- Galveston, TX Weather :: 34F Fair January 18, 201834F Fair
- Galveston, TX Weather :: 34F Fair January 18, 2018
- Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville will no longer serve as USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center January 18, 2018The Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville will no longer serve as the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center, according to Kerry Perry, the president and CEO of USA Gymnastics."USA Gymnastics has terminated its agreement with the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas. It will no longer serve as the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center," Kerry said. […]
- Rockets' Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green suspended 2 games each for entering Clippers locker room January 18, 2018Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and guard Gerald Green have each been suspended two games without pay following an incident that occurred after the Rockets 113-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.The suspensions were announced by the league and follow its investigation that determined Ariza and Green entered the Clippers locker room […]
- Larry Nassar's abuse victims, in their own words January 17, 2018One by one the women stepped forward to the podium, some fighting back tears, to face their abuser.They were among dozens of victims testifying this week at the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar, a former doctor at Michigan State University who has been convicted of sexually abusing gymnasts and other female athletes -- many of […]
- Katie Couric returning for Winter Olympics opening ceremony January 17, 2018NBC is bringing back Katie Couric to co-host the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month.Couric will be co-host with Mike Tirico, who is replacing Bob Costas as prime-time host of the games. The ceremony takes place in South Korea on Feb. 9.She's hosted three Olympic opening ceremonies with Costas, the most recent in […]
- Katie Couric returning for Winter Olympics opening ceremony next month January 17, 2018NBC is bringing back Katie Couric to co-host the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month.Couric will be co-host with Mike Tirico, who is replacing Bob Costas as prime-time host of the games. The ceremony takes place in South Korea on Feb. 9.She's hosted three Olympic opening ceremonies with Costas, the most recent in […]
- Astros introduce starting pitcher Gerrit Cole January 17, 2018The Houston Astros officially introduced starting pitcher Gerrit Cole Wednesday afternoon.The 'Stros traded pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, along with third baseman Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin to the Pirates in exchange for Cole. The deal was announced Saturday."It was a really good phone call. How do you ask for anything more to […]
- JJ Watt suits up for Houston snow, ice; Texans star shares struggles of cold conditions January 17, 2018Where there was once wonder, there now appears to be some annoyance for Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt when it comes to the Houston snow and ice storm. Watt posted two videos and a photo in his Instagram stories about the extreme freeze and snow since he recently returned from his romantic trip to […]
- Simone Biles says she was a sex abuse victim of ex-USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar January 15, 2018Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles says she is among the athletes sexually abused by a now-imprisoned former USA Gymnastics team doctor.Biles, who won four gold medals and five overall at the 2016 Olympics, released a statement via Twitter on Monday saying she is one of the "many survivors" that were abused by Larry Nassar.PHOTOS: Simone […]
- US Olympic bobsled team includes Houston man January 15, 2018Former Cy-Fair high school and Rice football and track standout Sam McGuffie is one of 12 athletes selected to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's Bobsled Team to compete in PyeongChang, South Korea in the 13th Winter Olympic Games.The team was announced Monday by USA Bobsled and Skeleton. McGuffie will represent the United States in both […]
- Stunner: Keenum-Diggs TD on last play; Vikes win 29-24 January 15, 2018Case Keenum completed a last-ditch heave near the sideline Sunday on the game's final play, and Stefon Diggs slithered away for a 61-yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 29-24 victory over New Orleans and send the Vikings to the NFC championship game, with one more win needed to become a first-time Super Bowl host.Houstonians react […]
- Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville will no longer serve as USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center January 18, 2018
- After murder-suicide, friends and neighbors ask 'why?' January 18, 2018Flor De Maria Pineda de Cañas shot and killed her husband and two small children before turning the gun on herself in a Galveston resort Jan. 7 according to Galveston police. From left are Pineda and Leonila Olivares of the Iglesia Cristo Viene, a Baytown church. /*. */. Posted: Thursday, January 18, ...
- Energy Sector Update for 01/17/2018: FGP, TAT, TNP.TO, SD, AMGP, STO, BP January 17, 2018Marathon Petroleum ( MPC ) was fractionally higher today following reports the company is eliminating 64 salaried positions at its refinery in Galveston Bay, Texas, refinery as part of efforts to improve efficiency. Marathon began combining operations at Galveston Bay with an adjoining refinery in Texas ...
- Family fun: Pizza, skating and a surfside festival January 17, 2018Information: facebook.com/events/1803529392993192. GALVESTON. Yaga's Chili Quest & Beer Fest. Galveston's annual festival features chili and beer tasting, live music, washers tournament, Jackpot Margarita Contest and merchant walk-about on the Historic Strand. When: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday.
- Marathon cuts employees at Galveston Bay refinery, citing efficiency moves January 17, 2018Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) lays off 64 salaried employees at its Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas, a move the company says is the result of five years of improving efficiency at the refinery. MPC is said to have formally combined operations at the adjoining 86K bbl/day former Texas City refinery ...
- Winter Weather Advisory January 17, 2018The National Weather Service in Houston/Galveston has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for icy roads and bridges, which is in effect until 5 AM CST Wednesday. The Winter Storm Warning has been cancelled. * IMPACTS...Residual moisture on roadways and bridges will freeze and produce icy spots.
- After murder-suicide, friends and neighbors ask 'why?' January 18, 2018
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- League City sets 2018 solid waste collection rates January 17, 2018League City announces that residents and businesses will have an increase in solid waste rates beginning February 1, 2018.
- Hitchcock High School Senior Shares MLK, Jr. Speech January 17, 2018Joseph Collins, a senior at Hitchcock High School Class of 2018, has submitted the text of the speech he wrote for and delivered at the MLK Jr. event at GSMBC.
- Texas A&M Galveston to host American/French Conference on Sargassum January 17, 2018Texas A&M at Galveston will host American/French Conference on Sargassum (Seaweed) and its effects on the Gulf Coast and Caribbean Islands on Thursday and Friday.
- City of La Marque January 17, 2018The City of La Marque has advised that its offices will re-open at 1 p.m. and resume normal operations.
- Village of Tiki Island Board of Aldermen January 17, 2018The Village of Tiki Island Board of Aldermen on Tuesday voted unanimously to adopt a resolution calling for election on May 5 to elect three aldermen.
- City of League City January 17, 2018The City of League City has provided an update regarding the impact of winter weather conditions on city services.
- City of Galveston January 17, 2018The City of Galveston has issued an advisory regarding weather conditions in the city, and has announced that it is re-opening city facilities at 10 a.m. today.
- City of Galveston January 16, 2018The City of Galveston has provided an update regarding winter weather conditions impacting the region.
- City of Friendswood January 16, 2018The City of Friendswood has issued a news release regarding closures in the city related to winter weather conditions.
