Monday, June 10, 2024

The Roundup

Article Icon 1Academic Tests Show Little Improvement

The classroom performance of Texas students has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to 2024 academic readiness test results.

The STAAR test measures academic proficiency in science, history, algebra, and English. Students in most grade levels failed to improve from last year, and U.S. History scores dropped from 71% to 69%. The results did show improved English scores for students with a different first language.

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath said the state needs “continued investment in research-based education strategies.”

Article Icon 1 Texas Democrats Hold Convention

Thousands headed to San Antonio for the Texas Democratic Convention over the weekend.

Party officials emphasized the fight for abortion rights and resistance to state-funded alternatives to public education, and they also took aim at former President Trump—casting a dire vision of the country if Texas doesn’t go blue in November.

Beto O’Rourke, who recently said that President Biden is “really failing us” on important issues, compared Trump’s rhetoric on immigration to Hitler’s Mein Kampf and framed the election as a battle against fascism

Rep. Colin Allred, who is attempting to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, called Cruz a “me guy” during his keynote speech and emphasized the need for bipartisan support in his upcoming race.

Article Icon 1Active Listings Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels

The Texas housing market has returned to pre-pandemic inventory levels, according to an analysis of data from

Between May of last year and this year, the number of active listings in the state is up 42%, the seventh biggest change seen in the U.S. Between May 2019 and May 2024, that figure is a 2% increase.

The growth is being driven by the construction of new homes. Thirteen of the fourteen markets where builders are adding the most homes are in either Texas or Florida.

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The Flyover

What if you had the opportunity to invest in the biggest electronics products as they launched into big-box retail, would you?

Ring changed doorbells and Nest changed thermostats. Early investors in these smart-home companies earned massive returns, but the opportunity to invest was limited to a select, wealthy few. 

Not anymore. RYSE has just launched in 100+ Best Buy stores, and you’re in luck — you can still invest at only $1.50/share before their name becomes known nationwide. But hurry, their share price has already grown 20% from their last round!

They have patented the only mass market shade automation device, and their exclusive deal with Best Buy resembles that which led Ring and Nest to their billion-dollar buyouts.

The window to invest closes this week – don’t miss it.

Around Texas

➤ Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that FEMA approved a disaster declaration in 36 additional Texas counties, including 5 in which individuals are eligible for recovery assistance and 31 in which the agency will help pay for debris removal and infrastructure repairs. On Saturday, three more counties were approved for individual assistance. A federal disaster declaration is pending in 20 counties. (See details)

➤ The Department of Justice indicted a Texas doctor who leaked documents showing Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston was still treating gender-confused children with puberty blockers after previously announcing they had stopped. Although none of the documents contain personally identifiable information, Eithan Haim is being prosecuted for violating HIPAA. (More)

➤ San Antonio: The Bexar County County Sheriff’s Office arrested seven individuals last week connected to an apparent human smuggling operation. Acting on a tip, authorities found 26 migrants crammed into a “shack” with buckets for toilets and no air conditioning or running water. (More)

➤ Fort Worth: An autopsy revealed that the April 21 death of Anthony Johnson, a 31-year-old inmate at the Tarrant County Jail, was caused by asphyxiation when the jailer restrained Johnson using pepper spray and placing his knee on the inmate’s back. Johnson is one of six inmates who died at the Tarrant County Jail this year. (See details)

➤ Uvalde: The families of the victims killed in the May 2022 shooting at Robb Elementary are suing UPS and FedEx for shipping the AR-15 and bump stock used in the massacre. The lawsuit claims Salvador Ramos purchased the weapon before his 18th birthday. (More)

➤ Llano County: Officials must return eight of 17 books previously removed from library shelves after a panel of judges for the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled viewpoint discrimination played a role in the removal. A full hearing of the case will occur at a later date. (See details)

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Texas Sports

The Mavericks fell short in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics 105-98 Sunday night. They’ll look to climb out of an 0-2 hole on Wednesday in Dallas. (See details)

After beating Oregon 10-6 on Saturday, No. 3 Texas A&M’s baseball team came from behind to top the Ducks 15-8 on Sunday, securing a trip to the College World Series this weekend in Omaha. (More)

The United Football League’s San Antonio Brahmas defeated the St. Louis Battlehawks 25-15 on Sunday to advance to the inaugural UFL Championship Game this weekend, when they’ll face off against the Birmingham Stallions back in Saint Louis. (More)

The Brazilian men’s national soccer team defeated Mexico 3-2 at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field on Saturday, with 85,249 people on hand to watch the event. (More)

Carlos Ortiz won LIV Golf’s tournament in Houston this past weekend, edging Adrian Meronk by one stroke. In 2020, the 33-year-old Mexican golfer won the Houston Open at Memorial Park, his only PGA Tour title. (More)

Yesterday’s results: MLB | NBA | WNBA | MLS | NWSL | French Open | NASCAR | UFL | LIV Golf

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The Business Of Texas

 The Texas General Land Office is making 1.1 million acres of state waters available for leases to oil companies engaging in carbon capture and sequestration, whereby CO2 is retained beneath the seafloor during the drilling process. (More)

 Amazon’s Zoox robotaxis are coming to Austin, but rides aren’t being offered to guests just yet. Human safety drivers will be behind the wheel as the company tries to navigate an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of two crashes involving its autonomous vehicles. (See details)

 Zach Dell, the son of Dell Technologies founder Michael Dell, is trying to take on Texas’ infamous power grid issues with his own business. His company, Base Power, equips homeowners with affordable battery storage to be used during power outages. (More)

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We can add Real Estate to the long list of industries AI is disrupting, with the AI in Real Estate market being worth a staggering $163 billion in 2022.  

Companies that leverage AI to slash energy costs and make living simple have been acquired for billions of dollars. Yet one company in this industry has flown under the radar, until now. 

You’ve heard us talk about RYSE, but did you know that they’re prepping for a brand-new product launch that’s already attracted attention from renowned real estate developers and big-box retail?

Their new SmartCurtain puts them a step closer to becoming the dominant brand in automated shades and you can still reap the early rewards.

Last chance to invest in RYSE – learn more here.

Et Cetera

➤ The largest Buc-ee’s ever is opening today in Luling, about an hour northwest of San Antonio. The new store is 75,000 square feet, has 120 gas pumps, and will employ about 120 people. (More)

➤ Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose said visitors will no longer be allowed to drive through the park in truck beds after a giraffe was caught on video inadvertently picking up a toddler while trying to eat food from from a guest’s hand. (See details)

➤ A 19-year-old from Oklahoma is expected to make a full recovery after a shark bit her hand in waist-deep water near Galveston last week. Damiana Humphrey had surgery to repair four severed tendons. (More)

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The Polling Station

Have you ever visited a Buc-ee’s gas station?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Friday’s Results:

Will the Mavericks win the NBA Finals?

    1. Yes: 33.3%
    2. No: 66.7%
Texas Trivia

How much oil is produced per year in Texas?

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