Doctors urge GOP to halt Texas convention as virus surges
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ largest medical organization is urging the Texas GOP to reconsider plans hold its July convention in Houston as coronavirus caseloads continue surging. Texas GOP leaders have been firm that the three-day convention, which typically draws thousands of attendees, will go forward. They also say face coverings won’t be mandated even as Republican Gov. Greg Abbott urges the public to wear them. Dr. Diana Fite is president of the Texas Medical Association. She says now is “just not the time to bring thousands of the party faithful from around the state” to an indoor meeting.
5 officers investigated over use of force at Austin protests
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Austin Police Department says five officers have been placed on paid administrative duty amid an investigation into what authorities call “less lethal” force during protests against racism and police brutality. The investigation follows public outcry after less lethal incidents that left two people at protests with serious injuries. Officers Nicholas Gebhart, Kyu An, John Siegel, Derrick Lehman and Kyle Felton were placed under investigation as of Friday, and their duties have been limited. Demonstrations spread globally following the police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man. Paid administrative duty limits the type of work officers can do while they are under investigation.
Texas to resume high-stakes standardized testing
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ top education official says the state will resume its high-stakes standardized testing in the upcoming school year. Texas plans to reopen schools in August despite record numbers of daily confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Tuesday that includes the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test. Testing was suspended when school were closed to combat the pandemic. The Texas State Teachers Association says the tests should be put off at least another year as schools try to figure out how to return to the classroom.
AMERICA PROTESTS-DALLAS SUIT
Dallas women sue city, county over Texas’ anti-rioting law
DALLAS (AP) — Three Dallas women arrested amid protests against racism and police violence are suing the city and surrounding county in a challenge to the Texas anti-rioting law. Fifty-five-year-old Yolanda Dobbins, 20-year-old Lily Godinez and 35-year-old Megan Nordyke filed suit in federal court Tuesday. They claim police selectively enforced Texas’ anti-rioting law in a way that targeted protests protected by the First Amendment and ask the court to rule it unconstitutional. They were among hundreds of people police arrested but declined to charge in protests that followed the death of George Floyd. The Dallas city attorney and the Dallas County judge’s offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-PROTEST ARREST
Two men charged with rioting at Texas Capitol amid protest
Two men have been arrested and charged with rioting and committing other crimes at the Texas Capitol during demonstrations. The Texas Department of Public Safety says officers arrested 18-year-old Gerald Govan Brown Saturday. Police found 22-year-old Darius Deshawn Berkley already being held in an Austin jail on unrelated charges. Police say Brown is charged with crimes including criminal mischief-destruction of public monument and attempt to take a weapon from a peace officer. Berkley is jailed on charges of rioting and obstruction or retaliation. His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment. Brown was not listed in jail records.
DOG ATTACK-CHILD KILLED
23-month-old child killed when attacked by dog in Texas
QUINLAN, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a toddler was killed when attacked by a dog in northern Texas. Hunt County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Haines says the 23-month-old child left an enclosed yard near Quinlan on Monday unnoticed by family members and walked a short distance along a gravel road before being attacked by the dog described as a pit bull or pit bull mix. Haines said the child was found in the road and died after being taken to a hospital. Haines said Tuesday the dog is being held at an animal control shelter. No charges have been filed pending completion of an investigation.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-HARDING UNIVERSITY
Harding University won’t rename building after Botham Jean
SEARCY, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ largest private college says it won’t change the name of a building that pays homage to a former school president who opposed integration. A petition from a graduate of Harding University had sought to rename the Beroge S. Benson Auditorium after Botham Jean. Jean was a Black man killed in his living room in 2018 by a white Dallas police officer who said she mistook his apartment as her own. Harding University President Bruce McLarty wrote a letter to the campus last week saying the name change won’t happen. McLarty says he plans to honor Jean “prominently and permanently” on campus but hasn’t determined how.
Coronavirus case in refugee camp at US border raises alarm
HOUSTON (AP) — A nonprofit group says a person has tested positive for the coronavirus in the sprawling refugee camp on the U.S.-Mexico border where an estimated 2,000 people await their immigration court dates. Global Response Management said in a statement Tuesday that the positive test came back Monday for one person and negative for three family members. Global Response Management is providing medical care at the camp. Tests are pending for two other people. Residents in the camp live in squalid conditions: Most sleep in tents or underneath tarps, and there’s little access to running water.
Fauci, CDC chief raise concerns about full airline flights
Top federal health officials are criticizing American Airlines for planning to fill flights and leave no seats empty during the virus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that packing people close together is even more problematic within the confines of an airplane. American said last week it will end its practice of trying to leave half of all middle seats empty. CDC director Robert Redfield says American’s announcement sends the wrong message to the public. Texas-based American is joining United in trying to fill planes to 100%. Airlines are desperate to increase revenue as they try to survive a plunge in air travel due to the virus.
Rudolfo Anaya, ‘godfather’ of Chicano literature, dies at 82
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Rudolfo Anaya, who helped launch the 1970s Chicano Literature Movement with his novel “Bless Me, Ultima,” has died. Anaya’s niece, Belinda Henry, says the celebrated author died Sunday at his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home after a long illness. He was 82. Anaya came onto the scene with his breakthrough work, “Bless Me, Ultima,” in 1972. The World War II-era novel about a young Mexican American boy’s relationship with an older curandera, or healer, influenced a generation of Latino writers. It was made into a feature film in 2013. In 2016, Anaya was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.