Headline of the Day

Hallsville barber has family ties to ‘Duck Dynasty’

– But don’t we all. Via the Longview News-Journal

Funky Friday

There have been plenty of recreations of “Uptown Funk.” But this one deserves special mention. The performance features Texas State football player Brian Guendling, in a San Marcos bar, showing off his sign language skills. It’s Guendling’s funky way of bringing attention to an issue that’s affected his and many other families:

Daily Roundup

Boo, Pont – It looks like there might be a little justice for the four workers who died last year at a La Porte DuPont facility following a gas leak. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration added the company to its “’severe violator enforcement program’ … saying the accident shows it has a ‘failed safety program,’” according to the Associated Press. OSHA said the deaths were “preventable and revealed hazards that undermine the company’s claims of a world-class safety culture.” The company was already cited for eleven violations following the deaths and Thursday’s announcement added another eight. While the company is now very much under the spotlight of federal watchdogs, these new violations won’t add up to too much punishment. “The agency has proposed penalties of $273,000.”

Stiffed Drink – Yet another reason to stay home drinking rather than go out and spend money at bars. TABC announced that it ran something of an undercover string across the state—called “Operation Bottoms Up” (seriously)and found that an uncomfortably high number of places were replacing name-brand alcohol with cheaper versions. “The operation began in April 2015 with a sampling of 68 licensed retailers across the state…. In all, investigators collected 153 samples, which were then tested at the TABC laboratory,” according to the press release. “Testing revealed 40 samples from 21 of the 68 licensed retailers contained substituted liquor in place of the high-end brands investigators actually ordered.” Pretty much every outlet has reported on the Operation because, obviously, you don’t mess with Texas drinks. As the Dallas Morning News notes, “TABC is filing administrative notices against 14 of the joints visited; the other seven are still being investigated for multiple violations. The 21 are looking at everything from being fined to having their liquor licenses revoked.”

La Bienvenida a Tejas –  On the heels of the Census announcement that California is officially majority Hispanic, a “recent report from the Office of the State Demographer” found that “Hispanics are expected to outnumber whites in Texas by 2020 and expected to make up the state’s majority population by 2042,” reports the San Antonio Express-News. No real surprise there as experts have long predicted this. This is just a friendly reminder that you need to start learning Spanish, like, yesterday. As the story notes, “in Bexar County, Hispanics already outnumber whites by about two-to-one. By 2050, that ratio will increase to three-to-one, according to the state demographer.”

Take Cover – Are you ready for the government takeover? The military’s Jade Helm 15 “training” exercises officially start in five days, and many eyes (not surveillance necessarily) are on Bastrop, whose citizens previously objected pretty loudly to the operation. KXAN is super helpful with its report, saying “Some Bastrop residents have expressed concerns, but others have no problem with the additional training.” Although there was one solider’s mother who “did not want us to use her name for fear of being identified by the government … said she is skeptical of the government’s intentions with Jade Helm 15.” It probably doesn’t help alleviate fears that officials won’t allow the media to observe the training excercises, according to the Washington Post. “The Washington Post has several times requested access to observe the exercise, making the case to the military that first-hand media coverage would help explain the mission. Lastoria said it is not possible to allow a journalist to travel with Special Operations forces in the field, citing the isolated nature of the mission and the need to protect the identity of the forces involved.”

Gator Scales of Justice – Thee is at least some justice in the world. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offficials say “the man who killed an alligator several days after it attacked and killed 28-year-old Tommie Woodard will not face charges,” according to numerous reports. Recall that Woodard’s death ended a 179-year streak for Texas and with some rather memorable last words that, yes, are now emblazoned on a t-shirt. Woodard’s revengeful friend, “who has not been identified, told investigators he acted out of concern for his family, himself and others when he killed the gator.” Following the investigation, officials said “In no way do we condone the killing of a nuisance alligator without proper authority. … If there is a positive that can come out of this case, it’s an educational opportunity for us to reinforce to the public not to feed or disturb alligators and that there are proper procedures for handling nuisance alligators.”

Clickity Bits

Nothin’ Better Than a Gay Texas Wedding Featuring Jennifer Hudson

It’s Gonna Be a Real Peachy Harvest This Year

Texas Man Fatally Shoots Intruder, Then Collapses, Dies

No for Infinity: Starbucks Attempts BBQ Brisket

Texas “Celestial Sleuth” (Kinda) Solves Mystery of Iconic Times Square Kiss

Willie Nelson Receiving Gershwin Award from the Library of Congress

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