- League City sets 2018 solid waste collection rates January 17, 2018
- Politics: Lawmakers who previously camped out for hours to shake the president's hand at the State of the Union don't want to be seen with Trump this year 18 Jan 2018 20:48 Pulse Lawmakers usually camp out in the same seat for hours every year in order to shake hands with the president when he enters the House chamber for the annual State of the Union address. But many lawmakers who have held the same seats for years will be …
- Governors ask Trump, Congress to do more on opioid crisis 18 Jan 2018 20:48 AP News / Indystar CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) -- Less than three months after President Donald Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis a public health emergency, the nation's governors are calling on his administration and Congress to provide more money and coordination for …
- Global Poll Shows U.S. Prestige Plummeting Under Trump 18 Jan 2018 20:47 New York Magazine Throughout his 2016 campaign and the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump made it clear again and again than unlike his globalist predecessors he’d be an “America First” president who didn’t care all that much what non-Americans thought of him and …
- President Trump slams GOP efforts to avert government shutdown 18 Jan 2018 20:47 New York Daily News Online President Trump fired shots across the bow of his own party’s efforts to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, blasting Republican leadership’s decision to include funding for a popular children’s health insurance program. The GOP-drafted bill would …
- The Latest: Trump campaigns, sort of, for PA lawmaker 18 Jan 2018 20:47 Odessa American WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Pennsylvania (all times local): 3:07 p.m. President Donald Trump is promising to return to Pennsylvania to campaign for a state lawmaker who's vying to keep a U.S. House seat in the …
- WATCH LIVE: Donald Trump expected to talk taxes, economy at manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh 18 Jan 2018 20:46 Global News WASHINGTON — A new global survey suggests the world’s impression of the United States is plummeting under President Donald Trump, with Canada registering the largest such decline of any country within the Western Hemisphere. The Gallup polling company …
- Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review: Back to Armageddon 18 Jan 2018 20:45 The Nation The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee returns to the Naval Submarine Base at Kings Bay, Georgia, February 6, 2013. (James Kimber/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters) Thank you for signing up. For more from The Nation, check out our …
- Trump campaigns, sort of, for PA lawmaker 18 Jan 2018 20:44 Brownsville Herald WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Pennsylvania (all times local): 3:07 p.m. President Donald Trump is promising to return to Pennsylvania to campaign for a state lawmaker who's vying to keep a U.S. House seat in the …
- President Trump set to address March for Life live via satellite 18 Jan 2018 20:43 Dialog WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced at her daily press briefing Jan. 17 that President Donald Trump will become the first president to address the March for Life live from the White House Rose Garden via satellite. …
- Analysis: Why the porn-star scandal hasn’t touched Trump 18 Jan 2018 20:41 The Seattle Times The fact that President Donald Trump is so immersed in scandal helps inoculate him against the porn-star story. An aura of scandal and controversy that has hovered around him since early in his campaign has simply absorbed new revelations as they came out …
- 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
- Amazon wants to open $5 billion second HQ in North America
- New law allows hunting hogs from hot air balloons, but few balloonists will offer it
- New texting while driving ban full of loopholes
- 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
- Our Lady of the Underground
- 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.
- Thanks to their State Rep, Friendswood Family Rushes to File Insurance Claim for their Flooded Home
- 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
- Set for execution, death row inmate alleges legal fraud in hopes of a stay
- Concerns raised over new Harris County bail system
- Crooks return to rob dentist office after police leave
- 2 throw drugs out window during high-speed chase, police say
- 5 arrested after drugs, gun, money seized from Magnolia home
- 15 years later, Clara Harris remains in state prison for husband’s murder
- Woman, 91, kicked out of Sunnyside home
- Congressman: If female GOP senators were South Texas men, I’d challenge them to a duel
- Turning Tail
- Death toll in San Antonio immigrant-smuggling case rises to 10
- Ex-Mexican drug cartel leader gets 30 years in US prison
- Kushner’s statement on Russia: What to know
- Analysis: In special session, Texas Senate’s the hare, House is the tortoise
- Texas Senate panel targets mail-in ballot fraud after high-profile case
- Drunk Driver Sentenced to 50 Years for Fatal Crash
- Tanker Crew Rescues 5 In Capsized Boat
- Man Sentenced to 45 Years on Drug Charges
- After Texas “human trafficking crime,” Lt. Gov. Patrick lauds sanctuary city law
- Charges possible in disturbing Florida drowning case
- Texas Senate committee OKs bill to outlaw city cellphone restrictions
- Texas Senate panel approves teacher bonuses, retirement benefits
- Carjacking suspect opens fire on officer during chase in SW Houston
- Man, 2 children killed in crash in NE Houston
- Katy woman arrested for DWI after man follows, records her erratic driving
- Mickey Mouse mask-wearing burglar caught on camera breaking into 2 stores
- Houston pastor Victoria Osteen says she does not endorse skin care product
- Senate committee passes bills on private school choice and school finance study
- Bill limiting city, county spending fuels war over local control
- Woman, 93, dragged during carjacking at church, police say
- Trans Texans, Advocates Swarm Texas Capitol to Oppose ‘Bathroom Bills’ (Again)
- Man admits to killing 14-year-old half-brother, authorities say
- Monkey on the loose in south Houston after attacking girl, police say
- ‘Million Dollar Ho’ arrested in Florida prostitution sting
- Turner reopens bids for recycling contract to 4 companies
- District attorney to pursue death penalty against 4 suspects
- Houston woman charged in connection with ransom scheme
- Pastor in The Woodlands accused of prostitution
- Academy Sports + Outdoors laying off 100 employees
- 1 dead after shooting at NW Harris County apartments
- Kay Bailey Hutchison vows toughness on Russia as NATO ambassador
- Conroe horse-riding trainer accused of sexually assaulting child
- Environmental groups sue EPA over lax Texas air pollution permits
- Abbott adds school finance, retired teacher benefits to special session
- Bodycam allegedly shows Baltimore cop planting drugs
- Key events in OJ Simpson’s fall from sports hero, movie star
- Heat is part of life at Texas prisons, but federal judge orders one to cool it
- Growing health trend bypasses doctors’ offices for diagnosis, treatment
- HPD chief answers questions about Josue Flores murder case
- Sarah Davis wants more information about “misconduct” at TABC
- Texas Bill Would Revoke Medical License of Doctors Who Perform Abortions
- Senate gives early OK to must-pass “sunset” legislation
- Lead singer of The Suffers featured in national campaign
- Man wanted in 2016 fraud case
- Couple arrested for second time for impersonating Adele’s manager, police say
- Mexico says electronic device checks on US flights begin
- Dancing with Denial
- Teen shot at high school party at AirBNB house in southwest Houston
- Toll road drivers getting fed up with erroneous charges
- Trump administration: Trust Texas on voter education spending
- Baby dies after being infected with cold sore virus through kiss, parents say
- 24 firearms stolen after Texian Firearms robbed twice in one day
- Texas Republicans in Congress process health care bill’s collapse
- Florida man arrested after reporting cocaine stolen, deputies say
- Teens arrested after Facebook Live video of 23-year-old woman’s assault
- Girl, 17, fires shot at intruder while chasing him out of her house
- Police: Aunt charged after leaving young neice, nephew in hot car outside grocery store
- Texas Senate moves to fast-track special session agenda
- President Trump: ‘Let Obamacare fail’
- Why the murder charge against the Texas police officer who killed Jordan Edwards is rare
- What happens if Congress fails to repeal Obamacare?
