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Record Turnout During Early Voting in Texas

Early voting for this midterm election ended in Texas on Nov. 2 and several counties registered record-high turnout for in-person voting. In Tarrant County, this early voting period saw more voters than the 2014 midterm election and 2012 presidential election, where more than 432,700 out of 1.1 million registered local voters had already showed up in person to cast their ballots. More than 15.7 million Texans are registered to vote state-wide. The main race in Texas for this midterm is the battle between incumbent Republican candidate Ted Cruz against Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate.

 

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Candidate Profile: Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz (R) is running against Beto O’Rourke (D) in the Texas race for the U.S. Senate.

Cruz was born to a mother of Irish and Italian descent and a father who was born in Cuba but fled to the United States. Cruz’s interest in public service was influenced by his observation of the pursuit of freedom and opportunity in America. Cruz has previously served in private practice, as Solicitor General for the State of Texas, and on the United States Senate. He also ran for president in 2016.

Cruz has focused on issues such as: the economy, healthcare, immigration, the Constitution, and national security.

  • On the economy, Cruz wants to reform Social Security but does not plan on altering benefits for people who already receive checks

  • On healthcare, Cruz is an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act and still wants the law off the books

  • On immigration, Cruz supports Trump’s border and believes that Americans have witnessed harmful effects of an unsecure border and believe’s that former President Barack Obama’s encouraged drug smugglers, child abusers, murderers, and other dangerous criminals

  • On education, Cruz supports school choice as he believes it gives students more opportunities and opposes Common Core

For more information, visit his campaign website.

Candidate Profile: Beto O'Rourke

Beto O’Rourke (D) is running against incumbent Ted Cruz (R) in the Texas race for U.S. Senate.

O’Rourke, a fourth-generation Texan, was born and raised in El Paso. He graduated from Columbia University and worked in the Northeast for a few years before deciding to move back to Texas to start a small technology company. Outside his work, O’Rourke became heavily involved in his community and ran for U.S. Congress in 2012, beating an eight-year incumbent.

O’Rourke, who is known affectionately by supporters at Beto, has focused on issues such as: disability rights, economy, education, equality, gun safety, immigration, and women’s health.

  • On education, O’Rourke supports an increase in federal aid to public schools low-income communities

  • On immigration, O’Rourke opposes Donald Trump’s plan for a border and has rallied to protest the administration’s family separation policy

  • On equality, O’Rourke the Equality Act and believes DOMA should be repealed; he also supports closing the gender pay gap

  • On gun safety, O’Rourke supports a requirement for background checks for all gun sales and opposes selling weapons of war and high-capacity magazines

To read more, visit his campaign website.

Southlake Couple Charged For Forced Labor

Mohamed Toure and Denise Cros-Toure, both 57 and of Southlake, Texas, were charged with forced labor on Thursday after a young woman they had allegedly enslaved for over 16 years escaped from their home with some help from neighbors.  The couple has deep political connections to the country of Guinea, as Mohamed Toure is the son of the first president of the African country.  The couple allegedly brought the victim from Guinea to Texas 18 years ago when she was just 5 years old, and has since subjected her to emotional and physical abuse.  The couple faces up to 20 years each in prison.

For more information, click here.

Three Shot, One Officer Dead After Dallas Shooting

Almost two years after the deadly ambush that killed five Dallas officers in 2016, the Dallas Police Department will have to say goodbye to another member. Rogelio Santander, a 27-year-old Dallas officer, died in an encounter with Armando Juarez at a Home Depot in Northwest Dallas. Crystal Almeida and Scott Painter, another officer and Home Depot employee respectively, were also shot and are in critical condition at a nearby hospital. After the shooting, Juarez was chased through the streets of downtown Dallas where he continued to fire shots at police. The chase ended when Juarez, who had been driving through yards in the nearby wealthy suburb of Highland Park, crashed and was surrounded by police. Juarez is currently set on $1 million bail. Local and State politicians have offered their condolences to the Santander family and posted supportive messages of the Dallas Police Department.


