QUOTE OF THE DAY
“If anyone sees it, we have a warrant for Felony Fowl Evading!”
—The Freeport Police Department wrote on Facebook earlier this week, accompanying a video that showed an officer attempting to corral a surprisingly spry chicken, the Houston Chronicle reported on Tuesday. According to police, the officer “gave it his best Rocky Balboa impression but he lost sight of the bird around Church’s Chicken restaurant,” so it sounds like the chicken remains on the lam.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sounded pretty upbeat last month about her chances to take Texas in the general election. She told New York Magazine that the Lone Star State was in play, adding that Texas could turn blue in November “If black and Latino voters come out and vote.” But Clinton’s supporters here aren’t so sure that’s a realistic expectation. Clinton campaign representative and former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro said at a news conference on Tuesday that neither the party nor Clinton’s campaign will funnel very much money into Texas. “We’re not a battleground state,” Mauro said, according to the Houston Chronicle. As the Chronicle notes, a Democratic candidate hasn’t even managed to get within single digits of the Republican nominee since 1996, when Hillary’s husband Bill faced off against Bob Dole. Mauro said they’d still do all that they can to get out the vote here, and he expects that to be pretty easy considering Donald Trump’s unpopularity among Latinos and women. But Texas will almost certainly stay red for at least one more presidential election cycle. Meanwhile, a day before his scheduled arrival, Trump is already running into trouble in Texas. The Trump campaign, which is expected to roll through San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas later this week, hasn’t been able to find a North Texas suitor for a rally on Thursday. According to the Dallas Morning News, officials in Irving and Grand Prairie turned down The Donald, both citing concerns over security and claiming that the campaign did not give them enough prior notice, leaving Trump scrambling to find a home on Thursday.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
An Amarillo Walmart was the scene of a scary active shooter situation on Tuesday. The incident made national headlines, as the country is clearly still on edge after the mass shooting that left 50 dead at a nightclub in Orlando on Sunday. According to the Amarillo Globe-News, 54-year-old Mohammad Moghaddam, whom the police described as a “disgruntled employee,” allegedly entered the store with a gun, fired a gunshot into the ceiling, and held the store manager and another employee hostage in an office for 76 minutes before SWAT officers shot and killed Moghaddam. There were no other injuries reported. According to the Globe-News, Moghaddam had no criminal history and was a “longtime resident” of Amarillo. Neighbors described him as quiet and non-violent. An Amarillo police spokesman said that “there is absolutely no information or reason to believe that this is a terrorist event,” according to the Associated Press. Moghaddam appears to have been motivated by a workplace dispute. “As far as we know right now, it had something to do with a promotion and the possibility he might be passed over for a promotion,” another police spokesman told the Globe-News.
Cooking Up Trouble
The Kerry Max Cook saga just took (another) weird turn. Cook was convicted of murder nearly 40 years ago and sat on death row until he was freed in 1999, and ever since then he’s been seeking compensation from the state and punishment for the prosecutors he says railroaded him. A few days ago, Cook’s attorneys finally managed to get him an official exoneration, meaning the state would admit that Cook is not guilty of the crime he was wrongly convicted of. All that’s left now is final approval from the state’s highest court. But according to the Dallas Morning News, Cook has put his long-awaited exoneree status in jeopardy by firing his attorneys and vowing to represent himself going forward. According to Cook, the deal his lawyers struck to exonerate him also lets the prosecutors who put him on death row off the hook. He says he never agreed to the deal brokered by attorneys from the New York-based Innocence Project and the Innocence Project of Texas. “This corporate take-over of the truth of my story has left me still publicly convicted and the district attorneys office exonerated,” Cook wrote in an email to his lawyers, who have agreed to withdraw from the case. Now Cook may be heading into one of the most important hearings of his life without any legal expertise by his side.
A plague of gnomes has descended on the North Texas town of Wichita Falls, and for a while no one really knew how they got there. Here’s a very good gnome pun from the Wichita Falls Times Record News: “Wichita Falls Police Sgt. Harold McClure investigates home invasions. But he never thought he would be talking about a gnome invasion.” Writes the Record News: “McClure spied a sprightly gnome painted on a 6-inch block of wood screwed onto the base of a telephone pole… McClure uncovered more of these jaunty, Lilliputian-sized gnomes with their pointy red hats, jovial red cheeks, white beards and eyebrows wiggling up in surprise. All McClure wanted to know: ‘What’s up with all these gnomes?'” That question has apparently consumed the entire town. Concerned citizens were finally provided answers (sort of) when the Record News tracked down the creator of the hundreds of gnomes scattered across their city. The anonymous artist says he started painting gnomes in Oakland, placing about 7,000 in that city before moving to Oklahoma near Wichita Falls. He is apparently considering “gnome-ing” at least one other North Texas town. Among his collection of gnome art: skateboarding gnomes, floating gnomes holding balloons, and storks with baby gnomes. “What I want to do is paint gnomes and make people happy,” he told the Record News. A gnoble pursuit, for sure.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Here are the names of the big Baylor donors who want Art Briles back Wall Street Journal
A space-scam odyssey Houston Press
Cowboys running back Darren McFadden broke his elbow while trying not to drop his cell phone ESPN
This Texas farmer refuses to take his vintage plow out of service Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
How not to get away with napping at work: fall asleep on top of a 70-foot billboard KXAN