QUOTE OF THE DAY
“My grandma is missing a toe on each foot. I think it’s the second [toes]. Ganny, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said it… But she has darling feet!”
—Jenna Bush Hager on the Today show, according to the Houston Chronicle. So if you did not know that Hager’s grandmother, Barbara Bush, has only eight digits on her feet, that is something that you now know.
Moving Day—Attorney General Ken Paxton’s criminal securities fraud trial is headed to Harris County. Judge George Gallagher made the relocation decision on Tuesday, after having previously ruled in favor of the prosecution, which had successfully argued that Paxton had too many friendly faces in Collin County, where the case was originally heard. “Harris County was selected because the lead counsel for the state and the defense are located there,” Gallagher said in a statement, according to the Texas Tribune. “Harris County also has the facilities to accommodate the trial.” It’s probably fair to call this outcome the worst-case scenario for Paxton and his team. Paxton is a long-time resident of Collin County, which includes McKinney, and along with that home-field advantage, Paxton, who is a Republican, would have also enjoyed the added benefit of having his trial play out among a sea of Republican supporters, as Collin County is solid red. Harris County? Not so much. Anchored by Houston, Harris County is among the bluest counties in the state. The Attorney General’s legal team was apparently pretty peeved at Gallagher’s decision. So much so that they immediately filed a motion to have Gallagher removed from the case and a new Harris County judge instituted in his place. The trial was originally scheduled for May 1, but that will likely be significantly delayed, given the change in venue. According to the Dallas Morning News, we may not have a trial until late summer or the early fall, which would make it more than two years since Paxton was first indicted.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Fixer Upper—One of the oldest Texas monuments is about to get a brand-new look. The visual details of the master plan to give the Alamo a makeover were revealed on Tuesday night, giving us the first peak at artistic renderings of the remodel, according to the San Antonio-Express News. You can see the renderings, along with a handy before-and-after type presentation, over at the Rivard Report. It looks pretty snazzy. Long, glass walls will surround the property’s original boundary, including a mock Spanish-mission style archway. There will be a new, tree-lined pedestrian walkway (in all, there will be 5.5 acres of new pedestrian space), and a new four-story museum with a rooftop garden and restaurant—you know, just like in the old days! The plan is expected to cost about $450 million, and it will take about seven years to complete, so it should be ready just in time for the Alamo’s 300th birthday bash in 2024.
Distracted Driving—The 20-year old driver of a pickup that last month crashed into a bus carrying 14 members of a New Braunfels church, killing all but one of them, had taken several prescription drugs—including a generic form of the sleeping pill Ambien—and was in possession of marijuana at the time of the accident, court records revealed on Tuesday. According to the San Antonio Express-News, the new court records show that state troopers had probable cause to believe that Jack D. Young was intoxicated when he crossed the center line on U.S. 83 in Uvalde and struck the church van. Young said after the crash that he had taken two Clonazepam pills, which he said makes him sleepy, as well as the generic forms of Ambien and Lexapro. Investigators also recovered two intact marijuana cigarettes from the center console of his truck, along with five partially smoked joints. It’ll likely be a few weeks before the investigation into Young is complete, but as of right now he has yet to be charged.
Better Safe Than Sorry—Police were able to uncover an alleged front for a prostitution ring at a massage parlor in Austin after a waste pipe at the location burst because it was clogged with, um, condoms. It’s not quite catching them in the act, but it’s about as close as the police could ever come. According to the Austin American-Statesman, the condom overflow at Jade Massage Therapy was the smoking gun among several other pieces of evidence indicating the parlor’s alleged business operation. Investigators identified the owners of the business as a man named Joseph Emery and his wife, Juan Wang. “I was like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,'” Austin police Human Trafficking and Vice Unit Sgt. Kevin Covington told the Statesman about the condom-clogged pipe. “It’s not the normal tip you would get, or lead you would get on a place committing criminal activity, but it happened, so that helped us out.” Here’s a tip: never, ever flush condoms down the toilet, y’all.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Looks as though Dallas’s city-owned tennis courts are in danger Dallas Morning News
A San Antonio military hospital’s elite burn unit is now helping treat civilians, too NPR
Is sand mining the next big thing in Texas? Houston Chronicle
Someone put copies of the Quran in the toilet at UT-Dallas The Mercury
A pesky squirrel caused a power outage for more than 2,000 people in Victoria Victoria Advocate