Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texans love Alaska; UT committee issues report about what to do with Confederate statues; South Padre Island almost became an atomic bomb site; and more.
Texans are flocking to … Alaska? Yes, Alaska. U.S. Census data shows more people move to Alaska from Texas than from any other state. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that about 3,172 new Alaskans per year came from Texas between 2009 and 2013. Texas, Washington and California trade off the top spot on the list for Alaska migrants, State Demographer Eddie Hunsinger says. Is it the intense Texas summer heat? Hunsinger says Texas' large population plays a factor in its top spot. The state also has a significant military population and a large petroleum industry. [Associated Press/KERA]
- A Harris County district attorney says a woman who was among eight people fatally shot at a home had sent a text to her mother that she was being held at gunpoint. Authorities were alerted of problems at the home by the mother of victim Valerie Jackson. Jackson's mother, in another state, called 911. The man charged with capital murder in the deaths made a brief court appearance Monday. David Conley spoke only to acknowledge his name when asked by the judge. There was no mention of a lawyer either hired or appointed for him. Devon Anderson, the Harris County district attorney, said it would be three to four months before authorities decide whether to seek the death penalty. [Associated Press]
- Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is no longer paying its staff. The Washington Post and Texas Tribune report: “The former Texas governor's fundraising has dried up, campaign officials and other Republicans familiar with the operation said late Monday.
Perry has stopped paying his staff at the national headquarters in Austin as well as in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to a Republican familiar with the Perry campaign who demanded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Perry campaign manager Jeff Miller told staff last Friday, the day after the first Republican presidential debate, that they would no longer be paid and are free to look for other jobs — and, so far at least, most aides have stuck with Perry, this Republican said."
- The UT Confederate statues should be removed or explanatory plaques should be added, a task force recommends. The Texas Tribune reports: “The 12-person advisory panel of students, alumni and administrators issued recommendations to UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves, who commissioned the report in June, on the same day three statutes were vandalized. The report suggested five options, four of which involve moving one or more statues from the South Mall to a history center on campus. A fifth option suggested leaving the statues in place and adding plaques to explain historical context. Fenves will review the report before making a final decision, according to the university. ‘Statues have layers of meaning: aesthetic, historical, aspirational, and educational. History is not innocent; it is the living foundation for the present,’ the report said. [Texas Tribune]
- Did you know South Padre Island was almost an atomic bomb site? Texas Standard, the statewide radio newsmagazine, has details: “South Padre Island was one of eight sites that the US Military considered as a place to explode the first atomic bomb,” author Mike Cox said. “And it actually came down to about three sites that were pretty high on the list: one was in California, one was the Alamagordo site in New Mexico and the other one was South Padre Island — which, admittedly, at the time was pretty remote. But eventually they decided on blowing up that first device in New Mexico.” South Padre was remote and used as a gunnery range. [Texas Standard]