Quote of the Day
“Even though it was a $10 ring, it’s still a state jail felony.”
—Odessa Police Department spokesperson Steve LeSueuer to the Odessa American, after a woman lifted the inexpensive jewelry item from the finger of a deceased 88-year-old woman at a funeral home. Surveillance video of the bizarre incident last Friday went viral earlier this week. LeSueuer said the department has “received a lot of tips” but has not yet been able to identify the thief.
Invested in Trouble—There’s a new front in Attorney General Ken Paxton’s long legal war: federal court. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Paxton on Monday, alleging the he misled investors while recruiting for Dallas-based technology company Servergy, and also failed to disclose to his recruits that the company was paying him to pitch on its behalf (this was first reported by the Houston Chronicle). Sound familiar? That’s because the charges are almost the exact same ones brought against Paxton by a Dallas-area grand jury a year ago, as the Texas Tribune noted (Paxton remains mired in that court fight). The federal complaint says Paxton raised $840,000 in investments for the company, and received in return 100,000 shares of stock. The lawsuit also alleges the company’s CEO defrauded investors, claiming he lied about Servergy’s clients and exaggerated a new product’s abilities. With one foot in federal court and the other fending off a potential felony conviction in Collin County, Paxton’s detractors are calling for him to step down. “Enough is enough,” Manny Garcia, deputy executive director of the Texas Democrats, said in a statement according to the Chronicle. “How many more investigations, criminal charges, and lawsuits need to be filed before Republican Ken Paxton takes responsibility for his lawlessness and resigns?”
Gun Debate—As the University of Texas continues to mourn the brutal murder of an eighteen-year-old freshman, the incident has also apparently sparked yet another heated debate about guns. The national pro-gun group Students for Concealed Carry is arguing that UT’s proposed campus carry policy would place the safety of students at risk. “The senselessness of this heinous crime reaffirms that we can’t try to predict when and where violence will strike. For that reason, vetted, licensed adults should enjoy the same measure of personal protection on campus that they already enjoy virtually everywhere else,” said Antonia Okafor, Southwest regional director for the group, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Unsurprisingly, the insertion of such a divisive subject at a time when students and faculty are still coping with grief rubbed many people the wrong way. Writes the Statesman: “Critics accused the group of using a tragic situation to score political points with an overly alarmist message.” For now, UT appears to be sticking to its original campus carry plan. “We want this to be a safe campus for everyone,” UT President Gregory Fenves said, according to the Statesman. “We are continuing to implement campus carry policies I announced in February, and I don’t foresee any changes.”
Shopping Cart Cleansing—Public enemy number one in Dallas? Shopping carts. There are so many wayward four-wheeled baskets circulating the streets of Big D that City Council is pushing for a “seek and destroy” plan to wipe out the rolling menace once and for all. According to the Dallas Morning News, the city has dealt with 1,762 calls involving carts in the right of way since 2010. The mobile baskets have apparently overtaken at least one “sprawling expanse of apartments,” and “street services say they’re a menace, rolling into traffic and blocking alleyways and being used as ‘makeshift go-karts.'” The issue has reached crisis level. Possible solutions range from the barbaric (the aforementioned “search and destroy”) to the genius (a high-tech method that locks a cart’s wheels should it pass an electric-fenced perimeter). Advocating for Shopping Cart’s Rights appears to be a lonely, thankless proposition—only one council member was against the search-and-destroy method. Writes the Morning News: “council member Ricky Callahan… didn’t think it was fair to discipline store owners victimized by people who walk — or roll — off with private property. As far as he was concerned, that’s punishing the victim — like crushing a kid’s bicycle if it’s discovered in the median.” Save the shopping carts!