QUOTE OF THE DAY
“On America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another. Let’s choose to be for one another. My great-great-great grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to being the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind. Leading the way for all nations to follow.”
—LaDainian Tomlinson on Saturday, according to USA Today. The Rosebud, Texas native and TCU legend gave a powerful speech during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You can (and should) listen to the whole thing here.
A proposed map showing an early plan for the border wall in South Texas leaked this weekend, revealing that new wall construction would snake through two wildlife refuges along the border. The McAllen Monitor obtained the map of the proposed 31-mile stretch near McAllen, showing three miles of border wall slicing through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and an unknown length of wall running through the National Butterfly Center in Mission. The leaked map only confirms what conservationists have suspected for the past month or so. Federal workers reportedly began construction on a levee wall in the Santa Ana refuge—one of the nation’s top bird-watching sites and home to more than 400 types of birds and endangered species—last month. At the National Butterfly Center, workers contracted through U.S. Customs and Border Protection appeared without warning last month and began widening roads, presumably for heavy equipment. Conservationists say the construction of a wall would have an immense detrimental impact on the wildlife living in the refuges. Local officials who were shown the map are also worried that it would cut off neighborhoods and communities that would be south of the new wall. On Friday, a group of Democratic Texas Congressman sent a letter to Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, expressing concern over the plan for the wall in South Texas. “A wall cutting through the refuge could do serious environmental and economic damage, and the American public deserves transparency for what could be billions of taxpayers’ dollars spent on a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border,” the letter said, according to the Monitor. The letter was signed by Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, Henry Cuellar of Laredo, Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Vicente Gonzalez of McAllen, Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, and Filemon Vela of Brownsville. Meanwhile, advocates for immigrants and conservationists are planning on staging a protest next week at the Santa Ana refuge.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Rest In Peace
Former Texas governor Mark White died on Saturday at the age of 77, according to the Austin American-Statesman. White was one of the last Democratic governors in Texas, serving a single term from 1983 until 1987, during which he notably oversaw major reforms in education, including implementing pay raises and competency tests for teachers, limiting class size for elementary schools, creating the state’s basic skills graduation test for high school, and pushing through a $4 billion tax increase to help pay for schools and highways. As Texas Monthly‘s R.G Ratcliffe notes, White’s “no-pass, no-play” rule for student-athletes was perhaps the most controversial policy of his tenure, given its devastating impact on Friday night football early on. Despite upsetting incumbent Republican Bill Clements in the 1982 election, White lost a rematch in 1986, ending his time as governor. “He cared about Texas deeply,” his son Andrew said, according to the Statesman. “He realized that this wasn’t about getting re-elected. This wasn’t about being popular. This was about making Texas a better place.”
Two teenage Boy Scouts died in a boating accident on Lake O’ the Pines in Hallsville on Saturday, according to the Longview News-Journal. Will Brannon, 17, and Heath Faucheux, 16, were at a troop campout at a private residence near Alley Creek on the lake’s north shore, when, shortly before two p.m. Saturday, they took out a catamaran on the water and their mast hit a power line. Brannon and Faucheux were electrocuted, according to Daniel Anderson, chief operating officer for the East Texas Boy Scouts of America. Another scout, eleven-year-old Thomas Larry, was injured and taken to a hospital, where as of Sunday he remained in critical condition. A crowd of about 300 people gathered in Hallsville Sunday night for a candlelit vigil in memoriam of the two teens. “You’re talking about great young men, men of integrity,” Hallsville Band Director Sherri Morgan told the crowd, according to the News-Journal. “We’re heart-broken, we’re devastated… All is not lost, they leave a legacy. So, they are going to live on forever.”
Legends Of The Fall
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Texas-native running back LaDainian Tomlinson were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Jones gave a speech at the induction ceremony for about 40 minutes, thanking all the folks who helped the longtime owner win three Super Bowls on his way to the Hall. On Jones’s thank-you list were former coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Tony Romo, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Larry Allen, Deion Sanders, and Jason Witten, according to the Dallas Morning News. Then, in typical Jerry Jones fashion, the Cowboys owner threw a Texas-sized party for himself, a $10 million bash with 1,000 guests at the Glenmoor Country Club, where Justin Timberlake performed in front of a who’s who crowd of Warren Buffett, Jon Bon Jovi, Tony Romo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Tomlinson’s induction was a bit less flashy, though perhaps more memorable. The Rosebud, Texas native and TCU alum gave a powerful speech, which is worth your time to watch.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Donald Trump was originally offered Mark Cuban’s role in the Sharknado 3 movie Hollywood Reporter
Meet “Nuisance,” the “town dog” of Rochester Abilene Reporter-News
The bathroom bill would probably apply to community colleges Austin American-Statesman
The town of Taft is hoping a new Exxon project nearby will produce major gains Corpus Christi Caller-Times
An Austin fisherman died with a pole in his hands Victoria Advocate