The State of Texas: November 24, 2014
On this day in 1835, the state officially established the oldest, most awesome law enforcement body in the country, the Texas Rangers. “The organization had a complement of 56 men in three companies,” writes the Texas State Historical Association. The group hasn’t gotten much bigger over the years. There are currently 150 commissioned Rangers and, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety they conduct, um, “hypnosis sessions on criminal investigations” (among many, many other things). Regardless, the eyes of the Ranger are upon you!
All Booked Up — Congrats, kids. The adults finally agreed on what school books you’ll have in the near future—even if they’re not entirely sure what’s in them. On Friday, “the State Board of Education sanctioned 89 books and classroom software packages that more than 5 million public school students will begin using next fall,” reports the Associated Press. Because of the months-long controversy over whether the books were too right-wing or liberal, publishers rushed “to make hundreds of last-minute edits.” During the board meeting, someone made the rare sensible point that maybe they should review the materials first. That proposal, however, was defeated. The textbook controversy was so prolongued that one publisher pulled its materials. No word yet on what specific changes were made to the materials that the children of the country’s forty-sixth-ranked state in education will be using.
Migrant Migraines — Declaring an executive order is one thing; implementing it is entirely different. Perhaps no state will face as big of a challenge with the country’s new immigration policy than Texas. “Officials at a dozen state and local agencies said they were scrambling to study Obama’s order temporarily shielding up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation, including an estimated 700,000 in Texas,” according to the Houston Chronicle. “Illegal immigrants are eligible to receive few social services in Texas and the executive action will not change that, officials said, although removing the fear of deportation could lead some to seek Medicaid and other benefits for children born here who already qualify for help.” As one last hurrah in his post as the state’s attorney general, Greg Abbott is doubling down on his promise to sue President Barack Obama over the immigration action. “According to Abbott, the president’s actions violate the ‘Take Care’ clause in the Constitution, which states that the president must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,'” reports the Dallas Morning News. For those counting at home, it would be “the 31st time that Abbott has sued the administration.”
Two-For-One — It was a shaky weekend for North Texas. “One day after a 3.3 magnitude earthquake shook North Texas, preliminary reports from the United States Geological Survey show a second quake Sunday afternoon. A 2.5 magnitude earthquake rumbled at 3:40 p.m. Sunday,” according to WFAA. Thankfully, “there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage,” reports the Dallas Morning News, not to say there wasn’t an aftershock of sorts. “People across North Texas took to social media to report feeling the quake, expressing everything from surprise at experiencing a temblor in Texas to mere amusement.” As expected some people were less than amused. As Reuters reports, “Critics said the quake was a reminder of the threat posed by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.”
Good Game — The tiny team that could sadly reached the end of its season. “Booker saw its high school [football] team lose [Friday] for the first time this year, eliminating them from the state playoffs,” according to NPR of all place. The Amarillo Globe-News has the specifics of the game, including the gracious post-game words from receiver Jared Reagan. “It was a great year for us,” he said. “Just a sad way to end.” Reagan, by the way, “finished his career as the leading receiver in Texas high school history, with more than 313 catches — two spots ahead of the NFL’s Jordan Shipley (who still holds the mark for most yards). This year, Reagan caught passes for more than 1,720 yards.” The team’s season might be over but you can relive their miracle by reading the great team profile from Texas Monthly‘s own Jeff Beckham.