- Galveston, TX Weather :: 71F Fog/Mist February 24, 201871F Fog/Mist
- Galveston, TX Weather :: 71F Fog/Mist February 24, 2018
- Love in the air at Minute Maid Park: Couple left with more than just love for Astros baseball February 23, 2018Many Astros share a love for the team, but last season, Cupid showed up to Minute Maid Park, leaving fans with more than just a love for baseball. "Our first date was an Astros game," said newlywed Lori Tolopka, laughing. PHOTOS: Astros super fans prepare for spring trainingShe and her now-husband, Wes, are preparing for […]
- Simone Biles to hold international invitational at family's World Champions Centre in Spring February 22, 2018America's most decorated gymnast, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles will have her very first international invitational at her family's World Champions Centre in Spring.Biles sat down with KPRC where she discussed her invitational, preparations and plans for Tokyo 2020 and her message of encouragement to current Olympians in Korea.She watched the historic win in Pyeongchang […]
- Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa form special bond with Astros February 22, 2018One stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and the other a mere 5 feet 6 inches.Carlos Correa and Josel Altuve make up the best middle infield in baseball, and they have a mutual respect that goes far beyond the field."Just his work ethic, he works hard and smart. He knows what it takes to be […]
- Carlos Correa's dog getting into trouble at spring training February 22, 2018When one of your owners is a World Series champion and the other is a former Miss Texas USA, you get to cause a little trouble.Groot Correa is a dog, who is doing just that, but, he is super adorable, so it's okay.Astros star Carlos Correa and his fiancee Daniella Rodriguez took their dog with […]
- For Elana Meyers Taylor, bobsled silver is sweeter this time February 22, 2018Silver is sweeter this time for U.S. bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor.Her perspective has changed so much, and in so many ways, over the last four years. The silver medal she got at the Sochi Games in 2014 represented failure. It was nothing more than a shiny reminder of a loss, a bauble that she wanted […]
- This silver may be the most important medal Mikaela Shiffrin ever wins February 22, 2018Both Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn raced the Alpine super-combined on Friday, the first time the two American skiers competed against each other at the Olympics, and almost surely the last. The experts made Shiffrin the pre-race favorite for gold. For Vonn, medal prospects were akin to -- in her words -- Russian roulette.Shiffrin didn't […]
- USA defeats Canada to win gold in women's hockey February 22, 2018In perhaps the ultimate Olympic grudge match, Team USA earned a 3-2 shootout victory over Canada in the women's hockey gold medal game.Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson beat Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados on a deke after the shootout remained tied 2-2 after the first five shooters.WATCH: Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scores the shootout winnerWhen U.S. goalie Maddie Rooney turned away […]
- A plethora of pitchers: Astros' Hinch must make decision February 21, 2018With virtually every position already a lock for the Houston Astros at the beginning of spring training, the toughest decision manager A.J. Hinch might have to make this spring is which of his talented pitchers won't make the rotation.On a championship team with Cy Young winners Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel, newcomer Gerrit Cole and […]
- Dallas Mavericks launch probe after allegations of workplace misconduct February 21, 2018The Dallas Mavericks have hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace for women.Ussery was accused of making sexually suggestive remarks to several women. He spent 18 years with the team before going to the sports apparel company […]
- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban fined $600,000 for tanking comments February 21, 2018The NBA has fined outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 for comments about tanking during a podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Erving.Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday the fine was for "public statements detrimental to the NBA." The podcast with Erving was posted Sunday, the day the All-Star game was played in Los Angeles.Cuban […]
- Love in the air at Minute Maid Park: Couple left with more than just love for Astros baseball February 23, 2018
- 18-wheeler strikes Hitchcock church during crash February 24, 2018HITCHCOCK, Texas - First responders and power crews were in place to help remove an 18-wheeler that ran into a church on Highway 6 in Hitchcock in Galveston Countyon Friday. Police said that, just after 4 p.m., the truck driver swerved to avoid a car that had pulled out in front of the big rig.
- Tractor-trailer crashes into church in Hitchcock February 24, 2018The tractor-trailer's male driver swerved to try and avoid a car on the 15000 block of Highway 6 near Avenue A and hit the side of the small church. The driver had a passenger and at least one of the truck's occupants was injured and taken to the United Texas Medical Branch Trauma Center in […]
- Galveston police officer arrested on drug charges February 24, 2018Galveston police officer John Rutherford is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, misuse of official information and evidence tampering. Police Chief Vernon Hale said Friday that the 40-year-old Rutherford provided 32-year-old Salvador Rivera with information on officers' locations, ...
- Galveston police officer arrested on drug charges - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and ... February 24, 2018GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - A Southeast Texas police officer faces felony drug charges alleging that he supplied a suspected drug dealer with information that helped him avoid other police officers. Galveston police officer John Rutherford is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, misuse of ...
- Moody Foundation Launches Generation Moody Education Initiative With $8613679 Investment February 24, 2018GALVESTON, Texas, Feb. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Moody Foundation has launched its Generation Moody Education Initiative, a signature project benefitting Galveston Island by providing a catalyst for exceptional education opportunities for infants through high school and into post-secondary ...
- TX Houston/Galveston TX Zone Forecast February 23, 2018022 FPUS54 KHGX 232142. ZFPHGX. Zone Forecast Product for Southeast Texas. National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX. 341 PM CST Fri Feb 23 2018. TXZ211-241000-. Austin-. Including the cities of Bellville and Sealy. 341 PM CST Fri Feb 23 2018 .TONIGHT...Partly cloudy early in the ...
- The Ultimate Galveston Spring Break Guide February 23, 2018Galveston Island, dubbed the Playground of the Southwest, is one of the top spring break destinations for travelers looking for anything from exciting beach parties to relaxing attractions for all ages. Every year, Galveston turns in to a road trip destination in the month of March, as the island begins ...
- Galveston Cop Arrested On Felony Organized Crime Charges February 23, 2018GALVESTON, TX — The Galveston Police Department arrested one of their own officers on several felony charges related to organized crime and evidence tampering, officials said Friday. The officer, who has not yet been named, is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, misuse of official ...
- Galveston police officer arrested on felony organized criminal activity charges February 23, 2018The Galveston Police Department has arrested one of their police officers on three felony charges Friday morning. According to a brief statement released by Galveston PD, a Galveston police officer was arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, misuse of official information and ...
- Galveston police officer arrested, charged with organized criminal activity February 23, 2018The Galveston Police Department arrested one of its own officers, who faces three felony charges including engaging in organized criminal activity, the department announced Friday. No other information was readily available, but the department will hold a new conference at 1 p.m. today to release ...
- 18-wheeler strikes Hitchcock church during crash February 24, 2018
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- Electronic Plan Review Coming to Galveston’s Development Services Department February 22, 2018Galveston's Department of Development Services will take its first step toward offering electronic plan review to those doing business with the city beginning the week of February 26th.
- Galveston City Council Workshop February 22, 2018Galveston City Council, during its workshop today, received an update on city pension funds.
- Kemah City Council February 22, 2018Kemah City Council voted unanimously to approve the implementation of a K9 patrol unit with the Kemah Police Department.
- Galveston ISD Board of Trustees February 22, 2018The Galveston Independent School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday voted 5-0-1, with Anthony Brown abstaining, to nominate Tom Farmer for appointment to the Galveston Central Appraisal District Board of Directors.
- Friendswood Police recover stolen guns, a stolen car, drugs and cash during search warrant February 22, 2018The Friendswood Police Department today reported that Jeremy Dwayne Clemons has been arrested on drug and weapons charges in connection with Wednesday's search warrant executed at 2802 West Bay Area Boulevard.
- Friendswood offering Skywarn training February 22, 2018The City of Friendswood will host Skywarn training on March 20.
- Texas City City Commission February 22, 2018The Texas City City Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously to create a marketing/tourism coordinator position and appropriate funding for the position.
- Friendswood ranks high on Safest Cities list February 22, 2018The City of Friendswood on Wednesday announced that the city has been ranked the eighth safest in Texas by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
- Galveston College Board of Regents February 22, 2018The Galveston College Board of Regents on Wednesday voted unanimously to nominate Tom Farmer for appointment to the Galveston Central Appraisal District Board of Directors.
