The State of Texas: Texas Gets Spooky
Baylor regents open up about the Pepper Hamilton report, Texas students lose their fight to reclaim Santa Anna’s lost leg, and a Dallas man scatters his friend’s ashes at the Met opera.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’ve been more in trouble with the live ones than the dead ones. I don’t have a problem with the dead ones. They don’t bother me.”
It’s Halloween, and Texans can get spooky with the best of them. A recent WalletHub survey named thirteen Texas cities among the best cities for Halloween, including two in the top ten—Laredo at number five and Plano at number eight. A more anecdotal investigation proves Texas does Halloween pretty darn well. An Irving mom’s inventive costume—she dressed as a disembodied head sitting in a refrigerator—went viral. A family in Lumberton, near Beaumont, has a brilliantly creative skeleton display set up in their front yard—they change the scene each day, and they’re cleverly calling the project “Keeping Up With The Bones.” Former Texas Longhorns tight end Jermichael Finley donned a trash bin and dressed as “canned Charlie Strong,” a poke at the team’s current head coach who’s been in the hot seat for most of the season. An Arlington car wash has gone all-out in an effort to scare you while your ride gets sparkly clean, and a fake ghost town called “Judge-Mint” popped up just outside Parker County, where you can buy a ticket to immerse yourself in a creepy apocalyptic world, complete with one hundred actors paid to scare you senseless. Unfortunately, Texas outside of the fabricated Judge-Mine is pretty scary too. Five people were shot at a Halloween party in San Antonio over the weekend by a party-crasher dressed up as Freddy Krueger, and a middle school teacher allegedly murdered two roommates outside a Halloween party in Fort Worth last week. At least the wave of “creepy clowns” seems to have receded, though, and so long as you follow the Texas Department of Public Safety’s tips, you should be just fine tonight. The University of Texas at Austin has its own tips—29 of them, to be exact—on how to not be needlessly offensive when dressing up for Halloween. Some get-ups to avoid, according to the guide: “cowboys and Indians,” “white trash,” and—for the love of all saints, please don’t do this one—”ghetto fabulous”.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Bad News Bears
Baylor regents shed some new light on the university’s sexual assault scandal, sharing some new details with the Wall Street Journal about the report from the law firm Pepper Hamilton. “There was a cultural issue there that was putting winning football games above everything else, including our values,” J. Cary Gray, a lawyer and member of the Baylor board of regents, told the Journal. “We did not have a caring community when it came to these women who reported that they were assaulted. And that is not OK.” One regent described the law firm’s findings as “horrifying and painful.” Among the new details in the Journal‘s report: between 2011 and 2015, seventeen women reported incidents of sexual assault and domestic violence involving nineteen football players, including four alleged gang rapes. Head football coach Art Briles allegedly knew about at least one of the gang rapes but didn’t tell police, Baylor’s judicial affairs office, or the Title IX office.
A custody battle has been brewing over the rightful home of Mexican general Santa Anna’s prosthetic leg. According to KSAT, a group of uniquely woke history students from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio traveled to Illinois over the weekend in an attempt to convince the state to fork over the fake leg so it could be returned to Mexico, where they say it truly belongs, instead of strangely sitting on display in Abraham Lincoln’s former home in Springfield (the leg was confiscated during a raid in the Mexican-American war and made its way north with the soldiers who nabbed the prized prosthetic; for what it’s worth, the San Antonio Express-News’s editorial board is adamant that the leg belongs at the Alamo). “There is a really rich history here and unfortunately, so far in my view, it has been reduced to a freak show exhibit which doesn’t do full honor to the people of Illinois or the veterans of Illinois,” St. Mary’s history professor Teresa Van Hoy told the Springfield State-Journal Register. But Illinois was unmoved. The state put its foot down and said it won’t let go of the leg. “To us it’s non-negotiable,” Lieutenant Colonel Brad Leighton, public affairs director for the Illinois Department of Military Affairs, told the Register. “They say they want to start a conversation. That conversation has been made before. We’re not interested in a conversation. The answer is no. The leg is where it belongs and it’s staying here.” We reached out to Santa Anna’s leg for comment, but haven’t received a response.
Ashes to Ashes
A Dallas man had quite the night at the opera on Saturday. According to the Dallas Morning News, Roger Kaiser tossed his deceased friend’s ashes into the orchestra pit at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Apparently Kaiser, who described himself on social media as an “opera buff,” had a “deal” with his “opera mentor” to scatter his ashes at various opera houses across the country. While it’s undeniably kinda gross, Saturday night’s sprinkling also morphed into a far more grave issue. Kaiser was spotted sprinkling the ashes during the second intermission of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell before walking out. Of course, to the untrained observer, that must have looked sketchy as all hell. According to the Morning News, musicians reported the incident, understandably fearing the white, powdery substance might have been anthrax or something similar, and the rest of the show was canceled while police investigated. According to NYPD’s deputy commissioner, there was likely no criminal intent, but Kaiser still may have violated the city’s health code. “He’s not a bad guy,” a police official told the Morning News. “He’s really just a friend who lost his friend and is following out his wishes.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
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Chef Anthony Bourdain paid a visit to Houston for his Parts Unknown TV show Houston Chronicle
A Corpus Christi high schooler scored an incredibly rare perfect score on his AP calculus test Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Here’s a helpful guide to haunted hot spots in the Rio Grande Valley Valley Morning Star
You can go inside the haunted Magnolia Hotel in Seguin without actually having to go inside it WFAA