QUOTE OF THE DAY
“They’re likely the same three or four guys in a road crew and they cross state lines and took the dirt and went to use it on their roads in Texas. We’re calling them dirty bandits and dirt desperados for doing this to the [school] kids.”
In the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, there is a growing movement in cities across the state of Texas to remove monuments to the Confederacy, according to the Austin American-Statesman. In Austin, city officials are working to change the name of Robert E. Lee Road. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings called for a task force to study what to do with Confederate monuments in Lee Park and Pioneer Plaza; meanwhile, five city council members took the issue into their own hands, calling for a separate task force that would simply study ways to remove the monuments, according to the Dallas Morning News. State Representative Eric Johnson, a Dallas Democrat, said that if Governor Greg Abbott brings the Lege back for a second special session, then he’d introduce legislation calling for the removal of a Confederate plaque hanging outside his office at the Capitol. And Dallas ISD is pushing to rename schools named after Confederate icons. In response to city residents who want a Confederate monument sitting in Sam Houston Park downtown removed, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner ordered his staff to look at Houston’s public art collection and recommend future steps to respond to such requests, according to the Houston Chronicle. In San Antonio, city leaders are still waiting on a vote after two city councilmen requested last month to remove a 118-year-old Confederate soldier statue from Travis Park, according to the San Antonio Express-News. And in El Paso, city officials are working to remove Robert E. Lee’s name from landmarks, according to the El Paso Times. Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, pushed back against the wave of Confederate monument removals. “My goal as governor is to eliminate the racist and hate-filled environment we are seeing in our country today,” Abbott said in a statement released on Wednesday, according to the Texas Tribune. “But we must remember that our history isn’t perfect. If we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Instead of trying to bury our past, we must learn from it and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Tearing down monuments won’t erase our nation’s past, and it doesn’t advance our nation’s future. As Governor, I will advance that future through peace, not violence, and I will do all I can to keep our citizens safe.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The truck driver accused of trafficking immigrants across the border in a sweltering truck, resulting in the deaths of ten people after the truck was found sitting in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio last month, was formally indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, according to the San Antonio Express-News. James Matthew Bradley Jr. was charged with one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented aliens for financial gain resulting in death; one count of transportation of undocumented aliens resulting in death; one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented aliens for financial gain resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy; one count of transporting undocumented aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy; and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (authorities recovered a .38 caliber pistol from the cab of the rig operated by Bradley, who has a felony criminal record). Four survivors of the truck—which at one point may have carried as many as one hundred people before it was found with about thirty undocumented immigrants inside—reportedly testified as material witnesses before the grand jury on Wednesday.
Donald in the D
President Donald Trump will be in Dallas next month for a fundraiser, according to the Texas Tribune. The September 27 event will be hosted by senior Republican National Committee officials and Texas donors and bundlers who supported Trump in his 2016 campaign, including Dallas businessman Doug Deason, oil tycoon Harold Hamm, Laredo banker Dennis Nixon, former U.S. Ambassador Jeanne Phillips, and oil and gas attorney Gaylord Hughey, who is a top GOP bundler in East Texas. The fundraiser will benefit Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee that goes toward Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee, and tickets will go for between $2,700 per person to $100,000 per couple. Invitations went out on Wednesday. As the Dallas Morning News notes, this will be the first time Trump steps foot in Texas as president, and his visit could will partially serve as a measure of enthusiasm for Trump, who has seen his approval rating dip to historic lows since his inauguration in January.
The State Fair of Texas won’t start for another few weeks, but we can start drooling over some of the deep-fried foods today. The finalists were released on Wednesday for the Big Tex Choice Awards, according to Eater Dallas, and the contenders are, well, big. Among the Frankenstein-esque golden-brown goodies are Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick (literally a ball of fried soup on a stick), Deep Fried Fruit Loops (literally just deep fried Fruit Loops), Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger (sounds like what it is), and the unholy combination that is the Tamale Donut. Those are the more tame options. There’s also Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Cake, which is a slice of chocolate brownie cake that is then crusted in ground Cocoa Puffs, panko, and cinnamon sugar, fried, then doused in Dr. Pepper icing, chopped pecans, and a carved strawberry reminiscent of a Lady Bird Johnson rose. There’s the Surfin’ Turfin’ Tater Boat, a fish dish fit for a king: steak and lobster having carnal relations inside a cheese-topped baked potato stuffed with heaps of melted butter, all garnished with an empress-cut lobster claw. There’s the Gulf Coast Fish Bowl, best described as a “drinkable aquarium.” And then there’s Fat Smooth, which looks delicious and that’s all we’re gonna say about it.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
A Waco team won the Little League Softball World Series Waco Tribune
The sale price of the town formerly known as Bikinis has been cut considerably Austin American-Statesman
A Beaumont cop who resigned after killing two men was hired by the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Office, then shot someone again Beaumont Enterprise
Selena’s brother was arrested during his Corpus Christi court appearance on claims he failed to pay child support Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Abbott signs a bill allowing more time to study Texas’s maternal mortality problem Texas Tribune