Indictment: Woman convicted of murdering husband provided false payroll info in $9 million scheme
A woman convicted in 2016 of murdering her husband during a road rage incident provided false payroll information over a seven-year period in order to avoid more than $9 million in payments, Texas Department of Insurance officials confirmed Thursday.
Gov. Greg Abbott floats pardons for Austin police officers charged with excessive force in 2020 protests
Abbott’s move is the latest in a long clash between Texas Republicans and Austin-area officials over policing — and comes as the push for reform in the Texas capital enters a more complex and uncertain chapter.
2 of 19 Austin officers charged were in cases that settled
AUSTIN (AP) — Two of the 19 Austin police officers indicted for their actions during 2020 protests over racial injustice were involved in cases that the city paid millions of dollars to settle, accord[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Austin police officers charged with aggravated assault for force used in 2020 protests
Defense attorneys for eight of 19 indicted APD officers say they were following orders when they used force against 2020 protesters. So far, there are 14 lawsuits against the city for injuries suffered during those confrontations.
In fight for Congress, Eddie Rodriguez targets Greg Casar’s record on Austin homelessness, police funding
Casar has impressive progressive endorsements, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. But he also is tied to some of Austin’s most progressive policies, which have attracted powerful enemies and turned off some moderate Democrats.
Vote-by-mail rejections are testing integrity of Texas Republicans’ voting law
With less than a month left to vote by mail in the March primary election, hundreds of applications for mail-in ballots are being rejected as both Texas voters and local election officials decipher new ID requirements enacted by Republican lawmakers.
Court fight brews over constitutionality of Texas governor’s border arrests
A legal defense group is asking Travis County courts to throw out the arrests of hundreds of migrants swept up in the governor’s border initiative. The case is expected to draw in the Texas attorney general and address whether Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan is unconstitutional.
Texas judge opens door for widespread constitutional challenges to Gov. Greg Abbott’s border initiative
A Travis County judge Thursday tossed out the trespassing charge of an Ecuadorian man who said he came to the United States seeking asylum. His lawyers argued that the governor’s directive to arrest migrants on state charges unconstitutionally usurps federal immigration law.
Study finds COVID in Texas white-tails
The study by scientists from the University of Texas at El Paso looked at white-tailed deer in Travis County. Their conclusions matched research confirming COVID in deer populations in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. Watts and fellow researchers studied blood samples from 54 hunter-harvested deer in Travis County during the first two months of 2021. The COVID risk to hunters who harvest deer in Texas is regarded as low. The research paper on the Travis County deer herd was published in the journal “Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.”myrgv.com
Amid Texas GOP’s effort to question electoral integrity, attorney general tried to indict Travis County elections chief
The effort to charge Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir came at a time when many Texas Republicans questioned the integrity of last year’s election despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Facing civil suit, DA Ori White denies allegations that he wrongly fired assistant – The Big Bend Sentinel
In the suit, Phillips alleged that White and Houston wanted the case back in local jurisdiction to get a more lenient plea deal. Phillips believes his firing was because he reported his belief of wrongdoing in these four incidents to DA White. While details of the specific case are not provided in the lawsuit, Phillips filed to dismiss the case. Asked why he believed Phillips had filed the suit, White said, “He’s not a happy person,” and declined to comment further on the allegations. Three of the counties named as defendants in the suit have filed to request the venue be moved to district court in the local counties.bigbendsentinel.com
Letter from comptroller shows state support for Samsung Semiconductor facility location in Williamson County
A letter from the Texas comptroller shows state support for the Samsung semiconductor facility, which has filed applications for tax limitation agreements locally in Travis and Williamson Counties.communityimpact.com
Court hears arguments in Valley mask lawsuit
