Monday, February 19th, 2024

The Roundup

Article Icon 1 Texas Builds a Military Base on the Border

Governor Abbott announced the construction of an 80-acre military base in Eagle Pass that will provide improved living conditions for up to 1,800 Texas National Guard troops. The forward operating base will have facilities typical for any military post, ranging from living quarters to health centers.

The move is expected to drastically improve deployed conditions for the Texas National Guard and reduce statewide costs in addressing illegal immigration. Major General Thomas Suelzer also confirmed that the state’s military will expand operations beyond Eagle Pass, building more barriers and increasing resources like drone capabilities.

In January, there were 68,260 reported border crossings in Texas, marking a notable decline from the 149,806 migrants who tried to enter the country in December. October and November saw 119,628 and 111,129 encounters, respectively.

Article Icon 1 Judge Moves Forward with Paxton Trial

State AG Ken Paxton’s long-standing fraud trial is set to proceed on April 15 after a judge rejected his request to dismiss the nearly decade-old charges.

State District Judge Andrea Beall denied Paxton’s argument that his right to a speedy trial had been violated. The 2015 trial has been delayed due to prosecutor compensation, judge selection, and trial location disputes. Paxton faces felony charges for securities fraud, which carry potential prison sentences of five to 99 years.

Despite the delays, Paxton has been re-elected twice since the indictments and has amassed over $6 million in properties outside Texas. The case has been a subject of public interest, with both sides accusing each other of contributing to the delays.

Article Icon 1 Steve Sarkisian Gets Massive Pay Raise

The University of Texas Board of Regents is set to approve a contract extension for head football coach Steve Sarkisian—increasing his annual compensation to over $10 million.

The extension will add four years to his initial six-year deal, keeping him with the Longhorns through 2030. Sarkisian’s base salary will rise from $5.8 million to $10.3 million in 2024, with a $100K increase yearly until it reaches $10.9 million in 2030.

The announcement came after the retirement of Alabama’s Nick Saban, adding to speculation that Sarkisian might consider assuming the head coach position there. Sarkisian had previously worked as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

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Around Texas

➤ Falls City: A 4.7 magnitude earthquake occurred two miles southeast of the city around 12:32 am. Although residents felt the shaking, no injuries or damages were reported. The U.S. Geological Survey has tracked 30 localized earthquakes in the past few weeks. (More)

➤ Carrollton: City officials are urging residents to be on the lookout for diseased raccoons carrying Canine Distemper—a virus that impacts dogs’ nervous and respiratory systems. The sickness can’t be cured but can be prevented with the distemper vaccination. (More)

➤ Texarkana: The Red River Credit Union and Texas A&M Texarkana have announced the creation of a new sports complex on campus grounds. The upcoming RRCU Athletics Complex will comprise multiple outdoor sporting venues and will break ground in spring 2024. (Photos)

Rosenberg: County officials received ownership of the 124-year-old Cole Theater in downtown Rosenberg and have set aside $1.02 million for restoration. After 20 years of attempted renovations, the original owner donated the 1919 theater to Fort Bend County. (Photos)

➤ Austin: City Council officials have confirmed that Blues on the Green will return to the local area and receive co-funding from the city and H-E-B. The annual free concert series was previously canceled due to a lack of funding. (Video)

Texas Sports

The Texas Sports Writer’s Association just released high school football’s All-State selections for the 2023 season. At the 6A level, Desoto’s state-championship team won coach of the year, defensive player of the year, and several other selections. (More

Former Alabama football coach Nick Saban sat courtside as Texas A&M took on Alabama in a crucial road game. The Crimson Tide rolled the Aggies 100-75 despite fifty-two combined points from Tyrece Radford and Wade Taylor IV – only one other player on A&M’s team even reached double digits. (More

➤ Texans QB CJ Stroud crushed a few home runs during a charity home run derby in Houston. (Video)

The Business Of Texas

“Y’all Street” is what many are calling Dallas as it ascends to the second biggest finance hub in the country, only behind New York. Since the 2020s have begun, Dallas has added over 59,000 jobs in the finance sector. (More

Insurance giant Texas Mutual is awarding Kilgore College $100K to continue funding their Risk Management Institute. It’s the 17th consecutive year that the company has given the school the very same award. (More

➤ Amazon Air is shutting down its operations in San Antonio. Sixty-five contract workers will lose their jobs, and Amazon has not yet given a reason for the move. (More)

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Et Cetera

➤ San Antonio: Taco Bell has chosen local chef Jennifer Dobbertin to create her own version of the Crunchwrap Supreme. It’s part of Taco Bell’s new TBX initiative, where chefs are selected nationwide to design and improve its menu. (More)

➤ The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History will host events for the upcoming total eclipse on April 8. Special viewing areas will be designated, and glasses will be available for purchase. Before and after the eclipse, the U.S. Navy Band’s Brass Quintet will perform at the museum. (More)

➤ Spring: Authorities have arrested a man for putting antique store items up his kilt and returning them on the shelves afterward. The suspect was charged with criminal mischief and is being held in a Harris County jail. (Video)

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The Polling Station

 Are you working on Presidents Day?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Friday’s Results:

Which icon best represents the Lone Star State?

  1. The Alamo: 40.1%
  2. Longhorn Cattle: 30.2%
  3. Cowboy Hats: 13.5%
  4. Oil Derricks: 9.2%
  5. Other: 6.9%
Texas Trivia

Which ice cream brand is considered a Texas food icon?

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