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The State of Texas: Texas Teams Take The Court In NCAA Tournament Today

Plus: Trump’s budget may not be great for Texas, the Satanic Temple puts up a billboard near Fort Worth, and the City of San Marcos suffers an identity crisis.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY


“I’ll have to hustle with that.”

—Steve Stockman, a former U.S. Representative from Houston, to a federal judge who told him he’d have to obtain an attorney by Friday, according to KPRC. Alleged hustling is what landed Stockman in court in the first place—the former Congressman was brought into court on Thursday shackled and handcuffed after he was arrested and charged with violating federal election laws by using a charity he set up to funnel donations back to himself.


BIG NEWS


      

Tom Pennington/Getty

Descent Into Madness
Today is the second day of the opening round of 64 in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, and all three teams from Texas that made the field—Baylor, Southern Methodist University, and Texas Southern—are set to take the court. The Bears are probably the best of the trio from Texas, having earned a number three seed after spending some time this season at the top of the AP top 25 poll. But Baylor floundered a bit heading into the tournament, losing five of its last eleven games, and the program’s recent NCAA tournament history (two upset losses in the first round for the past two years) doesn’t exactly bode well for Friday. SMU, meanwhile, completed one of its best seasons in program history, dominating the American Athletic Conference and finishing the season ranked number eleven in the country. The six-seeded Mustangs have plenty of momentum but will run up against a difficult opponent in USC. Should both the Mustangs and Bears win today, they’ll play each other on Sunday, which is kind of bittersweet for Texans who are unaffiliated with either team but simply want to root for squads from the home state: all-Texas matchups are, of course, always great, but it’s tough to see at least one of these two talented teams bow out so early. As for Texas Southern, well, the sixteen-seed Tigers are roaring straight out of the SWAC (which stands for Best Conference Acronym Ever—or, uh, Southwestern Athletic Conference) and into the jaws of the number-one seeded North Carolina Tarheels. A sixteen seed has never beaten a number one before, and the Tigers will obviously have a steep uphill battle if they hope to make history.


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


Dollar Dollar Bills, Y’all
Texas might soon be feeling the blues from President Donald Trump’s new budget plan. The budget cuts would impact Texas nearly across the board, hitting housing and environmental programs as well as the scientific and medical research that fuels the state’s health care and energy industries, according to the Houston Chronicle. This is just an initial plan and it’ll almost certainly change after Congress gets its hands on it, but the plan definitely has Texans a little worried. The budget, which was released Thursday, has riled Texas Democrats and city leaders, while even the state’s staunchest Trump supporters aren’t exactly throwing their full weight behind it. As it stands, the plan would cripple local environmental safety programs in Texas, according to the Austin American-Statesman, and according to the Dallas Morning News state jails would lose a bunch of grant funding for incarcerating undocumented immigrants. The Texas Tribune reported that Texas programs aimed at helping tutor and mentor students in low-income schools would also lose tons of funding. Much of the budget cuts are being redirected toward a massive spending infusion of the military, which would be a boon for at least one industry that is prominent in Texas, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Devil’s Advocate
A few months after it made the news for stepping into the abortion debate in Texas, the Satanic Temple is once again raising hell in the Lone Star State, this time offering its two cents on the issue of corporal punishment. The temple put up a black billboard along Route 199 in Springtown, a small town outside of Fort Worth. “Never be hit in school again,” the billboard says, according to WFAA. “Exercise your religious rights.” Springtown makes sense for the Satanic Temple’s billboard. According to WFAA, Springtown ISD’s student handbook says “Corporal punishment—spanking or paddling the student—may be used as a discipline management technique in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and policy in the district’s policy manual.” Back in 2012, Springtown’s controversial policy made headlines after a male assistant principal at Springtown High School paddled two female students. In a press release, a Satanic Temple spokesperson called Springtown a “barbaric backwater town” because of its corporal punishment policy.

Gone Phishing
More than 800 current and former government employees for the City of San Marcos are at risk of having their identities stolen and confidential information completely compromised after a single employee fell prey to a phishing scam, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The city announced on Thursday that a payroll employee had received an email from the mayor late last month requesting all of the city’s W-2 forms from 2016, which have private information including Social Security numbers. Only it wasn’t really the mayor. The city uncovered the scam only after a few employees reported that they’d been unable to file their tax returns because the IRS said they’d already been filed, apparently by someone else. San Marcos has notified the proper authorities of the scam, but the cyber culprit is still on the loose. In the meantime, the city will provide employees credit monitoring and protection services for the next three years, according to KXAN.


WHAT WE’RE READING


Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.

A year after flooding devastated Deweyville, the East Texas town is still recovering Beaumont Enterprise

The guy who made the “I love tacos so much” wall wants to build a Selena memorial in San Antonio San Antonio Express-News

Nearly three years after retiring due to concussions, former Texas QB David Ash is ready to play again Austin American-Statesman

Two adults were arrested for allegedly bullying a Texas City teenager who killed herself in November Galveston Daily News

Police found shell casings at the Houston Rodeo after responding to reports of shots fired KHOU

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