Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Texas trooper sues after being reprimanded for taking a photo with Snoop Dogg; dirty conditions reported in recent years at Blue Bell's Brenham plant; a Texas professor failed all of his students; and more.
Snapping a photo with Snoop Dogg has led to a lawsuit. The Associated Press reports: A Texas trooper has sued his bosses after being reprimanded over a March photo with rapper Snoop Dogg at South by Southwest. Department of Public Safety Trooper Billy Spears filed the civil lawsuit Wednesday, alleging retaliation by DPS, Director Steven McCraw and several executives. The lawsuit says Spears was working off-duty security when an assistant for Snoop Dogg took the photo in March and posted it on Instagram. Spears was reprimanded because the rapper has several drug-possession convictions. Spears is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial. Spears also alleges retaliation for his complaint against a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer. Spears was detained in 2014 while off-duty and carrying an alcoholic beverage at a concert. DPS and TABC declined to discuss pending litigation. [Associated Press]
- State health inspectors found dirty conditions at Blue Bell’s plant in Brenham over the past few years. The news comes as Blue Bell recalled all of its products following a listeria outbreak. KXAS-TV (NBC 5) reports: Inspectors discovered “crickets in a storage room, dirty mop buckets and mildew. … The violations were among dozens noted by the Texas Department of State Health Services over the past four years, but none led to formal warning letters or fines for the creamery.” Mildew was reported in 2013. In a statement, Blue Bell said: “Blue Bell takes cleanliness in our production facilities very seriously and our top priority.” [KXAS-TV]
- A Texas A&M Galveston professor has failed every student in his strategic management class, berating them via email as a disgrace to the school. KPRC-TV in Houston reports that Irwin Horwitz sent the email last week informing them of their failing grades and saying he'll no longer teach the class. The email said he's reached "breaking point." Horwitz accused the students of backstabbing and cheating, and said they lack maturity. Some students told KPRC the email came as a shock and voiced concern it could impact their career prospects. University official Patrick Louchouarn says the failing grades won't stick because the students haven't finished the course and grades are applied on completion.The department head will take over the class until the end of the semester. [KPRC-TV via Associated Press]
- Here’s the 411 on IUDs in Texas. KERA’s Dianna Douglas reports: “Texas health officials recently made a change to doctor reimbursements that hasn’t gotten much notice. They’ve made it a little easier for low-income women and girls to get IUDs. Many health professionals see these contraceptives as the best way to stop unintended pregnancies. But they aren’t popular among teenagers.” Read all about it here.
- North Texans are less racist than other parts of the country, one study shows. Researchers looked at Google searches that included the N-word and broke down the data by media market, The Washington Post reports. Folks in Dallas-Fort Worth are classified as “much less [racist] than average.” Much of Texas is considered “less than average.” Parts of the Panhandle and West Texas are considered “more than average.” The most racist places? The rural Northeast and the South, the study concludes. Read more here. [The Washington Post]