The State of Texas: July 18, 2014
Legendary, Texas-born blues guitarist Johnny Winter went to that big juke joint in the sky on Wednesday. One of the last great guitarists, Winters style was as unique as his appearance and the seventy-year-old, former heroin addict was on a world tour when he passed. In February, Texas Monthly‘s own Andy Langer talked with Winter about some of his best songs. Below is Winter performing “Mean Town Blues” at Woodstock:
Image of the day
Spectacularly elaborate Aggie-themed cakes are a thing, and boy are they impressive:
— TexAgs (@TexAgs) July 16, 2014
Sheriff Sentence — Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday for his part in a money laundering scheme, to which he’d already pleaded guilty. The money reportedly came from a known drug trafficker and Treviño “admitted to accepting $20,000 to $25,000 — double the amounts in question that were recorded in his re-election campaign account,” according to the Houston Chronicle. “I’m sorry. It happened. I did it,” said Treviño during the sentencing. “Standing before the judge, Trevino made no excuses,” reads the Chronicle article, although that’s not entirely the case. As contrite as he might have sounded, however, the former sheriff maintains he had no knowledge of the drug-deal “rogue unit” (which his live-in son was a member of), and that it was his right-hand man who accepted the cash for Treviño’s re-election campaign. What’s more, Treviño’s has already filed a notice to appeal both the sentence and the conviction. For an account of the sentencing, be sure to read The Monitor‘s piece.
Kiddie Steps — How’s this for a change: there’s some maybe-possibly good news from the border! “The U.S. Border Patrol has detained fewer unaccompanied children entering South Texas illegally in the past 10 days,” reports the Associated Press. One agent said they arrest just eighty kids on Wednesday and that the “arrest tally was down from 200 to 300 unaccompanied children at the surge’s height.” Observers are cautious about drawing any conclusions since the July heat often lowers the figures. That said, “weekly arrest totals included in law enforcement intelligence reports obtained by The Associated Press in May and June show that arrests dropped in the final week of June to a level not seen since mid-May. Weekly arrest totals in the Rio Grande Valley during those months peaked in mid-June at more than 9,000. The factors contributing to the drop are unclear and it is unknown if it will continue.” And all this just in time for lawmakers to … continue squabbling over what should be done.
Misgivings About Miscavige — A state appeals court said Thursday that David Miscavige, the head of the Scientology Church, isn’t compelled to come to Texas and give testimony, a decision that overturns a previous order. In regards to the case from a prominent critic of the church, “Monique Rathbun, who alleged that Scientologists conducted a three-year harassment campaign when her husband, Marty Rathbun, began speaking out against church activities, did not prove that Miscavige had ‘unique or superior knowledge’ to offer in a deposition.” That’s not to say we definitely won’t hear any fascinating stories. “The court did not rule out the possibility that ‘additional, less intrusive means of discovery’ could establish Rathbun’s right to force Miscavige to answer questions, under oath, in a future deposition.”
Centennial Centurion — The oldest female veteran, a Texan, is taking a trip next week to Washington, D.C. “At 108, Lucy Coffey will fly out of San Antonio on a chartered plane next week and go Washington, where she’ll visit the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery and other monuments,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. “There also may be a stop at the White House.” Joining the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943, Coffey spent about a decade in Japan before coming back home to Texas.
Dream Coach — How bad did UT want Alabama coach Nick Saban? Like $115 million bad. In an upcoming book about the SEC, Paul Finebaum reports that “boosters were willing to offer Saban a signing bonus worth up to $15 million and a total salary package of $100 million-plus over the life of the contract.” For perspective, Saban’s new seven-year deal with Alabama is worth $6.5 million in base salary per year and a total of about $55 million including bonuses and Charlie Strong’s five-year deal is worth more than $25 million.