- Electronic Plan Review Coming to Galveston’s Development Services Department February 22, 2018
- Indian Americans question Trump’s armed teacher solution to campus violence 24 Feb 2018 11:00 The Times of India KOLKATA: Donald Trump’s insistence on backing a plan to arm teachers in US schools despite the lack of evidence showing this would end school shootings has come under criticism from Indian Americans. They have joined the protests registered by America’s …
- Trump says Jared Kushner's security clearance is up to chief of staff 24 Feb 2018 10:57 Japan Times WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump says he’ll leave it up to chief of staff John Kelly to decide whether Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will keep his interim security clearance. “I will let General Kelly make that decision and he’s going to do …
- Suit accusing Trump of taking foreign gifts is now personal as well as official 24 Feb 2018 10:57 Japan Times WASHINGTON – Attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia on Friday expanded their lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of accepting gifts from foreign and state governments, suing him not only as president but in his personal capacity as …
- Trump: Officer in Parkland didn't 'love the children' CNN 24 Feb 2018 10:54 Video Games UK & Ireland Yahoo Trump: Officer in Parkland didn't 'love the children'More (CNN)President Donald Trump continued to criticize the armed school resource officer in Parkland, Florida, who stayed outside of the school during the shooting, saying during a White …
- ‘This is why nepotism is a terrible idea’: Legal analyst puts a stake through the heart of Trump’s Kushner problem 24 Feb 2018 10:52 Raw Story Benjamin Netanyahu, Jared Kushner and U.S. President Donald Trump are seen during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem. (Photo by Kobi Gideon / GPO) A CNN legal analyst on Friday pinpointed why President Donald Trump’s insistence on …
- Trump company settles lawsuit for $5.45 million over golf club members who demanded a refund and were refused 24 Feb 2018 10:52 Raw Story An image of Pres. Donald Trump playing golf (Twitter.com) A Florida golf club owned by U.S. President Donald Trump agreed on Friday to pay $5.45 million to settle claims by former members that it wrongfully refused to refund their deposits when they …
- ‘Blue Lives Matter’ and Trump fans are behind #FireSheriffIsrael hate after he shouted at NRA spokeswoman 24 Feb 2018 10:52 Raw Story On Friday night, hashtags calling for the firing or resignation of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel began trending on Twitter — and they appear to be directed by both fans of President Donald Trump and, peculiarly, proponents of the so-called “Blue …
- The NRA just honored Trump’s FCC chair Ajit Pai with rifle for killing ‘net neutrality’ 24 Feb 2018 10:52 Raw Story Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday …
- Former US Attorney explains how Mueller can build a case of conspiracy against the Trump campaign 24 Feb 2018 10:52 Raw Story Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade (MSNBC screenshot) Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade told MSNBC’s Joy Reid Friday that the plea deal from Rick Gates could be the beginning of the end for President Donald Trump. “I think it’s a significant …
- ‘They should be ashamed’: Don Lemon rips Trump and CPAC crowd for ‘low blow’ attacking John McCain while he’s ‘fighting for his life’ 24 Feb 2018 10:52 Raw Story President Donald Trump had promised Meghan McCain and Cindy McCain that he would refrain from attacking Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) while he’s fighting glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer that has a very low survival rate. Political contributor Chris Cilizza …
- Sweeny woman pleads guilty to sex trafficking conspiracy involving minors
- Man extradited from Mexico to face charges in 2015 deaths of 2 Baytown teens
- 2 Galveston Ball HS students charged after stolen gun found in vehicle on campus
- After four weeks, state Sen. Carlos Uresti’s criminal fraud case heads to the jury
- TRUMP SLAPS RUSSIA WITH SANCTIONS OVER ELECTION MEDDLING:
- Mechanic stabbed in neck during argument at Galveston tire shop
- Hitchcock HS student threatens school after being caught cheating on test, police say
- 2 dead in possible murder-suicide in Galveston, police say
- Houston Fire employee relieved of duty while facing felony charges in Colorado
- Speeds reach 130 mph in chase from Dickinson to South Houston
- Man accused of beating 4-year-old to death, injuring two other children facing charges
- SAISD police officer arrested, accused of causing wrong-way crash on Loop 1604
- 2 women charged in deadly shooting of Dollar General employee
- Woman offered sex acts to deputies for squatting rights, deputies say
- Officials: Deputy shoots roommate of handcuffed man who shot another deputy
- LIVE: 13 Russian nationals, 3 Russian entities charged with interfering in US political process
- Dog food withdrawn over concerns about euthanasia drug pentobarbital
- Indictment says Russians communicated with a person affiliated with a Texas grassroots group during 2016 election
- George P. Bush’s secret mansion is financed by an undisclosed loan from Texas donor’s bank
- AT&T project bringing faster internet leaving damage, headaches in its wake
- Local candidate’s campaign ad draws criticism
- DPS reverses decision to lay off more than 100 older officers
- Man accused of using counterfeit money trying to buy iPhone X through OfferUp
- 13 suspected in tire, wheel theft ring that operated in 7 counties, officials say
- Audit: Company behind Texas ‘clean coal’ project used federal funds for liquor, limousines and lobbying
- Republican state Rep. Sarah Davis on voting for Gov. Greg Abbott: “It’ll be hard to do that.”
- Family wants justice for woman struck by 3 vehicles, killed in north Harris County
- Massage parlor workers offering sex for money in Fort Bend County, sheriff says
- Appeals court mostly upholds ruling against Harris County bail practices
- ‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’ is a Pleasant Flashback to One of the Wildest Stories of the ’60s
- Harris County assistant district attorney fired after 2 days on job, authorities say
- Woman charged with retaliation after threatening Harris County judge
- Pregnant passenger injured in high-speed chase, crash in Conroe
- Coastal communities hit by Harvey will get $1 billion for hazard mitigation, Abbott announces
- At Border Patrol Checkpoints, an Impossible Choice Between Health Care and Deportation
- He’s been a Texas Supreme Court justice for a month. Now Jimmy Blacklock must become a candidate.
- Email hack targets Texas EquuSearch members, files
- Harold Farb’s family says report proves he was murdered
- $20K reward offered in 1986 Valentine’s Day murder cold case
- Houston-area officials approved a plan for handling a natural disaster — then ignored it
- A Prison By Any Other Name
- Land commissioner says ‘doctored’ audit critical of his agency’s management the Alamo is under investigation
- Texas community health centers fear layoffs, closures without federal funding
- ‘We don’t have a flu season,’ Texas televangelist Gloria Copeland says
- More than half of Texas public school students are in districts where teacher certification isn’t required
- At East Texas debate, embattled Texas agriculture chief Sid Miller in hot seat
- Medical cannabis dispensaries are opening in Texas, but the newly legal oils still aren’t easy to procure
- Fake Pasadena cop tries to pull over mother
- Man dies after shooting outside of Fish Place in Texas City
- After land office inks Harvey contract, Land Commissioner George P. Bush gets donations from contractor
- “They’re just setting those babies up for the penitentiary”: How minor offenses feed overcrowding at Houston youth jail
- How a federal proposal could affect millions of dollars in Texas workers’ tips
- Houston Forensic Science Center analyst fired for shredding homicide case notes
- Suspect in 3 killings found in Harris County after escaping Mississippi jail
- Report: U.S. Rep. Farenthold of Texas to retire amid sexual harassment scandal
- This Texas lawmaker could finish his term from jail
- Paul Pressler, former Texas judge and religious right leader, accused of sexually assaulting teen for years
- Amid sexual harassment controversy, U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold faces tough re-election
- Houston bounty hunter accused of running international sex trafficking network
- Snow falls on Galveston County
- Baby killer pleads not guilty in 1980s deaths of 5 kids
- Texas district attorney who prosecuted Jeff Wood now wants him off death row
- Texas-Bred Anti-Environmentalists Find New Power in Trump Administration
- Requiem for an Alt-Weekly
- Democrat Andrew White, son of late Gov. Mark White, announces gubernatorial bid
- Former Oilers QB Warren Moon sued for sexual harassment
- Texas prisons ban over 10,000 books. An Israeli diplomat wants to know why Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is allowed.
- Who are the 5 jailers indicted in Harris County inmate’s beating?
- Breast cancer survivor faces bullying after Melania Trump-inspired plastic surgery
- Bond concerns: Career criminal allowed to return to streets after 32 arrests
- Texas senators discuss closing youth lockups amid sexual abuse scandal
- Arrests along border dipped sharply under Trump, according to federal data
- Woman with criminal history accused of setting Galveston man on fire turns herself in
- Man’s body found near Seabrook highway
- Officer kills burglary suspect in shootout in La Marque
- Deputy shoots teenage driver after driver attempts to run deputies over
- Gorilla escapes barrier into hog exhibit at Houston Zoo, officials say
- Meet the man who took his daughter out of school early for deer season
- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Texas churches need to know they can have guns
- In Texas, you probably won’t get welfare benefits; even if you qualify
- Texas reform advocates want to close all state-run youth lockups
- Man exposes himself at tanning salon, League City police search for his identity
- Free Press Summer Festival is changing its name to this
- Assault charge against Johnny Manziel dismissed
- How Texas curtailed traditional welfare without ending poverty
- Texas parents wait in limbo as policymakers struggle to save Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Harris County man wanted for 2006 murder arrested in Mexico
- Members of street gang linked to series of burglaries of Apple products, police say
- Arrest expected soon after Galveston man set on fire, police say
- How Breitbart, Trump and Texas Politicians Spun a Tale out of a Border Patrol Agent’s Death
- Man accused of killing teen with whom he had inappropriate relationship appears in court
- Here’s what’s happening in Harris County now that the sheriff issues bail bonds
- Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halts state’s last execution of 2017
- Houston church threatened by gunman at Sunday’s service
- As Bayer and Monsanto push for merger, Texas farmers fear rising prices
- Civil Offenses: Those Calling for Political Civility Often Have the Least to Lose
- Without recovery funds, more than 50 Texas day cares close after Harvey
- 13-year-old robbery suspect shot in the head by apartment tenant, police say
- Man Mistaken for Burglar, Shot by Police then Shackled to Hospital Bed and Barred from Seeing Family
- Coyote attacks increasing: What you should know
- Postal worker accused of kidnapping, choking and fatally shooting co-worker girlfriend
- Medical marijuana in Texas: What you need to know
- Harris County deputy suspended after striking handcuffed man after chase
- Woman with F-Trump sticker adds Sheriff Troy Nehls to display on truck
- Abbott calls White House’s latest disaster aid request “completely inadequate”
- Former United Airlines pilot pleads guilty to running prostitution ring
- Abbott, Patrick push back on TxDOT’s plans for financing new toll projects
- Trial dates set for ex-deputy, husband charged in John Hernandez’s death
- Cities race to annex land before new Texas law goes into effect Dec. 1
- A “glitch” on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s website asked for visitors’ Social Security numbers
- Greg Abbott Declares War on Moderate Republicans
- He thought he had a free court-appointed lawyer. Then he got a bill for $10,000
- Man fights to prove he’s alive after bank reports him as deceased
- Scam costs Friendswood man thousands of dollars
- At the Texas Capitol, victims of sexual harassment must fend for themselves
- Human Rights Lawyer on How Government is Complicit in Mexico’s Drug War
- ‘Sean Hannity Show’ fans smash Keurig brewers over pulled ads
- Another woman accuses former President George H.W. Bush of groping
- Student sent home from school bruised, claims PE teacher slammed him onto concrete
- Gov. Greg Abbott endorses primary challenger to state Rep. Sarah Davis
- Analysis: A media exec in Texas politics, not quite ready for prime time
- Police dogs trained to ignore marijuana
- Former HPD officer accused of tampering with evidence makes first court appearance
- Rent-to-own complaints spur investigation by federal agency
- HPD officer accused of tampering with evidence
- Joel Osteen impersonator breaches security at Los Angeles event
- Former ‘All My Children’ star arrested in Galveston
- Cornyn and Cruz under pressure over allegations in Alabama Senate race
- Family’s beloved pony shot to death in Liberty County
- Coastal officials say feds failing Harvey victims on short-term housing
- 22 Houston gang members indicted for multiple violent crimes, officials say
- The Faith-Tinged Fatalism of Greg Abbott’s Response to Texas’ Deadliest Mass Shooting
- Execution date set for Sugar Land man on death row
- Trump in Japan…
- Free of criminal charges, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes says she was victimized
- With no state-approved textbooks, Texas ethnic studies teachers make do
- Texas back in federal court over anti-“sanctuary cities” law
- Clara Harris granted parole for husband’s murder
- Coast Guard searching area near Freeport after boat catches fire, sinks
- Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez emerges as potential challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott
- With Trump Cuts, Obamacare Enrollment is a Volunteer Affair in Rural Texas
- Explosion at vodka distillery burns 3 in north Harris County
- Documents: Texas National Guard Installed Cellphone Spying Devices on Surveillance Planes
- Police increase reward for information in case of child’s body found on Galveston beach
- Meet Nueces County’s New DA, a Self-Professed ‘Mexican Biker Lawyer Covered in Tattoos’
- Leon Jacob, man accused in murder-for-hire plot, faces new charge
- The Brief: The deadliest mass shooting in Texas history
- Counterprotesters say white supremacists, not Russian Facebook ads, drew them to rally
- What we know about Texas church shooter
- Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constable shot several times, officials say
- $500 million in Ike relief is still unspent. Will Texas do better after Harvey?