A Travis County District Judge Tuesday heard more testimony and arguments over several Rio Grande Valley school districts who sued Gov. The court heard several hours of testimony on masks from representatives from Hidalgo County and other parties related to the suit on Monday. Judge Catherine Mauzy, who heard the testimony and arguments, said she was set to hear testimony on two related TROs tomorrow. Representing Valley school districts, O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo attorney David Campbell argued the governor was overstepping his bounds with the mask fight. “Because that is the only thing the school districts are trying to do in this case,” he said.myrgv.com
No Decision: Judge recesses hearing on masks
The Brownsville Independent School District's policy of requiring face masks in classrooms remained in effect Monday after a hearing in Travis County over Gov. Greg Abbott's attempt to block mask mandates by the state's two largest school districts and several from the Rio Grande Valley including Brownsville.myrgv.com
Hidalgo County officials testify at mask mandate hearing
Greg Abbott over the authority to mandate masks at a local level. An order issued by Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez issued just before the start of the school year also mandates masks, unless districts vote to opt out of it. The court also heard from representatives from Hidalgo County’s largest school district, among them Edinburg CISD Board President Mike Farias, who said there’s been little local opposition to the district’s mask mandate. “As a matter of fact, on our first day of opening school our superintendent received a total of four phone calls, with expressing them not agreeing with the mask mandates. “The mask mandate for La Joya ISD is critical because we need to make sure that we keep students in school, and we believe that the mask mandate can help us (do) that,” she said.myrgv.com
Court: Democrats who don’t show up for Legislature can be arrested
House Democrats who refuse to show up for the Legislature could soon be detained by law enforcement and brought back to the state Capitol, after the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday voided a state district judge's temporary restraining order barring their arrest.myrgv.com
Judge blocks arrests of lawmakers who won’t return to Texas
Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan from “detaining, confining or otherwise restricting” the free movement of House Democrats within the state or issuing any warrants ordering their confinement. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 19 House Democrats by attorneys Sam Bassett, Jeremy Monthy and Megan Rue. It is the second lawsuit filed by House Democrats in an attempt to avoid arrest if they returned to Texas. The other was filed by attorney Craig Washington in federal court in Austin on behalf of 22 House Democrats. White is not named as a defendant in the case in state court.myrgv.com
Austin announces stricter coronavirus protocols for unvaccinated residents as cases increase. But it can’t legally enforce them.
The city’s return to Stage 3 risk-based guidelines marks the first time a major Texas city has reversed direction in the trend toward normalcy. But others are also reporting surges in cases.
Army sergeant indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges after fatally shooting Austin protester Garrett Foster in 2020
Army Sgt. Daniel Perry shot and killed Foster, who was legally armed, after an altercation during a protest against police brutality last summer, police said. Perry argues it was in self defense.
Charges dropped against 2 in deadly Austin shooting
AUSTIN (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping criminal charges against two juveniles after police identified a different gunman in a mass shooting in downtown Austin that killed a tourist and wounded more th[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Charges dropped against 2 in deadly Austin shooting
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping criminal charges against two juveniles after police identified a different gunman in a mass shooting in downtown Austin that killed a tourist and wounded more than a dozen others, authorities said Tuesday.myrgv.com
“If you are vaccinated, go for it”: Large counties roll back some pandemic-era limits as COVID-19 deaths drop statewide
Officials in Travis and Harris counties — both early adopters of pandemic restrictions — rolled some back Tuesday in an effort to allow vaccinated residents to return to pre-pandemic living.
Authorities say they won’t seek charges after investigating allegation that a lobbyist drugged a Texas Capitol staffer
The Texas Department of Public Safety and Travis County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday “that there is not enough evidence to support” an allegation that a lobbyist used a date rape drug on a Capitol staffer and that “no crime occurred in this instance.”
Court says Ken Paxton’s case against Austin and Travis County for issuing New Years curfew is moot, dismisses case
An Austin court on Thursday dismissed Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s appeal challenging Travis County and Austin’s New Years holiday curfew, months after it ended — in a perhaps symbolic win for local officials.
