Bad Sign of the Day
This image has been making the rounds on Imgur and Reddit. The Manhattan sign promising “Austin style breakfast burritos” and vegan burritos is travesty for several reasons, and probably the work, as one Reddit user suggested, of a misinformed Yankee:
Happy Bells — In case you were under a rock Monday or not in the least bit Texan, here’s some news: Blue Bell made its first, small (but no less glorious) return to the shelves with the company offering three flavors to people in Houston, Austin and Brenham-area stores. Deliveries began arriving at stores in the wee hours Monday and ice cream-starved fans immediately began scooping up the goods. Customers were asked to limit their purchase to four, although it seems one exception was made for Governor Greg Abbott, who took a pretty happy photo with his leader-sized supply. It is perhaps important to note that Blue Bell will be delivering to these locations every. single. day. as part of its first phase in reintroducing the ice cream. And even better news for sweet tooths—while only one plant, based in Alabama, is currently producing flavors, a second location in Oklahoma is beginning test runs this week. And in more good news for Blue Bell, Brenham just received a $1.3 million grant from the government to strengthen its workforce. For those who don’t mind a little salt with their sweet, be sure to read John Lomax’s take on Blue Bell’s return, right here at Texas Monthly.
Bad Bet — Anyone trying to keep up with the action between the Texas Racing Commission and the legislature likely suffered whiplash. Horse racing tracks in Texas closed temporarily on Monday after the two groups failed to come to some sort of understanding regarding the TRC’s approval of “historic” racing. And it really did go down to the wire. “State senators, who had been pushing to defund the Texas Racing Commission for its approval of a controversial new type of betting, agreed late in the day to let it live for three months. But House leaders held firm to a demand for longer-term funding, leaving a deal in doubt,” writes the Houston Chronicle. “By 9 p.m., commission officials, assuming they would not get a critical funding allocation before the midnight deadline, told the tracks that they could not hold racing events Tuesday.” As the story notes, “it was unclear Monday night when or how the dispute would get resolved.”
Tense in Texas — It has not been a good year for relations between local law enforcement and the communities they serve. More details have emerged in the brutal execution of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth, particularly that the suspect “spent four months in a mental hospital in 2012 after being declared incompetent to stand trial in an aggravated assault case,” reports the Houston Chronicle. As the story sadly notes, the “revelation offered a possible insight in a case that has so far defied explanation.” If you need to catch up on the story, the Associated Press has a nice breakdown of the crime, the victim, and a look at violence against police nationwide (eight shooting deaths thus far in 2015). Tragic as the death is, yet another person was killed by police just down the road in San Antonio. The video is causing a stir, because it appears that the man was “standing still with his hands up” when shot, according to the Express-News. It was TV station SKAT, which got exclusive footage of the incident after paying $100 to a twenty-year-old for his cell phone video. Even the New York Times took note of the incident, detailing how the suspect allegedly resisted arrest, ran from police and, at one point, had a knife. “Sheriff [Susan] Pamerleau said the video was one of many pieces of evidence that her department was using to piece together what happened and promised a ‘thorough and complete’ investigation and an ‘objective’ assessment,” according to the Times.
Gangs of New Texas — The Department of Public Safety has released its latest assessment of gang activity, and it looks like the Cossack bikers, who made headlines during May’s Waco shooting, finally made their mark. As per the most commonly understood narrative, the assessment reports that “Cossacks members have recently started wearing the Texas patch on the bottom of their vests without the approval of the Bandidos.” And the “report notes that the Waco clash followed a series of incidents — mostly in the northern half of the state — reportedly linked to the Bandidos,” the Express-News writes. The Cossacks, however, aren’t the state’s biggest problem. “Some of the state’s most dangerous gangs — classified as Tier 1 gangs — are Tango Blast and Tango cliques, with an estimated 15,000 members; the Texas Syndicate, with 3,400 members; the Texas Mexican Mafia at 4,700 members; Mara Salvatrucha, aka MS-13, with 800 members; and the Latin Kings, with 2,100 members,” the Austin American-Statesman reports. “The report says these groups pose the greatest gang threat to Texas because of their relationships with Mexican cartels, high levels of violence and cross-border crime, and their overall statewide presence.”