QUOTE OF THE DAY
“No I’m not a hoarder. I could go down the list of things people are accusing me of. Yes I own a weird business, but artists are weird, and if you find a normal artist you’re probably not a good one.”
—”Sandy,” to KHOU. Sandy is selling her beloved “Mannequin Mansion” in Richmond, a home stuffed to the gills with weird art and, uh, mannequins. Some mannequins are even hanging from the ceiling. It’s genuinely odd, which explains why the real estate listing for the house has gone viral, garnering millions of views in just nine days.
The Texas Legislature will once again debate controversial bathroom restrictions. At 9 a.m. on Friday, the Senate State Affairs Committee is scheduled to hear two proposed bills—Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 91—that would require transgender people to use the bathroom that aligns with the gender on their birth certificate in government buildings and schools, according to the Texas Tribune. Hundreds of Texans are expected to testify in what will likely be a marathon hearing. The last time the Lege debated a bathroom bill, back in March, nearly 1,800 people showed up to testify, according to the Dallas Morning News. The bathroom bill debate outside the Capitol has been heating up over the last few days, too. The Texas Association of Business, which has long been against any bathroom bill, announced a $1 million radio campaign buy opposing the discriminatory legislation, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The national Episcopal Church also ramped up its fight against the bathroom bill, penning a letter to House Speaker Joe Straus, urging him to stay strong in opposition to the legislation. “As the presiding officers of the Episcopal Church, we are firmly opposed to ‘bathroom bills’ and particularly reject the idea that women and children are protected by them,” the letter, dated July 19, said, according to the Texas Tribune. “As clergy who remember racist Jim Crow bathroom laws that purported to protect white people, we know the kind of hatred and fear that discriminatory laws can perpetuate.” Meanwhile, Texas Values, a Christian public policy advocacy group, called on supporters of the legislation to show up and testify at the hearing. “The radical left and LGBT lobby will certainly be out in full force again,” the group wrote in an email to supporters. “We must let our state leaders hear loudly from Texans across that state that we support common-sense legislation to keep men out of women’s intimate facilities.” The hearing is expected to go on for hours.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
A San Antonio-area man was arrested for threatening to kill Senator Ted Cruz. 59-year old James Amos Headley was arrested on a federal felony charge of threatening to assault and murder a public official with intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with the official and his duties, the San Antonio Express-News reported on Thursday. Headley allegedly sent Cruz a death threat. “Pretty soon you’re gonna be runnin for your life, just hope your family is not with ya because I’m not gonna insult them, I’m gonna kill them, right after I shoot you right in front of them,” Headley said in a July 11 voicemail left at Cruz’s Washington office, according to court documents. Law enforcement sources told the Express-News that Headley, of Universal City, is a Trump supporter, and he was apparently peeved at Cruz for taking stands on some issues that don’t align with Trump’s views. A court hearing for Headley is set for next week. He faces ten years in prison if convicted.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant threw an epic party in his hometown of Lufkin on Thursday, celebrating the community where he grew up. He invited everybody in town, setting up bounce houses and giving free haircuts for the kids, holding a kickball game and importing thousands of dollars worth of barbecue and trimmings from Houston, according to the Lufkin Daily News. Thousands of people showed up to the refreshingly wholesome event. Bryant mingled with the crowd, posing for pictures and signing autographs for the kids, talking to younger fans and former teachers from his days at Lufkin High School. Bryant and his friends even wore t-shirts bearing Lufkin’s 936 area code, as a tribute to his hometown. “Believe it or not, my brother and I were just chilling out this week, and it was about 3 o’clock in the morning, and I told him, ‘Hey, let’s go home and do something fun,'” Bryant told the Daily News. “I wasn’t planning on it being a big media deal. I just wanted to spend time with my people and thank them for all the support I get from them.” Bryant said he hopes to make the party an annual event.
The State of Texas is once again being sued by abortion rights groups, this time over a law banning a common second-trimester medical procedure, according to the Texas Tribune. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood announced on Thursday that they’re suing Texas over a provision in Senate Bill 8 that bars dilation and evacuation abortions, one of the safest ways for women to get abortions. The common procedure involves a doctor a using surgical instruments to remove pieces of fetal tissue, which abortion opponents have described as “dismemberment,” arguing it’s inhumane. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights’s press release, similar laws have been overturned in Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Alabama. “The law we challenged today in Texas is part of a nationwide scheme to undermine these constitutional rights and ban abortion one restriction at a time,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a press release, according to the Tribune. “We are prepared to fight back using the power of the law wherever politicians compromise a woman’s ability to receive the care she needs.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Amazon explored buying H-E-B before it took over Whole Foods Houston Chronicle
Waco’s VA office has denied 92 percent of claims related to Gulf War illness Austin American-Statesman
Trump’s NATO Ambassador pick Kay Bailey Hutchison had her Senate confirmation hearing Thursday Dallas Morning News
A South Texas police chief is accusing his city administrator of ordering him to kill the children of undocumented immigrants San Antonio Express-News
A Grand Prairie coffee company issued a recall due to a Viagra-like ingredient KXAS