Monday, February 26, 2024

The Roundup

Article Icon 1 Border Agents Capture 6.5 Tons of Meth

Border agents recently secured $117 million worth of methamphetamine during a routine inspection at Eagle Pass, Texas. The drugs weighed around 6.5 tons, making it the largest bust at any American port of entry.

The event occurred at the Camino Real International Bridge when a tractor-trailer was referred for a secondary inspection. Upon closer look, officers discovered meth. Special agents with Homeland Security began to investigate the individuals involved.

Border Field Operations Director Donald Kusser commended the seizure, marking its importance to the ongoing border crisis:

This gargantuan methamphetamine seizure, the largest ever taken down by CBP officers at a port of entry, uniquely illustrates the serious narcotics threat our officers face on a daily basis.”

Article Icon 1 State of Emergency Issued for Eclipse

Judge David Blackburn issued a state of emergency for Bell County in preparation for the total solar eclipse on April 8. The county’s 400K residents anticipate its population to temporarily double due to an influx of tourists.

Blackburn said the declaration would protect residents and visitors by preparing for potential issues such as traffic congestion, supply shortage, and cell network congestion. Any event hosting 50+ attendees must register with the county beforehand.

The eclipse’s path will stretch from southwestern Texas, past Maine, and into Canada, and it will be the last total solar eclipse in the continental US until 2044. An estimated four million people are expected to travel for the event.

Article Icon 1 Austin Calculates Grades Incorrectly

The Austin Independent School District is recalculating hundreds of students’ GPAs and class rankings after its system failed to account for a pandemic-era “Pass” or “Incomplete” grading policy.

The recalculation has already resulted in changes to some students’ GPAs and rankings. Students who already received college offers will not lose their place due to these recalculations.

The review process is ongoing, with affected students in the top 15% expected to receive results by March 8 and the rest by June 18. Students who weren’t accepted by universities before this miscalculation are encouraged to reach out to their desired universities for reconsideration.

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Around Texas

DFW Airport officials have announced the finalized design and architects for the upcoming Terminal F expansion. Construction on the $1.6 billion project will start in June 2024 and is expected to add 15 new gates to the airport. (See the New Terminal)

➤ Houston: The US Attorney General’s office filed insider trading charges against a Houston man who eavesdropped on his wife’s work calls and used the information to make $1.76M. He pleaded guilty and will face sentencing on May 17. (More)

➤ Kent County: A new $660 million solar energy farm built by the Clearway Energy Group contains 1.1 million panels and is expected to produce $5.4 million in wages and property taxes in its first year. (More)

➤ Livingston: The city’s school district announced a memorial scholarship for 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham. She went missing on February 15 and was later found dead of an apparent murder. (Video)

➤ Texas City: Local first responders partnered with a Coast Guard response team to rescue four people after their boat capsized. All four boaters survived. (See Rescue Photos)

➤ A 6-year-old Texan named Ernst Toepfer V became the state’s youngest ‘elite angler’ after he caught five trophy-class saltwater fish—including a 22.75” Black Drum. Texas officials awarded him the title through the Angler Recognition Program. (Photo)

Texas Sports

The Dallas Stars announced a team partnership with fantasy sports company PrizePicks. Sports gambling remains illegal in Texas, but the company has been known to push the envelope on what’s classified as “gambling” in each state. (More)

➤ The University of Texas softball team lost their first game of the season this weekend in a dramatic extra-innings showdown with the 12th-ranked Stanford Cardinal. The Longhorns, who came into the game as the #2 ranked team in the nation, fall to 11-1 on the season. (More)

➤ Dallas Cowboys legend Nate Newton was elected into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday. The offensive lineman was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and protected Troy Aikman en route to three Super Bowls in the 90s. (More)

The Business Of Texas

➤ Santa Rosa: The last sugar cane growers in the state, Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, Inc., are shutting down after 51 years of operations. The company’s board cited a long-running quarrel with Mexico over water irrigation rights as a critical reason for the shutdown. (More)

➤ Fort Worth: An official from the city’s film commission announced that filmmaking has created 20,000 jobs and brought $655 million in economic impact to Fort Worth since 2015. According to that same official, the state is setting its sights on becoming nationally competitive in the film industry. (More)

➤ Austin: Texas’ Jobs, Energy, Technology, and Innovation program (JETI) opened for applications this week, per Gov. Greg Abbott. The bipartisan initiative will give property tax cuts to businesses who move to Texas from out of state in exchange for bringing jobs. (More)

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Et Cetera

➤ State authorities are offering a $12,500 reward for any information on the most wanted woman in Texas. Margaret Smith, from Brazoria County, is wanted for the murder of her husband and is considered armed and dangerous. (Photos)

➤ Dallas-based Southwest Airlines recently agreed to a new contract with Transport Workers Union Local 555. The Airlines’ ramp workers and freight agents will receive an 18% pay increase, with top-of-scale employees earning $38/hour. (More)

➤ Waco: Entomologists in central Texas have calmed the nerves of residents after swarms of Crane Flies suddenly appeared. While they resemble giant mosquitoes, they are entirely harmless—living only for a few days. (Video)

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The Polling Station

 What’s your favorite Texan wildflower?

  1. Pink Evening Primrose
  2. Indian Paintbrush
  3. Texas Bluebonnet
  4. Blackfoot Daisy
  5. Other

Friday’s Results:

Have you ever visited the Alamo?

  1. Yes: 78.4%
  2. No: 21.6%
Texas Trivia

The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas honors the legacy of which U.S. President?

Show me the answer

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