Nevermind that it’s 2014, the Houston Press already has a great list of the top ten local rap “tapes.” Go get you some.
Texas By The Numbers
Healthier Figures — Number of Texans who applied for Obamacare by December: 120,000. By November: 14,000. Increase: eight-fold. Figure of new enrollees between the ages of 18 and 34: 26 percent. Texans between 55 and 64: 26 percent. Percentage of woman who signed up: 55 percent.
Strong Negotiating — Amount New UT coach Charlie Strong will receive for upcoming season: $5 million. Total compensation: $9.375 million. Amount Mack Brown would’ve been paid for upcoming season: $5.5 million Total amount of potential bonuses for Strong: $900,000. Amount of bonus related to team’s academic performance: $150,000
Green Politics — Combined amount Wendy Davis raised at the end of last year: $12.2 million. Amount Greg Abbott raised: $11.5 million. Number of Davis contributors: 71,000. Number of Perry contributors in 2010: 8,000.
Death Suit — As predicted (and it’ll be the only such thing for this kind of case), a Fort Worth man has sued the hospital that’s keeping his wife on life-support. The catch, of course, is that the brain-dead woman is pregnant and officials have kept her alive despite her previously expressed wishes and the wishes of her family, because of an obscure law. As Fox News explains, however, this situation is particularly tricky, since the “lawsuit says that law doesn’t apply because [the woman] is legally and medically dead,” as opposed to just being comatose. Not only is “the condition of her fetus … unclear,” but “experts say the hospital is incorrectly applying the statute because Munoz is brain-dead and beyond any chance of recovery.” It’s an incredibly dicey situation that’s only going to get worse as both the baby and lawsuit develop.
‘Free At Last’ — How would you leave the courtroom after serving eighteen years for a crime you have said you never committed and were coerced into confessing to? El Paso’s Daniel Villegas has your answer. As supporters chant “free at last,” he thanked God and the El Paso businessman who paid more than $200,000 in his defense fees, before jumping in a red convertible that whisked him to church, then the closest Great American Steakhouse. “The District Attorney’s Office still has not announced if it’ll retry Villegas,” who was found guilty in 1995 of a drive-by shooting, according to KVIE. Villegas is still technically convicted of the crime and could face retrial. But for a man who’s long maintained his innocence (and for Villegas’s full story, read Texas Monthly’s Nate Blakeslee on the subject), that first day out of court couldn’t have been planned any better.
The Water’s Fine — Good news, Tarrant County citizens. That smelly, “unpleasant” tasting water of yours is totes fine to drink! At least, that’s the word from local officials. The county had some wate supply problems recently, resulting in “a high amount of algae activity, according to the water district. Its data shows that there’s a higher amount of geosmin.” What’s geosim? Who cares. But it’s probably best to think of it as a vitamin powder package as you drink the completely safe water.
Blowout — In a followup to yesterday’s item about the professional BMX biker who rode atop Fort Worth’s new bridge, it would seem everyone loved the stunt … except city officials. “City officials say they’re studying ways to discourage people from using the West Seventh Street bridge for unintended purposes,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Nevermind that the BMX biker took precautions, a professional support crew and issued a not-for-amateurs warning, city officials will have you know that “we discourage residents to participate in risky behaviors” and that the bridge “should not be used as a prop for stunts.” So remember that next time you decide to ride your bike over such structures.
Texas, Documented — Set your televisions to stun, a new PBS documentary series that “captures the lives of Texans in nine cities” will premiere on PBS tomorrow. Based on descriptions, the show sounds pretty fantastic. Besty and Carl Crum “filmed people in small and large cities across the state, from Midland to Dallas,” giving the audience “a different viewpoint of Texas rather than through a tourist or stereotypical lens.” So, basically, it sounds like the best documentary to come around since Richard Linklater released Slacker.