The State of Texas: July 1, 2014
Wild World of Sports
Dallas couldn’t land the Olympics (see below), but Plano is hosting the National Youth Cricket League’s inaugural national tournament this weekend (and because you’ll no doubt need it, here’s a quick primer of cricket):
Unsportsmanlike Conduct — The school year hasn’t even started and already one football player has been permanently benched. Texas Tech freshman Nigel Bethel II was kicked off the football team after he allegedly hit a female basketball player during a pickup basketball game at the student recreational center Saturday. The university’s actions were pretty swift, and it looks like that might not be the end of Bethel’s troubles. “No arrests have been made in the ongoing Texas Tech police investigation into an aggravated assault,” according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “Tech police investigators are gathering evidence to present to the Lubbock County District Attorney, who will decide what charges to file in the case, said Capt. Steven Hinkle with the Texas Tech University Police Department.” As for the star Lady Raiders player, she has some sort of broken bone and is expected to have surgery. Bethel tweeted shortly after the incident first occurred “Trouble always seems to find me … ”, a tweet that has since been deleted.
Minor Grief — The concern over the safety of unaccompanied minors crossing the border now has an unfortunate poster child. “The body of an 11-year-old Guatemalan boy with a rosary around his neck was found in the south Texas desert scrub earlier this month,” reports the Los Angeles Times. News of the boys death came “the same day Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson toured a Border Patrol station and warned parents against illegally sending their children on the long, dangerous trip north.” The news also comes just as President Barack Obama said he would pursue some sort of immigration reform “with or without Congress.” The details of the boy’s death are heartbreaking: “An autopsy on the decomposed remains did not reveal any trauma to explain how the boy died. But a phone number was found inscribed in the brown belt the boy had been wearing.” As the LA Times notes, mid-June also saw “the body of a 16-year-old Central American boy who died from exposure [and] was found on ranch land 70 miles north of the border in Brooks County, Texas.”
Postponing When Dogs Go to Heaven — No-kill shelters in Texas appear to be facing a problem that may beset their future, as well as the future of thousands of animals. “Strict enforcement of a previously obscure state regulation is threatening the no-kill movement across Texas and could result in animal shelters euthanizing tens of thousands of additional pets each year, advocates warn,” according to the Associated Press. “Under its rules, the board requires the same level of medical care and attention for shelter dogs and cats as they would receive from a private veterinarian. … Shelters say requiring a veterinarian at all times would bust their budgets and reverse efforts to reach and maintain no-kill status of euthanasia rates at or below 10 percent. Without full-time vet staff, advocates say, shelters eventually would fall back on euthanizing more animals because state law allows trained staff to administer lethal injections.” For those interested in animal politics, the AP story goes pretty deep in detailing the no-kill efforts across Texas and just how this law could upend that goal.
Twelve Million Regrets — One very lucky person just became very unlucky. “Six months after beating astronomical odds to win the Lotto Texas jackpot,” the winner “failed to materialize before a deadline to redeem the winning ticket — officially worth $12 million, and $7.5 million in immediate cash,” reports the Houston Chronicle. “It was biggest unclaimed Lotto prize since 2001 and the third largest since the game started in 1992, according to the Texas Lottery Commission.” The gold lining to this, of course, is that all that money will go toward the school fund that the Lotto helps support. So let’s just pretend this was the work of a very generous samaritan, and not the bad luck of a hapless gas station customer.