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Longform Wednesday

Over at Slate, writer Linda Rodriguez McRobbie has a detailed look at Frances and Dan Keller, “The Real Victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse,” who were recently freed years after a literal witchhunt sent them to jail. It’s an interesting read on the (very recent) history of “satanic” hysteria.

Texas By The Numbers

Less Deadly — Number of murders reported in Juárez in 2010 during height of drug war: 3,622. Homicides in 2011: 1,500. Homicides in 2012: 797. Homicides in 2013: 497. Number of homicides in Chicago in 2013: 412. Drop in Juarez homicides between those three years: 86 percent.

Spend, Baby, Spend — Amount companies are expected to spend on drilling in Eagle Ford this year: $23-$30 billion. Number of drilling rigs in the field: 228. Estimated spending between 2012 and 2015: $116 billion. Financial impact of Eagle Ford in 2012: $61 billion. Jobs supported: 116,000.

Mega-ColdConsumption of state’s largest power grid during the week’s freezing weather: 57,277 megawatts. Previous record, in 2011: 57,265 megawatts. Average useage in summer: About 67,265 megawatts.

Daily Roundup

Technical (And Terminal) Foul — Bet you didn’t see this coming. Or if you did, officials might like to have a chat. It appears that UTEP’s top b-ball player and two other teammates have been dismissed from the team for betting on sports. It’s not just overblown hysterics from university officials and the NCAA, either (though it is that, too). The FBI is involved. Details are still foggy and the rumors got tossed around more than a rack of balls during a pre-game warmup. What’s known so far is that the investigation doesn’t involve point shaving and “there is no indication the three bet on UTEP games,” according to Deadspin. Still, the university went on a full-court press against the student-athletes, saying, “All three players are upperclassmen, and therefore their college basketball careers are over. They are no longer enrolled at UTEP.” If they needed money, they should’ve just sold some of their autographed merchandize. Much less risky.

Deep Impact — Debate concerning underground trespassing finally bubbled to the surface thanks to a Texas Supreme Court case that has the attention of the state’s oil and gas industry. Yesterday, justices heard arguments in the case against a well operator who is being sued by a rice farm for trespassing 8,000 feet below the surface. Essentially, the rice farm has accused the operator of polluting due to wastewater being poured down the well. Apart from deciding whether property goes to the earth’s core or that deep-ground space is like high-above airspace, the decision could have a major impact on the state’s drilling industry. The details of the case are numerous and a bit complicated. For an extensive look, be sure to read Texas Tribune‘s lengthy piece on the matter.

False Start — Not everybody is thrilled about the coronation of Charlie Strong as the Longhorns’s new football coach. In fact, some people are downright angry. Texas billionaire, F1 aficionado, and general sugar daddy for UT sports, Red McCombs, called Strong’s hiring a “kick in the face” to those rich amateurs who paid good money to have a say in hiring coaches (really!). And while it’s one thing to let old rich white men grumble about not being heard, Strong also took some hits from his players in Louisville. To be fair, they were Twitter hits, but at least two players expressed dismay that their coach would just up and leave them for somebody else. When Strong talked about wanting to build a “tough” program, who knew it would mean also developing a thick skin?

Shaking Things Up — The Texas Railroad Commission has hit upon an idea: after months of an increasing number of earthquakes, it’s finally hiring a seismologist to investigate. The idea is so cray-cray, it almost makes completely logical sense. What inspired the commission, which oversees the drilling industry, to act? Apart from all the shakin’ goin’ on, it was mostly the rumblings from angry Azle residents who last week demanded answers during a public meeting with the commission. Azle residents will still need to brace themselves, though. The commission, “says it will conduct a nationwide search before filling [the position.]” You don’t have to be a seismologist to get a read on that procrastination.

German Soup For the Soul — It’s a story that will warm your heart and break it at the same time. The owner of an authentic German restaurant in Montgomery is selling the business to help pay for an employee’s medical bills. Brittany Mathis, whose mother and sister also work at Kaiserhof Restaurant and Wunderbar, has a brain tumor; just like her deceased father did. The restaurant’s owner, Michael De Beyer, has been running the business for seventeen years, and while he’d also like to spend more time with his children, his reasoning for such a grand gesture is rather simple: “I just can’t be standing by and doing nothing … I have to try something because it’s not right.”

Clickity Bits

Dallas Police Celebrate Success With … YouTube Video

Another Criminal Infected With Affluenceza

Texas Might Take All The Fun Outta Killin’ Rattlesnakes

Nineteen Deaths Already, Get The Dern Flu Shot

Courts Officially Entering 21st Century

‘Solitary Confinement Study Approved But Lacks Funding’

In San Antonio, Lotsa People Like To Divorce in January

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