To read more about the shooting, click here

CDC Expands Romaine Lettuce Warning Across the United States

On Friday, the Center for Disease Control expanded its original warning of romaine lettuce to include all romaine lettuce in the United States after the current e-coli outbreak spread to its 16 state. Though the source of the outbreak has yet to be identified, public health officials believe it originated in crops from Yuma, Arizona. CDC said consumers should throw away any romaine lettuce unless they are certain it came from a different source. The outbreak has resulted in 31 hospitalizations, including five developments of kidney failure. To avoid e-coli, wash hands and food thoroughly and do not consume raw food.

To read more about the outbreak, click here.

Austin Bombing Suspect Kills Himself

The city of Austin, Texas can breathe a little easier now following a horrific spree of bombings ranging across the Austin area, killing two and injuring five others.  The suspect, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, took his own life when he detonated a bomb in his vehicle early yesterday morning on Interstate 35 just north of Austin as police approached him, authorities said.  But, it is still unclear if Conditt acted on his own or what his motive was behind these bombings, as the investigation is still in its early stages.

For more information, click here.

Dallas Mayor Takes on the NRA

Dallas Pro Tem Mayor Dwaine Caraway has asked the NRA to reconsider Dallas as host city for its upcoming annual meeting to be held in May. Caraway called the event “inappropriate” in light of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week, and also urged the organization to work with elected officials to establish gun laws. In a statement released on Monday, the mayor mentioned past incidents of gun violence that have occurred in Dallas, and called for gun laws that would protect children and communities. If the NRA decides to maintain Dallas as host for its convention, Caraway promised “there will be marches and demonstrations.”

 

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Then There Were 20

A few months ago, there were over 238.  As of today, there are only 20 potential locations left that Amazon is considering as the location of their second headquarters.  The finalists include plenty of east coast cities such as Washington D.C., Atlanta, and New York City.  Texas claimed two spots on the list, with Dallas and Austin representing the Lone Star State.  Amazon plans on spending $5 billion to build its second headquarters and will employ a whopping 50,000 there as well.  There is no specific date that Amazon has chosen to make their final decision, but they have stated that it will come at some point this year.

For more information, click here.

Texas State University Suspends Greek Life Following Death of Pledge

Matthew Ellis, a pledge in Phi Kappa Psi at Texas State University, was found unresponsive in an apartment complex by friends on Monday morning. He was soon rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy is being conducted, but preliminary reports are suggesting alcohol played a role. In response to Ellis' death, Texas State University has suspended all fraternity and sorority activities, and ordered a review of the campus’ Greek life. Ellis’ death joins a long list of fraternity pledges who died in alcohol related incidents in recent years.

 

For more information about Matthew Ellis and Texas State University’s decision, click here

Shots Fired on TCU Campus

On Tuesday morning, a road rage incident between two Roadrunner shuttle drivers prompted TCU’s campus to be on high alert and on lock down for a short while. The episode occurred near the 3600 block on West Cantey Street at around 7:00 am. After an altercation, one driver shot at the other, but missed. The suspect escaped after hitting the other driver with his shuttle bus. Police later found the shuttle off campus, and arrested the driver. The driver who was hurt did not sustain any serious injuries, and no students were on board the shuttles at the time of the incident.

For more information, click here and here.

Shooting at Small Texas Church

A shooting occurred at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, a very small town southeast of San Antonio in Texas on Sunday November 5th. Witnesses say the shooter walked in and just began open firing. The casualty rates are currently at 27 killed and 24 injured. The death toll was about 7% of the tiny town’s population. The shooter has been taken down, though it is unclear whether it was by police or himself. Grief is rampant in the streets of Sutherland Springs and President Trump tweeted his sympathy from Japan. Nearby churches are reaching out to the citizens of the town and members of the church to come and feel comforted by fellowship and prayer.

For more information, click here.

Texas Tech Student Fatally Shoots Campus Police Officer

A 19 year old student shot and killed a Texas Tech University police officer on Monday night.  The student had been brought in for questioning after police found evidence of drugs and paraphernalia in his room.  Once at the police station, the student pulled out a gun and shot the officer before fleeing on foot.  The university went into lockdown around 8:30 PM and remained that way for a little over an hour before the suspect was detained.  The suspect has been charged with capital murder.  In Texas, it is legal to carry a firearm on a public university campus since the Campus Carry Law was passed last year in the Texas Legislature. 

