-foot, 81-year-old sculpture of Lee and an unnamed soldier wrapped in a harness, trying to figure out the best way to maneuver it, when U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater issued a temporary restraining order blocking its removal. Earlier Wednesday morning, Dallas City Council held a vote on whether to remove the statue, prompting “impassioned public speeches from both sides,” the Morning News wrote, before the council voted 13-1 to remove it. The vote came amid a nationwide wave of Confederate monument removals that followed violent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month over the proposed removal of another Robert E. Lee statue. But after the council voted to remove the Oak Lawn statue, Dallas resident Hiram Patterson and the Texas chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a complaint in federal court urging a judge to halt the removal, arguing that the city council had improperly voted on the item and was in violation of the First Amendment,” the group wrote in the complaint. “The city’s planned suppression of the monuments’ political speech is a first step in a totalitarian move to determine authorized forms of political communication and to punish unauthorized political speech,” the filing read. The complaint was filed by Kirk Lyons, an attorney from North Carolina who the Souther Poverty Law Center identifies as a white supremacist. Judge Fitzwater issued a temporary injunction, so the statue may still come down. Attorneys will seek a longer-term stoppage of the statue’s removal on Thursday afternoon in federal court.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The U.S. House voted nearly unanimously in favor of a $7.8 billion aid package for Hurricane Harvey, according to the Houston Chronicle. “The message is very simple,” U.S. Representative John Culberson, a Republican representing Houston, said after the package passed. “Help is on the way.” The House passed the measure on its own with a 419-3 vote, but now it heads to the Senate, which is expected to bundle the funding into a vote to raise the debt ceiling, according to CNBC. There’s been some disagreement between Democrat and Republican leaders on how long the debt limit should be extended, with some Democrats supporting a short-term debt ceiling extension, a plan also backed by President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. But House Speaker Paul Ryan said a three-month debt limit increase was “ridiculous” and “unworkable.” If the aid package passes the Senate, it’ll head back to the House later this week for a final vote.
Angela Paxton is throwing her hat in the ring for a state Senate race, according to the Texas Tribune. Paxton, of course, is married to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. A former guidance counselor at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco, she’s gunning for the seat in Senate District 8, soon to be vacated by Plano Republican Van Taylor, who is running for Congress. Her main obstacle in the race is Phillip Huffines, chairman of the Dallas County GOP and the twin brother of Republican state Senator Don Huffines. “After much prayer I’m excited to step forward with overwhelming support and encouragement from my family, long-time friends, district, regional and statewide conservative leaders, elected officials, precinct chairs and citizens from all across Senate District 8,” Paxton said on a campaign website that launched on Wednesday. In the announcement of her campaign, Paxton claimed she has been endorsed by more than a thousand people, and she has the support of a dozen state representatives from the area, including Representatives Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen and state Senator Donna Campbell.
Ready To Rebuild
Governor Greg Abbott has named Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp as the leader of the effort to rebuild in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey, according to the Wall Street Journal. Abbott will announce Sharp’s appointment as chairman of the newly-founded Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas at a news conference news conference Thursday at the state Capitol. As the Journal notes, this is a bipartisan move by Abbott. Sharp, who Texas Monthly‘s Michael Hardy profiled in July, has served as chancellor of the A&M system since 2011, and before that he was a longtime Democratic elected official, serving as the comptroller, in both houses of the state Legislature and on the Railroad Commission, according to the Texas Tribune. In the 1980s, he served in the state Senate representing a district including Victoria, one of the areas Harvey hit hardest when it made landfall. Sharp will be tasked with expediting the response and making sure local mayors and county officials get what they need quickly and effectively. “We are very cognizant of the fact that this money will come from taxes paid by hardworking Americans and we will treat it with the kind of respect and accountability that they deserve and expect,” Sharp said in a statement to the Journal.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Harvey taught the rest of the country about the real Houston Houston Press
The highest-paid high school football coach in Texas makes $155,156 a year Fort Worth Star Telegram
Deweyville flooded, again New York Times
Does no one want to shoot feral hogs from hot air balloons?! Texas Tribune
Orange County has ten unidentified Harvey victims in a temporary morgue Beaumont Enterprise