- Four Texas Republicans in Congress were just outraised by Democratic challengers
- After killing the manufacturing industry, US govt has now killed the Tourism Industry. Nobody wants to come to the land of CIA false flags, ripoff healthcare, violence, prisons and police shootings. January 18, 2018submitted by /u/md392838 [link] [comments]/u/md392838
- Carol Rosin, who worked with Wernher von Braun claims he told her false flags would progress from Communists, to terrorists, to asteroids, to aliens. He told her "Carol, the last card is the alien card. We are going to have to build space-based weapons against aliens and all of it is a lie." January 18, 2018submitted by /u/Question_History [link] [comments]/u/Question_History
- "It should be noted that along with the U.S. establishment press, the Trump administration is a frequent source of false information." WikiLeaks on Twitter. Thoughts? January 18, 2018submitted by /u/paulie_purr [link] [comments]/u/paulie_purr
- Anon predicts Michigan Meteor January 18, 2018submitted by /u/jakebreak [link] [comments]/u/jakebreak
- Assange Keeps Warning Of AI Censorship, And It’s Time We Started Listening January 18, 2018submitted by /u/austintexasusa [link] [comments]/u/austintexasusa
- If you see a post that is blatantly (and I mean blatantly) racist, sexist, and filled with jew-hate, odds are it's a shill post to make the community look bad to lurkers and newbies. January 18, 2018They will often use abrasive language in their posts, with a sprinkling of obscenities and racist rhetoric. These posts are spammed here on purpose by shills, to discredit the community at large. They want to try and make our culture look as unappealing to the average normie as possible, so as to inhibit any new […]/u/PaintThinnerss
- The average lifespan for ALS is 4 years. Stephen Hawking has had it for over 50 years. Please explain. January 18, 2018The second longest person to ever live with ALS was 20 years. Stephen is pushing over 50? What the fuck submitted by /u/777dot [link] [comments]/u/777dot
- Trump supported marijuana legalization before being President. January 18, 2018submitted by /u/totallynotsnowden [link] [comments]/u/totallynotsnowden
- Point your cameras/telescopes skyward. Seems like its time to watch the skies more carefully January 18, 2018If there really is something to all the recent mysterious launches, meteors, booms, false missile alarms i think its time that people accelerate their efforts to not only watch the skies but capture and catalog anything of interest. If several people, miles apart can capture the same thing in high quality, that would help get […]/u/Amazonistrash
- We live inside a scripted reality. Literally. January 18, 2018(An “upvote”, tho silly sounding, can help these words reach the Others of Us, our Friends, the awake ones. A sign we are strong & many. If you downvote this, think about why. If you’re getting paid to, I guess that’s another issue altogether.) The public figures are actors. Politicians to mainstream documentary subjects to […]/u/CollectiveHoney
- Is anyone else in disbelief of the state of our world? January 18, 2018I am young but was brought up at least before technology became an insanely integrated part of life. I thought I was a nerd playing gameboy at age 8, but I see 4 year olds spending their whole day in front of the ipad. We have insane advancements in technology, computers are magnificent, yet there […]/u/asaddddddddeeeeeee2
- L.A. County sheriff's deputy is charged with selling drugs and offering to hire other cops to protect dealers January 18, 2018submitted by /u/salvia_d [link] [comments]/u/salvia_d
- NBC Crew in Hawaii Bunker Hours Before False Alert January 18, 2018submitted by /u/peyote_the_coyote [link] [comments]/u/peyote_the_coyote
- 100 Victims Testify in Court Over Massive Child Molestation Cover-Up in USA Gymnastics January 18, 2018submitted by /u/conspiracyseeker [link] [comments]/u/conspiracyseeker
- This is how bad ad tracking has gotten. they read your reddit posts. January 18, 2018submitted by /u/fight_for_anything [link] [comments]/u/fight_for_anything
- After killing the manufacturing industry, US govt has now killed the Tourism Industry. Nobody wants to come to the land of CIA false flags, ripoff healthcare, violence, prisons and police shootings. January 18, 2018
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Category Archives: National
On the night of November 18, two Border Patrol agents lay badly wounded at the bottom of a 14-foot deep culvert near Van Horn, Texas. Thirty-six-year-old El Pasoan Rogelio Martinez died hours later from his injuries. Perhaps, as right-wing news outlets have trumpeted, the pair was attacked by rock-wielding foreign drug smugglers, or maybe, as at least two government officials have suggested, they fell by accident into the drainage tunnel. Federal investigators insist they don’t yet know what occurred that night, but neither lack of facts nor prudence could dissuade the president and top Texas Republicans from seizing on this tragedy for political advantage.
“Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!,” tweeted President Donald Trump on the evening of November 19. Trump also stated later that the surviving agent had been “badly beaten.”
That morning, the virulently anti-immigrant site Breitbart had claimed to break the story with a story headlined, “Border Patrol Agent Killed, Another in Serious Condition in Texas.” The story quoted Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the union for Border Patrol agents — which is not a part of the government agency. A few sentences below the unambiguous headline, the Breitbart authors acknowledged that “details on the matter are scarce.”
A few hours later, Texas Senator Ted Cruz seemed to echo the Breitbart story, announcing that the agent had been “killed” and labeling the incident “a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them.” (When asked by reporters about gun control in the wake of the Sutherland Springs shooting, Cruz replied, “We don’t need politics right now.”)
Despite the murkiness of the situation, neither Trump nor Cruz apparently saw a need to defer to federal investigators or wait to see whether a wall would have made any difference.
In one version of events, the agents were savagely beaten with stones, likely by undocumented drug smugglers. “What we know is that Border Patrol Agent Rogilio [sic] Martinez appears to have been ambushed by a group of illegal aliens whom he was tracking,” said Judd, the Border Patrol union official, in a second Breitbart story titled “Illegal Aliens Killed Border Agent by Crushing in His Skull with Rocks, Says NBPC.” Judd continued: “Our agents’ reports from the ground say that he was struck in the head multiple times with a rock or rocks.” That story immediately took off as virtual fact in the right-wing media sphere.
But that tale hasn’t been backed by federal or county officials, and full autopsy results are still pending. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Border Patrol’s parent agency, said in a November 19 statement that the agents were “responding to activity” and were “injured.” The FBI, which heads the investigation, has only said it’s investigating a “potential assault.”
Moreover, Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo, who was on the scene that night and is working with the FBI task force, told the Dallas Morning News on November 20 that the evidence he saw was “very consistent with a fall.” He later added it was “very premature” to call the incident an attack or ambush. An anonymous federal official also told the Associated Press that Martinez may have fallen.
Top Texas Republicans, however, weren’t going to let ambiguity get in the way of a good story. The state’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, was marginally more measured than Cruz, telling a radio interviewer that “at least preliminarily” the incident was an “ambush by drug traffickers,” though he added that the details were unconfirmed. Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, went even further, introducing the idea that “murder” had occurred. In a press release, he announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of those responsible for Martinez’s “murder,” which Breitbart quickly turned into a story: “Texas Governor Offers $20,000 for Info on ‘Murder’ of Border Patrol Agent.”
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton joined in as well, both sharing inflammatory articles published shortly after the incident. Patrick selected a Fox News article headlined: “Border agent killed, partner injured by illegal immigrants using rocks, report says.” The supposed “report,” the reader finds, is just a quote from a Border Patrol union official given to another media outlet. Paxton chose Breitbart as his own source.
It’s entirely possible that the Breitbart version of events will turn out to be true, but more than a week after the incident became public, the FBI has yet to release any additional information. Jeanette Harper, a spokesperson for the agency’s El Paso field office, told the Observer on Tuesday that the agency is currently looking into tips. She said it would likely be a while before they could say anything further.
The post How Breitbart, Trump and Texas Politicians Spun a Tale out of a Border Patrol Agent’s Death appeared first on The Texas Observer.
Everyone thinks there’s something amiss in the American political system falls into one of two camps — they either have a stylistic critique or a substantive one. Stylists think the way we do politics is corrupting things from the top down, while the Substantivists believe structural problems are rotting politics from the bottom up. It’s a cross-ideological divide. Many conservative Never Trumpers agree with the president on most issues, but think he’s a pig. They share a stylistic critique with many liberals who seek communion with moderate Republicans. The problem, the Stylists believe, has to do with individual responsibility; particular political actors are gross and venal.
Those who hold substantive critiques think the problem is collective, that it’s about institutions, trends and incentives — gerrymandering, political polarization, the breakdown of procedural consensus, court packing, permanent war, campaign finance, the nationalization of local politics, Breitbart, etc.
