QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Huckleberry is living up to his name and learned how to jump onto our roof from the backyard. We never leave him in the backyard without someone being at home. He will not jump off unless you entice him with food or a ball! We appreciate your concern but please do not knock on our door… we know he’s up there!”
—Justin and Allie Lindenmuth, in a note posted on the door of their South Austin home, according to KVUE. Huckleberry is their dog, and apparently he enjoys spending time on the roof. Just, like, sittin’. There are photos, and they are good.
The San Antonio Spurs emerged victorious from an all-Texas playoff battle against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, demolishing their Lone Star State rivals in game six of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals and advancing to the Conference Finals, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The game was pretty shocking—not in that the Spurs won, because that’s just what they do, but rather in the way they won. It was a blowout from the beginning, with the Spurs soaring to a 19-point lead at the end of the first half and hanging on to win by a whopping 39 points, 114-75. It’s an unusually large margin of victory for an elimination game in the NBA playoffs, when one would assume both teams would show up ready to play. Also, the Spurs were without their best player, Kawhi Leonard, who sat out the game after suffering an ankle injury on Wednesday (his replacement, Houston native Jonathan Simmons, scored 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting). And though the Rockets had home court advantage, San Antonio still managed to dominate the game in every facet, shooting 53 percent from the field, out-rebounding the Rockets 69-44, registering 32 assists to Houston’s 14, and outscoring the Rockets in the paint 62-18. MVP hopeful James Harden did little to help the Rockets, scoring just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting while turning the ball over 6 times. “I feel really bad for them that it ended this way because they did not deserve this,” Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said after the game, according to the Houston Chronicle. “But at the same time, San Antonio beat us. They beat us. We didn’t have any kind of response. This will hurt for a while.” Next up for the Spurs? The Golden State Warriors.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
A bunch of bills died in the Texas House when the clock struck midnight, thanks to a long Thursday night debate during which House conservatives couldn’t see eye-to-eye. According to the Texas Tribune, more than 100 pieces of legislation didn’t make it past the first bill-passing deadline of this legislative session, and things got pretty ugly in the process. Infighting among conservatives was fierce. Things were said. Feelings were hurt. “It’s been personal attacks, personal retributions, petty personal politics. And this caucus has had enough of it,” said Representative Jeff Leach, a Republican from Plano and member of the conservative Texas Freedom Caucus, arguing that the bills he and his allies hoped to pass were being tossed aside by their fellow conservatives in retribution for their own obstructionist methods throughout the session and for failing to fall in line behind House Speaker Joe Straus. With about 30 minutes to go before the deadline and hope all but lost, an apparently disgusted Representative Jonathan Stickland took the microphone on the floor and shouted, “It’s disgusting! It’s disgusting!”
Stuart Bowen resigned from his governor-appointed post as inspector general for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on Thursday amid questions about his consulting work for the Iraqi government. Texas Monthly‘s own R.G. Ratcliffe was the first to report Bowen’s resignation. Late last year, Bowen was hired as a senior advisor to a Washington lobbying firm that was registered as a foreign agent for the government of Iraq. The firm repeatedly named-dropped Bowen in letters to Trump administration officials in its attempts to get Iraq taken off the travel ban list, describing Bowen as a “senior adviser to our firm.” Bowen’s letter of resignation said he was leaving to pursue “new opportunities,” and he denied any wrongdoing, telling Texas Monthly that he “never worked for Iraq and was not involved in any law firm activities regarding the travel ban issue.” But in an email to Texas Monthly, Governor Greg Abbott’s spokesman John Wittman said that the situation “was a serious and unacceptable lapse in judgment by Mr. Bowen,” adding, “The day the governor was made aware, he took immediate action and asked Mr. Bowen to resign.”
New World Order
Scientists at Texas State University were surprised to see a deer chomping on a human bone, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Deer, and their fellow hoofed family members, apparently do not typically gnaw on the decomposing bodies of man. But in a paper recently published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Texas State scientists said they observed one of the animals enjoying a human rib bone “like a cigar.” According to the scientists, it’s “the first known evidence of a white-tailed deer scavenging human bones.” The incident was captured on camera at the university Forensic Anthropology Center’s 26-acre property in San Marcos, which is typically used to study human decomposition in nature (fun stuff!). “We were surprised only because we see the deer so often in the photos from our motion-sensored cameras,” scientist Lauren Meckel told the Statesman. “Usually they walk around the skeleton and sniff it a few times, but never had we seen the deer actually pick up one of the bones.” Is this the beginning of a deer coup? Probably not. But if scientists start to see a bunch of deer firing up barbecue pits, then it may be cause for concern.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
The DOJ is investigating the fatal police shooting of fifteen-year-old Jordan Edwards Reuters
Here’s where every Texan in Congress stands on Russia Texas Tribune
An East Texas native is reportedly being considered to lead the FBI Tyler Morning Telegraph
111-year-old World War II veteran Richard Overton’s Austin birthday party was truly lit Austin American-Statesman
Galveston is trying to figure out how to stop massive bird massacres due to flying into windows Galveston Daily News