Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Roundup

Article Icon 1 Texas Prisons Sued Over Heat

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that nearly 70% of prisons under state control don’t have air conditioning, resulting in cruel and unusual punishment.

The plaintiffs have asked a federal judge in Austin to hold TDCJ Director Bryan Collier accountable and rule that the state’s mandated maximum temperature of 85 degrees must be enforced. In one case, they say a prisoner was kept in a cell that reached 112 degrees.

The plaintiffs are part of four nonprofit groups that advocate for prisoner rights. They argue that extreme heat caused 271 deaths between 2001 and 2019, costing the state millions in settlements for wrongful-death lawsuits.

Article Icon 1 Court Blocks Harris County Welfare Plan

The Texas Supreme Court put a temporary hold on Harris County’s proposed guaranteed income program, just one day before the county sent $500 checks to 1,600 families.

The decision reverses a lower court that ruled against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit to block the program. Paxton argued that it was unconstitutional to use public money to “gift” money to residents.

Paxton’s legal argument targets the fact that qualified recipients are put in a pool and selected by a random lottery system. The lucky winners were set to receive a $500 monthly check for the next 18 months until today’s ruling.

Article Icon 1 List: 40 Wealthiest Counties in Texas

Rockwall County, just outside of DFW, ranks as the wealthiest county in Texas, according to a new list of the 40 most affluent counties in the state by 24/7 Wall St. You can see the complete list here.

Rockwall boasts a median household income of $121,303, nearly $50,000 more than the state’s median of $73,035.

At the other end of the list is Medina County, with a median income of $73,060.

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Even the all-knowing Sharks from Shark Tank declined the offer to buy 10% of Ring for $700,000 – a decision they would regret when Amazon acquired Ring, turning the $700,000 into $10M!

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Around Texas

➤ Dallas: The city’s police department is launching a crime-prevention camera program called ”CONNECT DALLAS” that lets residents voluntarily give police access to their outdoor home security cameras. (Video)

➤ San Antonio: Officials are urging residents to vaccinate their dogs in order to combat the recent rise of parvovirus, a contagious and potentially deadly disease for dogs. Animal control clinics offer free vaccinations. (Get the Details)

➤ Canyon Lake: The city’s lake has plunged to a mean water level of 886.75 feet deep for April, its lowest since the 1960s. It dropped from 74 percent full to 59 percent in a year. (More)

➤ Harris County’s Texas Solar for All coalition won $249.7 million in funds from the Environmental Protection Agency. The money is expected to help local communities get low-cost access to solar energy. (More)

➤ Seven Gulf Coast schools received a $2.1 million grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to provide education and training for high-demand careers, including welders and registered nurses. (See List of Schools)

Texas Sports

➤ The Houston Texans unveiled their first new set of uniforms since their inception in 2002. The new design includes the NFL’s first two-logo system for helmets. (Video)

➤ The Dallas Stars lost their opening game 3-4 in the first round of the playoffs against the Vegas Golden Knights, the defending Stanley Cup champions. The next game will be on April 27 in Las Vegas. (Get the Details)

➤ The Dallas Wings have officially sold out of season tickets for 2024, a first in team history. Reports show that season ticket holders account for almost 40% of the 6,251 seats at Arlington’s College Park Center. (More)

The Business Of Texas

➤ Austin-Bergstrom Airport began work on a $241 million expansion that will add 75,000 square feet for all four levels, including extra ticketing counters and a new outbound baggage system. The project is expected to be completed by 2026. (Get the Scoop)

➤ Houston-based U.S. Coins & Jewelry is sponsoring a city treasure hunt to celebrate the 100th year of ‘National Coin Week.’ Rare coins will be hidden at five local businesses, and finders will be given a chance to win a grand prize of $10K worth of silver and gold. (More)

➤ Tesla executives recently lowered the cost of its “Full Self-Driving” option in company vehicles from $12,000 to $8,000. This comes after $2,000 was cut from the price tag of Models Y, X, and S. (Read More)

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Et Cetera

➤ The DFW Metroplex has been ranked the nation’s third worst mosquito-infested area by Terminix. The pest control giant ranked cities based on how many residents called for mosquito service, with Houston coming in at No. 7. (See All Ten Cities)

➤ Beaumont: A massive seven-foot alligator was caught in a resident’s catfish pond. The beast was wrangled by local experts from Gator Country, an alligator sanctuary that has rescued over 385 gators in the past year. (Watch the Video)

➤ San Antonio: A unique home with a $625K price tag has gone viral on social media. The 2,700 square-foot home features a blend of 1950s retro style with Japanese flair.  (See Photos)

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The Polling Station

Have you ever gone tubing down the San Marcos River?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Other

Tuesday’s Results:

Who should have more power in managing Texas public schools?

  1. The individual districts: 65.2%
  2. The state educational agency: 17.4%
  3. Other: 17.4%
Texas Trivia

Where did the name ‘Texas’ originate?

Show me the answer

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