Headlines / Quote of the Week

APD Backs Daniel Perry: The Statesman broke news Tuesday that the Austin Police Department had drafted a two-page letter to state officials advocating for Daniel Perry, who killed BLM protester Garrett Foster, to be pardoned. “Mr. Perry should have never been charged,” it says. Interim Police Chief Robin Henderson provided her signature, the Statesman reports.

A model of a womb (Photo via Getty Images)

Abortion Rules Still Hazy: After a five-hour meeting of the Texas Medical Board to clarify abortion rules in Texas, doctors, lawyers and advocates say the new guidance isn’t helpful, and may actually add burdens to doctors, The Texas Tribune reported.

Maternal Mortality Moves: Meanwhile, following legislation out of the 88th session, the state committee that reviews pregnancy-related deaths lost its only non-medical professional with lived experience nearly dying due to a pregnancy, and added a vocal anti-abortion advocate and OB-GYN. Read more online.

Pope Francis (Photo by Long Thiên / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pope Francis Takes Paxton to Task: Pope Francis blasted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton this week, the San Antonio Current reported. Paxton is attempting to shut down an El Paso Catholic charity that helps migrants. “That is madness. Sheer madness. To close the border and leave them there, that is madness,” Francis said. “The migrant has to be received. Thereafter you see how you are going to deal with him. Maybe you have to send him back, I don’t know, but each case ought to be considered humanely, right?”

While Trump Praises Paxton: Donald Trump has said before that he’d consider Abbott as a running mate, KUT reported. Saturday, he said he’d consider tapping Ken Paxton for U.S. attorney general, saying, “I mean, we have a lot of people that want that one and will be very good at it. But he’s a very talented guy.”

Pro-Palestine Capitol March: On Sunday, Pro-Palestine demonstrators marched near the Texas Capitol, after the Department of Public Safety announced it would close Capitol grounds, KUT reported. The Palestinian Youth Movement called the Capitol closure part of a pattern enforced by Gov. Greg Abbott to suppress the pro-Palestine movement. The demonstrators call for the U.S. to end aid to Israel and for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

A scene from one of the pro-Palestine protests in April (Photo by Lina Fisher)

Not Outside Agitators: The Dallas Morning News investigated the University of Texas system’s claim that outside agitators were behind pro-Palestine protests. Based on a definition of outside agitators as professional demonstrators traveling to cities where they are paid to protest, Dallas News found that protesters at UT-Austin and UT-Dallas did not fit the definition. They found protesters unaffiliated with UT were still based in Texas, “with the vast majority living near the city where the protest took place,” Dallas News reported.

Photo via Getty Images

It’s Tampon Time: The Austin Diaper Bank distributes more than 30,000 period products to low-income families in the area every month. In observance of National Period Poverty Awareness Week, they’re asking for donations for 10,000 tampons. Austin Diaper Bank Executive Director Holly McDaniel says a lack of access to period supplies can cause girls to stay home, and miss out on learning and work.

No Way, Waymo: Waymo, a driverless car company that tested cars in Austin, is under federal investigation, the Statesman reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into reports that the fifth generation of cars from Waymo caused traffic problems in a number of cities.

Austin Powers Up New EV Stations: Friday, City Council adopted a new rule allowing some properties to be used for electric vehicle charging stations, the Austin Monitor reported. This will help the city meet a 2020 Climate Equity Plan goal that 40% of total vehicle miles traveled in Austin are electrified. The city also wants EV owners to be “culturally, geographically, and economically diverse.” These commercial charging stations will charge electric cars faster than those installed in single-family homes.

The Love Tax: Advocates and state prison officials agree that tablets in prison have improved communication between incarcerated people and their loved ones, but advocates say it’s also another way to profit off of imprisoned people. Phone calls and emails cost money to send. Some advocates call this a “love tax,” The Texas Tribune reports.

Counting By Hand: In the 2024 Gillespie County primary -lection, thousands of ballots were hand counted, costing taxpayers more than double what it cost to hold the 2020 Republican primary, The Texas Tribune reported. Around 100 people counted ballots, some reporting working more than 12 hours a day. According to experts, hand-counting ballots is time-consuming, less accurate, and less secure than using machines.

Farewell, Wheatsville: Cooperatively owned grocery store Wheatsville Food Co-op will close its original North Campus location eventually, with the Guadalupe location closing in December 2026, Austin Eater reported Wednesday.

Texas French Bread after the 2022 fire (Courtesy of Texas French Bread)

Baking a New Chapter: Two years ago, Texas French Bread burned down. Now, the bakery will start rebuilding in August, My San Antonio reported based on a Texas Department of Licensing and Registration filing.

Photo by John Anderson

Quote of the Week

“Nearly 100 officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety have yet to face a shred of accountability for cowering in fear while my daughter and nephew bled to death in their classroom.”

– Veronica Luevanos, in a statement about the new lawsuit filed by families of Uvalde victims

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