The State of Texas: July 24, 2014
Quote of the Day
“Drink milk and always eat what your mother tells you.”
— Lindale resident Dorris Clements, who just celebrated her one-hundredth birthday, on the secret to longevity.
Image of the Day
The man below just became a father to quadruplets. The local NBC affiliate covered the story and the image they used as a preview for the video seems to sum up how any man would feel after becoming the father of quadruplets:
Cause and Effect — Since HB2 passed, abortions in the state are down, according to the findings of a new report from UT’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project. The number of abortions decreased “by about 13 percent statewide and 21 percent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley,” the Texas Tribune reports. As the Austin American-Statesman notes, the actual figure is about 9,200 fewer abortions. “Also, Texas saw a 70 percent drop in the less invasive and more affordable medical abortion, or abortion pill, ” reports the Statesman. “Nationally, use of the abortion pill is increasing.” There are now only six facilities in all of Texas that meet the requirements of the new law.
National Security Guard — The San Antonio Express-News has a great story detailing exactly what the 1,000 National Guard troops Governor Rick Perry sent to the border will being doing. In short, the details of the operation are “much less dramatic than much of the political rhetoric leading up to the deployment would suggest.” For starters, the troops, who will be armed, won’t have arrest powers and really are there to “support” Border Patrol agents. “Under current law, guardsmen deployed on state active duty can act in a law enforcement capacity if granted that power by that state’s governor. But that arrest power applies only to state laws, such as theft and drug offenses. As the story notes, in previous situations at the border, “the troops’ activities were mainly confined to surveillance, helping build security fences, or doing maintenance and administrative work to help the Border Patrol.”
Texas Horror Story — More details emerged in the case of the Fort Worth Mortuary under investigation for its treatment of bodies, as reported in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram story that started with a disclaimer that their report included “graphic descriptions.” The owner had originally said that there was simply a misunderstanding with the owner of the building and that the accusations of mismanagement of bodies were overblown. The owner “told the detectives that the conditions in the mortuary ‘were not unusual … This is a funeral home and when you go into a funeral home, you can expect to find bodies,'” he’d said. According to the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram, however, it was much, much more than that. The details regarding what police saw in the mortuary are indeed rather graphic. We won’t detail them all here, but the phrase “melted into the container” comes up.
How the Other Half Pees — Billionaire real estate heir Robert Durst is in the headlines again. Back in 2003, he was acquitted of a grisly murder in Galveston, and now Durst has been “accused of exposing himself and urinating inside a CVS store.” This apparently was not some inebriated or crazed moment. “He did not seem to be agitated or arguing with anyone,” said a police spokesman. “He turned casually and left the store and was last seen walking down the street.” The charge now appears to be criminal mischief with a fine Durst can afford ($2,000).
The Gay Economy — If Texas legalized gay marriage, a study “estimates that it would add $181.6 million to the state’s economy over the next three years … including $116 million in the first year alone,” according to the Houston Business Journal. “That would translate into an estimated $14.8 million in sales tax revenue for state and local governments, according to the report. All those same-sex marriages would also create an estimated 1,570 full- and part-time jobs in Texas.”