- Prosecutor asks for current medical standards in death penalty evaluations
- How to earn quick cash by flipping items
- Rick Perry ties fossil fuel use to sexual assault prevention
- Abbott Supports Removing Inaccurate Capitol Displays. Do Slavery-Denying Plaques Count?
- A Russian Facebook page organized a protest in Texas. A different Russian page launched the counter-protest.
- 24 Texas Dairy Queens closing after franchise company files for bankruptcy
- USDA Rolls Back ‘Fair Practice’ Rule That Would’ve Protected Texas Chicken Farmers
- Trump nominating Ryan Patrick, son of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to be U.S. attorney
- Fired in 2009, football coach Mike Leach still rages at Texas Tech and Texas law
- Texas Toxicologist Who Rejects Basic Science Appointed to EPA Science Board
- Abbott presses Congress for an extra $61 billion to rebuild after Harvey
- The ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Ban Has Already Reshaped Some Police Department Policies
- Hurricane Harvey flood looters exposed
- U.S. Supreme Court examines investigatory funding in Texas death penalty case
- Who’s Defending Texas’ Confederate Monuments?
- Kicking in doors and crushing credit: How a Texas-based retailer torments customers
- Harris County jailer accused of letting prisoner attack fellow inmate
- House Democrat: Abbott supports removing Confederate plaque from Texas Capitol
- Legislators mull changing Texas law allowing criminal charges against rent-to-own customers
- Houston woman’s daughter stranded at sea with another woman for 5 months
- ‘Fail State’ Delves into the Shadowy World of For-Profit Colleges
- Grambling State student charged in double homicide
- How renting furniture in Texas can land you in jail
- ‘Wedding crasher’ says she never attacked guest, apologizes to bride and groom
- Something Yuuuge was Missing From Franklin Graham’s Waco Revival
- Family: Florida deputy caught on camera breaking into dying man’s home
- Federal government rolls out eight border wall prototypes
- In ‘The Second Coming of the KKK,’ a Timely Lesson in the History of American Hate
- US launches ‘most advanced’ stealth sub amid undersea rivalry
- Houston man identified as victim of barge explosion near Port Aransas, officials say
- Controversial Halloween decoration in Katy leads to threats against homeowner
- What does boycotting Israel have to do with Hurricane Harvey relief?
- Rep. Dawnna Dukes cleared of criminal charges, attorneys say
- $5,000 reward being offered in shooting that caused man to lose his legs
- Tornado leaves trail of damage in two Dickinson neighborhoods, NWS says
- Former HPD officer indicted in 2016 shooting of unarmed neighbor
- State Rep. Victoria Neave pleads no contest to June DWI charge
- Texas attorney general opens investigation Into Harvey debris removal companies
- Police: 3 Texas men arrested after shot fired at Richard Spencer protesters
- Perry pursuing policy on coal, nuclear power at odds with Texas record
- Cornyn: Trump assured me more Harvey aid for Texas coming in November
- Dallas Fed CEO: Technology, not trade or immigration, is main reason for job loss
- Immigrant Workers in Texas Could Fill Farm Vacancies, but They’re Trapped in the Valley
- Texas Cities Embrace a Softer Approach to Pot Possession as State Reforms Stall
- This man robbed woman who was 9 months pregnant, shot her husband, authorities say
- Ex-KIPP Explore Academy staffer arrested after accusations of child indecency
- U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson walks back comments on sexual assault
- Who is this mystery man? Galveston woman begins search to find apparent veteran’s identity
- U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders face off in tax code debate
- A look back at Colt Stadium, the home of the Colt 45s
- After Failing to Prop Up Coal in Texas, Rick Perry is Trying Again Nationwide
- Potential new murder confession delays Texas serial killer’s execution
- Texas court halts execution to review claims that co-defendant lied at trial
- How much are property taxes in Houston going down next year?
- Cruz presses Sessions on Trump administration’s “catch-and-release” policy
- Federal Prisons Don’t Even Try to Rehabilitate the Undocumented
- Three teens charged with murder after missing teen’s body found
- Houston serial killer faces execution this week
- Insurance company accused of delayed response to storm claims
- Some Texas Republicans in Congress again outraised by challengers
- To fund bid against Ted Cruz, former mayor puts up building as prize in “essay and rib contest”
- U.S. House passes hurricane relief bill after tense day for Texas delegation, Abbott
- It’s Time to End Austin’s Failed Experiment in Police Oversight, Activists Say
- Prosecutors drop 1 of 13 felony charges against Rep. Dawwna Dukes
- League City mayor hospitalized after heart attack
- ICE Detained a Pregnant Rape Survivor for Six Months, Records Show
- Husband, wife each lose leg after hit-and-run crash in Waller County
- Temporary bans placed on fishing near site of busted cap
- Texas man travels to Orlando to sexually assault 9-year-old girl, police say
- Mom, older brother charged after 11-year-old found smoking meth
- Days from execution, man convicted in prison guard’s murder insists on innocence
- Truck involved in multiple accidents leaves 1 dead, 1 injured in Texas City, police say
- $1M worth of iPads mostly unused after being purchased for local elections
- Woman caught on camera stomping small dog inside elevator
- How much has been raised for Harvey relief — and how’s it being spent?
- The Case to End Assembly Line Justice for Poor People in Harris County
- Mother, son charged in murder-for-hire plot
- How scammers are using homeowners to defraud FEMA
- Police find man’s body stuffed in closet after victim ‘tortured’ to death
- In historic win, charters getting state funding for facilities for the first time
- Dreamers greet DACA renewal deadline with anxiety and unanswered questions
- Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial is delayed for a third time
- Judge blocks Texas secretary of state from giving voter information to Trump commission
- East Texas county sues drug companies, alleges role in opioid crisis
- North Korean workers prepare seafood for U.S. stores, restaurants
- 3 Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees indicted in assault cases
- Reward raised for man on Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list
- Texas business mogul Mark Cuban offers details for hypothetical 2020 presidential run
- Woman accused of killing taxi driver appears in court
- Texas death row inmate Duane Buck has sentence reduced to life after Supreme Court orders retrial
- Hearing in Paxton case to consider delaying trial for third time
- Appellate judges show concern over Harris County bail practices, court ruling
- 28 organizations that got money from the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
- Pasadena drops appeal, will remain under federal oversight of election laws
- Almost 400,000 Texans’ insurance at risk after Congress fails to renew CHIP
- How Harris County’s federal bail lawsuit spreads beyond Houston
- HHS Secretary Tom Price resigns amid criticism of his travel on private planes
- Houston mayor calls off property tax hike after Abbott delivers $50 million
- ‘I’m just gonna shoot him if things go sideways,’ cop tells college student during traffic stop
- Hearing set for Friday in wrongful death suit in John Hernandez case
- Aide found half-naked after sexual contact with student, deputies say
- Thousands of Poor Texans Could Lose Health Care With Congress Distracted by ACA Repeal
- Slideshow: For southeast Texas, recovery after Harvey is slow
- Even Hurricane Harvey Can’t Temper GOP Hostility Toward Texas’ Big Cities
- Murder suspect arrested in 27-year-old ‘killer clown’ shooting married to victim’s husband
- Texas attorney general now accepting complaints on “sanctuary” jurisdictions
- Abbott: Houston has enough funding for Harvey recovery
- U.S. House passes tax breaks for victims of Harvey, Irma and Maria
- New state law seeks to reduce the number of child brides in Texas
- Texas can enforce more of ‘sanctuary cities’ law
- Florida trooper accused of showing porn to child
- Town mayor facing assault charges
- 13-year-old accused in kidnapping and rape plot
- Hensarling to flood victims: ‘God’s telling you to move’
- Body Cam Policies in Texas Exacerbate a System Designed to Protect Police, Critics Say
- Army vet shown walking after claiming he couldn’t owes government $434K
- Analysis: X-factor in 2018’s Texas elections might be Harvey, not Donald
- Federal appeals court to hear arguments on Texas “sanctuary cities” law Friday
- Texas teens to be trained next year on police interactions
- Newlyweds say DJ robbed wedding cash
- How Galveston is offering a free beach weekend
- Lyft ride leads to hate crime charge for Houston man
- Florida woman makes ‘sexy’ plea to get power back after Hurricane Irma
- Report: Indicted state Rep. Dawnna Dukes spent $51k on online psychic
- Report: Trump’s judicial nominee from Texas called transgender kids part of “Satan’s plan”
- Hospital workers in hot water over Snapchat video, picture calling newborns ‘mini Satans’
- How some see Texas as the “gold standard” against wrongful convictions
- New leak discovered on Battleship Texas
- Texas House Speaker Joe Straus calls for removal of “inaccurate” Confederate plaque
- Hey, Texplainer: How is FEMA distributing money to areas hit by Harvey?
