The State of Texas: January 4, 2016
A quiet beginning to open carry, Ethan Couch’s wild holiday, and the dairy cow disaster.
These jerseys made the social media rounds during the Cowboys’ 34-23 loss to the Washington Redskins (even though there was some misunderstanding about the identity of the jersey’s owner). But imagine! Both RGIII and Johnny Manziel on the same Texas team. New Year’s resolutions indeed.
Wishful thinking or insider information? Either way, I wasn't expecting to see Dallas RGIII jerseys today. pic.twitter.com/mvCwNzyxPS
— Homer McFanboy (@HomerMcFanboy) January 3, 2016
Gun Controlled — The New Year started with more of a whimper than a bang, which is a good thing when discussing the state’s newly enacted open carry law. “The first weekend of the state’s new open carry law brought much buzz, but few apparent incidents of note. In Austin, pro-gun activists met on the Statehouse steps Friday for a symbolic ‘uncovering,’ while a Cypress-area barbecue joint, Brooks’ Place, offered a celebratory 25 percent discount to customers who showed up open carrying their guns on Jan. 1,” according to the Houston Chronicle. At the very least there’s still much confusion over the law, not just among citizens but law enforcement officials, which could complicate the issue. “Across Texas, law enforcement officials, city leaders and business owners are bracing for lawsuits,” writes the Texas Tribune. “That’s because state officials have so far largely left interpretation of the new law, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed in June, up to local authorities. Prosecutors and police chiefs across the state’s 254 counties will now each determine their own answer to what was one of the most hotly debated questions of the 2015 legislative session: whether police officers can ask those visibly carrying guns to present their permits.” For those who want a quick look at the issue, the Houston Chronicle has nine things to know about the new law in slideshow form.
Mexican Vacation — Some of us had a quiet holiday, some had a wild one. But it’s probably not surprising that the Affluenza teen has had an absolutely bonkers week. Ethan Couch, who went missing just before December, was located in a Mexican tourist town by authorities. While his mother was extradited to the United States, Couch successfully appealed his deportation, claiming Mexican authorities violated his human rights. “Any flaw in the process of his detention by Mexican immigration authorities can be considered a violation of due process and of his human rights, San Antonio attorney Javier Lopez de Obeso, who is licensed to practice in Mexico, said Thursday,” according to the Associated Press. The “constitutional appeal … could lead to a trial process that could last weeks or even months.” Couch was apparently busted after ordering pizza, and with each new day, fresh (and unpleasant) details are emerging. Like the alleged gun found in their hotel room, or strip club bar tab Couch allegedly racked up and his mom paid for.
Sour Milk — It’s going to be a rough month for Texas dairy farmers and lactose lovers. What’s being called a “freak” winter storm, called Goliath, hit the northern parts of the state with “snow, ice, and wind gusts as high as 80 miles per hour. Heavy winds buried the animals in snow drifts measuring up to 14 feet high, where they suffocated,” writes the Christian Science Monitor. In all the storm killed more than 30,000 dairy cows. “The Texas Association of Dairymen says it expects a five percent loss of cattle where the state was hardest hit by winter storm Goliath. The impact of the blizzard will be felt well into the future, according to the association’s executive director Darren Turley. That impact includes a reduction in the state’s milk supply to dairy financial losses to the emotional impact on farmers of losing their animals,” according to CNN. “The primary impact area, west of Lubbock, includes half of the state’s top producing dairy counties and is home to more than 140,000 dairy cattle. He says ‘the immediate challenge is how to handle these sudden, massive losses of animals.'”