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The State of Texas: May 9, 2014

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Video of the day

Houston’s ABC 22 mentions both the modern craze, Angry Birds, and Alfred Hitchhock’s classic Birds in the following news segment. No matter your cultural reference point, the video of birds attacking innocent truck drivers in a parking lot is terrifying (and a wee bit funny).

Slideshow Friday

The Houston Chronicle has a slideshow featuring items Texas prisoners can purchase at their local commissary, a curious look at daily prison life. Items include comfort foods like Blue Bell ice cream, pork rinds, and candy bars. Also available: see-through typewriters:

For The Mommas

In case you missed it, and in honor of Mother’s Day (it’s this Sunday, do not forget to call her!), here is former UT star, current OKC Thunder star and all-star son Kevin Durant tearfully thanking the real MVP, his mom:

Daily Roundup

All The Wrong Moves — Permian High School in Odessa, the one made famous by the Friday Night Lights franchise is making waves again, but for all the wrong reasons. School officials announced that “a longtime teacher committed suicide a day after being questioned about an alleged improper relationship with a student,” according to Associated Press. The teacher, “was found dead by Ector County Sheriff’s deputies in an open field in West Odessa [from] a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest,” according to the Odessa American. More significant to the controversy at hand is the fact that this is the school’s “fifth former staffer to face such accusations in a little more than a year,” including two female instructors. While a thorough explanation for the rash of controversies is still waiting on the sidelines, Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said scandals of this nature have a momentous effect. “Oftentimes when somebody comes forward, other people will feel comfortable reporting, but I can’t speak to these particular cases,” he said. And in continued bad news for the area, the son of the famed school football coach and a former player on the famous 1988 squad were sentenced Thursday in another high-profile case involving home invasion and assault. Let’s hope all these issues get resolved before someone else decides to write a much different book about the high school.

Be Litigious, Be-Be Litigious — That’s the chant coming from the attorney of the Kountze cheerleaders, whose case was dismissed by the Ninth Court of Appeals. Back in 2012, the cheerleaders’s parents sued the school district because it had banned the kids from using scripture on the football banners. On Thursday, however, the court ruled the case moot since the school district has since changed its policy. Following the decision, the attorney representing the parents said he’ll most likely appeal to the Texas Supreme Court because “Without that determination, the district could attempt to restrict banners in the future,” according to the Beaumont Enterprise. The ACLU, couldn’t agree more. “By resolving the case on a technical ground, the decision puts us back at square one,” said Texas ACLU’s legal and policy director. “Our position remains the same. These banners send a message to students of minority faiths and non-believers that they are not welcome at their own football games.” No rematch has been set, but it should be a brawler.

Draft Texas — And in other football news, there was plenty of wild speculation about what the Houston Texans would do with their number-one spot in the pick-up game. Would it be hometown boy Johnny Manziel? In the end, they went with South Carolina’s linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. At number sixteen in the rotation, Dallas’ first pick was offensive lineman Zack Martin out of Notre Dame. Those were the headline-making imports, but Texas sent some pretty awesome exports, too. Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews was the number six overall pick, selected by the Atlanta Falcons. And then … there was Manziel. If you were on social media last night, you’d know that’s all anybody really cared about. And the longer it took for Manziel to get drafted, the louder the teasing got. In fact, the teasing became a hashtag joke (so you know it was serious) with #BeforeManzielGetsDrafted. Turned out, the twenty-second time’s a charm for Johnny Football. And the mocking finally died down, which is good for two reasons. For one, it began bordering on cruel and very unusual. Secondly, Manziel’s is suffering enough. The poor guy was sent to Cleveland.

Dear Willie — Our national treasure has donated his stash collection. “Willie Nelson is giving major portions of his correspondence, manuscripts, records and awards to UT’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,” according to the Houston Chronicle. “The red-headed stranger’s collection will join letters and photographs from his outlaw country friends Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash.” The collection will also include, “letters and photos from fans … dignitaries such as Bill Clinton and the late Ann Richards,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. “The material also includes platinum records and other awards, posters from Nelson’s Fourth of July picnics, portraits, screenplays, books and personal items.” The squares at both the Chronicle and Statesman made sure to include weed jokes about the “stash” and “papers,” although the Statesman did express an honest thought: letters are nice and all, but who’s gonna eventually get his guitar, Trigger?

Clickity Bits

New Judge, New Restrictions In Controversial Rape Case

Hearne Mayor Wants Officer Who Shot 93-Year-Old Fired

Time Out: Drugs, Guns, Money Found In Home Of First-Grade Teacher

Judicial Opponent: Why Were Slaugtherhouse’s Blood River Charges Dropped?

Divers Finally Find That Missing $250,000 Houston Police Drone

Did we miss something? Got a hot news tip? Send it our way: [email protected]. Or tweet Texas Monthly and Jeff Winkler

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