- Friendswood man accused of raking in nearly $2 million in decadelong pay-phone scheme
- Mayor Sylvester Turner has strong words for Red Cross after problems surface
- Trump Nominee to FEC Tried to Shred Texas’ Already-Weak Ethics Laws
- Dad in clown mask shot at while chasing daughter through neighborhood
- As a result of Hurricane Harvey, 600 more Texas prisoners getting AC
- Trooper fired for Sandra Bland stop: “My safety was in jeopardy.”
- Mysterious sea creature that washed up on Texas beach after Harvey identified
- Within days, this Austin company hopes to start legally growing marijuana
- Former officer accused of stealing $2,400 from dead man indicted on theft charges
- 135,000 gallons of sludge released into Galveston Bay after equipment failure, officials say
- Post-Harvey, Houston officials hope Congress is up for funding Ike Dike
- Ex-husband strangled Baytown realtor while children in next room, prosecutors say
- Pizza Hut manager threatened workers evacuating for Irma
- The Road to Huntsville
- Now you can carry any knife (almost) anywhere in Texas
- In beleaguered La Marque schools, Harvey stirs up old anxieties
- Flooded cars already being put up for sale
- Trump Nominates Lawyers from Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Group to be Texas Federal Judges
- Man survives being shot 16 times outside southwest Houston home
- Floridians jam highways to flee wrath of Hurricane Irma
- U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul again top contender to be Trump’s homeland security chief
- Experts: Much of Harvey-Related Air Pollution was Preventable
- Texans in Congress aim for united front ahead of long fight for Harvey aid
- Texas churches damaged during Harvey sue FEMA for federal funding
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- Woman urinates herself, yells racial slurs during DUI arrest, police say
- Police shoot, kill tiger running loose in neighborhood
- What to do if your vehicle flooded during Hurricane Harvey
- House overwhelmingly passes $7.9 billion Harvey aid bill
- Selena’s family mourning the death of Houston relatives killed in Harvey flooding
- Trump ending immigration program that has impacted more than 120,000 in Texas
- Cinco Ranch flood victims demand buyout from federal government
- The Impossible City
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- Texas officials see long road from Harvey for state transportation network
- Officials are starting to grapple with the costs of Harvey. Here’s what you should know today.
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- President Trump to visit Houston today to survey Harvey destruction
- As floodwaters continue to rise in Lake Jackson, crews come in to help with evacuees
- Residents being warned of people impersonating city of Houston, FEMA inspectors
- Renters find issues with flood-damaged units, property
- Crosby plant explosion highlights state efforts to block access to chemical information
- Where the government spends to keep people in flood-prone Houston neighborhoods
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: No special session needed for Harvey aid
- Five days after Harvey, here’s where things stand in Texas
- Harvey brings catastrophic flooding to Houston; 5 reported dead
- Trump pardons former Sheriff Joe Arpaio
- Why Houston isn’t ready for Hurricane Harvey
- Judge Emmett, Mayor Turner say ignore ‘rumors’ about Hurricane Harvey
- Galveston Island prepares for Harvey’s impact
- Former Galveston ISD teacher accused of having sex with high school student
- Galveston deputy accused of assaulting girlfriend, investigators say
- In San Antonio, Cops Punch Down
- The Brief: Battle lines are (curiously) drawn in Texas’ redistricting fight
- Analysis: Firing the opening shots in the 2018 GOP primaries
- As Houston plots a sustainable path forward, it’s leaving this neighborhood behind
- Harris County emergency officials preparing for tropical system Harvey
- Federal court puts hold on Houston ordinance aimed at homeless camps
- Puppy attacked by pet store owner’s dog
- Mother left kids in hot car while she drank at bar, police say
- Angela Paxton, Texas attorney general’s wife, eyes Texas Senate run
- US imposes sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms over North Korea
- Parents’ plea for help in finding teenage couple missing for 48 hours
- 2 women claim they were groped by local massage therapist
- Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller criticizes Six Flags’ removal of Confederate flag
- El Paso City Council votes down city ID program
- League City Man Sentenced to 6 Years for Online Solicitation of a non-existent Minor
- UT-Austin removing Confederate statues in the middle of the night
- Galveston County Deputies Prevent Jumper on Bridge at 646 & I-45
- Dickinson Cops use Facebook to Catch a Burglar Named Jesus
- Evading Theft Suspects Taken Into Custody After Causing Accident in League City
- Father faces charges after he and missing boy found at hotel, authorities say
- Confederate Monument Protest Draws Hundreds in Houston
- Former HPD officer among those arrested in prostitution sting
- Mother charged with murder after child ejected during drunken driving crash
- Over 250 sex buyers, traffickers arrested on prostitution charges during sting
- Remember the Alamo (Differently)
- Your phone’s Bluetooth can locate illegal skimmer devices
- With Supreme Court appeal, Texas wants to keep congressional map intact
- Dallas, Houston Protests Planned as Confederate Monuments Under Fire in Texas
- With Trump’s Infrastructure Plan, Rural Texas Could be Left in Disrepair
- Body found in Bayou Vista while searching for woman who disappeared under ‘suspicious circumstances’
- South Florida woman accused of DUI with 3-year-old unbuckled in back seat
- Deputies: Mother tells son to buy her drugs
- HPD officer relieved of duty after DWI charge, officials say
- Abbott: Removing Confederate monuments “won’t erase our nation’s past”
- Prosecution rests at trial of woman accused in 2012 death of husband
- Confederate statue controversy hits Houston
- Selena’s brother taken into custody after landing on most wanted list
- In special session rubble, spotlight shines bright on Straus
- President Trump disbands White House business councils as CEOs leave
- Video shows deadly jailbreak; Man who pleaded guilty in deputy’s death sentenced to life
- Fisherman hooks gator in Buffalo Bayou
- Squatters or scam victims? Homeowner finds another family living in home
- Charges sought against those who toppled Confederate statue
- Houston group asks mayor to remove Confederate statue from downtown park
- Federal court invalidates part of Texas congressional map
- Texas to receive millions in federal funding for wildlife conservation projects
- How a total solar eclipse created France, Italy and Germany
- Deputies Go Unpunished for Invasive Cavity Search on Houston Roadside
- Florida man gets 6 years for firing gun during strip club selfie
- Map details where Texas hate groups are in 2017
- Man blames ‘hookah-smoking caterpillar’ for wrecking liquor store, police say
- ‘I feel like I was raped,’ woman says of invasive roadside strip search
- New Mexico Bandidos members held in Texas in firearms case
- Man, 57, commits suicide after shooting juveniles during road-rage incident, police say
- Mother charged with child abandonment after newborn found in flower bed
- President Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis as ‘thugs’
- Woman hit, killed by Houston garbage truck while crossing street
- Legislature advances annexation bill to Gov. Abbott
- 2 Teens Who Attacked Man Shot After Auto Accident in Galveston
- White nationalist rally, counter protest planned at Texas A&M on Sept. 11
- Hundreds Clash over Confederate Monument in San Antonio
- Greenspoint Mall to close in 60 days, sources say
- Texas House approves “compromise” city annexation bill
- Asps — poisonous, stinging caterpillars — back in season
- Texas bathroom bill appears to be all but dead in special session
- Gator spotted on Galveston County road
- After 2015 legalization, Texans may be able to buy medical cannabis oil by January
- Conroe Chief of Police asked to leave doctor’s office
- Law Enforcement Increasingly Opposed to Abbott’s Agenda
- Meet the Expert Who Helps Texas Cops Justify Extreme Behavior
- Baytown woman charged in two La Porte road-rage incidents
- FBI agents searched former Trump campaign chair’s home
- Special Session a ‘Battle Royal’ for Dominionists Who Seek Christian Rule
- Zoo employee accused of sex with 14-year-old boy
- New requirement for Texas driver’s license begins soon
- With 8 days left in special session, Texas House and Senate remain far apart
- What you need to know if your vehicle is flooded
- City of Houston applies for FEMA grant to help elevate homes in flood-prone areas
- Commissioners vote to ban swimming, fishing in San Luis Pass
- Texas backs Wisconsin in battle to protect partisan gerrymandering
- SE Houston gas pump appears to charge customers after they are done filling up
- Carjacking suspect accused of shooting father multiple times sentenced to 171 months in prison
- 4 arrested in connection with 2 deadly shootings in Montgomery County
- 1 drowns, 2 injured in incident at San Luis Pass
- 1 arrested, 1 on the run in linked cases of Spring nurse found dead, missing UH student
- Near Drowning at Bacliff Chase Park Pool
- Drunk Wrong Way Driver Arrested in Dickinson
- Lasker Park Community Swimming Pool to Open on August 15th
- Man accused of touching girls’ buttocks in back-to-school aisle at Walmart
- Rare pink dolphin spotted in Louisiana waterway
- Woman found hiding in bed of pickup truck says she ‘was just looking at the stars’
- Amazon sells out of toilet paper with Trump’s tweets
- Teen home invasion suspect killed, man on the run in Baytown
- Houston man last seen throwing life jacket to daughter before going underwater at Canyon Lake
- Deadly dare: 8-year-old girl dies after drinking boiling water
- 2nd Man In Robbery Spree Gets 20 Years Prison
- Oklahoma to seek death penalty against William Reese
- 4 officers taken to hospital after 2 patrol units run into each other, police say
- STATE LEGISLATURE PUTTING THE BRAKES ON TEXAS CITY ANNEXING SAN LEON WITHOUT SAN LEON RESIDENTS APPROVAL:
- 2 men charged in teen girl’s shooting death in Bacliff
- Weed company buys town in hopes of creating pot-friendly tourist destination
- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calls city governments the source of “all our problems in America”
- Man, 25, arrested for DWI after crashing into patrol car, deputies say
- Texas man snags “bucket list” 12-foot tiger shark off Padre Island
- Chauna Thompson, deputy terminated in wake of Denny’s choking death, appeals firing
- Humble ISD police officer accused of child pornography
- Angry woman robs cellphone store with large gun
- Dalia Dippolito discusses prison break in recorded jail call after recent conviction
- Tiny mermaid-painted shed drifted 200 miles in Gulf of Mexico
- Uber ride turns into nightmare for recent Texas A&M graduate
- ‘Sugar daddy’ banned from beaches after handing out provocative cards
- Business owners fight against crime in Chinatown
- 14-year-old girl clocked driving 107 mph during chase in Montgomery County
- Fight outside Spire Nightclub ends in crash, shooting
- When school’s out, rural Texas towns struggle to feed their hungry kids
- Guided bus tour of Houston’s strip clubs, massage parlors sheds light on human-trafficking business
- NASA looking to hire officer to protect earth from alien harm
- In Texas House, property tax proposals range from minor tweaks to abolishment
- Man exposes himself to woman outside fitness center, police say
- Man accused of robbing people who post items on buy, sell sites
- What it means for Texas colleges if Trump targets affirmative action
- ‘Cash Me Outside’ girl sentenced for stealing mother’s car, using her credit cards
- President Trump signs bill imposing sanctions on Russia
- Wife shoots, kills husband after finding him with another woman, police say
- Humble restaurant employees accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls
- Family reunited with dog 3+ years after it went missing
- Angleton animal sanctuary facing fines after filing lawsuit
- Woman finds evidence bag full of marijuana at neighborhood park
- State Rep. Dawnna Dukes declines deal from Travis County District Attorney
- Report: Texas could lose billions if new immigration enforcement law stands
- Texas’ War on Local Control is Part of National Trend
- Wife of accused gunman dies after double shooting that led to innocent woman’s death
- ‘Ghost forests’ appearing from Canada to Texas
- Man charged after leaving crash that left motorcycle rider in critical condition, police say
- Flight in Vegas delayed by naked passenger, officials say
- Galveston’s Pleasure Pier ride Revolution shut down temporarily
- How often do shark attacks happen in Texas waters?
