The State of Texas: Day One of Early Voting Shatters Turnout Records
Plus: The Spurs start the post-Tim Duncan era, a Texas nurse settles her lawsuit against the Dallas hospital where she contracted Ebola, and Pimp C’s estate is in rough shape.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“This is a beautifully violent game and the same reason I loved it is why I have to walk away. That bittersweet taste will forever linger with me, but on my next journey, I get to carry those memories with me. Hopefully. Lol.”
—Arian Foster in a letter announcing his retirement, according to the Houston Chronicle. Monday evening Foster said that he’s bowing out of the NFL after eight seasons, seven of them with the Houston Texans. The running back led the league in rushing in 2010 and made the Pro Bowl four times. Foster’s entire announcement letter, which he posted on Twitter, is worth a read. It’s a well-written, introspective, and honest look at his career, and it sheds some light on the give-and-take of pro football.
Texans turned out in droves for the first day of early voting, shattering records in a number of counties and far surpassing the day-one turnout in 2012. In Harris County, 67,471 came out to the polls on Monday, absolutely destroying 2012’s first-day record of 47,093. And 61,543 additional people had mailed in their ballots as of Monday, bringing the first day of early voting’s total to a whopping 129,014 in the most populated county in the state, according to the Houston Chronicle. In Travis County, 24,000 people voted before four in the afternoon, and according to the Austin American-Statesman, election officials expected that number to hit 30,000 by the time the polls closed that evening, which would nearly double the number of early voters who came out on the first day in 2012 and bring the county close to its 2008 record. Elsewhere in the heart of Texas, Williamson County and Bastrop County also shattered first-day turnout records, and Hays County had its highest turnout in recent memory. With 35,431 voters, Bexar County broke a record, outpacing 2012’s turnout of 30,087, according to the San Antonio Express-News. A record 43,000 voted in Tarrant County, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, breaking the previous record by about 13,000 voters. The turnout isn’t a huge surprise considering a record 15 million Texans registered to vote for this election, but it’s still somewhat shocking to see these records fall around the state by such large margins. So what drew so many Texas voters to the polls? Was it a strong sense of civic duty and pride in American democracy? An unwavering hope for the future? Um, not quite. “We just want to get it over with,” one voter in Harris County told the Chronicle while he stood in line to cast his ballot. “We will be glad when this whole thing is over. It’s just been a real zoo. In my lifetime, it’s probably the worst election ever.” Oh. Turns out that sentiment was shared by a more than a few voters, at least in Harris County and Bexar County. What a time to be alive!
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The NBA season tips off Tuesday night, and the San Antonio Spurs will play in one of the night’s showcase games against the Golden State Warriors. The game itself will be a tough matchup—the Spurs will be playing without sharpshooter Danny Green—who is out with a quad injury—and the Warriors are absolutely stacked with talent after adding former Longhorn Kevin Durant to a team that already had Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Still, the Spurs are expected to hold their own Tuesday night and are set for yet another strong season led by Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, newly added NBA veteran Pau Gasol, and the old stalwarts Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. One of the biggest storylines for the Spurs, however, is not about who’s on the team, but rather who isn’t. This is the first season the Spurs will play without legend Tim Duncan in twenty years. As the San Antonio Express-News notes, this is certainly the start of a new era: there are seven new faces on the Spurs, including four rookies.
The nurse who contracted Ebola while treating the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with the disease has settled her lawsuit against Texas Health Resources, according to the Dallas Morning News. Nina Pham has been Ebola-free for exactly two years, but she continues to have health problems that could be related to the disease and the treatment she underwent to keep her alive. The terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, but the Morning News speculated that it could involve future health care coverage and millions of dollars. In the lawsuit, Pham, an ICU nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, claimed she and the rest of the staff were not properly trained to treat Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man with Ebola treated at Texas Health Presbyterian, who died in October 2014. Texas Health Resources consistently denied the claim that the staff was not adequately equipped to handle Ebola. The case was supposed to go to trial next week.
RIP Pimp C
Few rappers displayed such a profound understanding of the impermanence of life than Pimp C. But for the now-deceased half of legendary Texas rap duo UGK, personal finance troubles have extended well beyond his lifetime. According to the Beaumont Enterprise, the late rapper’s Port Arthur estate is in shambles. Pimp C, or, as the Internal Revenue Service calls him, “Chad Butler,” apparently owed millions of dollars to a former manager and the feds, and a bank moved to foreclose his Port Arthur home in May. The Enterprise examined court and financial records that show that Pimp C owed more than that home is worth, and that his posthumous music sales “are small drops in the bucket.” Apparently, Pimp C had been in debt long before his death nine years ago, a result of managers, agents, and promoters “soaking up his revenue” and leaving him with the scraps, according to an attorney for Pimp C’s widow. “Pimp C died close to broke, not by his choosing,” the attorney told the Enterprise. “There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow here. There isn’t even a rainbow. There’s actually very little, if anything. There’s more bills than anything.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Sexism and sexual misconduct is apparently a big problem in Texas Tech’s biology department The Verge
Hillary Clinton considered a Texas Republican for the open U.S. Supreme Court slot McClatchy
A nine-year-old Guatemalan girl was found wandering alone near the Paso Del Norte bridge El Paso Times
Law enforcement in Alpine is using drones to search for a missing student KOSA
Clinton dominated the Texas newspaper endorsement game Texas Tribune