Five stories that have North Texas talking: Fort Worth City Council may take SB4 vote; Texas A&M cancels white nationalist event on campus; take a driverless shuttle to the Cowboys game; and more.
Fort Worth is the largest Texas city that hasn’t joined the legal fight against the state’s new immigration law, known as Senate Bill 4. A council member is forcing a vote on the matter.
Councilman Carlos Flores has submitted a council proposal to put the issue on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The proposal directs the city manager and city attorney to take legal action to join the lawsuit. Council members Ann Zadeh, Gyna Bivens and Kelly Allen Gray are also on board, according to the Star-Telegram.
As KERA reported earlier this month, “Led by the tiny border town of El Cenizo, all the biggest cities in Texas have joined the suit, but five of the nine Fort Worth council members said they don’t favor adding the city to that list. They did not take a formal vote, but members discussed their views during a council work session.”
Council members usually hear and discuss issues in work session a week before they vote on them. “Because Flores is asking that the issue be on the work session agenda and the regular meeting agenda the same week, it may not come to a vote this week,” according to the Star-Telegram.
The law bans so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas. It also allows police officers to inquire a person’s legal status in the course of investigating crimes and when they detain or arrest someone.
The law would require Fort Worth to change its policy that prohibits officers from contacting federal immigration authorities, but officers wouldn’t be forced to call the feds either.
Mayor Betsy Price has said that the law, slated to take effect Sept. 1, would not force the police department to fundamentally change its community-oriented policing strategies. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, KERA News]
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- State lawmakers on Monday called on Texas A&M University to block a “white lives matter” event, planned by a white nationalist for next month on campus. University leaders canceled the event, citing student safety. There will likely be questions of legality because A&M is a public university. [The Texas Tribune]
- Oil producers have turned to the dunes of the Permian Basin in West Texas to provide sand for their fracking operations. Producers have found that using finer sand at higher volumes seems to push out more oil, for less money. It’s threatening a native lizard species. [Marfa Public Radio, The Texas Tribune]
- Two driverless vehicles that can hold 12 passengers each will make their public debuts Aug. 26 for the Dallas Cowboys' preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Arlington will offer ongoing autonomous shuttle service to the public as part of a year-long pilot program.
- Practicing yoga with different kinds of animals (cats, goats, etc. ) appears to be the trend. Appropriately, a puppy yoga class put on by the Friends of Northaven Trail in North Dallas is being is held next month. [GuideLive]