- Naked bank robbery suspect tosses stolen money
- Harris County officials continue crackdown on unlicensed after-hour bars
- Wife: Disagreement over Trump contributed to divorce from state attorney
- Kingwood native torches 8 cars after wedding called off, police say
- HPD officer hit by car, plunges 16 feet off Southwest Freeway
- Texas executes man who claimed his lawyers committed fraud
- Woman arrested on suspicion of posting ‘revenge porn’ online
- Statue honoring Alvin’s hometown hero, Nolan Ryan, topples
- Man arrested after showing porn to child at supermarket, authorities say
- Underage woman claims she was raped after being served at Houston-area restaurant
- The Woodlands teens accused of Florida crime spree after posting Snapchat videos
- La Marque residents asked to boil water after order issued
- Man who fled to Mexico after murder charge 21 years ago arrested trying to re-enter US
- Texas Senate passes bill to allow people to vote on whether a city can annex them
- Spring man caught filming up skirts arrested on child porn, invasive photography charges
- One-armed, machete-wielding clown arrested, police say
- Despite Knowledge of Climate Change in 1970s, Texas Utility Companies Funded Climate Denial
- Venus Williams accuses 78-year-old man killed in crash of not wearing seat belt
- Scammers target college students eager for scholarship money
- Woman accused of kidnapping baby while hitchhiking
- Every Texan in the U.S. House just voted for sanctions against Russia
- Man accused of producing child pornography
- Persistence pays off for rural Texans besieged by sky-high power prices
- Man accused of beating dog with crow bar
- 2 charged with prostitution after offering sex acts to undercover constables, authorities say
- Senate votes to start debate on health care bill
- Harris County pastor charged with sexual abuse of a child
- Trump’s New Immigration Lockup Draws Local Opposition in Conroe
- Fukushima nuclear disaster dumping 300 tons of waste a day into Pacific Ocean for years now. This is an ongoing problem for the world with no end in sight. A major cover-up of this disaster is a crime against us all. February 23, 2018submitted by /u/trickymason [link] [comments]/u/trickymason
- Parkland students told, "Police would be firing blanks...it's a drill" February 23, 2018submitted by /u/cosmicerrors [link] [comments]/u/cosmicerrors
- Emma at the CNN town hall, completely caught up with fame. Waving to her friends and twirling around after her applause. February 23, 2018submitted by /u/ilikerealmaplesyrup [link] [comments]/u/ilikerealmaplesyrup
- Over A Million Children Under the Age of Six Are Currently on Psychiatric Drugs in America February 23, 2018submitted by /u/OB1_kenobi [link] [comments]/u/OB1_kenobi
- Youtubes largest page's about las vegas shooting deleted day before protest. February 23, 2018MANY channels on YT have just been terminated with appeals denied within a hour some minutes. There's a planned vegas protest tomorrow and there WAS a TON of good data about the false flag corruption coverup (not hoax). The contridictions in autopsied bodys,pictures in the crime scene and just tons of credible info from vegas […]/u/AmishAtomicPhysicist
- School shooting survivor Colton Haab confirms that CNN tried to force him to read a script, names CNN producer Carrie Stevenson who literally told him to "stick to the script." February 23, 2018submitted by /u/Frozen_ [link] [comments]/u/Frozen_
- People Being Rounded Up & Jailed for Being Unable to Pay PRIVATE Debts February 23, 2018submitted by /u/ilikerealmaplesyrup [link] [comments]/u/ilikerealmaplesyrup
- YouTube is giving strikes to people just for questioning the florida shooting February 23, 2018submitted by /u/Spider_Goat7 [link] [comments]/u/Spider_Goat7
- Where are all the Vegas survivors February 23, 2018Being a non American its just strange that all these kids are making noise about gun control but there has been nothing from the 10s of thousands that were at The Vegas shooting. Do y'all just pick and choose what horrific massacre you protest about? submitted by /u/GeneticEnginLifeForm [link] [comments]/u/GeneticEnginLifeForm
- Remember that time Bill Nye and his seahorse ran a segment encouraging 14 year olds to try some butt stuff, give strangers hand jobs and engage in sex stew? February 23, 2018submitted by /u/naturalproducer [link] [comments]/u/naturalproducer
- What's Assange mean by this"There is evidence that Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Israel were engaged in influence operations and possibly a number of other states. Which country is being protected by Rosenstein? Why is that country, or the campaign it is connected to, above the law?" February 23, 2018submitted by /u/Tha_Dude_Abidez [link] [comments]/u/Tha_Dude_Abidez
- School shooting survivor: CNN told me to stick to script February 23, 2018submitted by /u/Bert-Goldberg [link] [comments]/u/Bert-Goldberg
- This statue outside of a community center in my town, Portland OR. February 23, 2018submitted by /u/Beetlejuiceisking [link] [comments]/u/Beetlejuiceisking
- 7 Arrests in Veterans For Child Rescue Joint NGO/LEO Pedophile Sting. This is how the People Win, a Veterans Org helping to bring down the Pedo Rings February 23, 2018submitted by /u/OT-GOD-IS-DEMIURGE [link] [comments]/u/OT-GOD-IS-DEMIURGE
- Armed Sheriff’s Deputy ‘Never Went In’ During Florida Shooting February 23, 2018submitted by /u/BanMikePantsNow [link] [comments]/u/BanMikePantsNow
- Fukushima nuclear disaster dumping 300 tons of waste a day into Pacific Ocean for years now. This is an ongoing problem for the world with no end in sight. A major cover-up of this disaster is a crime against us all. February 23, 2018
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Author Archives: Melissa del Bosque
More than a decade into a violent conflict that seems nowhere near being resolved, Mexico is a country haunted by the missing. The Mexican government estimates that more than 32,000 people have disappeared in the last decade — a statistic that is likely far too low, since it comes from a federal database that relies on flawed data.
In 2010, University of Texas law professor Ariel Dulitzky was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to a five-person working group tasked with investigating the spike in kidnappings. What he found was a government unwilling to tackle the growing problem, which was highlighted by the unsolved 2014 mass kidnapping of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College. In their new report, “Human Rights Abuses in Coahuila, Mexico,” Dulitzky and his students investigate another unsolved tragedy: the March 2011 kidnappings of at least 300 men, women and children by members of the Zetas cartel in the Cinco Manantiales region in the Mexican border state of Coahuila.
In 2016, Dulitzky, director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, tasked his students with analyzing witness testimonies from three federal trials in San Antonio, Austin and Del Rio that involved key members of the Zetas. One of the report’s most troubling conclusions is that, according to witness testimonies, the Zetas paid two powerful politicians — Humberto Moreira, the former governor of Coahuila, and his brother Ruben, the state’s current governor — several million dollars in bribes so that they could operate with total impunity.
In the report, Dulitzky and his students conclude that both the Zetas and elected officials are to blame for the violence in Coahuila. They also argue that U.S. law enforcement, through its debriefing of numerous witnesses in the United States, is more than likely holding vital information that could help grieving families in Mexico locate the remains of their missing loved ones, or at the very least, help them confirm their deaths. Dulitzky spoke with the Observer about the new report’s findings and his continuing fight to find justice for the families of the disappeared in Mexico.
What does this new report tell us about the conflict in Mexico?
One thing it tells us is that through corruption and intimidation, many state authorities worked for the Zetas and coordinated with the Zetas and let them operate without any obstruction. This finding is not new, but what is new is that [it comes] from the testimonies of insiders in the Zetas and they were very explicit.
And there are a couple of other things: There is a clear presence of Zeta operatives in Texas and in other parts of the United States, according to their testimonies. They are present not only in Texas, but in other states including New Mexico, Oklahoma, California, Illinois and Georgia. It’s also very clear that what is happening in Mexico is not just a Mexican problem alone. The testimonies are clear that the weapons are bought here, especially in Texas, and transported to Mexico. And the drugs come from Mexico to the United States. The main responsibility lies with Mexican authorities, but the U.S. government should also do more because of the transnational aspect of the Zetas’ operations.
