The State of Texas: GOP Party Kicks Off In Cleveland
Plus: Texas’s public college presidents get paid, police encounters in Texas are becoming increasingly fatal, and a brutal attack in Lubbock leaves a bunch of goats dead.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Some people were sitting in the middle of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, where there are six lane lanes of traffic. They all said they were playing a game on their phone.”
—Walt Strickland, the constable of McLennan County Precinct 1, to the Waco Tribune-Herald. The game turned out to be Pokemon Go, a popular phone app that has led to some not-so-fun outcomes for players, like getting robbed or falling off a cliff. Strickland said he has had to make a few stops related to people wandering around Waco playing Pokemon Go, and even made one arrest after a Pokemon player was spotted driving suspiciously around a church parking lot.
The Republican National Convention kicks off in Cleveland today, and with Donald Trump in control it’s fair to say that we should expect quite a show. Day one’s theme is “Make America Safe Again,” and there are a few Texans taking the stage. According to the Dallas Morning News, Rick Perry will be speaking tonight, and it’s been almost exactly one year since he called Trump “a cancer on conservatism.” The former Texas governor and two-time failed presidential candidate will probably have far more pleasant things to say about Trump this time around. According to the Texas Tribune, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul of Austin, who heads the House Homeland Security Committee, is also slated to speak, as is fellow Texan Marcus Luttrell, the ex-Navy Seal of Lone Survivor fame. Meanwhile, the Texas delegates who actually bother to show up will be stuck in the nosebleed section. As the Dallas Morning News notes, Texas’s delegation, the second-biggest delegation at the convention, will be relegated to the cheap seats throughout the week, stage far-far-far-left, tucked in the corner behind delegations from Hawaii and Kentucky, with a smaller second section for the rest of the Texans unceremoniously squeezed behind Montana, Idaho, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Is the disrespectful seating assignment the work of Trump’s tiny hands? It’s certainly possible Trump is still peeved about losing the Texas primary, but whatever the reason for the time-out treatment, delegates repping the Lone Star certainly aren’t feeling their new digs.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Three of the top four highest-paid public college executives are earning a paycheck from Texas schools, according to recently released data compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education. University of Houston president Renu Khator is at the top of the list, raking in $1,300,000 last year. Third on the list was Texas A&M president Michael K. Young, who earned $1.13 million, and University of Texas System chancellor William H. McRaven came in at number four, having made $1.09 million in 2015. As the Texas Tribune noted, Texas university executives have seen a big jump in pay recently, even as tuition continues to increase and state leaders call for schools to cut costs. Are these big wigs worth the money? Depends on who you ask. One higher education expert told the Houston Chronicle that university executives earning such high salaries is “the height of hypocrisy” and “erodes trust in the (college) administration,” while the universities defended themselves, claiming the investment in their leaders pays dividends.
An investigation by the Dallas Morning News reveals a startling statistic: nearly twice as many Texans have died during an arrest in 2015 than a decade ago. Unsurprisingly, there is also a significant racial disparity. Twenty-six percent of the 938 victims in arrest-related deaths since 2005 were African-American, even though African Americans make up only about 12 percent of Texas’s population. As the Morning News notes, the increase in fatalities comes as the number of arrests have been dropping across the state. The Morning News‘s analysis includes people who were killed by police, people who overdosed on drugs and those who committed suicide. More than half of the reported deaths from 2005-2015 were “justifiable homicides,” or incidents where the police used “justified” lethal force on an individual. The Morning News found that 54 justifiable homicides were reported in 2015, down from 61 in 2014, but up from just 31 in 2005.
Eighteen goats were killed and ten more are expected to be euthanized after suffering injuries during a brutal and strange attack in Lubbock on Friday morning, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Someone apparently went into the Lubbock Independent School District’s ag barn, where there were 29 goats, and shot and killed some of the animals. The attacker may have used some sort of “heavy item” to break the legs of other goats too. Only one goat is expected to live, and supporters of the barn plan on naming her “Miracle.” The barn is part of Lubbock ISD’s ag program, and students who had cared for the goats were understandably pretty distraught. No one has been arrested in the goat attack yet, and it’s unclear if the police have identified any suspects. Anyone involved in the attack will likely face a felony charge of cruelty to livestock animals.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Here’s what happened when a busted oil town almost became home to an immigrant family detention center Los Angeles Times
Dog racing is back in Texas Galveston Daily News
Scientists are naming new varieties of rice after Texas rivers Beaumont Enterprise
A man stole an ambulance and drove it to Jack in the Box because he was hungry Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A Driscoll police officer was fired after turning in an imposter drug detection dog KRIS