Five stories that have North Texas talking: UT football could play in Mexico City by 2020; Gov. Abbott signs the “Denton Fracking Bill;” more on the Waco biker gang shootout; and more.
The University of Texas Longhorns could soon be playing football in Mexico. The Associated Press reports: "UT athletic director Steve Patterson says the Longhorns could play football in Mexico City by 2020 as the university considers expanding its brand internationally. Patterson, who took over as athletic director 19 months ago, spoke at the Associated Press Sports Editors' Southwest Region meeting over the weekend in Austin. Patterson says UT has a natural advantage because of its proximity to what he considers to be a lucrative fan base in Mexico. The men's basketball team will play Washington's team in China in November, making the two teams the first from any major American sport to play a regular-season game in that country. The Texas soccer team played Mexico's Monterrey Tech in an exhibition match in February. The UT volleyball team hosted a squad from China last fall." [Associated Press]
- Gov. Greg Abbott has signed the so-called Denton fracking bill into law. The Texas Tribune reports: “Saying Texas needs to avoid a ‘patchwork of local regulations’ that threaten oil and gas production, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed legislation that would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of drilling-related activities. ‘This bill is so incredibly important,’ the Republican said at a state Capitol ceremony. Flanked by the measure's sponsors, he said House Bill 40 does a ‘profound job of protecting private property rights.’ Intended to clarify where local control ends and Texas law begins, the bill is the most prominent of the flurry of measures filed in response to Denton’s November vote to ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits. The legislation has outraged officials in some towns that have sought to blunt the effects of drilling close to homes, schools and businesses. But in Austin, it sailed through the Republican-dominated Legislature.” Read more here. [Texas Tribune]
- About 170 motorcycle gang members charged with engaging in organized crime are each being held on a $1 million bond in the wake of the deadly Waco shootout. Authorities say capital murder charges are expected. The shootout at the Twin Peaks restaurant between rival motorcycle gangs left nine bikers dead. McLennan County Justice of the Peace W.H. Peterson set the bond Monday for each suspect and described the amount as "appropriate" given the level of violence that occurred Sunday. Texas Standard, the statewide radio news magazine, explored the state’s motorcycle gangs – listen to that conversation here. And KERA’s Courtney Collins talks with an insider to get his perspective on the shootout.[Associated Press/KERA]
- About 45,000 young Texans can’t safely live with their parents. A third of them are in state custody. KERA has launched a weeklong series exploring the topic. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao reports: “They’re trying to navigate a foster care system that’s faced crisis after crisis – from stories of unthinkable child abuse and neglect-related deaths, to reports of over-medicated foster children, and others sent hundreds of miles from home. Over the next few days, we’ll hear from people across North Texas -- biological parents, foster parents and young adults who’ve ‘aged out’ of the system. We’ll start at a one-of-a-kind clinic in Dallas for kids in foster care.” Read the first story here.
- The Fort Worth Zoo has welcomed some babies to its menagerie. The zoo says on its Facebook page that it “is pleased to announce the birth of not one, not two, but three African lion cubs! The cubs (one male and two females) have been bonding with mom in an off-exhibit area since they were born on March 30. As part of assessing the cubs’ well-being, keepers weigh the cubs weekly.” The zoo will soon announce details about their names and when they will make their zoo debut. For now, meet the cute cubs in this video from the zoo’s YouTube page: