Journalist Found Not Guilty for Participating in Trump Protest: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: Holiday travel forecast looks good in Texas, a young boy is caught in the crossfire of a police shootout in San Antonio, and Paxton says it’s OK to bring concealed gun into church.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It’s a homecoming. It’s finality. It’s recognition.”
—Kui Red Eagle to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, after the 1,100-year-old remains of an unidentified Native American woman were re-buried during a ceremony at Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth. The woman’s bones were discovered in March 2016 by construction workers who were digging a trench downtown.
Free at Last
A freelance photojournalist from Texas who was arrested at the protests against President Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. in January was found not guilty on all seven charges relating to his alleged role in the protests, according to the San Antonio Current. Alexei Wood, a San Antonio-based photographer, had been photographing and live-streaming the protest and did not play any role in organizing the event. But when some protesters resorted to violence, hundreds were arrested, including several journalists who, like Wood, were there to report the news. As the Current notes, prosecutors handed the same charges to everyone who was arrested, claiming each defendant was responsible for any criminal actions taken by others who happened to be arrested in the same sweep. Wood was charged with six felony charges—one charge of inciting a riot and five counts of destruction of property—and two misdemeanor counts of rioting and conspiracy to riot. He faced up to 61 years in prison. It was an unusual case that raised larger questions about press freedoms. Wood was one of two journalists arrested in the sweep. Aaron Cantú, a staff reporter at The Santa Fe Reporter in New Mexico and a native of McAllen, has his trial set for October 2018.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
If you’re traveling in Texas during the holiday season, then you’re in luck. There’s no serious winter weather forecast for the state through Christmas day, and temperatures this weekend range from highs of 58 in Houston to 76 in Brownsville to 65 in San Antonio and 57 in Amarillo, according to KPRC. A cold front will sweep through parts of East and Southeast Texas, including Houston, on Friday, but it’s only expected to bring “showers and a thunderstorm or two,” writes KPRC. The air behind the front will be chilly, but dry.
A seven-year-old boy was shot and killed when he was caught in the crossfire during a police shootout that also left a woman dead, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Bexar County sheriff’s deputies opened fire on the woman at a mobile home park following a long manhunt on Thursday. The woman was a wanted felon and a suspect in a car theft. Authorities said the woman, whose name has not yet been released, had been trying to break into a mobile home, the child inside, when deputies caught up with her on the front porch. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said that they believed she was armed when the shootout began, but as of late Thursday night investigators had not found a weapon on her, according to KENS5. There is no apparent connection between the woman and the mobile home or the child. It’s unclear why deputies started shooting, but at least one round tore through the wall of the mobile home and hit the seven-year-old in the torso. Students at his school had been released early that day, at noon, for winter break.
Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Thursday that Texans with a concealed handgun license can carry their guns into Texas churches, so long as the churches allow it. “Unless a church provides effective oral or written notice prohibiting the carrying of handguns on its property, a license holder may carry a handgun on church property as the law otherwise allows,” Paxton wrote in an opinion issued Thursday, according to the Texas Tribune. Carrying a gun in places of worship became a hot-button issue after a gunman killed 26 people at Sutherland Springs’ First Baptist Church in November. It was the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history. Earlier this month, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick asked Paxton to clarify the issue, and asked whether churches are exempt from state fees for creating volunteer security teams. Paxton said churches don’t have to pay the fees under Senate Bill 2065, which went into effect in September.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Schools don’t actually have to participate in the UIL-wide football concussion study Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Rowlett makes art to symbolize its recovery after a deadly tornado two years ago Dallas Morning News
Houston students are worried about an immigration crackdown under Trump Houston Chronicle
Snoop Dogg showed up at a San Antonio barbecue joint to surprise the youth football team that beat his own team for the national title San Antonio Express-News
Future NFL pro and UT lineman Connor Williams opens up about being bullied as a kid NFL.com