The State of Texas: March 28, 2014
Horror Story of the Day
Since mid-March, Police were trying to locate a missing sixty-seven-year-old man. Yesterday, they think they found him. He apparently died in his own house but “they are having difficulty reaching the body, as it’s buried behind ‘trash piled up from the windows.‘”
Congratulations go to UT’s baseball coach, the wonderfully named Augie Garrido. On Tuesday, he became the winningest college baseball coach at any level with 1,894 victories, a record that hasn’t been broken since 2003.
Upheld — In a unanimous decision on Thursday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the controversial abortion law. “[T]he court sided with the state, which argued that the rules should be deemed constitutional by the federal court because the state’s objective was to protect women’s health, and that there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that the rules create an undue burden on the majority of Texas women attempting to access abortion,” according to the Texas Tribune. Planned Parenthood President (and famous first-daughter) Cecile Richards said pro-choice proponents will fight on. The only legal avenue left for this particular case is the U.S. Supreme Court.
Partial Disclosure — Two death row inmates scheduled for execution next month will likely know where their lethal injections come from. Yesterday, a judge ordered Texas prison officials to disclose the information after the two inmates filed suit against the corrections department, stating that they had a right to know the drug’s origin in order to “evaluate the risk that could result in them being subjected to unconstitutionally cruel pain.” The judge agreed, however, “she stopped short of revealing the identity of the manufacturer to the public,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. State prison officials plan to appeal the decision. As the story notes, the state has argued that drug suppliers face threats and intimidation but has lost previous attempts at keeping the information confidential. What is known, however, is that Texas used the last bit of its previous batch of the lethal drug pentobarbital during an execution last night.
Threatened — The Lesser Prairie Chicken has been put on the federal government’s list of threatened species. “The decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service is a step below ‘endangered’ status and allows for more flexibility in how protections for the bird will be carried out under the Endangered Species Act,” according to the AP. The decision came after the bird’s “population across the five states declined to fewer than 18,000 birds — nearly 50 percent lower than 2012,” according to Fox News. The prairie chicken’s new designation “could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in five central and southwestern states.” A much-criticized conservation plan, however, allows a lengthly list of “agricultural landowners, oil and gas drillers, electric transmission companies, wind energy companies” to avoid penalties for destroying the bird’s habitat by simply paying into a fund.
Impressive Performance — Johnny Manziel impressed coaches, national media and even a former president at the football star’s Pro Day at the A&M campus. Manziel completed “61 of his 64 throws during his 45-minute workout,” according to the New York Daily News, which noted that the quarterback also broke tradition by doing his workout in pads and a helmet. “You play the game on shoulder pads on Sundays,” Manziel told reporters. “Why not come out and do it? … For me it was a no-brainer.” George H.W. and Barbara Bush rolled up in a golf cart about midway through the workout. “That’s a first, a workout with an ex-President,” Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith told ESPN. “But they do things a little differently in Texas, which is a good thing, me being a Texan.”
Animal House — “More than a hundred cats were found Thursday living in filthy conditions that officials describe as a ‘hoarding situation’ in northwest Houston,” according to the Houston Chronicle. One eyewitness described the disgusting scene, which officials suspect has been going on for years, in detail. “It’s awful, there is feces literally three feet high,” he said. “We’re having to walk in mounds of feces, there’s not one square inch of clean area in the house.” The house’s residents are two sixty-year-old twins, one of whom officials believe is very ill.