Texas by the Numbers
Wedding Season — Estimated number of gay marriage licenses issued by the state: 2,500. Portion of all licenses since gay marriage was declared constitutional: 6 percent. Number of same-sex marriage applications received in Tarrant County: 300. Portion of the total number received: 9 percent.
Movin’ on Up — Houston’s projected national rank among most populated cities: third. Number of years before that happens: eight to ten. Estimated population by 2025: 2.54-2.7 million. Chicago’s estimated population in 2025: 2.5 million.
Oh, Deer — Texas’s rank among states with likely deer-and-car collisions: 39th. Odds of hitting a deer in Texas: 1 in 297. Estimated number of insurance claims for such an accident this year: 52,000.
Redirected — Well, that was kinda sudden. The news heard ’round Texas (and the sports world) Monday was that the University of Texas’s athletic director Steve Patterson
was fired resigned. UT’s president called it a “mutually agreed upon decision,” according to Sports Illustrated. Patterson was under pressure from the moment he stepped into the office 22 months ago. It didn’t help that the Longhorns record is . . . not good. But his “aggressive approach to raising money rankled fans and some major donors,” notes ESPN. It’s likely that few tears will be shed, particularly considering Patterson’s parting gift. “A source familiar with the negotiations said UT will have to pay ‘less than contract.’ Counting this year, Patterson had four years left on a guaranteed deal worth at least $5.6 million. Fenves said the buyout must be approved by the UT System Board of Regents,” according to the Austin American-Statesman‘s football website, Hook’em. The temporary AG, Mike Perrin, will be introduced in a press conference today. “Perrin was a linebacker under legendary UT coach Darrell Royal and played on the 1968 team that started the program’s 30-game winning streak. Perrin was an all-Southwest Conference selection and went on to earn a degree from the UT law school,” writes Hook’em. Apart from that: “Little known fact about Perrin: he once owned Smokey, the cannon that fires every time Texas scores.” So here’s hoping he starts things off with a bang.
False Alarm — A ninth grader in Irving was arrested for bringing a “fake bomb” to school. His name is Ahmed Mohamed. Did his name, one of the most common in the Muslim world, have anything to do with the arrest? Who knows? Did officials overreact? It certainly seems so! Ahmed, “who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart,” according to the Dallas Morning News, made it very, very clear he was bringing his homemade clock to school. The details from Ahmed are pretty unsettling. The alarm went off in class, the teacher confiscated the clock, then the principal and a police officer “led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. The bell rang at least twice, he said, while the officers searched his belongings and questioned his intentions. The principal threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement.” Police aren’t buying it that Ahmed is just an engineering nerd (he was arrested wearing a NASA T-shirt). “Ahmed never claimed his device was anything but a clock, said police spokesman James McLellan. And police have no reason to think it was dangerous. But officers still didn’t believe Ahmed was giving them the whole story.” As it stands, “[Police are] still investigating the case, and Ahmed hasn’t been back to school. His family said the principal suspended him for three days.”
Stand Down — Texas was seemingly spared a complete military takeover, as Jade Helm 15 has officially come to a close. With a slight smirk the Statesman reports that “by most accounts, the ‘realistic military training’ exercise went smoothly, despite the dire predictions that it would lead to a federal government takeover of the Southwest. An Abbott spokesman said in a statement that Jade Helm 15 ‘operated on schedule and proceeded as planned.'” Abbott’s office would know since they promised to keep tabs on the exercise, just in case the federal government tried anything sneaky. But don’t just take the Other Man’s word for it. “Counter Jade Helm, a group of volunteers that attempted to catch a glimpse of the troop movements on the ground, also reported little disruption.” Bastrop was the hotbed for anti-Jade Helm activity, having garnered national attention when some of its citizens protested the “invasion” in July. But even the main judge there, who was “inundated with criticism from skeptics and praise from military supporters after the county agreed to host the exercise” and “stopped taking interviews on the subject this summer,” said his office had no problems. Not that things went perfectly. “While martial law never came, Jade Helm 15 didn’t go off without a hiccup. A planned exercise in August by the 82nd Airborne Division at Bexar County’s Camp Bullis was canceled at the last minute because of safety concerns related to the aircraft.”