QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Four generations of family taking in the partial eclipse today. Already looking forward to the next one in Texas in 2024!”
—George H.W. Bush on Twitter on Monday. The former president posted a picture of the Bush family wearing special glasses to take in the rare total solar eclipse.
A Houston man was caught by police while he was allegedly trying to plant a bomb on a 112-year-old statue in Hermann Park, according to the Houston Chronicle. Andrew Schneck, 25, was charged on Monday with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property after a park ranger spotted him late Saturday night kneeling in the bushes near the white marble statue of Confederate Lieutenant Dick Dowling, which went up in 1905 to memorialize Confederate soldiers who died at the Battle of Sabine Pass. Schneck was apparently caught red-handed. When the ranger asked Schneck if he was trying to harm the statue, he said yes, because he didn’t like the guy, according the Chronicle. When authorities found Schneck, he allegedly had two boxes filled with a homemade detonator, a timer, wiring, a battery, a bottle of nitroglycerin and an explosive organic compound known as HMTD, hexamethylene triperoxide diamine. Federal law enforcement agencies arrived on the scene to deal with the explosives, prompting a two-day operation that forced the surrounding neighborhood near Rice University—where Schneck lives with his parents—to evacuate. Schneck’s attempt to blow up the statue came the night after a large protest in downtown Houston, where Black Lives Matter activists gathered to call for the removal of another Confederate monument in Sam Houston Park. The string of protests are part of a movement across the U.S. to get rid of Confederate monuments after white nationalists sparked deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, while protesting over the planned removal of the city’s statue of Robert E. Lee two weekends ago. Schneck could face up to forty years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he’s convicted.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
College football is almost here, so that means it’s time to rank stuff! The Associated Press released its Top 25 poll on Monday, and one Texas team managed to squeak into the rankings. The University of Texas at Austin is number 23 in the poll. The Longhorns held down the same spot in the Coaches Poll, released in early August. Although it’s a little disappointing to see just one Texas team make it in the first AP poll of the season, UT fans must be pretty excited about the high expectations for their team, considering the Longhorns finished last season with a disappointing 5-7 record before firing former head coach Charlie Strong. In fact, the last time UT made it into the final top 25 poll was in 2012, and they’ve been 16-21 in the last three seasons. But with new coach Tom Herman taking the reins and breathing new life into the storied program, things are looking up in Austin. TCU, Herman’s old stopping ground the University of Houston, and Texas A&M weren’t far behind UT—all three schools received votes in the poll but landed outside the Top 25.
The state might have to shut down four Dallas ISD campuses or take over the entire district if the city can’t turn things around in struggling schools, according to the Dallas Morning News. Four historically low-performing schools must do better on state assessments to get rid of the “improvement required” label, or else the state will have to act. Three DISD schools have been on the state’s failing list for the past five years—Carr and Titche elementary schools and Edison Middle Learning Center. Another elementary campus, J.W. Ray Learning Center, has fallen short on its report cards for four straight years. As the Morning News notes, other districts in North Texas are facing similar challenges. Fort Worth ISD has three campuses in danger of facing a state takeover. Houston, meanwhile, has a whopping thirteen struggling schools. In 2015, the Texas Lege put further scrutiny on schools that have been in “improvement required” status for five or more years, as of the 2018 to 2019 school year.
Bad News Bears
Just as the fall semester begins at Baylor University, the school has been hit with yet another Title IX lawsuit, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. In this lawsuit—the eighth Title IX case to be filed against Baylor and the fifth suit the university is currently fighting—the plaintiff, “Jane Doe 11,” alleges she was assaulted by another student in April 2017, then was questioned by university officials in a way that shifted the blame away from the alleged attacker. Attorneys representing the woman pointed out to the Tribune that the allegations come after Baylor’s “media tour patting itself on the back for ‘complete’ and ‘full’ implementation” of 105 recommendations. The recommendations, made by an independent firm, aimed at improving the university’s response to sexual assault in the wake of a scandal that led to a personnel shake-up for the president, head football coach, and athletics director. “I think that, unfortunately, it’s an example of how things still have not changed,” one of the woman’s attorneys told the Tribune. “Hopefully, they will.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Amarillo city council debates the future of the city’s Confederate monuments Amarillo Globe-News
Waco plans to celebrate its Little League Softball World Series winners with a parade Waco Tribune-Herald
A man donated $3,500 for protective vests for Grand Prairie police dogs Dallas Morning News
Sid Miller isn’t happy that the Confederate flag is no longer flying over Six Flags Over Texas Texas Tribune
The sellers of a Midland home are offering $500 in tacos to the next buyers KOSA