What is the current status of the recovery of bodies in Coahuila from the 2011 massacres?
The state government established a special prosecution office to deal with the disappearances. They have periodic meetings between the prosecutors and relatives of the disappeared, but there’s no coherent plan to search for the missing. Three weeks ago, the Mexican Congress passed a very comprehensive law that creates a national system for the search for the disappeared. We hope it will have a positive impact, but first it needs to be implemented. It will be a challenge because the testimonies indicate that with some of the people who disappeared their bodies were incinerated or dissolved in acid. So those bodies are never going to be recovered.
How do you hope Mexican authorities will respond to this report?
We hope that our research and others doing this type of research will better help with the implementation of the new law on the disappeared. And that more concerted efforts will be made to search for the missing. We also want to make clear that corruption is an integral element of the violence happening in Mexico. So when we talk about disappearances, our main focus is that dealing with corruption is a way to prevent more of them from happening.
In the report, you conclude that U.S. law enforcement has vital information about the massacres that hasn’t been made public.
What is clear is that some of the U.S. law enforcement agents who testified in the trials received from witnesses they spoke to much more detailed information on victims and human rights abuses and potential locations where bodies could be. U.S. law enforcement says it gave that information to the Mexican authorities, but the Mexican authorities said they couldn’t find the addresses or the places were too dangerous for them to go to. So that information was never made public. It was never given to any human rights organizations or to the families who are searching for their relatives. We hope that U.S. law enforcement will give that information to human rights groups.
You’re Argentine, and many South American countries have dealt publicly with the disappearances in the ’70s and ’80s during the dirty wars [of state-sponsored terrorism]. Mexico also had a dirty war, but there was never any acknowledgment or reconciliation. Now, once again, the Mexican government seems unwilling to acknowledge the missing. Why is Mexico such a tough case?
That is a very good question. When I visited Mexico with the UN working group on enforced disappearances, we looked both at the disappearances during the dirty war in Mexico in the ’70s and ’80s and the current disappearances. We found at least two elements that were common in both periods. First, there is this pattern of structural impunity, and the second is the presence of the military conducting domestic security operations.
One of the main differences between Mexico and [Argentina] is that in Argentina, there was a clear break between the dictatorship and the new democratic government. There was also a change in the entire state apparatus from the judiciary to the executive branch. This type of break from the past has never happened in Mexico. It was a slow process where at first the opposition started to win local government races, then the majority in Congress and eventually the presidency in 2000. But the PRI [the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico for 71 years] still remains one of the main political actors and now they are in the presidency again, so that transition was very different from Argentina’s. In Mexico there are many constraints on accountability for what happened in the past.
Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, November 14, Ariel Dulitzky and his students will present the report “Human Rights Abuses in Coahuila, Mexico,” at 4:30 p.m. at the University of Texas School of Law. Observer reporter Melissa del Bosque will also participate in the panel.
The post Human Rights Lawyer on How Government is Complicit in Mexico’s Drug War appeared first on The Texas Observer.
For at least six months, private contractors and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have been quietly preparing to build the first piece of President Trump’s border wall through the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in South Texas. The federally owned 2,088-acre refuge, often called the “crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system,” could see construction begin as early as January 2018, according to a federal official who has been involved in the planning but asked to remain anonymous.
“This should be public information,” the official told the Observer. “There shouldn’t be government officials meeting in secret just so they don’t have to deal with the backlash. The public has the right to know about these plans.”
CBP plans to construct an 18-foot levee wall that would stretch for almost three miles through the wildlife refuge, according to the official. The structure would consist of a concrete base, which would serve as a levee, and be topped with a fence made of steel bollards, similar to a levee wall built almost a decade ago near Hidalgo, Texas. A second federal official confirmed these details to the Observer.
On Friday afternoon, several workers were drilling into the existing earthen levee on the wildlife refuge and extracting soil samples to prepare for the construction. A security guard watching over the site asked me to leave when I started asking questions. Engineers from Michael Baker International, a global engineering firm, have been attending meetings on the project, according to the federal official.
The official said that the Department of Homeland Security picked the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge as the first site for a border wall segment because it’s owned by the federal government, avoiding legal entanglements with private landowners. At least 95 percent of the Texas border is privately owned. As the Observer’s June cover story, “Over the Wall,” detailed, at least one-third of the 320 condemnation suits filed against landowners in 2007 are still pending.
Established in 1943, the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge is one of the top birding destinations in North America. Home to at least 400 bird species and 450 species of plants, it also hosts both the rare Sabal palm and the endangered ocelot. The refuge is located on the Texas-Mexico border about 10 miles southeast of McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley.
If the levee wall is constructed, it will essentially destroy the refuge, the official said. The proposed plans call for building a road south of the wall and clearing refuge land on either side of the wall for surveillance, cameras and light towers.
A spokesperson for CBP, Carlos Diaz, acknowledged that there have been preliminary meetings for projects designated in Trump’s 2017-18 budget request. “CBP has prioritized 28 miles of new levee wall system in Rio Grande Valley, 32 new miles of border wall system in the Rio Grande Valley, and 14 miles of replacement secondary barrier in San Diego,” Diaz wrote in an email.
Diaz would not confirm whether construction could begin in the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge as early as January 2018.
The federal official pointed out that the Department of Homeland Security may transfer money from within the agency to build the segment of border wall at the refuge if budget negotiations stall. But he also offered a caveat: “Everything is unpredictable with this presidency.”
Congressman Filemon Vela, a Democrat from Brownsville, said he and Congressman Bennie Thompson, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security, have requested a briefing from CBP on the matter.
“We’re going to come up with a plan and do everything we can to stop it,” Vela told the Observer. “The Rio Grande Valley isn’t rural Texas anymore. It’s a metropolis of 1.2 million people on this side of the river and 2 million on the other side. These refuges are sacred from an environmental standpoint. There’s so little protected land left and we need to do whatever we can to save it.
Before President Trump ever builds his “big, beautiful wall,” there could be a fortified virtual wall at the U.S.-Mexico border bristling with biometric technology.
In the coming months, 31 counties along and near the border — including more than a dozen in Texas — will deploy a system that can scan, catalogue and compare an individual’s iris data in jails or out on patrol with mobile, smartphone-based scanners, according to The Intercept.
The private company that built the system, Biometric Intelligence and Identification Technologies (BI2), has offered sheriffs’ departments along the border a free, three-year introductory trial of its IRIS biometric identification program. According to the company, the technology gives fewer false matches than fingerprinting.
Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio will be one of the first to use the scanner in his department’s day-to-day policing.
Lucio said the technology will help his deputies identify undocumented immigrants. “It’s not unusual for people caught illegally from Mexico to give fake names and date of births,” he told The Intercept. “But it doesn’t matter what you use if we have your features — your iris, your fingerprints. You can use a hundred different names. We still can say, ‘This is the guy.’”
But civil liberty experts say the technology could exacerbate racial profiling, giving law enforcement officers the ability to determine criminal history or citizenship with an instant scan. “In this country, we’ve long resisted being a ‘show me your papers’ society, but this moves us to that because you increasingly can’t avoid your identity being scooped up in public,” said Nathan Wessler, staff attorney with the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“Racial profiling is a serious concern, especially Latinos or people of color are at greater risk for iris checks simply for the color of their skin,” he told The Intercept.
Another fear is that all of the biometric data will automatically be stored by BI2 Technologies in its private database on a server in San Antonio. To make an identification, BI2’s program compares an individual’s iris against the more than 987,000 iris scans in its database, which collects images from over 180 law enforcement jurisdictions across the country. The database grows with each new scan.
The Department of Homeland Security already collects biometric information at ports of entry, including airports. But U.S. citizens’ information is discarded after making the verification, while non-citizens have their information stored for 75 years. With the implementation of this new border program, a private company will be able to amass an untold amount of sensitive biometric information — not just from undocumented immigrants but also from U.S. citizens.
The post Prying Eyes: Border Sheriffs to Use Iris-Scanning Tech in Push for ‘Virtual Wall’ appeared first on The Texas Observer.
Over the Wall
After a decade of living in the shadow of the border wall, people in the Rio Grande Valley are ready to move on.
But Donald Trump has other plans.
“Well, OK, I’ll talk to you,” Eloisa Tamez told me. “But you’re the last reporter I’m ever going to speak with.” It was late March, and CNN, NPR, the BBC and countless other media outlets had converged on the Rio Grande Valley to report on the “big, beautiful wall” that President Trump had promised to build. Tamez was one of the first people they sought out. For years she had been a leader of the landowner resistance in South Texas, speaking out often and eloquently against the folly of a wall.
Her activism began in 2007, the year after Congress passed the Secure Fence Act, authorizing up to 700 miles of border fence. At the time, Border Patrol agents were going house to house in Cameron County, asking landowners to sign over their land. Tamez, then an associate professor in the graduate school of nursing at the University of Texas at Brownsville, politely told them to get the hell off her property. No way was she going to allow them to ram a wall through her 3 acres on the Rio Grande without a fight.
Tamez filed a lawsuit and prevented the government from taking her land for more than a year. But in 2009, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed her case and construction began on the wall.
In 2014, she finally settled with the government, reluctantly accepting $56,000 for a quarter-acre of her land occupied by the wall. By the time Trump supporters began chanting “Build the Wall,” most Americans had forgotten that the southern border already had 670 miles of fencing and barriers, including 110 miles in Texas.
But there hasn’t been a day that Tamez and other border residents are not reminded of it. One-third of the 320 condemnation suits filed against landowners in 2007 are still pending a decade later. In recent months the Trump administration sent out a new round of condemnation letters to landowners, in anticipation of Congress funding Trump’s proposal to build 34 miles of wall in the Valley.
And so the reporters had come to South Texas. For months Tamez had demonstrated for the TV crews how she punches in a passcode to open a massive gate in the wall that lets her pass from one part of her land to the other. She explained how her land was once part of a 12,000-acre Spanish grant deeded to her ancestors by the king of Spain before the United States even existed. She posed in front of the wall looking defiant. It made for great TV. But now, like so many other border residents, Tamez just wanted to be left alone. She was tired of America’s fears and obsessions with its southern border. Tamez was suffering from border security fatigue.
