Harris County Sues Arkema for Post-Harvey Emissions: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: Driver of ’F–k Trump’ truck is arrested, Texas senator introduces bipartisan bill on gun control, and the race to annex land.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It’s not a rule that you have to be six-foot or you have to be really strong to play baseball and become a good player.”
—Five-foot-six-inch Astro Jose Altuvé, according to the Associated Press. Altuvé won the American League MVP on Thursday after securing 27 of the 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. As the Associated Press notes, “nobody is standing taller” than the second baseman right now.
In the aftermath of Harvey, several explosions occurred at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, prompting hundreds of home in the area to be evacuated and hospitalizing 30 people. On Thursday, Harris County filed suit against the company, saying the company violated environmental, safety, and building regulations, ultimately putting first responders at risk, according to the Houston Chronicle. The state district court lawsuit demands up to $1 million in damages and asks that Arkema upgrade its emergency response plans, devise a system to alert residents nearby in case of emergency, and build stronger storage units. “This was a very dangerous situation,” County Attorney Vince Ryan says. “Arkema must take responsibility for its inability to ensure the safety of the people of the Crosby community and those who protect them.” A lawyer for Arkema, which hasn’t resumed operations since Harvey, says that the company plans to fight the lawsuit. “Suing a victim is never the right solution to a natural disaster,” attorney Rusty Hardin says. “We are disappointed that this lawsuit was filed when we were in discussions with the county to cooperatively resolve the issues. As they and we all know, this was an extraordinary flooding event. Arkema and its employees, like other businesses and individuals in Harris County, were victims of this storm.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Senator John Cornyn, the number two Republican in his chamber, has teamed up with one of the most outspoken Democrats on gun control for a bipartisan bill that seeks to improve the federal background check system after a breakdown allowed the Sutherland Springs church shooter to purchase firearms despite a criminal conviction, according to the Dallas Morning News. Cornyn and Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced the Fix NICS Act, which will “penalize federal agencies that fail to report records and incentivize states to send criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” according to the Morning News.
The woman with a “F–k Trump” sticker on the back window of her truck has been arrested after a post from Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls went viral. Karen Fonseca was arrested on Thursday on unrelated fraud charges and is out on bond, according to the Houston Chronicle. Nehls, meanwhile, has taken down his Facebook post. His office released this statement Thursday afternoon: “The Sheriff made the post on his Personal page. The objective of the post was to find the owner/driver of the truck and have a conversation with them in order to prevent a potential altercation between the truck driver and those offended by the message. Since the owner of the truck has been identified, the Sheriff took down the post. Due to the hate messages he has been receiving towards his wife and children, the Sheriff will not be commenting on the matter further.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
A customer joined the mariachi serenade at Mi Tierra in San Antonio, and the internet went crazy San Antonio Express-News
Franklin Barbecue will reopen on Tuesday, y’all Austin American-Statesman
Suspect ends twenty-mile police chase through Houston by dancing Associated Press
Six decades ago, Texas used to have two Thanksgivings Fort Worth Star-Telegram