Thursday, July 4, 2024

The Roundup

Article Icon 1Study Links Uncertified Teachers to Poor Learning

New research from Texas Tech University’s College of Education reveals that students taught by uncertified teachers with no classroom experience lost months of learning time in reading and math compared to their peers.

The College of Education, which offers various certification programs for teachers, highlighted that uncertified teachers make up 45% of new full-time hires in Texas, with many lacking even a bachelor’s degree.

This trend has been driven by teacher shortages since the COVID-19 pandemic and regulatory changes that allow schools to fill vacancies by hiring unlicensed teachers.

Article Icon 1Rodney Reed Denied New Trial

Rodney Reed, a Texas death row inmate for more than a quarter-century, was denied a request for a new trial on Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene in his case.

Reed was convicted of killing 19-year-old Stacey Stites in Bastrop in 1996, but his lawyers say new DNA evidence exonerates him.

Reed’s petition argued the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals violated his constitutional rights by requiring “affirmative evidence” showing “more likely than not his theory of innocence is true,” a higher standard of proof than that in any other state except Missouri.

An execution date for Reed has been canceled twice. Lawyers with the Innocence Project are handling his case.

Article Icon 1East Texas Teen Arrested For Fake Bomb Threats

A Smith County teen is believed to be responsible for more than 100 hoax bomb threats and “swatting” calls in Texas and several other states.

The unnamed teen was linked to bomb threats at Brookshire’s grocery stores and schools in Tyler, Houston, and the Rio Grande Valley. Investigators also believe he’s responsible for false threats in Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Despite the teen’s efforts to conceal his identity, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies raided the teen’s home and arrested him over the weekend.

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Around Texas

➤ Sutherland Springs: A judge temporarily halted the demolition of First Baptist Church, where 26 people were shot and killed during a Sunday service nearly seven years ago. A lawsuit claims church membership rolls were altered before a vote on the building’s future. (See Video)

Odessa: Truckers staged a protest over oil field working conditions on Monday, blocking entrances to several sand mines. Fliers distributed by the truckers complained of low wages and the lack of restrooms at loading and unloading areas. (See Details)

San Antonio: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and two local congressmen sent a letter to the U.S. Air Force on Friday urging its leaders to consider building a new headquarters for its cyber warfare operations at Port San Antonio. (See Details)

Port Mansfield: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded $15.9 million for the fishing community to dredge its ship channel, which has partially collapsed after being dredged just two years ago. (See Video)

El Paso: The city council approved a $31 million incentive agreement with the developers of an $80 million, 12,500-seat amphitheater. The agreement includes the sale of 17 acres of city-owned land and requires the company to host at least 40 national touring events each year. (More)

Waco: School district officials have taken over student transportation services after 35 years of using a contractor. The district announced it’s increasing bus drivers’ pay to $27 an hour and equipping school buses with new cameras and GPS systems. (See Details)

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Texas Sports

Texas A&M baseball stars Jace Laviolette, Gavin Grahovac, Ali Camerillo, and Hayden Schott have all withdrawn their names from the NCAA transfer portal. (More)

Nathaniel Lowe hit two home runs on his bobblehead night on Tuesday to propel the Texas Rangers to a 7-0 win over the San Diego Padres. (See Video)

Adidas and Texas Tech have announced a 10-year partnership. Adidas is now the sole producer of officially licensed Texas Tech apparel. (More)

➤ Yesterday’s results: MLB | WNBA | MLS

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The Business Of Texas

Southwest Airlines has adopted a shareholder rights plan, also known as a ‘poison pill,’ to fend off activist investor Elliott Management’s efforts to oust CEO Bob Jordan and Chairman Gary Kelly. (See Details)

Meanwhile, American Airlines has ordered 100 hydrogen-electric engines from ZeroAvia for its regional jets. The company says these engines can reduce in-flight emissions (other than water vapor) to nearly zero. (More)

Mueller Supply, a Ballinger-based steel building manufacturer, is being acquired by Cornerstone Building Brands for $475 million. The 90-year-old Texas company has around 900 employees, 38 retail locations, and factories in Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona. (More)

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Et Cetera

Lake Fork, a 27,000-acre reservoir about 70 miles east of Dallas, has been named one of the ten best bass lakes in the country. This year alone, Lake Fork anglers have caught 94 bass weighing at least 8 pounds. (More)

A 1921 oil painting recently sold for a hefty sum after it was almost taken to Goodwill. An auction buyer paid $112,500 for “A Field of Bluebonnets, San Antonio” by Julian Onderdonk, known as the “father of Texas painting.” (See Painting)

➤ A Texas teen working at Keke’s Snow Balls in Willis went viral for putting a rude customer in her place. A video of the incident, in which the teen tells the customer to “get out of here” and “don’t come back,” racked up 17 million views. (Watch Video)

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➤ This 4th of July The Texas Flyover has proudly collaborated with a host of remarkable American companies and has now diligently compiled a list of their top 12 American-made products. They stand as a testament to our nation’s ingenuity, directly addressing the everyday challenges faced by our fellow Americans. See the list here! 

The Polling Station

What is your favorite Independence Day activity?

  1. Fireworks
  2. Parade
  3. Grilling / picnic
  4. Concert / sporting event
  5. Beach / pool party
  6. Patriotic movie
  7. Historical reenactment
  8. Other

Wednesday’s Results:

Do you plan to travel for the 4th of July?

    1. Yes: 17.5%
    2. No: 82.5%
Texas Trivia

What North Texas town is home to a massive fireworks display ranked by USA Today as the fifth-best in the country?

Show me the answer

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