As I drove west from Brownsville toward Tamez’s home in the small community of El Calaboz, the hulking wall came into view, snaking through backyards past barbecue pits and swing sets. The wall couldn’t be built on the banks of the Rio Grande because a U.S.-Mexico treaty prohibits development in the flood plain. The river spills over its banks from time to time, and a fence could push floodwaters into communities on both sides. So, instead, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) erected some segments as far as a mile inland from the Rio Grande. The wall cuts through the center of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and bisects neighborhoods and city parks. And some U.S. landowners live south of the barrier in a sort of no-man’s land.
Tamez greets me at the door of her modest home with a smile. She has a youthful energy and wears a colorful blouse that matches her turquoise and yellow reading glasses. At 82, Tamez still goes to work every day at the university. The walls of her living room are covered with framed black-and-white family photos. One of them shows her parents, young and smiling, tilling the soil to plant crops. In another photo, a young Tamez and her siblings gather around their mother under the shade of a mesquite tree, not far from where the wall stands today.
When the 5th Circuit declined to hear her appeal, Tamez said, it broke her heart. “My lawyer told me, ‘You can stop fighting. They’ve already taken the land,’” she said.
Afterward, Tamez used part of the $56,000 in compensation to create a scholarship fund for graduate nursing students. Tamez named the endowment after her parents. She also decided to offer her home as a basecamp for researchers examining the effects of militarization and the wall on border communities.
“People will sometimes come up to me at Sam’s or Walmart to congratulate me,” Tamez said. “Though I didn’t really win anything. I lost my land. But they think I won.” Tamez smiled wryly. “I don’t tell them anything different. I think it’s because they read about the scholarship fund in the newspaper. That’s what people remember. And I’m proud I’ve been able to turn something negative into something positive that is going to help our community.”
Tamez said she suspects the fight between landowners and the DHS will be even more protracted and bitter this time. The cheapest, most accessible places are already taken. At least 35 percent of the U.S.-Mexico border already has a barrier, mostly in New Mexico, Arizona and California. If Trump is to build hundreds of miles of new border wall, much of it will have to be along Texas’ 1,250-mile border with Mexico, including rugged terrain traversing Big Bend National Park and the vast expanses of Falcon Lake and Amistad Reservoir. At least 95 percent of the Texas border is privately owned.
It was Tamez who, in 2008, had first opened my eyes to a disturbing fact about the wall’s construction: It seemed to be bypassing the wealthy and the politically connected while targeting those who could least afford to fight the federal government in court. Tamez questioned why her land had been condemned while the Riverbend Resort, a gated community and golf course two miles down the road, had not. In 2008, my article “Holes in the Wall” showed how an army of subcontractors working for the Boeing Company, which had the multibillion dollar contract to oversee construction of the wall, appeared to be passing over properties owned by wealthy landowners in favor of land owned by working-class families.
Tamez says she sees some justice in the possibility of Trump’s wall being built on the property of the wealthy who avoided it last time.
“Go ahead and fill in the holes in the wall,” Tamez said. “Because those belong to the wealthy. We’ll see if they build it through the Riverbend Resort this time, but I doubt it.”
Tamez said she was recently invited to a congressional hearing on Trump’s wall, but turned down the invitation. “I’m not going to be part of that spectacle anymore,” she said.
She’d rather have lawmakers meet her on her own turf, she said, not in Washington, D.C., or as part of a carefully scripted tour with local elected officials and business leaders. “My story is a real story about what this barrier and these government policies have done to me as an ordinary citizen,” she said. “I want them to walk the land with me and understand. But they never come here.”
After visiting with Tamez, I traveled 50 miles west to meet with Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia in his expansive office near the courthouse in Edinburg. If Tamez and her neighbors in Cameron County took the most direct hit from Bush’s wall, it is Hidalgo County that is likely to be one of Trump’s first targets. When I talked to Garcia in March, he was in the midst of controversy. In February, he’d sent a letter to John Kelly, Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, inviting the administration to convert 28 miles of earthen flood levee along the Rio Grande into a concrete barrier topped with a steel fence. The structure, he argued, could do double duty as a border wall and river levee.
Garcia’s invitation outraged many of his constituents, who saw it as an unnecessary, or at least premature, capitulation to an administration that had disparaged the border, Latinos and immigrants.
He explained to me that his letter was merely pragmatic politics. The wall is inevitable, Garcia said, and the county should get the best deal it can. “I personally don’t see any way of stopping it,” he said. “If they want to do it, they’re going to do it.”
In 2008, then-County Judge J.D. Salinas had made a similar calculation, offering Homeland Security the then-novel idea of a 22-mile levee wall. At the time, DHS was planning to build an 18-foot fence north of the levee, which meant razing homes that stood in the way. But that was an expensive proposition, not to mention bad optics in the media, so DHS seized on Salinas’ idea. There was just one caveat: Hidalgo County — one of the poorest in the nation — would have to kick in $44 million toward construction. Though the county tapped its drainage improvement fund to pay for the levee wall, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, who had voted for the Secure Fence Act, assured Salinas and other county leaders he would get Congress to pay them back. But the bills Cornyn introduced to reimburse Hidalgo County never passed.
This time, Garcia offered to chip in $38 million, 10 percent of the proposed $380 million project, with the understanding that it would probably never be reimbursed. In his letter to DHS, Garcia helpfully included new plans drafted by Dannenbaum Engineering, the firm that made millions building the 22 miles of levee wall nearly a decade ago. (In late April, the FBI raided local government offices in the Laredo area as well as four Dannenbaum offices across Texas in an operation that the FBI has said very little about, to date.)
While Garcia sought middle ground with the Trump administration, other elected leaders were vocal about their hatred of the wall. One Democratic congressman from nearby Brownsville, Filemon Vela, made headlines last year with his open letter calling Trump a “racist” and telling him, “You can take your border wall and shove it up your ass.”
A month after our visit, Garcia and the Hidalgo County commissioners, under pressure from constituents, reversed course on the levee-wall idea altogether, writing another letter to DHS — this time emphasizing their opposition to any kind of wall.
It may be too late. In its proposed budget, the White House asked Congress to fund the construction of 28 miles of “new levee wall barriers” in Hidalgo County. Though the stopgap budget that Congress passed in early May doesn’t contain funding for the levee wall, the idea is unlikely to go away.
Garcia’s change of heart was in part the handiwork of Scott Nicol, a McAllen artist, teacher and activist. There is probably no one better versed in South Texas’ border walls than the 47-year-old Nicol. Over the last decade, he’s made a careful study of the Secure Fence Act, poring over contracts and submitting voluminous open records requests for government documents.
Shortly after Garcia sent his first letter capitulating to the Trump administration, Nicol wrote an op-ed in the McAllen newspaper, the Monitor, pointing out that if Congress were to fund the project, DHS would be digging up 28 miles of earthen levee that had just been repaired with $220 million in federal stimulus money.
In late March, Nicol, who is co-chair of the Sierra Club Borderlands Team, took me on a tour of the levee wall that was built in 2009, so I could see its effect on the local environment. “The whole project is just a huge waste of money, and devastating for the wildlife,” Nicol told me as I followed him along a gravel trail behind the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse. The pumphouse, which used to draw river water for farm fields, now houses a museum that anchors a nature preserve and several acres of wetlands connected to the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge, in turn, is part of a riparian wildlife corridor that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has acquired piecemeal over the last 30 years at a cost of more than $70 million.
The 18-foot levee cuts through the wildlife corridor for 22 miles and seals off the river, a vital source of water, from wildlife stuck north of the wall. If the Trump administration builds another 28 miles of levee wall, the same would happen in the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. In Nicol’s view, the wall would ruin much of what’s left of the Valley’s natural habitat. Even without the wall, conservationists were in a race against time.
Today, most of the Rio Grande Valley looks like Southern California with its traffic-choked expressways, strip malls and fast food restaurants. At least 95 percent of the native habitat has already been developed or farmed. And the wildlife corridor is increasingly vulnerable, especially with DHS’ “force multipliers” of surveillance cameras, Border Patrol vehicles and walls. This subtropical riparian sliver is one of the most biologically diverse areas left in the country. It’s the northernmost territory for the endangered jaguarundi, ocelot and other species.
In 2006, the Hidalgo pumphouse became part of the World Birding Center, an ambitious project to encourage birders and other nature lovers to visit the region. Every year, thousands of bird watchers come looking for buff-bellied hummingbirds and great kiskadees, species that can’t be seen anywhere else in North America. Economists at Texas A&M University estimate that birders generate more than $340 million a year for the regional economy. From Roma to South Padre Island, cities along the border collaborated to invest more than $60 million in observation areas, wetlands and native plant restoration to promote ecotourism. The state also invested at least $1 million in the effort. But in 2008, two years after the Hidalgo pumphouse reopened as a museum, DHS began construction on the levee wall just behind it, severing it from a 4-mile hike and bike trail through the wildlife corridor.
I followed Nicol a mile east of the museum to the end of the levee wall, where two Border Patrol SUVs idled, the agents waiting to nab anyone who might come across the river.
After Trump was elected president, Nicol started getting calls from reporters from all over the world on their way to the Rio Grande Valley to write about Trump’s wall. Nicol was one of the only people in the Valley who hadn’t grown tired of talking to the media yet. “The first thing you have to explain is that the Texas-Mexico border is a river,” he said. “And then you have to explain that the wall is not on the river.”
The agents in the SUVs looked away as we walked around the edge of the levee wall and down a dirt road heavily rutted by the Border Patrol vehicles that patrol between the wall and the Rio Grande, a half-mile away. Mesquite, ebony and wispy huisache trees dusted with yellow flowers formed a dense canopy. A javelina rooted through the underbrush, then fled as we walked south on the abandoned trail toward the river.