The stylistic critique is especially prevalent among centrists because it’s simple and easy. Stylists of late include George W. Bush, who recently lamented that “We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization.”
Jeff Flake, in his lauded Senate speech, focused almost entirely on style, decrying the “indecency of our discourse” and the “coarseness of our leadership.” The 51 percent of Democrats who now hold a positive opinion of W. are Stylists too, because they remember his personal decency but not his actions. Stylists, in short, would be more than happy to return to our previous mode of doing politics, with its familiar refrains and patterns, before the great orange Hindenburg crashed into the White House. But what led us to this moment if not the previous mode of doing politics?
To paraphrase Anton Chigurh, if the norms you followed brought you to this, of what use were the norms? Bush revisionism is particularly telling — historians will remember his failed presidency as key to the development of Trumpism. The Republican Party’s ideological collapse, xenophobia, authoritarian fervor and love of conspiracy theories all have roots in the Bush years.
But Bush was civil, it is said. The key word in the stylistic critique is civility, of which it is imagined we once had but no longer have. But political incivility rises in America when something important is at stake. The republic’s early years, Reconstruction, the 1960s: These were rough times to do politics. Assassinations, terror attacks, congressmen beating each other nearly to death on the floor of the Senate. It was that way because the country stood on a precipice. It is not unreasonable to think that we do so again.
It is good to be nice, and civility in a vacuum is a fine attribute. But it’s also worth noting who subscribes to the stylistic critique most strongly — people with relatively less at stake. Many political consultants adopt this framework. The grand game’s not fun anymore, and they wish it were. The media adopts it too, because stylistic critiques are “safe,” according to the unwritten rules of objectivity.
Other civility fetishists include those who feel touched by a kind of political insanity they had previously been insulated from, especially people who live in blue states. “Before Trump was elected, the United States was a deeply imperfect democracy. Afterward, it became a shitty kleptocracy,” Slate’s Michelle Goldberg wrote. “Overnight, the very texture of reality changed, becoming surreal and dystopian.”
But of course, a great many people have been living in this America all along. If you’re a kid in Dan Patrick’s Texas terrified every day that your father is going to be deported, or you’re a sick mother in the Medicaid gap, you’ve lived in a surreal and dystopian place for many years. Your problem isn’t that Trump ignores norms.
But the most dangerous thing about stylism is that the superficial critique of political dysfunction allows us to ignore its causes. When Flake, after his speech, told the press that he believes the “fever will break,” that voters will eventually return to being rational, it invalidated everything he said on the floor because it made clear that he doesn’t understand the political moment at all. He, like us, is stuck in a do-loop, in which our politics is systematically worsening and we seek only to change its appearance.
The post Civil Offenses: Those Calling for Political Civility Often Have the Least to Lose appeared first on The Texas Observer.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday panned the White House’s latest disaster aid request, calling it “completely inadequate” for Texas’ needs in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Unveiled earlier Friday, the request seeks $44 billion from Congress to assist with the Harvey aftermath, as well as the recoveries from other recent hurricanes in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. While not final, the number is far less than the $61 billion proposal that Abbott had submitted for Texas alone to Congress last month.
“What was offered up by Mick Mulvaney and [his Office of Management and Budget] is completely inadequate for the needs of the state of Texas and I believe does not live up to what the president wants to achieve,” Abbott said at a Capitol news conference called to unveil a $5 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The president has told me privately what he’s said publicly, and that is that he wants to be the builder president,” Abbott added. “The president has said that he wants this to be the best recovery from a disaster ever.”
Abbott said the $44 billion request is less than what was offered in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy — which hit the East Coast in 2012 and was “half the storm of what Hurricane Harvey was.” If Trump wants to see through the “biggest and best recovery ever,” Abbott added, the effort is “going to necessitate both more funding but also better strategies.”
Abbott was joined at the news conference by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who also made clear he was less than pleased with the White House’s latest disaster aid request. Asked whether he was ready to free up a top OMB nominee whose confirmation he has been blocking as leverage to secure more Harvey aid, he replied: “I’m not satisfied. We have to have further conversation.”
At the press conference, Pam Patenaude, Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced that the department will award Texas $5 billion for Harvey recovery. The money will be used to rebuild hard-hit areas throughout the state and be overseen by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Apart from the new grant, Bush’s General Land Office is currently managing six other community development block grants that total about $4 billion.
Bush said the preliminary plan of action for the $5 billion HUD grant is complete. As of now, the money is planned to go toward temporary housing and fixing damaged homes.
“We are now tasked with the largest housing recovery in American history,” Bush said.
An error on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn‘s website last night required constituents to submit their Social Security number when filling out the comments box on the website.
Normally, Cornyn’s website only requires people to submit their Social Security numbers when they are requesting help with a federal agency. The error last night required it, along with their name, address and contact information, even when leaving the Texas Republican a comment.
A spokesperson for Cornyn said the required field was a “glitch.”
“It was an inadvertent glitch and our website vendor has fixed it,” Drew Brandewie wrote in an email.
As of Tuesday morning, the field has been removed from Cornyn’s website on the “Discuss an issue” page but remains if constituents are seeking help with an agency.
Most other members of the Texas delegation in Congress have similar forms to submit comments on their webpages but do not require a Social Security number for those solely trying to contact the member’s office. However, many use a specialized privacy form that requires a Social Security number for those requesting help with a federal agency.
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.
Supporters of conservative host Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel show are responding to a decision by Keurig to stop advertising on the show by smashing Keurig coffee makers.
The company announced Saturday it had pulled advertising from “Hannity” after several Twitter users questioned the company’s support for the host, citing Hannity’s coverage of sexual misconduct allegations against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. Moore is accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl four decades ago when he was in his 30s.
It’s unclear when Keurig stopped advertising on “Hannity.” The Waterbury, Vermont, company didn’t respond to a request for further comment Monday.
The move prompted several people to destroy Keurig products in protest and post videos to social media. Blogger Angelo John Gage promoted what he called the “Keurig Smash Challenge” while posting a video of himself taking a hammer to his brewer.
Another user posted a video of a Keurig brewer being tossed to the ground from the second story of a building. Hannity commented “love it” while retweeting one video of a man teeing off on a coffee maker with a golf club.
Liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America has been putting public pressure on Hannity’s advertisers for months. The group’s president, Angelo Carusone, told The Associated Press it again called for companies to stop supporting Hannity’s program after the Moore allegations came to light Thursday in a Washington Post story.
Carusone said that while he feels bad for Keurig, Hannity’s encouragement of the protest against the company “demonstrates to other advertisers to run for the hills.”
Several other brands, including DNA testing company 23 and Me , women’s clothing label ELOQUII , food delivery service Hello Fresh and natural supplement maker Nature’s Bounty also said they don’t advertise on “Hannity.”
Nature’s Bounty said it hasn’t advertised on the show since the summer but declined to give a reason. Hello Fresh said it last advertised on “Hannity” in August and added that it doesn’t advertise on certain shows “for a variety of reasons.” It’s unclear if 23 and Me and ELOQUII previously advertised on “Hannity,” and the companies didn’t immediately return requests for comment.
Realtor.com posted on Twitter on Saturday that it doesn’t run ads on “Hannity” and wouldn’t do so in the future. That tweet was later deleted, and the company posted a statement on its website Sunday stating it would “continue to place ads across a broad range of networks, including Fox News and its top shows.”
Realtor.com declined comment on the reason for the change.
Realtor.com and Fox News are both owned by News Corp.
Fox News didn’t immediately return a request for comment Monday.
Another woman has stepped forward to accuse former President George H.W. Bush of inappropriately touching her.
