The State of Texas: July 17, 2014
Goliath, once crowned “World’s Tallest Horse” by none other than the Guinness Book of World Records, has gone to that big stable in the sky. The Percheron gelding was “19.1 hands — 6 feet, 5 inches at the withers — and more than 2,500 pounds,” according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Photobomb of the Day
San Antonio Spurs teammates Patty Mills and Larry O’Brien went to Australia. They also took their trophy — that big one from their recent NBA championship. Then, for no good reason at all, they fooled around with a sportscaster attempting to do a live shot during Australian Football League coverage. The sports reporter was none-to-happy. He told them to shove off and, in fact, shoved them off. Poor bloke didn’t find out till later he’d been photobombed by reigning champions. There’s video, but this photo is priceless:
Problem Students — The definition of “quagmire” in Texas dictionaries could simply read, “University of Texas.” The House transparency committee that’s trying to figure out what to do with rebel regent Wallace Hall said yesterday it’s “very close” to a decision. What’s more, there is—in the words of the Texas Tribune—a “palpable sense of desire for their impeachment probe.” You wouldn’t know that from the reports, however. The major testimony from outgoing UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, was in regard to outgoing President Bill Powers. Cigarroa described in detail (and under oath!) exactly why he pressured Powers to quit: “a sensitive conversation I had with President Powers, and only with President Powers, went public. So, a violation of trust,” said Cigarroa, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman. To be clear, Cigarroa “who asked Hall to resign earlier this year, reiterated that he did not think Hall had done anything wrong, but had become the focus of so much negative attention.”
Warehouses ‘R’ Us — On July 20, a “55,000-square foot warehouse converted to process immigrant children who have entered the U.S. illegally” will open in McAllen, according to the Associated Press. The facility “will provide showers, laundry, meals, medical attention and recreation” Of course, that spot won’t be enough. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who’s taken a lot of heat for being a straight-talking humanitarian, said “he expects all three local buildings identified as potential shelters for migrant children will be used when the kids from Central American arrive in the coming weeks,” according to the Dallas Morning News. Renovations on the buildings could begin as early as this weekend. “Combined, the facilities will be able to provide about 2,000 beds … The average stay for a child will be about 35 days. The facilities are expected to be open for at least 120 days, so the number of children who will ultimately pass through the region will likely be higher.” Jenkins said “I am not interested in turning this into something where the extremes of the immigration debate are standing at either side of the room and screaming at each other. I am interested in helping these children in an orderly and logical way.”
Fracking Democracy — In a city council vote, Denton decided not to “ban further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community after eight hours of public testimony,” reports the Associated Press, and instead put it on a ballot for voters to decide. To be clear, the decision wasn’t entirely for democratic, let-the-people-decide reasons: “The threats of litigation appeared to color how some of the Denton council members voted. Councilman Greg Johnson voiced concerns that lawsuits from the state and from mineral holders could bankrupt the city.” Judging from the meeting attendance, the public vote will be fracking crazy. “An estimated 500 people turned out to Denton City Hall for the hearing, spilling over into satellite rooms and even a city building across the street. More than 100 people registered to speak ahead of the vote.” The city’s temporary ban on fracking ends in September, while the proposed public ballot would take place in November.
Here’s Your Flag — Yesterday it was reported that a construction worker for the Kyle Field renovations was fired because he hung up a ‘Bama flag. He’s apparently done much worse, though. In several Facebook messages, the construction worker indicated that he sabotaged the structural integrity of the stadium itself. According to Houston Chronicle, the construction worker wrote, “This stadium will never be ready for this season, I’m putting iron in backwards and wrong holing everything!!” and “If you ever attend a Texas A&M football game, don’t sit at the Northeast End Zone, it was raining today and I made 2 very ‘questionable’ welds!!” But fear not. “Paul Hawryluk, director of facility services for Raba Kistner Engineering, the inspector for the Kyle Field renovation, told KBTX that the construction is safe and up to standards.”
Dead Serious — It’s a pretty stiff requirement: if you’re a mortician, keep the bodies on ice. A rather macbre story is unfolding in Forth Worth after “Police shut down an East Fort Worth funeral home Tuesday where they discovered eight bodies in ‘varying stages of decay.'” The owners stated, “We’ve done nothing wrong. … This is a funeral home. This is where dead bodies belong.” Hard to argue that point. The only problem is, police “said the bodies were not stored in refrigerated rooms. A foul odor came from the building while officers worked.” Some were properly stored and another was in a coffin, but “the rest were kept in black trash bags.” The misunderstanding appears to stem from a disagreement with the property owner. The funeral home director “did not explain the nature of the misunderstanding or why the property owner was seeking to evict them.” There’s some inspections that’ll have to be done now, but the hoopla has gotten the funeral director’s blood pumping. “In a few days from now, we’ll be on a reality show. … So I want all this media.”