Nicol reminded me that there were surveillance cameras all around us, some owned by the state, some by the feds. There were also ground sensors. We were in the United States, on land managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but it felt like we were trespassing. The terrain was beautiful but neglected. Trees had toppled onto the asphalt trail and we had to fight our way through vines and brush. Hiking through this forgotten zone, I had the sensation of America recoiling from the Rio Grande and taking shelter behind its wall.
We bushwhacked for nearly a mile until we came out again at the rutted dirt road. One of the Border Patrol SUVs came speeding toward us, trailing a white cloud of dust. Nicol stopped and I followed his lead as we waited for the vehicle to reach us. “We tripped a ground sensor,” Nicol said. He was used to these kinds of encounters. I was apprehensive.
The agent rolled down his window. “What are y’all doing out here?” he asked.
“Just hiking the trail,” Nicol said, nonchalantly.
The agent sized us up for a moment. “All right,” he finally said, nodding, then rolled the window up and sped away.
“I’m pretty sure DHS has a file on me,” Nicol said, smiling. “A really thick one.”
No city in Hidalgo County has grown faster or become more economically prosperous than McAllen — largely due to its trade with Mexico. But the repeated border bashing from Washington has started to threaten McAllen’s hard-fought prosperity. I met up with Jim Darling, the mayor of McAllen, early one morning after he’d participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new shopping center. We had coffee at a recently opened Corner Bakery Cafe across from a brand-new Best Buy off Expressway 83.
Like Tamez, Mayor Darling said he was fed up with doing interviews about border security and the wall. The issue had become so polarized, Darling said, he wasn’t going to continue to lend his face to the media circus.
“It didn’t matter what side of the media I was talking to, they had a presumed message already. I got tired of it. We’re fighting this image that doesn’t depict who we really are,” he said, cradling a cup of coffee in his hand. “When we do surveys of the top 10 concerns for our residents, the No. 1 concern is traffic congestion, and security is like No. 8.”
For years, the city of McAllen — which has a population close to 140,000, “but more like 250,00 during the day,” Darling said, because of shoppers from Mexico — has had an economy that’s outpaced many other parts of the state. “We’re a poster child of NAFTA,” Darling said. Every year his city sends $200 million or more in sales tax to Austin, but gets little love in return. Instead, McAllen and other border communities are often used as a photo op for politicians talking tough on border security for their constituents back home. “Talking down on the border wins votes in Beaumont or Duluth,” Darling said.
Many Americans imagine the border as a desert, devoid of people other than human traffickers and drug smugglers — an image often reinforced by politicians: John McCain talking tough in a 2010 re-election ad with an Arizona sheriff as they strolled past a border fence and dusty vistas. McCain: “Complete the dang fence!” Sheriff: “It’ll work this time.”
Or former Governor Rick Perry and Fox host Sean Hannity in 2014 looking tough for Fox viewers in backward baseball caps and wrap-around sunglasses on an armored DPS gun boat with enough horsepower to reach Veracruz by morning.
And then there’s Donald Trump, who in a July 2015 visit was accompanied by an oversized security entourage that tailed him around town as he congratulated himself on having the courage to come to “dangerous” Laredo.
Governor Rick Perry, Mission, July 2014.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Flickr
Governor Greg Abbott, Weslaco, February 2017.
State Representative Lois Kolkhorst, Rio Grande, September 2014.
U.S. Representative Ted Poe, Rio Grande, October 2014.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, Anzalduas Park, February 2017.
John McCain TV ad
Senator John McCain, Nogales, Arizona, May 2010.
Since Trump’s inauguration, a steady stream of congressional leaders has been visiting McAllen to get a look at “Ground Zero,” as Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently called the border, painting it as a hellscape rife with “filth” and head-chopping cartels. Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, was still a topic of conversation among McAllen residents a month after his visit, because he’d opted for something a little different on his tour: hopping on a Border Patrol horse, which then bolted toward the river with panicked agents in pursuit. Afterward, Ryan tweeted a short video of himself on his mount, seemingly to prove he’d always been in control. Dozens of protesters had gathered along the street as his motorcade passed. Ryan didn’t stop.
Darling is so familiar with the border photo op that he is practically a connoisseur. “Typically, the Republicans like to ride on the river, and the Democrats go to the detention centers,” he said.
But the visitors often find it jarring when they learn that the lawless border they’ve heard so much about in Washington, D.C., is actually pretty pleasant.
There was the time in late February when Senator John Cornyn came down with Republican senators from Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Nevada for a ride-along with the Border Patrol on the river. They were standing on the dock in their life preservers, ready to get on the boat, when one of the senators noticed an amusement park full of children on the other side of the river.
“He asked what it was,” Darling said. “And I told him it’s an amusement park in Mexico. He started taking pictures of it. He was amazed.”
Another time, Darling was out on the Rio Grande with visiting dignitaries, all under the watch of heavily armed federal agents, when a party boat from Reynosa, Mexico, floated by. “They were dancing and drinking and waving,” Darling said, smiling. “It was pretty funny.”
Darling blamed the media for depicting his town as a crisis zone. Pushing back, I asked him about all the “war on the border” rhetoric coming out of Washington and Austin. What were visiting reporters supposed to think when they arrived at the park where politicians typically embarked on their river tours? As a reporter, I know the place well. It’s a county park with playgrounds and barbecue pits. But no one goes there anymore. Like the nature trails behind the Hidalgo pumphouse, it’s bristling with surveillance and a long line of DPS squad cars parked near the dock. Then there are the armored DPS boats outfitted with .30-caliber guns that wouldn’t look out of place in the Suez Canal. The park had become another border security sacrifice zone where no one ventured except for police and federal agents.
Darling listened politely, but said it was still the media’s fault. He especially blamed George Stephanopoulos, the former Democratic adviser and now anchor of America’s top morning TV show, Good Morning America. During the 2014 Central American migrant exodus, Stephanopoulos potrayed Darling ’s city as a place under siege. Darling found that hard to forgive.
“Stephanopoulos called it a crisis on the border,” Darling said. “But the crisis was in Central America, that’s why the families were leaving. The crisis wasn’t here. Mexican migration was at net zero when the Central Americans started coming in 2014,” he said. “And they were asking for asylum, so they weren’t technically illegal, and I think we handled it well.” (The city of McAllen and Hidalgo County spent more than $480,000 helping the families and were never reimbursed by the federal or state governments.)
“But now middle America believed the border was in crisis, and being overrun by Mexicans, and we needed a border wall to stop them,” Darling said. “And that’s how we got into this mess we’re in now.”
I brought up Darling’s recent letter to the DHS secretary, which, like Garcia’s letter, supported the idea of a levee wall. “No one likes a wall down here,” he said. “But building a wall was Trump’s defining moment during his campaign, so we figure he’s going to get it built no matter what.”
All of Trump’s negative rhetoric and the talk of building the wall and making Mexico pay for it had already damaged McAllen economically, he said. In the wealthy Mexican industrial city of Monterrey, 150 miles south of the border, “McAlleando” was popular slang for “shopping.” But now, Mexican shoppers already reeling from the devalued peso were encouraging their fellow consumers to boycott McAllen in a social media campaign called #AdiosMcAllen.
“We’ll probably be down $3 million-plus this year in sales tax revenue,” Darling said.
To stop the economic slide, the city is investing thousands of dollars in advertising to encourage Mexicans to come back to McAllen.
“We are friends,” Darling said. “And they are always welcome here.”
But what words could make up for a wall? With much of the southern border already behind a wall, only Texas remains. The Rio Grande Valley is first on Trump’s list.
Before I’d left Tamez, I asked if she had any advice for the next wave of landowners who will be targeted by DHS. “Ask questions,” she said. “And write every single detail down that they tell you. And think long and hard about what it will cost you in the long term, after they take your land away. I didn’t have much, but what they took from me no amount of money could have ever replaced.”
President Donald J. Trump has made no secret of his dislike for NAFTA, which he’s often pilloried as the “worst deal ever” and a “total disaster.”
Many Mexican factory workers would probably agree with Trump on one point: The North American Free Trade Agreement is a bad deal.
“We hope he’ll renegotiate it,” said Julia Quin?onez, coordinator of the Border Committee of Women Workers in Piedras Negras, Mexico, during a binational forum on border issues at the University of Texas at Austin in April. “When they first signed NAFTA it was promised that it would benefit workers and Mexico would enter the First World, but it was a total lie. What we saw instead was a huge increase in the cost of living, and stagnant wages.”
At the forum, Quin?onez was joined by three women who work in foreign-owned maquiladoras on the Mexican border.
With the devaluation of the peso last year, workers’ wages plummeted, said Quin?onez. “People don’t want to work in the maquilas, and then they have no remedy but to migrate.”
Bob Cash, a former factory worker and now state director of the Texas Fair Trade Coalition, said at the forum that he’d been struggling for years to get the media and policymakers to talk about the problems with NAFTA, only to have Trump thrust the issue back into the spotlight by accusing Mexican workers of stealing American jobs.
“What NAFTA actually did in Mexico was throw 2 million farm families off their farms, many of them forced to come to the U.S. to find work to feed their families,” Cash said.
Cash said he was initially thrilled to be invited on C-SPAN recently to talk about NAFTA, only to be alarmed by the end of the program. “Folks called in and most of the responses were racist,” he said. “It was, ‘We need to get out of NAFTA completely, build a wall and kick out all of the Mexicans because they’re stealing all of our jobs.’”
During the NAFTA negotiations in the early ’90s, U.S. negotiators got nearly everything they wanted, while their Mexican counterparts didn’t, said Cash. “It’s not like the Mexicans snuck across the border and into U.S. boardrooms and made these decisions to send jobs south,” he said.
None of the members of the forum was particularly hopeful that Trump would go to bat for working people, American or Mexican, if NAFTA were renegotiated. Cash said his mission was to convince his fellow white Americans — many of whom were under the sway of Trump’s rhetoric — that a fair trade agreement should include a living wage, as well as better safety and environmental standards for Mexican and American workers. “NAFTA hasn’t been good for workers in the U.S., Canada or Mexico,” he said. “But it has been good for a small slice of the economic elites in all of those countries.”
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