Roslyn Corrigan told Time magazine that she was 16 when Bush grabbed her buttocks as she posed for a photo with him in 2003 at a gathering of CIA officers north of Houston. She attended the event with her mother and father, who was an intelligence analyst.
“My initial action was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” she told the magazine. “The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t have touched me like that?'”
A spokesman for the 41st president, Jim McGrath, said in a statement Monday that Bush regrets any offensive actions.
“George Bush simply does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone distress, and he again apologizes to anyone he offended during a photo op,” he said.
Time spoke with seven people who said they had been told by Corrigan about the encounter in the years afterward.
Corrigan is at least the fifth woman to claim Bush groped her. Time reports that a sixth woman, a retired journalist in Pennsylvania, posted to Facebook last month that Bush touched her from behind during a 2004 photo opportunity.
The stories came to light after television actress Heather Lind said last month that Bush, now 93, touched her from behind and told a dirty joke while they were posing for a 2014 photo. McGrath at the time explained that Bush has been in a wheelchair for about five years “so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures.” Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, has vascular parkinsonism, a rare syndrome that mimics Parkinson’s disease, and he uses a wheelchair for mobility.
“To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke – and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner,” McGrath said.
Bush was standing alongside Corrigan for the photo taken in 2003. McGrath’s statement Monday did not elaborate.
Editor’s note: If you’d like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey’s column, click here.
Today’s column is brought to you by the Bureau of First Impressions. That agency, like the “Bruce Jacobson Jr. for United States Senate from Texas” campaign, is an imaginary entity that may or may not really exist.
Candidates started officially filing for the 2018 election cycle in Texas over the weekend. Some were doing their prep last week — and one of them forgot to hang an “under construction” sign on his website and his campaign.
Jacobson, an executive in Christian TV in Tarrant County, told reporters earlier this year that he was “prayerfully considering” a primary challenge against Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
He’s still thinking, apparently, but someone in his camp is working on his website.
It’s like turning on a microphone with nothing to say, or a camera with nothing to see.
Here’s what it said on his brucefortexas.com website on Friday afternoon.
“This test website is merely a temporary platform for a federal candidacy that may or may not be announced shortly. This beta website does not constitute an announcement of a candidacy and does not indicate support or opposition for any announced candidate.”
That tells us that there’s a lawyer hiding in there somewhere. Here’s a translation: “We haven’t filed our paperwork, campaign finance information, etc. Please don’t spank us.”
The earlier version, snagged by the Texas Tribune’s alert political editor, Aman Batheja, was much less lawyerly, and much, much more entertaining:
“This Website is Under Construction.
“This is highly likely going to be the website for Bruce Jacobson, Jr. for his possible upcoming campaign for the United States Senate. This website is currently going undergoing testing.
“Had this website been live, you would have seen information about Bruce Jacobson, Jr., about his positions on the issues for the 2018 United States Senate campaign that impact the great State of Texas.
“Had this website been live, you would be given area to donate to this possibly upcoming almost official campaign for the State of Texas representative who could be serving Texas in the United States Senate.
“Had this website been live, you would most likely be viewing the Bruce Jacobson, Jr. For United States Senate announcement video which is of course, currently being edited for a highly possible announcement and press release about Bruce Jacobson, Jr. most likely to be announcing next week and then serving as the Senator from the great State of Texas after a peaceful non-combative primary with the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz will be defeated and we would really, really love your support in the primary and the general election, provided we announce sometime next week.”
It’s a small mistake — the sort of thing that happens when the effervescent marketing arm of a campaign gets ahead of things. Some of the website looked last week like it will probably look if and when the Jacobson juggernaut leaves the runway. His biography is up. There’s a page where supporters and curious political reporters can throw their names onto the campaign’s email list.
The place to take donations isn’t live yet — this isn’t a campaign yet, right? But the “Nationbuilder” template for the site is there, along with setup instructions for larval campaigns like this one: “Accepting donations requires a couple of steps… Be sure to delete this information or replace it with a short reason to provide financial support for your efforts.”
Why would he run? What would his positions be? That’s unknown for this maybe-maybe not effort. One page is set up for “United State Senate Issues for Texas in 2018,” but all it says, after the typos, is “Stay Tuned.”
Okay. There’s time. We can wait.
Police dogs in Rifle, Colorado, are being trained to ignore marijuana in order to sniff out other drugs.
Departments all over the state will soon be taking part in this program, and the older dogs, trained to track pot, will soon be phased out.
Rifle police officer Garrett Duncan spent the last 10 years working alongside their top drug-sniffing dog, Tulo. Duncan said Tulo is so good he even has his own publicity pictures.
Of course, as they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and it seems Tulo cannot be retrained to ignore marijuana.
Now Jax and Makai will have their moment. These young and very cute puppies can sniff out drugs without getting excited over the smell of pot.
“We’re just not going to train them with marijuana so they won’t know the odor. They won’t have any reason to indicate or tell us there is marijuana around cause they won’t know,” Duncan said.
Read more: http://on9news.tv/2m7yXHz
A U.S. government consumer watchdog agency is investigating the $8 billion rent-to-own industry and related companies over questions about unfair, deceptive and abusive practices, NerdWallet has learned.
Investigators for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are asking specifically about Rent-A-Center, the nation’s largest rent-to-own enterprise with more than 2,400 stores selling furniture and appliances mostly to low-income Americans.
A months-long investigation by The Texas Tribune and NerdWallet last month found that rent-to-own companies have used a little-known Texas law to press criminal charges against thousands of customers who fell behind in their payments in Texas and other states.
NerdWallet also reported in a joint investigation with Raycom Media that Rent-A-Center customers nationwide have complained their credit had been harmed and they were badgered by bill collectors over accounts they had paid off.
Five days after the stories appeared, Rent-A-Center’s top executive, Steven L. Pepper, resigned amid a continuing power struggle on the board of directors. Shares of the publicly traded company, headquartered in Plano, Texas, have declined nearly 75 percent in the last four years as it has struggled to increase revenue.
The CFPB sent Rent-A-Center a civil investigative demand in late July, requesting details about customer accounts it had sold to a debt buyer and other information about its business practices.
Investigators have interviewed people familiar with Rent-A-Center’s record-keeping. They asked about the company’s ability to credit customer payments properly and to report accurate information about consumers to credit reporting agencies, say people the CFPB interviewed.
Bureau staff members have also inquired about complaints that Rent-A-Center store managers pocketed consumers’ money instead of applying it to their accounts, one person interviewed by the agency told NerdWallet. He asked not to be identified because of a nondisclosure agreement he signed with the CFPB.
The CFPB declined to comment on its investigation.
Errors in customer accounts
The NerdWallet-Raycom investigation detailed the account errors and mistreatment of customers, including people who say they were threatened with criminal prosecution and had their doors kicked in. NerdWallet provided guidance to consumers harmed by the company.
Shareholders filed a federal lawsuit against the company in December 2016 over problems with its system for tracking customer payments. The complaint said Rent-A-Center had difficulty starting a new point-of-sale system in 2015, causing “severe harm” to company operations.
The company introduced the system despite repeated internal warnings about its flaws, leading to outages that caused customers to fall behind on their rental agreements, the shareholders allege in court filings. Rent-A-Center conceded its system had flaws. The company failed in an attempt to get the lawsuit dismissed.
A former senior information technology employee who helped with the rollout told NerdWallet that Rent-A-Center’s system had glitches that could show up in any account.
“There was no way to assure the veracity of any specific transaction,” said the former employee, who asked not to be named because of a nondisclosure agreement he signed with the company.
