The State of Texas: September 25, 2014
Song of the Day
Poor Radioshack. Its demise is becoming part of the community folklore, and through song no less. What’s worse, it appears to be a Yankee DJ who’s offered up the sing-along eulogy for the Texas company. Insult to injury: it’s set to the tune of Toby Keith’s Red Solo Cup:
The problem with local TV coverage is all the locals you have to deal with. Take for example FOX News Austin’s story about the city’s possible vehicle cell phone ban. While flashing some B-roll on screen, it looks like camera man accidently got footage of a man smoking weed mid-drive. Love ya, Austin. Don’t ever change.
The More You Know
The best month of Texas fun begins tomorrow with the opening of the State Fair. To get you pumped for all the action (or impress people when the conversation turns topical), the Dallas Morning News has a list of the ten things you probably don’t know about Big Tex.
TB Sorry — The CEO of the El Paso Hospital has apologized for exposing about 750 babies to TB. The hospital official who was exposed to the infection said “that her symptoms were discovered in July but that more than a month passed before she was tested for the infectious lung disease,” reports the AP. “The administration of the Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso ‘should have done more’ when the employee’s symptoms were revealed during her annual screening, Sierra Providence Health Network CEO Eric Evans said at a news conference.” The good news is that none of the 53 employees who came in contact with the patient zero appear to have TB. About 500 of the infants are expected to be tested over the next three weeks.
What Incentive? — Governor Rick Perry’s pet project, the Texas Enterprise and Emerging Technology Funds, has taken hits before for being less effective than hoped. Now, the subsidized chickens might be coming home to roost. “On Monday, state senators met to discuss the programs,” reports the San Antonio Express-News, and are now seriously considering (or at least saying aloud), “shifting oversight of state business incentive programs away from the next governor.” The suggestion came from Austin Democratic Senator Kirk Watson and for now, not too many lawmakers seem willing to rock the boat, basically saying why mess with a thing that’s not really causing us problems? So far, the next presumed governor hasn’t really said much. But apparently he indicated to committee chairman Bob Deuell that he has “interest in shifting oversight to an entity independent of the executive branch.”
In Their Hands — The fate of renowned cancer doctor Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo, accused of poisoning her lover, will soon be decided. Both sides presented their closing arguments Wednesday and the jury must now decide if the infamous cup of coffee “was either laced with poison meant to kill him, or it simply contained an artificial sweetener she used to sweeten the brew,” according to the Houston Chronicle. “Prosecutors said Gonzalez-Angulo was motivated by her obsession with Blumenschein and wanted to break up his relationship with his girlfriend so she could have a child with him.” Yet an acquittal seems possible, since “no one testified seeing Gonzalez-Angulo put the toxic chemical in the coffee, and no one said they heard her saying she had done so or that she wanted to harm Blumenschein.” That, and it appears Gonzalez-Angulo also took sips from the supposedly poisoned cup. The jury continues its deliberations.
Murderabilia — Perhaps one of the more sinister items in Texas’s recent history is apparently up for auction. “The Remington 700 rifle used by ex-Marine Charles Whitman during his August 1, 1966 reign of terror from the observation deck at the University of Texas in Austin” was recently listed on a Dallas gun trader website. Starting bid for this piece of murderabilia? $25,000.” According to the Houston Chronicle, the rifle’s as legit as they come. “The serial number on the pictures of the Remington rifle included on Weiss’ Texas Gun Trader listing matches the serial number found on the Austin Police Department report.” As a bonus for the macabre future collector, he can even take the gun for a spin should he so desire. Donald Weiss, who’s helping to see the item, “he has seen the weapon used at a gun range.” Weiss, rather naively, said ” He believes the people who would want the rifle would want it for its historical significance, and not for its inherent morbidity.” Unsurprisingly, the gun’s current owner wishes to remain anonymous.
Just Say ‘Strong’ — UT football coach Charlie Strong was not kidding when indicated his desire to whip the boys into shape with no-nonsense policies. “The number of drug tests administered to University of Texas football players has skyrocketed,” reports the Austin American-Statesman, which obtained the info through an open-records request. “According to university records, an average of 104 tests were administered annually to football players from 2010 to 2013, the last four years under former coach Mack Brown. A total of 188 tests were administered the first eight months this year under Strong. At an annualized rate, that’s more than double the previous four years.” Strong drug tested not only right after spring break, but even during training camp and the season opener, something Brown never did. It’s unlikely the public will ever know who tested positive because, hey, they are just kids and it is a privacy issue.