For more information click here.

Texas is the Place to Be

We all know that Texas is already pretty big, and a recent study shows that many regions of Texas are continuing to grow! Economically, that is. Analysts at WalletHub, a personal finance social network, compared 515 cities of varying population sizes within the United States in order to pinpoint where the fastest local economic growth is occurring. The study revealed that 7 of the 30 cities with the fastest economic growth are located right here in Texas, with Frisco being ranked number one. Fort Worth didn’t disappoint either, ranked #12 out of 64 major cities studied. That's how we do it in Texas.

For the full rankings and results, click here.

College GameDay comes to TCU

ESPN’s popular college football pre-game show, College GameDay, is coming to Fort Worth this Saturday for No. 8 TCU’s matchup against No. 23 West Virginia.  The show, hosted by Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard, travels to the campus hosting the biggest game of each week.  TCU was chosen as this week’s host over several other big games, including No. 1 Alabama playing at Texas A&M and No. 11 Washington State playing at Oregon.  TCU is looking to reach 6-0 and is being talked about as a potential College Football Playoff team for the first time since 2014.  The last time College GameDay visited TCU was in 2009, when the Frogs beat Utah 55-28. 

For more information click here.

Texas Says No to Texting and Driving

On September 1st, Texas lawmakers put a new law into place banning all forms of written communication, not only texting but also Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, while driving. Arlington has had a similar ban in place since 2012, and several existing state laws already stop drivers younger than 18, but now reading, writing or sending electronic messages while driving is punishable by a misdemeanor charge for all Texas drivers. Most cities are giving the public a probationary period to get used to the new law. Hopefully Texas will see safer roads in the near future.

To read more, click here.

Hurricane Season is Here

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston, Texas on Aug. 25 causing major flooding and a death toll of 60. Now as the main damage of the storm has passed, Coast Guard rescue efforts are turning their focus to Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico as they brace themselves for Hurricane Irma. Irma has been classified as a Category 4 but is still too far away to determine when and where it will hit. Weather experts say that islands in the Caribbean Sea are highly likely to be affected by the storm, and many models anticipate landfall of the hurricane in the Southeast region of the United States.

For more information, click here.

Cinco de Drinko Party Leads to Suspension of Kappa Sig Fraternity

Baylor’s Kappa Sig chapter has been suspended following a “Cinco de Drinko” themed party that mocked Mexican culture. Partygoers were dressed in stereotypical Mexican attire, or even as maids and construction workers. The party went viral quickly, as multiple students became uncomfortable and called attention to the party via Snapchat and other forms of social media. Kappa Sig nationals eventually caught wind of it, making a statement in which they condemned the behavior of the Baylor chapter. This is just one of many negatively stereotypical party themes that have recently caused the suspension of different frats around the country.

For more information on the Mexican-themed party, click here.

Teen Fatally Shot by Police Near Dallas

A Balch Springs police officer fired a rifle into a vehicle as it was driving away, killing the front-seat passenger, 15 year-old Jordan Edwards.  The officers arrived on the scene after responding to reports of under-age drinking at a house party.  Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber initially reported that the car was “aggressively” reversing towards the officers, however body camera footage showed that the car was driving forward, away from the officers, during the incident.  Haber has declined to confirm whether the boys in the car were armed, citing an ongoing investigation.  The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting as well. 

For more information, click here.

2020 NCAA Tournament Games Hosted by New Fort Worth Arena

DIckies Arena, the multipurpose arena currently under construction in Downtown Fort Worth, will host a chunk of the 2022 NCAA basketball tournament games. Construction officially began after this year’s Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, and will eventually become the home of the stock show when it opens in 2019. In addition to this, it will also plan to host future concerts, hockey, and basketball events. The project manager, Ed Bass, said “this is going to bring a variety and level of entertainment to Fort Worth that we haven’t seen in decades.”

For more information, click here.