Gina Hethcock, a Rent-A-Center spokeswoman, said in an email this week that the company had received an inquiry from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding a prior debt sale. She said the accounts involved in the debt sale, and the CFPB’s inquiry, are unrelated to the rollout of the point-of-sale system the company uses in its 2,400 stores.
Rent-A-Center has long pushed to keep federal regulations at bay, spending more than $7.2 million lobbying Congress in the past decade, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Rent-A-Center petitioned the CFPB in August to modify or set aside its investigative demand. The company argued in a 30-page letter that the purpose of the investigation, and the broad nature of the bureau’s questions, exceeded the agency’s jurisdiction. The CFPB responded by agreeing to modify certain questions and document requests but said it has the authority to investigate the company.
Many of the complaints against Rent-A-Center detailed in the NerdWallet-Raycom report came from customers who signed lease agreements with the company for furniture sold at independently owned furniture stores.
Those transactions occurred through a Rent-A-Center subsidiary known as Acceptance Now, which operates inside nearly 1,300 furniture showrooms, including Ashley Furniture and Rooms to Go. In those showrooms, customers pick out furniture they want, but instead of buying it from the store, Acceptance Now buys it for them and leases it back to them. This process removes the store from any responsibility in disputes.
The Federal Trade Commission received 2,779 complaints about Rent-A-Center and Acceptance Now between January 2016 and June 2017.
Customers say credit reports were affected
Nearly one-third of the 674 consumers who filed complaints against Acceptance Now said they had asked the company for a record of their payment history or verification they owed money.
The company’s representatives failed to provide it, often saying they had no way of doing so, former customers said.
Ten percent of those 674 customers said errors ended up on their credit reports.
In late 2014, as Rent-A-Center was expanding its Acceptance Now program, it deemed more than 18,000 accounts seriously in arrears and sold them to a debt buyer.
At least 20 percent of the debts were invalid, says Branden Vigliotti, president of Lismore Holdings, who purchased the accounts. Customer after customer told collection agents he worked with that they had paid off their debt, sometimes voluntarily, sometimes under duress, sometimes as the result of a civil court action, Vigliotti said.
Vigliotti is in mediation with the company, which has disputed his claims.
Companies that mishandle customer records can be subject to penalties by state or federal regulators, says Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Companies have also been fined or forced to offer restitution to consumers for violating the law. The investigative demand Rent-A-Center received says the purpose of the CFPB’s investigation is to determine if rent-to-own and related companies have violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
DeWine led a 2015 push by state attorneys general to force credit reporting agencies to fix inaccuracies on consumers’ credit reports.
He urged consumers who have been harmed by Rent-A-Center to contact their state attorney general.
“This is an industry that needs regulation,” he said in an interview. “This is an industry that is really hurting poor people.”
Jill Riepenhoff, an investigative producer at Raycom Media, contributed to this report.
A Joel Osteen impersonator is making waves after a video he posted went viral.
The impersonator is a comedian — pretending to be Osteen at an Osteen event in Los Angeles last month — but no one is laughing after an apparent security breach at the LA Forum.
In the video, you witness comedian and Osteen-lookalike Michael Klimkowski getting free parking and breaching security measures by entering the event without getting checked.
Along the way, he poses for pictures with fans.
The incident happened in October.
We have reached out to the Forum, but so far, haven’t gotten any comment.
The real Houston pastor, and his wife, Victoria, were in California for a night of worship open to the public.
A spokesman with Lakewood Church says Osteen never met the imposter.
The spokesperson also says Osteen’s security never confronted Klimkowski — it was Forum security and the Los Angeles Police Department that handled Klimkowski.
The Lakewood spokesman also adds that they are unsure if Osteen has ever met Klimkowski — but they have seen him in at least one book signing in Los Angeles.
WASHINGTON — Texas’ two U.S. senators found themselves under intense pressure Thursday after explosive allegations surfaced that a candidate both men have endorsed pursued underage teenage girls decades ago.
The Washington Post is reporting that Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee in an upcoming Senate special election to succeed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, tried to become romantically involved with four girls between the ages of 14 and 18 while he was in his 30s.
Less than an hour after the story broke, senators were called to their chamber for a routine vote and were met with a crush of reporters.
Cornyn, the second-ranking GOP senator, called the allegations “deeply disturbing and troubling.”
“I think it’s up to the governor and the folks in Alabama to make that decision as far as what the next step is,” he said.
Cruz declined to answer questions as he passed reporters.
A cascade of other GOP senators — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — told reporters that if the allegations are true, Moore must drop out of the race.
Cornyn then returned to reporters.
“Obviously, it’s very troubling, but I think people are trying to sort it out and figure out what the appropriate response is, including Sen. [Luther] Strange,” he said, referring to the temporarily-appointed senator whom Moore defeated in the GOP primary.
“If it is true… I don’t think this candidacy is sustainable, but we believe in a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and so I think it’s important for the facts to come out.”
Cruz is in a particularly complicated political position. Prior to the Washington Post report, Brietbart News had its own pre-emptive story that was highly defensive of Moore. Former White House adviser Steve Bannon runs the website. He recently threatened to challenge every GOP senator in their primaries with the exception of Cruz.
So, Donald went to Japan, where he made a speech in which he said:
“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over.”
“Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so.”
Attorneys for the state of Texas are set to head back before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Tuesday to defend the state’s new immigration enforcement law, Senate Bill 4, against charges that the measure is discriminatory and violates the U.S. Constitution.
But the Texas attorney general’s office enters the courtroom with some wind at its back after a three-judge panel of the court allowed parts of the controversial law to go into effect in late September.
Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law in May, but several local governments, including the cities of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and El Cenizo, as well as Maverick and El Paso counties, filed suit to block the measure from going into effect.
As passed, SB 4 allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and punishes local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers” — requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation — in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in late August halted several parts of the bill, including the provision that requires jail officials to honor all detainers. He also blocked other sections that prohibit local entities from pursuing “a pattern or practice that ‘materially limits’ the enforcement of immigration laws” and another that prohibits “assisting or cooperating” with federal immigration officers as reasonable or necessary. He did not block the part of the bill that says police chiefs, sheriffs and other department heads cannot forbid officers from questioning a person’s immigration status.
The state of Texas countered after Garcia’s ruling and asked a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit to lift Garcia’s ruling while the case played out. The panel ruled the detainer provision could stand but the part that requires local jails to “comply with, honor and fulfill” detainers does not require detention based on every detainer issued. The panel also determined that law enforcement officers, including campus police, with “authority that may impact immigration” cannot be prevented from assisting federal immigration officers.
Attorneys will argue on Tuesday on whether Garcia’s initial injunction should be in effect until he rules on the substance of SB 4 in its entirety.
Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which is representing several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said among the issues is whether SB 4 violates the First Amendment.
Opponents say the law’s language prohibits law enforcement officers from speaking out against SB 4 or crafting policies that don’t focus on immigration enforcement. They also claim the law violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which states that immigration laws are a federal — not a state — responsibility.
Perales said issues related to the Fourth Amendment — prohibiting illegal search and seizure — could also arise because the previous panel allowed the bulk of the detainer provision to stand. At issue, she said, is “whether SB 4’s mandatory detainer provision could force counties — primarily [the government entities] with jails — to violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights.”
During a conference call with reporters last week, MALDEF president and general counsel Thomas Saenz said there’s no way to predict when a ruling will be made after Tuesday’s arguments.
“They can take as long as they would like. In the meantime, Judge Garcia’s injunction, as modified by the [three-judge panel’s ruling], will remain the law until this panel makes its decision,” he said.