San Antonio residents must register by April 1 to vote in May
San Antonio residents, we have some important information for you. The last day to register to vote for the May 1 election is Thursday, April 1, according to a news release from the City of San Antonio. Early voting sites include the Bexar County Elections Office along with 37 other locations. To view a complete list of sites and hours of voting, please visit sanntonio.gov. For voter registration information or to request an application for a mail ballot, place call the Bexar County Voter Registration Office at (210) 335-8683 or visit bexar.org.mysanantonio.com
Masks stay enforced in Austin, Travis County
After a back-and-forth battle over masks, Austin and Travis County ended up on top. On Friday, a Travis County judge declined to block Austin and Travis County's order requiring employees and customers to wear a face mask in businesses, according to a tweet from Travis County Judge Andy Brown. RELATED: Austin mayor responds to Texas AG's threat with 'Office' GIF and statementTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Travis County officials after enforcing a public health face mask order not long after Gov. In short, public health mandates are allowed under a different state law, which leaves the face mask mandate in place. However, for now, if you're in Travis County, mask up.mysanantonio.com
Austin and Travis County officials can keep enforcing local mask mandate for now, judge says
Paxton sued the local officials for refusing to end the mandate after Gov. District Judge Lora Livingston has yet to issue a final ruling on the merits of the case, meaning Austin and Travis officials may later be told to comply with state officials. Ad“I've been doing everything that I can to protect the health and safety of people in Travis County,” Brown said in an interview. However, this was not the case in Travis County where officials said they would continue to require public mask use. Therefore, masks remained required in Travis County in the meantime.
Austin can keep enforcing mask mandate for at least two weeks until trial is held, judge says
Austin and Travis County officials can continue enforcing their mask mandates after a district judge delayed action on the Texas attorney general’s request to immediately stop the mandates. That means city and county officials can continue to require masks until at least March 26, when District Judge Lora Livingston will hold a trial. "I told Travis County and the City of Austin to comply with state mask law. Travis County Judge Andy Brown counts the two-week delay as a win. The pandemic has especially impacted Texans of color — including in El Paso where Paxton previously blocked a county judge from ordering non-essential businesses to shut down.
Face mask mandate stays in Austin until court date
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the public health face mask order that requires all Travis County residents to wear them will remain in effect for the next two weeks. The order stays after a U.S. District Court judge refused to grant the State of Texas an emergency, a temporary injunction on Friday. Greg Abbott's new order, which doesn't force Texans to wear a face mask starting Wednesday. However, the second threat isn't stopping the Austin officials. Adler said they will continue to support their health officials on the face mask matter.mysanantonio.com
Texas AG sues Austin, Travis County to block mask mandate
AUSTIN, Texas – Acting on his threat, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Austin and Travis County officials on Thursday over their decision to continue requiring mask-wearing in public. “Judge Brown and I will fight to defend and enforce our local health officials’ rules for as long as possible using all the power and tools available to us," Adler said in a statement. State officials reported that 4,053 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases Thursday raised the Texas pandemic total past the 2.7 million level to 2,704,344. Of those, the Texas Department of State Health Services estimated that 121,882 cases were active Thursday and 4,406 hospitalizations Wednesday, the latest data available. AdThe state reported 231 new COVID-19 fatalities in Texas on Thursday, taking the state's pandemic death toll past 45,000 to 45,106.
Texas AG Ken Paxton sues Austin over mask policy
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Travis County and Austin officials in an effort to force them to rescind their local mask orders, he announced Thursday. "I told Travis County & The City of Austin to comply with state mask law," Paxton tweeted. There have been more than 2,200 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Travis County in the past two weeks. Brown said the authority to impose the local mask mandate comes from the county health authority, not from Brown’s emergency powers. Paxton’s office successfully defeated an effort by Travis and Austin officials to restrict in-person dining at restaurants around New Year’s.mysanantonio.com
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sues Austin to stop it from imposing a local mask order
A COVID-19 safety sign in Austin on June 24, 2020. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Travis County and Austin officials in an effort to force them to rescind their local mask orders, he announced Thursday. "I told Travis County & The City of Austin to comply with state mask law," Paxton tweeted. There have been more than 2,200 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Travis County in the past two weeks. Travis County Judge Andy Brown, who presides over the county government, said the authority to impose the local mask mandate comes from the county health authority, not from Brown’s emergency powers. Paxton’s office successfully defeated an effort by Travis and Austin officials to restrict in-person dining at restaurants around New Year’s.