QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I never said I was retiring. I get this question maybe 40 times a season now. I never said I wasn’t or I was. I just wait and see.”
—San Antonio Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili to reporters on Wednesday, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Ginobili, 39, is the second-oldest player in the NBA. But he may have another season left in him yet.
Awkward Moment—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, as tensions appear to be running high between the U.S. and Russia over the use of chemical weapons by Russian-aligned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the ongoing congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Putin and Tillerson go way back to when Rex was the CEO of Exxon, and they once worked so well together to advance their shared drilling interests in Siberia and the Arctic that Putin gave the Wichita Falls native a friendship award. But Wednesday’s meeting was not a friendly one. Even as late as Tillerson’s arrival in Moscow on Monday, it was uncertain whether he’d actually be able to meet with Putin. The two were finally scheduled to meet on Wednesday, but according to Politico, Putin made Tillerson wait for hours before agreeing to see him. They met behind closed doors for two hours, and apparently did not make much progress. “There is a low level of trust between our countries,” Tillerson said in a press conference after his meeting with Putin, according to the Washington Post. “The world’s two primary nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship.” Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov both said in the press conference that Tillerson and Putin talked about a range of issues, including Syria, Ukraine, and North Korea. But not much ground was made on any of those subjects.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Keystone Cops—An audit of Houston’s crime lab revealed on Wednesday that a Houston crime scene investigator made errors in 65 cases since 2015, throwing the outcome of every one of them in doubt. According to the Houston Chronicle, the audit by the Houston Forensic Science Center found the errors made by HPD Officer Justin McGee were grave enough to raise questions about major pieces of evidence in cases including 26 homicides, five officer-involved shootings, and six child deaths. Of the 88 cases handled by McGee that were reviewed in the audit, 65 were found to have incomplete documentation, including 32 with administrative errors, and evidence had been misplaced in eight cases. McGee repeatedly failed to collect DNA swabs or test for fingerprints, left sometimes-bloody evidence sitting at the scene, and, in at least two cases, failed to take measurements of bloody footprints. In one instance, McGee once said he did not take crime scene photos because he “did not want to contaminate his camera equipment.” According to the Chronicle, McGee has been reassigned back to patrol duty.
Texas-Sized Outbreak—Texas has seen more mumps cases reported this year than any year in the last two decades. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there have been 221 cases of mumps in the Lone Star State this year, the highest total since 1994, when there were 234. The latest outbreak happened among spring break-revelers on South Padre Island, according to the Dallas Morning News. State health officials are tracking an outbreak there that infected 13 people who traveled to South Padre Island between March 8 and March 22—the cases span six states, including two in Texas. In Dallas County, 78 cases have been confirmed this year, including 57 cases involving students and teachers in Cedar Hill ISD. Mumps is a highly contagious disease that is easily preventable by vaccination. But a growing number of Texans are opting out of having their kids receive vaccinations. While that may not be the specific source of these major outbreaks, it certainly doesn’t help.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Ken Paxton will go to trial in September Texas Tribune
Welp, Houston basically just made it a crime to be homeless Houston Press
A Trump-branded hotel that was set for Dallas is no longer a thing Dallas Morning News
The fatal shooting of a Corpus Christi teen was seriously bungled by investigators Corpus Christi Caller-Times
El Paso has the best 14-year old tennis player in the nation El Paso Times