But the 5th Circuit’s eventual ruling might not be the last word, Saenz added, because either side could petition the U.S. Supreme Court to make the final determination on whether Texas can craft its own immigration-enforcement provisions and how far-reaching they can be.
A spokesperson in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment about Tuesday’s proceedings.
Tuesday’s debate will be the latest in what’s been a year-long battle over the legislation. Filed in November 2016 and deemed an “emergency item” by Abbott, the legislation was the subject of marathon public testimony in Senate and House committee hearings, where witnesses were overwhelmingly against the measure.
After the bill was signed, protesters took to the State Capitol on the last day of the regular legislative session and disrupted proceedings in the House to the extent that the lower chamber was forced to recess until the Department of Public Safety cleared the gallery.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said Thursday fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault because the “lights are on.”
His comments came during an event hosted by NBC News and Axios in Washington, D.C., where Perry was to lay out the administration’s upcoming energy policy priorities.
The former Texas governor brought up sexual assault while describing a recent trip to Africa, where he was told “people are dying” because they lack access to energy, according to a transcription by The Hill newspaper.
“It’s going to take fossil fuels to push power out into those villages in Africa, where a young girl told me to my face, ‘one of the reasons that electricity is so important to me is not only because I’m not going to have to try to read by the light of a fire and have those fumes literally killing people.’”
“But also from the standpoint of sexual assault, when the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts,” Perry continued.
Perry has been pushing the expansion of fossil fuels since he assumed the position as energy secretary.
The Sierra Club, an environmental group that generally supports Democratic candidates, called for Perry’s resignation following the interview.
“It was already clear that Rick Perry is unfit to lead the Department of Energy, but to suggest that fossil fuel development will decrease sexual assault is not only blatantly untrue, it is an inexcusable attempt to minimize a serious and pervasive issue,” the Sierra Club said in a statement.
A Russian Facebook page organized a protest in Texas. A different Russian page launched the counter-protest.
Federal lawmakers on Wednesday released samples of 3,000 Facebook ads purchased by Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential campaign. The ads conveyed the wide range of influence Russian-linked groups tried to enact on Americans – but one set of ads in particular hit close to home.
Last year, two Russian Facebook pages organized dueling rallies in front of the Islamic Da’wah Center of Houston, according to information released by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican.
Heart of Texas, a Russian-controlled Facebook group that promoted Texas secession, leaned into an image of the state as a land of guns and barbecue and amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. One of their ads on Facebook announced a noon rally on May 21, 2016 to “Stop Islamification of Texas.”
A separate Russian-sponsored group, United Muslims of America, advertised a “Save Islamic Knowledge” rally for the same place and time.
On that day, protesters organized by the two groups showed up on Travis Street in downtown Houston, a scene that appeared on its face to be a protest and a counterprotest. Interactions between the two groups eventually escalated into confrontation and verbal attacks.
Burr, the committee’s chairman, unveiled the ads at a hearing Wednesday morning and said Russians managed to pit Texans against each other for the bargain price of $200.
“You commented yesterday that your company’s goal is bringing people together. In this case, people were brought together to foment conflict, and Facebook enabled that event to happen,” Burr said to Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch.
“I would say that Facebook has failed their goal,” Burr added. “From a computer in St. Petersburg, Russia, these operators can create and promote events anywhere in the United States in attempt to tear apart our society.”
Stretch told the Senate Intelligence Committee that ads such as these were most likely directed at different audiences.
Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Intelligence committees met with representatives from Google, Facebook and Twitter at the Capitol Wednesday.
In a press conference following the House hearing, the top Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff of California, said lawmakers hope to make all of the Russian-bought Facebook ads available to the public in the next few weeks.
“People really need to see just how cynical this campaign really was and how this operation directed by a former KGB operative who is now the president of Russia was designed to tap into these really provocative and divisive issues here in the United States,” Schiff said.
Going forward, Schiff said Congress will consider new regulations of political advertisements. He said the question is how they will adapt these oversight measures to social media platforms.
U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Midland, is currently leading the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into election meddling by Russia.
A Dairy Queen franchise company with 70 locations across Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma has filed for bankruptcy.
The company, Vasari LLC, has about 900 employees, according to the court filing.
So far, 29 Dairy Queen locations have closed, including 24 in Texas, three in Oklahoma and two in New Mexico.
The closest Texas location run by the company is in Conroe on 1612 North Frazier Street.
They get lured in by the promise of an easy, steady paycheck. Just raise some chickens, keep them healthy, and the company — Tyson, Sanderson Farms or some other industrial poultry processor — will take care of the rest, farmers are told.
They sign an exclusive contract and take out a loan to build several 24,000-square-foot chicken houses on their land. At first, everything’s fine. But eventually the growers, as they’re known in the industry, run into trouble, said Mike Weaver, a Pilgrim’s Pride contract farmer in West Virginia.
Weaver, who is also the president of the Organization for Competitive Markets, an antitrust think tank in Nebraska, told the Observer that sometimes the companies demand expensive improvements be made to the chicken houses, such as new heating or feeding systems that growers can’t afford. Sometimes entire flocks of up to 100,000 birds inexplicably die, he said. Many growers see their pay slashed and their expenses skyrocket. It gets so bad that some contractors have to take a second or third job just to make loan payments on the chicken houses. Some declare bankruptcy; at least one committed suicide.
A rare federal lawsuit allowed to go forward in Oklahoma this year bears out allegations made by Weaver and other farmers.
“Your choices are to lose your farm or raise their chickens,” Weaver said. “The bank’s beating door your door and you’re gonna have to declare bankruptcy or something else drastic. Sometimes [farmers] think it’s hopeless.” He said farmers are frequently taken advantage of, but due to nondisclosure agreements in the contracts signed by growers, many outside of the industry are unaware of the abusive practices.
About 800 of these contract farmers work in Texas, the nation’s sixth largest poultry producer. The three major players in the industrial chicken game — Tyson, Sanderson Farms and Pilgrim’s Pride — all have operations in Texas, mostly in the eastern part of the state. All three companies have been accused of mistreating farmers by employing tactics that push contractors into a cycle of crippling debt and bankruptcy. Now, due to last month’s rollback of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed rule meant to protect farmers, they’ve lost what little hope they had to sue companies who take advantage of them.
Experts say the USDA’s decision to kill the Farmer Fair Practice rule, an Obama-era protection for contract growers that was slated to take effect this month, could indicate that the president won’t stand up for the farmers who overwhelmingly voted him into office.
Wes Sims, president of the Texas Farmers Union, a century-old rural advocacy group based in Sweetwater, told the Observer that he’s disappointed but not surprised by the rule’s withdrawal. And with Trump’s administration siding with agribusiness interests instead of farmers, “How do you stop them?” he said.
While the Texas Farm Bureau supported added protections for contract growers, the National Chicken Council and other meat processing industry groups have hailed the rule’s withdrawal.
Representatives for Tyson, Sanderson Farms and Pilgrim’s Pride did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Farmers previously have said that meat processors pit them against one another in what’s called a “tournament system.” Those who raise the fattest chickens with the least feed are paid the most, while their competitors split the money that’s left. Farmers can do little to improve their position, since companies control which chicks and feed are sent to them. Enough poor showings in the “tournament” can put a grower out of business for good.
Contracts between farmers and meat processors usually stipulate that farmers must settle disputes through arbitration instead of in court. Theoretically, farmers can still file a lawsuit against the companies, but court rulings have held that for a suit to even go forward, plaintiffs must prove that unfair practices are occurring industry-wide. The Farmer Fair Practice rule, which was initially proposed in 2010 and delayed several times before being nixed on October 18, would have eased that requirement.
