Headlines / Quote of the Week

Lanzifer Eligos Longinus, head of the Satanic Temple in Austin and self-proclaimed Machiavellian Satanist, takes a moment to ask for support before giving the opening invocation at a May 16 San Marcos City Council meeting. Members of Citizens Defending Freedom gathered outside to pray. Tristen Cleve, director of Citizens Defending Freedom in Hays County, said, "Just like all Americans, satanists have a right to speak and worship as they choose, though we certainly disagree with them." (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Generally Hospitable (to Worms): A flathead worm found in Houston may make its way to Austin, aided by the rain this last week, per KUT's reporting. That's bad news, because the invasive flathead worm eats friendly earthworms, is toxic to pets, and can give people rashes.

As the World Turns, the Files Are Turned In: Ahead of the murder trial of Christopher Taylor, the Austin police officer who fatally shot Mike Ramos sparking impassioned protests, news broke that his personnel records at APD will be made public in the trial. Travis County District Court Judge Dayna Blazey denied a city of Austin request to keep part of the file private.

Another World (Known as the 50s): As the Chronicle went to press, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit heard oral arguments in a case filed by anti-abortion extremists that would block the Federal Drug Administration's approval of mifepristone, a common abortion drug. The Washington Post reported that Erin Hawley, the attorney representing anti-abortion plaintiffs, received far less aggressive questioning from the judges than lawyers defending the Justice Department.

All Our Children Need Support: Students in Hays CISD have endured the loss of six peers to fatal fentanyl overdoses since last summer. The district has launched a campaign of posters and videos to educate students and the community about fentanyl risks. The posters demonstrate subtle visual differences in authentic oxycodone, Adderall, and Xanax pills compared to counterfeits that could contain fentanyl.

Passions (for Petroleum): Gov. Greg Abbott, in his wisdom, signed a bill into law this week that will make it harder for Texans to register electric vehicles, by adding $400 in cost to register the environmentally friendly cars. The new fee takes effect in March and won't affect hybrid vehicles, because those car owners still pay gas taxes.

Tesla Being Pulled From Its Dark Shadows: Antelmo Ramirez – a dad, grandpa, and husband – died building the Tesla Gigafactory southeast of Austin as he worked in 96 degree weather. After five months of reporting, the Texas Observer found Tesla failed to comprehensively report accidents in compliance filings required by the county – and Ramirez's death by hyperthermia was omitted.

Guiding Light to State Parks: Texans will get to vote on a $1 billion injection into the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to buy private land to turn into parks, with new trails, fishing holes, and campsites. The state Legislature cleared the way after the House voted this week to put the proposed spending to voters.

U.S. Rep. Greg Casar (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Quote of the Week

"No sane government would pass a bill like this."

– U.S. Rep. Greg Casar, D-Austin, in response to the Texas Legislature passing a bill that blocks local worker and renter protections, including rest breaks and fair chance hiring

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