Well, they’re Tweets, so they lose some of their punch, but on Wednesday San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro tweeted to lite guv candidate, “Congratulations .@danpatrick You are the most anti-immigrant Republican running for statewide office. You are the Pete Wilson of Texas.” Not one to take the insult lying down (how dare he compare a true-blue Texan to a Californian), Patrick essentially took off his badge and challenged Castro to meet him on Main street at high noon for a showdown (“come at me, bro” for you youngins):
.@juliancastro talk is cheap mayor, if you want to debate this in San Antonio, tell me when and I’ll be there.
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) January 23, 2014
Former Carthage resident (and current state prison resident) Bernie Tiede has been sent back to Panola County Detention Center from New Boston after a bench warrant was issued for him. At this time, the reason for the transfer is unknown, even among some officials, although the news accounts assure people that Bernie is not yet up for parole. If the name Bernie Tiede sounds familiar, it’s because Texas Monthly‘s own Skip Hollandsworth wrote about Bernie in 1998, a story that Hollandsworth and Richard Linklater turned into the 2011 hit Bernie, starring Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine.
International Diplomacy, Executed — Texas executed a Mexican national Wednesday evening against the wishes of both the U.S. State Department and Mexico. “Earlier Wednesday, Tamayo’s attorneys turned to the Supreme Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit said an appeal this week renewing a contention that Tamayo was mentally impaired and ineligible for execution was filed too late,” according to the Washington Post. “The Supreme Court also rejected the appeal.” Tamayo’s attorneys argued that his “conviction and death sentence were tainted because he did not receive notice that he could request legal help from the Mexican consulate after his arrest for the officer’s slaying.” Tamayo killed a cop, which makes it hard to throw him much sympathy, but in addition to not being informed of all the resources available to him, a human rights group also found the man to be mentally impaired. Add all of this up, and his execution could have serious international implications. As Secretary of State John Kerry warned, the decision “could impact the way American citizens are treated in other countries.”
Further Complications — The story of the medically and legally dead woman being kept breathing against the wishes of the family, for the sake of an unborn child is already a doozy, and now the attorney for the family suing the hospital, said the fetus is “distinctly abnormal,” according to the Dallas Morning News. “Even at this early stage, the lower extremities are deformed to the extent that the gender cannot be determined.” The attorney (along with several experts) has argued that the hospital is misapplying a rarely-used law that requires them to keep alive an unborn child if mother is incapacitated. The “horrified” family’s attorney attributed the abnormalities directly to “gestating within a dead and deteriorating body.” How can the case become any more troublesome? Well, the woman became unconscious fourteen weeks into the pregnancy. The hospital’s actions now put the dead woman at 22 weeks, fourteen days past the state’s new cut-off for abortions. As with the rest of the case, how that will play out is anyone’s guess. A hearing is set for tomorrow.
Pipe Dreams Realized — If you heared a rumbling sound yesterday, don’t be alarmed! It wasn’t another fracking-induced earthquake (though it does have to do with oil). Rather, it’s part of the new Keystone XL pipeline. “The Gulf Coast Project began delivering crude oil on behalf of our customers to Texas refineries,” according to the Wall Street Journal story. “The completion of this US $2.3 billion crude oil pipeline provides a safe and direct connection between the important oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma and delivery points on the U.S. Gulf Coast.” The pipeline project starts in Cushing, Oklahoma, and runs 487 miles to Nederland, Texas. It’s a(nother) step forward for the state’s already-booming oil industry, but let’s just hope Texas doesn’t experience the same issues as Mayflower, Arkansas.
Sacked — Former Cowboy defensive end Josh Brent was found guilty yesterday of intoxication manslaughter. After nine hours, the jury was convinced that the football player was twice the legal limit when he wrecked his Mercedes on a suburban Dallas highway in an accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown. Brent’s attorney contested the drinking charge, saying that he was “‘guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car,'” not drinking beforehand.” Procecutors—with receipt, photo and video evidence—called it “a textbook case of intoxication manslaughter.” Brent faces up to twenty years in jail. But, as the AP noted, “He could also get probation.”
All Rattle, No Strike — Snake farmers who know how to manage their own wildlife (not to mention fans of the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup), can breath a sigh of relief. A few weeks ago, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission proposed banning the practice of gassing snakes, which allows for much easier capture/killing. The announcement was met with wild objections, especially from citizens of Sweetwater, where the World’s Largest Rattlesnake Hunt, would be devastated (not to mention the local economy) if the proposal were to pass. Fear not, though. “Thursday’s [TPWC] meeting [on the matter] has been delayed so that the proposed rule could be reworked and republished.” Which in Texas, of course, translates to: “We’re putting this off for as long as possible” (see: the Railroad Commission’s earthquake investigation). The commission no doubt reversed course after they hosted a meeting in Sweetwater last week and walked into a snake den of about 200 hissin’ mad residents.