Five stories that have North Texas talking: South Texas man stole fajitas for almost a decade; environmental policy changes affect Texas; a former Dallasite gets personal in new album; and more.
A former South Texas juvenile justice department employee has been arrested for felony theft after authorities say he admitted to stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas over nine years.
Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz told The Brownsville Herald that Gilberto Escaramilla was fired in August and arrested after authorities obtained a search warrant and found packages of fajitas in his refrigerator.
“If it wasn’t so serious, you’d think it was a 'Saturday Night Live' skit. But this is the real thing,” Saenz said.
Investigators checked vendor invoices and determined Escaramilla would intercept county-funded food deliveries and deliver them to his own customers.
Escaramilla missed work one day in August for a medical appointment and a delivery driver showed up with 800 pounds of fajitas, but officials said the juvenile department didn't serve fajitas. That’s when the jig was up.
He was arrested last week on the more serious felony theft charge. [The Associated Press, The Brownsville Herald]
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- The EPA and Texas: Many Obama-era policies, like the Clean Power Plan, are on the chopping block under Administrator Scott Pruitt’s rule. The fate of these regulations is especially consequential to Texas, which emits the most carbon dioxide but produces the most wind energy in the country. [The Texas Tribune]
- No butts about it: Fort Worth officials are looking at banning smoking in bars. Currently, the city’s ordinance bans smoking in most public places, but it’s allowed in bars that have at least 70 percent of annual gross sales from alcoholic beverages. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- *Walkable* Dallas: One of the city’s most popular destinations isn’t totally accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. City Council has approved the design contract for sidewalks along Garland Road in front of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. [Lakewood Advocate]
- New Music Monday: North Texas’ own Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, has released her new album, “Mass Seduction.” [Texas Monthly]
The Associated Press contributed to this report.