The State of Texas: Wednesday 20, 2015
Image of the Day
Getting one over on The Man is the mother of invention, especially when it comes to vanity license plates. Below is the plate that William Long managed to get by censors (read it upside down). It’s not his first effort either. Soon they’re going to restrict him to just one or two letters and numbers.
Texas by the Numbers
Deported – Harris County’s national rank for immigration removals over the past seven years: 3rd. Number of removals: 25,564. El Paso County: 12,766. Dallas County: 10,632. Number of counties with no removals: 10.
Now Hiring – Number of Texas cities in a recent rank of the best 25 cities for jobs: 4. Austin’s rank: 4th. San Antonio: 9th. DFW: 14th. Houston: 21st.
Cannibis, Y’all – If you had told someone just ten years ago that the governor of Texas might sign a marijuana-friendly bill, that someone would think you were high. But that’s the strange, and rather sudden, reality, as the House has approved a marijuana bill that now heads to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. Of course, it’s a very tiny baby step. The marijuana is for medical use (specifically for intractable epilepsy patients), and “the maximum legal dosage would be so low that it wouldn’t produce the high associated with other parts of marijuana. The oil could only be obtained with a prescription and would remain off-limits to patients with other medical conditions,” notes the Associated Press. In other words, it’s probably gonna be awhile before Willy can sell his specialty dime bags in the state.
As the Smoke Clears – Another day, another slow addition of details to the Waco motorcycle shoot-out. The ongoing investigation seems to have found the cause of the chaos that left nine dead, and it is rather mundane. The fight “began with a parking dispute and someone running over a gang member’s foot,” and “an uninvited group appeared for Sunday’s meeting of a loose confederation of biker gangs at a restaurant,” according to wire reports. The names of the dead are becoming public too. All nine men appear to have died from gunshot wounds. “Three of the dead were found in the parking lot just outside the restaurant, four were found in front of a building there, and one had been dragged behind a neighboring restaurant,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Authorities have expressed concern over continued violence, especially as funerals preparations are being made. Sergeant Patrick Swanton made a public plea for the various clubs to “stand down” during the investigation even as reports (read: rumors!) from police say they’ve received “‘credible information’ that members of other motorcycle gangs might be heading to Waco to attack law enforcement officers in retaliation for Sunday’s violence.”
A Country Lawsuit – Well, it was bound to happen, and it’s actually surprising it took this long. A man has sued Blue Bell because he “damn near died” (not a legal term) after eating the ice cream. Attorneys say it’s “probably the first suit to stem from a massive product recall,” writes the Dallas Morning News. “David Philip Shockley was an administrator at a retirement community in 2013 when he ‘consumed a variety of Blue Bell ice cream products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes,’ according to a lengthy suit filed late Tuesday in federal court in Austin.” The suit claims he almost died as a result of listeria and is unable to work. As the story notes, however, “Shockley [who ate his ice cream in Minnesota] apparently is not one of the cases identified in Texas.” In related news, the Houston Chronicle takes a quick look at A&M’s Blue Bell Park. The name for the baseball stadium will apparently remain, although it still owes the college about $1.75 million for the naming rights.
Lady Mysteries – Following the massive (and national) outcry over Austin’s attempt to “train” employees for the upcoming female invasion, the city manager promised a swift review of how it happened. Now some specific details of the investigation have been released. Perhaps wisely, the city manager, Marc Ott, has named a women—the city’s police monitor—to lead the investigation. Two other women join the investigation and, oh, one dude. Ott “gave this newly-formed investigative team a quick turn-around for delivering a draft report, saying he wanted to see one by this Friday and ‘barring any further questions that I may have after reviewing the report, I anticipate making a decision regarding this matter shortly thereafter,’” according to the Austin American-Statesman. It’s probably a wise idea to wrap up this embarrassing episode as soon as possible. The news has became the butt of a Conan O’Brien joke, who did a whole bit on the issue.
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