“There’s no other industry that has to meet that standard,” said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. “If you’ve been harmed, you should have the right to redress.”
In withdrawing the protection, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said the rule would have caused “unnecessary and unproductive litigation.” U.S. Representative Mike Conaway, a Midland Republican who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, echoed the sentiment. “I appreciate the Trump administration’s dedication to regulatory reform through the rollback of unnecessary and burdensome regulations like these,” Conaway said.
Though some farmers who have quit the industrial chicken raising business have raised the alarm about industry abuses, many active growers are loathe to speak with the press. If they do, they face retribution from processors, including being provided with sickly chicks and bad feed, or having their contract canceled, Sims said.
“The company controls all the inputs. They control everything,” he said. “If they speak up, stand up for themselves, they’re done.”
With the proposed rule withdrawn, a lawsuit being heard in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Oklahoma may be contract farmers’ last hope. In Haff Poultry Inc. v. Tyson Foods Inc., farmers have accused processors of colluding to trade information in an attempt to limit farmers’ compensation. The lawsuit claims companies keep farmers “in a state of indebted servitude, living like modern-day sharecroppers on the ragged edge of bankruptcy.”
The post USDA Rolls Back ‘Fair Practice’ Rule That Would’ve Protected Texas Chicken Farmers appeared first on The Texas Observer.
President Donald Trump is nominating former state District Judge Ryan Patrick, son of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to be the next U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, the White House announced Wednesday.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Patrick will become the top federal prosecutor in one of the busiest districts in the country. The Southern District, which includes Houston, Galveston and Corpus Christi, represents 43 counties, 8.3 million people and 44,000 square miles of the Lone Star State.
Patrick graduated from Baylor University and South Texas College of Law in Houston before working for six years as an assistant district attorney in Harris County. In 2012, Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed Patrick to the 177th state district court in Harris County. But Patrick returned to private practice after losing that seat in November to Democrat Robert Johnson.
Patrick would replace Abe Martinez, a career civil servant who has served as acting U.S. attorney since March, when President Donald Trump asked for the resignation of dozens of U.S. attorneys across the country, including Kenneth Magidson, an Obama appointee who had filled the role since 2011.
Washington State University football coach Mike Leach was preparing for a game against the University of Colorado two weeks ago when another foe leapt into his mind.
“They are outright crooks at Texas Tech,” the coach declared about 15 minutes into his weekly press conference, referencing the school where he worked before going to Washington State. “Are there crooks there? Yeah. I mean, like, felons. They ought to put them in jail.”
Leach was fired by Texas Tech University nearly eight years ago. But his outburst against his former employer surprised no one. Ever since he left, he has been waging a fight to get more than $2 million he believes Tech owes him from his coaching tenure. He has taken that fight to court, the Texas Capitol and to social media. But so far, state law has left him helpless in the quest to get the money he thinks he’s owed.
He has been stymied by Texas law, which protects the state and its entities from lawsuits — even if the entity violates a contract. So with the legal route blocked, he has turned his focus in recent months to shifting public opinion against Tech and the law that is protecting it.
About six weeks ago, he hired a former Houston investigative television reporter, Wayne Dolcefino, to try to dig up dirt and increase public pressure on Tech.
“Mike Leach went through the legal system, and he got shafted because there is a law that protects Texas Tech — that allows them to cheat someone out of a contract,” Dolcefino said last week. “The sad thing about that is I am sure it happens throughout the state. We have a law that allows the government to totally screw you around and get away with it.”
Whether Leach actually got screwed is a question that remains hotly debated. Leach was relieved of his duties in the final days of 2009 — right before a longevity clause on his contract kicked in that would have paid him $800,000. He had been arguably the most successful football coach in Tech history and was a hero to many students and alumni because of his eccentricity and innovative play-calling. His postgame press conferences were legendary, as he was known to indulge reporters in chats on his obsessions like pirates and the artist Jackson Pollock.
School officials said at the time that allegations of mistreating players and “insubordination” gave the school little choice but to fire him. His removal had been set in motion a few weeks earlier when the family of wide receiver Adam James complained that James was told to sit in a dark closet while suffering from concussion symptoms.
‘The facts and circumstances that led to his termination for cause are clear,” the school said in a statement. “He admittedly ordered that a student-athlete with a concussion be placed in a darkened area — not an athletic training area — and forced to stand. This occurred on two occasions.”
Leach and his supporters, meanwhile, argue that he was actually fired over personality conflicts with Tech’s leadership at the time, which they say were stoked during a tense contract negotiation from months earlier. Most of those leaders have since departed Tech — the school has had turnover at president and chancellor positions since Leach left.
The distinction mattered. Leach’s new contract had a five-year term, and it promised him $400,000 for each remaining year if he were fired before it ran out. But the buyout only kicked in if he were fired “without cause” — basically if he hadn’t done anything wrong but lose football games. The school fired him “with cause,” however, so it claimed it didn’t have to pay him the $1.6 million it would have otherwise owed him.
Leach was outraged and demanded that buyout money, plus the $800,000 he would have received if he had stayed on as coach for one more day. But he soon found there was little he could do. He tried to take the school to court, but his lawsuit was tossed out due to “sovereign immunity,” the legal concept that protects the state from lawsuits. The concept stems from the idea that the state wouldn’t be able to conduct its necessary business if the threat of lawsuits was constantly hanging over its head. The concept isn’t unusual — the federal government is also protected by sovereign immunity. But Texas’ sovereign immunity provision is particularly strong and applies to lawsuits over government contracts as well.
Leach’s frustration is not unusual, said Michael Shaunessy, an Austin attorney with experience suing and representing government entities and who trains lawyers across the state on sovereign immunity. The immunity does serve an important purpose, Shaunessy said, but also leaves contractors vulnerable if their interpretation of the contract differs from that of the state.
“It adversely affects people’s willingness to do business with the state of Texas,” he said. “I have clients who charge more when they are doing work for a government entity in Texas.”
Still, he said, he doesn’t have that much sympathy for Leach, who makes about $3 million per year as Washington State’s coach. (Washington State has traditionally been a bottom-dweller in the Pac 12 Conference, but has a strong 7-2 record under Leach this year.)
“If we are going to make a change about sovereign immunity on the contract side, we need to do that because it has a greater impact on businesses that do business with the state — and the impact it has on the state,” Shaunessy said. “To get into it over Mike Leach just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Leach has shown no sign of giving up. In 2011, with the pro bono help of a leading Austin lobbyist, he urged lawmakers to pass a bill that would have allowed him to sue Tech. A sympathetic House member, Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, filed a bill on his behalf, but it never made it out of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee.
Eiland and Leach then enlisted two other House members to ask for then-Attorney General Greg Abbott’s opinion about whether Leach should be allowed to sue, but they didn’t make any progress on that front.
Now, Leach is making a public relations push. Dolcefino recently launched a website, paycoachleach.com, that features a petition signed by about 1,800 people and background information on sovereign immunity. The site compares Texas’ sovereign immunity to laws in oppressive regimes like North Korea, Iran and Syria.
Dolcefino also hosted a rally outside a recent Tech home football game, giving out balloons and urging people to visit the website. And he has submitted multiple open records requests to the university in search of evidence of waste, abuse or fraud at the school. The goal, Dolcefino said, is to put so much pressure on Tech that it simply decides to pay Leach the money he believes he is owed.
Tech has expressed no interest in reopening the discussion, saying in its statement that “the courts decided this case years ago, and there is nothing more to add.” But Dolcefino said he is just getting started.
“Mike Leach is not the kind of guy who surrenders,” Dolcefino said.
Disclosure: Texas Tech University has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.