The Hatfields and McCoys, Farmers Branch, Texas, edition: it involves barking dogs, security cameras, and a vulgar “for sale” sign. Local TV news really doesn’t get any better than this.
Looking Back — Marking one week since Christian Taylor was killed and leading up to his funeral on Saturday, the Dallas Morning News has a profile about the nineteen-year old and his life before he was fatally shot. Taylor was remembered “as the goofy little kid who once crashed a girls-only party, or the fearless blur on a football field, or the cute college freshman who — quite suddenly, in his final weeks — began to talk like a prophet.” The piece includes plenty of fond quotes from friends and family, but there’s sudden and inexplicable turn toward religion and proselytizing was never really explained. There’s a bit of religion with Brad Miller, the officer who shot Taylor, too. Miller “‘deeply regrets’ fatally shooting 19-year-old burglary suspect Christian Taylor,” his pastor told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “but felt he was in a ‘life-threatening’ situation.” Although previous details about Miller’s interesting background have been mentioned briefly, the Star-Telegram dives a little deeper into the life of the cosmetologist (“he specialized in women’s coloring and highlights”) and rookie cop at age 49. The New York Times notes in its own look at Miller that he “created two website-hosting companies … and worked in marketing for several years.” Miller was fired on Tuesday.
Once More, With Feeling — UT is suing Attorney General Ken Paxton. And yes, we also wrote that earlier this week — but it’s happening again. “The University of Texas System has filed a second lawsuit against State Attorney General Ken Paxton in an effort to prevent the release of some documents compiled in an investigation of admissions practices,” writes the Austin American-Statesman. “The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in state District Court in Travis County, contends that Paxton’s office erred July 14 by ruling that the system must release certain records. In its lawsuit … the UT System argues that it should not have to disclose the information because it relates to legislation, litigation or privacy rights.” How is that different that the first lawsuit? It’s not, really. Instead of Paxton’s office attempting to give the records to the Statesman, this time its a quasi-conservo-libertarian group making the request. “‘In both cases, we are filing suit to protect the private information of UT students, as well as applicants and prospective students,’ the system said in a statement.” UT really does care about the privacy of its students, as it claims, or it really doesn’t want people to get a look at how the slick, moneyed institution operates.
Cause of Death — The autopsy reports for those killed at the Waco motorcycle shooting in May were finally released. Not that it was any kind of surprise whatsoever, but “the nine died as a result of one or more bullet wounds,” writes the Waco Tribune-Herald. But “ballistics reports are not included with the autopsy reports” and “the newly released reports do not indicate who killed which men, and most references to bullets refer to projectiles ranging in size from small to large. Gunshot residue kits were submitted for each of the nine killed.” Some are questioning if it was a “shootout” between the bikers, or if it was mostly just a turkey shoot by police. “Waco Sgt. Patrick Swanton declined to comment, citing a gag order in the criminal case of Matthew Clendennen, one of the 177 people arrested and jailed,” writes the Associated Press. “‘I can’t make heads or tails of these, but it’s not surprising that Waco authorities are less than forthcoming,’ Clendennen’s attorney, Clint Broden, said of the autopsy reports.” No one, by the way, has been formerly charged.
Friday Night Lights Off? — No one panic, but it seems football may not be as big as it once was. “While Texas still leads the nation in high school football players (163,998), the sport has seen a 2.78 percent drop from its peak in 2010 (168,680) despite having one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation. Nationally, football participation has dropped, but at a lesser rate (2.22 percent decline),” reports the Dallas Morning News. The item doesn’t even begin to explore this decline, but based on another Morning News piece, perhaps the kids are into pumping iron these days. The newspaper has a fun look at the seventeen-year-old Jourdan Delacruz, who “figured she’d spend her upperclassmen years at Wylie East rooting on the Raiders football team as a cheerleader” but now “competes for Team USA in weightlifting and holds American youth records in the snatch and clean and jerk,” barely a year and a half since she began lifting.