The State of Texas: November 25, 2015
Clock Boy’s chances in court look slim, Houston Zoo fights back against gun law, and a ’Friday Night Lights’ surprise.
Haven’t thawed out your Thanksgiving turkey yet? Here’s a little game you could play, courtesy of the staff of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
— Denise Harris (@YeahThatDenise) November 23, 2015
Texas By the Numbers
Accident Prone— Number of claims filed to State Farm because of Thanksgiving Day fires in 2010: 66. In 2012: 29. Number of those claims between 2010 and 2012 that came from Texas: 38. State’s rank for claims: First. Second most number of claims: 27. State: Illinois.
Texas Turkeys — Estimated number of wild turkeys in Texas: 508,000. Number of turkeys hunted in the past 25 years: 1.6 million. In the 2014-2015 season: 42,000. Number of hunters: 84,700. Largest turkey ever killed in Texas: 30.75 pounds. Year: 1993.
Roadblocked — Number of U.S. cities that made the list of top bottlenecks for driving: 30. Number of those cities in Texas: three. Number of ranked bottlenecks: four. Worst bottleneck: Austin. Second worst: Houston. Last, but not least: Dallas.
Broken Clock — Will Ahmed Mohamed get the $15 million his family has asked for? Unlikely. That’s according to the former chairwoman of the State Bar of Texas’s juvenile law section, Laura Peterson. The Dallas Morning News takes a look at some of the basic questions surrounding the potential lawsuit and claims made by the family’s lawyer. Namely, “did police really break rules when they questioned Ahmed without his parents present, as his family claims? Did the school district improperly suspend him? And if mistakes were made, can the family really sue over them?” Regarding the first question and if Ahmed should have been read his Miranda rights (he wasn’t), Peterson said the law is on the police’s side. As for other claims that Ahmed was forced to confess and that the school had no right to suspend him, Peterson’s answer is murky, but indicates that the arguments really wouldn’t hold up in court. But as the Dallas Morning News writes, “while Ahmed’s attorneys quibbled with parts of Peterson’s analysis, they emphasized that a lawsuit would go beyond juvenile law issues, or any mistakes made on the day of his arrest.” So, basically, get ready for a game of lawyerly chicken as to who owes who what. At least it’ll make for a wonderful Thanksgiving debate with your relatives in Irving.
Reloaded — While cities across Texas are super confused about the impending gun law, at least one location is taking a stand after its gun-shy incident. “The Houston Zoo has reinstalled a series of signs that prohibit the carry of firearms into the gates of the family-friendly attraction almost three months after being forced to take them down at threat of legal action,” writes the Houston Chronicle. No, the zoo isn’t about to establish a bar and allow drinking on site as some have proposed as a way to prevent carrying guns. Rather, they’re using a specific part of their clientele to make a case for banning guns. “The zoo argues that being an educational institution exempts it from being forced to allow firearms within its gates. Wallace wrote that the zoo was established for educational and conservation purposes, bringing in some 200,000 children a year. The zoo, [spokeswoman Jackie] Wallace added, ‘maintains an Education Department that employs 17 professional educators who develop and deliver educational programming on a daily basis at the Zoo.'” The main gun-rights slinger said the announcement was “provocative” and “clearly an act of desperation.” Once again, another great debate to have over turkey!
Friday Stage Lights — The cultural import of Friday Night Lights seems destined to follow us well into the future. The good news is that the latest incarnation is so delightful, it’s worth singing about. “The beloved football drama is being made into The Unauthorized Friday Night Lights Musical,” according to Time magazine. The play comes from “the team that brought L.A. audiences ‘Cruel Intentions: The Musical’ and ‘The Unauthorized O.C. Musical,'” writes Variety. “Many of the details of the upcoming ‘Friday Night Lights’ project have yet to be set. But according to Lindsey Rosin, one of the co-creators of the musical, she and her producing partner Jordan Ross recently got the legal go-ahead from NBC Universal to proceed with the musical, so the duo felt it was time to announce.” It’s also not yet clear how long the Friday Night Lights musical will run in its initial outing, but as of now it’s looking like a one-night or one-weekend run, and even more unfortunately, it seems the play may only be in Los Angeles. But a really, really good reason to book your tickets? Jason Street himself (actor Scott Porter) will be in the production. And, even better, he’ll be playing Coach Taylor.