QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I always believe you get it back threefold.”
—Seventeen-year-old Kameron Grigsby to KBMT. The high school football player and part-time H-E-B employee went viral after he found a wallet with $1,500 inside it in a shopping cart and turned it in. The wallet’s owner returned for it soon after, and Grigsby was there to give it back to her.
The University of Texas at Austin removed four Confederate monuments from their prominent spots on campus in the middle of the night on Sunday, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The bronze statues of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston and Confederate Postmaster John H. Reagan will be moved to the university’s Briscoe Center for American History, UT President Gregory Fenves said on Sunday, when he abruptly announced the decision to remove the monuments from the campus’ South Mall. The statue of James Stephen Hogg, who was the first Texas native to be governor and the son of a Confederate general, meanwhile, might be reinstalled elsewhere on campus. UT’s sudden decision comes amid a national movement pushing for the removal of Confederate monuments. The city of Baltimore recently got rid of multiple monuments overnight, after one 32-year-old counter-protester was killed and dozens more were injured in Charlottesville, Virginia. “The horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation,” Fenves said in a statement on the monument removals. “These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The historical and cultural significance of the Confederate statues on our campus—and the connections that individuals have with them—are severely compromised by what they symbolize. Erected during the period of Jim Crow laws and segregation, the statues represent the subjugation of African Americans. That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolize hatred and bigotry. The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history. But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The sun will be blocked out by the moon at some point Monday during a total solar eclipse, and a good chunk of Texas will be treated to the rare astronomical sight. Texans won’t get to see the whole thing, but we will get a good viewing of a partial solar eclipse. Dallas, for example, should see about 75 percent of the sun blocked out. For many, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The last time that a total eclipse crossed the entire U.S. from coast-to-coast was in 1918, though some northwestern states got a look at one in 1979, and Hawaiians got to see another in 1991. The next one won’t come until 2024. To find out when, precisely, you should look up at the sky (with proper eye protection, please!) to see Monday’s eclipse, check out this cool feature by Vox, which lets you look up your local eclipse time by using your zip code.
Warren Buffett’s bid to buy a Texas utility company was taken out from under him by a competing company, according to the Wall Street Journal. The billionaire’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, announced its bid to buy Oncor, the largest utility provider in the state, in July, putting in a $9 billion offer to take over Energy Future Holdings, its parent company. But the deal has been in trouble since day one. Buffett managed to smooth things over with Texas regulators, who had nixed the hopes of two previous potential buyers of Oncor, but his company had difficulty gaining the support of Elliott Management Corp., a major investor that was trying to block the deal. At the end of the day, though, it was all about money. Sempra Energy swooped in, seemingly out of nowhere, with a $9.45 billion offer, beating out Berkshire Hathaway. The deal was finalized on Sunday, though it remains to be seen if Texas regulators will sign off.
After a federal appeals court ruled last week that Texas violated the Voting Rights Act by gerrymandering its congressional district maps with the intent to discriminate based on race, the state appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. “Judges should get out of the business of drawing maps,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement after filing the appeal on Friday, according to the Texas Tribune. “We firmly believe that the maps Texas used in the last three election cycles are lawful, and we will aggressively defend the maps on all fronts.” In a 107-page ruling on Wednesday, a three-judge panel in San Antonio ruled unanimously that Congressional Districts 27 and 35 are in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act because they were intentionally drawn to dilute minority voting power. Paxton’s appeal appears to be an attempt to dodge the court’s order to redraw the maps ahead of the 2018 election. He’s requested an injunction that would keep Texas from having to draw a new map.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Residents in the border city of Roma might have to relocate to make room for Trump’s wall McAllen Monitor
Six Flags Over Texas is flying only one flag now, the American one, after it was criticized for its Confederate flag Fort Worth Star Telegram
This little kid in El Paso is doing alright after undergoing lifesaving surgery to expand his skull El Paso Times
Here’s a look inside the Longhorns’ ginormous new locker room 247Sports
Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin is proud that the university cancelled a white supremacist rally ESPN