The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
The Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed the class of 2017 this weekend – and it includes two former Texas players, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.
Bagwell, a former first baseman, spent his entire major league baseball career playing for the Houston Astros. The four-time MLB all-star told the Cooperstown New York crowd he was humbled to be there.
“I want to thank all my coaches who I have who have been instrumental in my growth in a player. I mean, all of you are so great. Ya know, with my swing if anybody saw it – it’s just not something you want to teach to your kids,” Bagwell said.
Fourteen-time All Star Pudge Rodriguez talked about how he always wanted to play baseball. Known as one of the best catchers of all time, he spent the majority of his career playing for the Texas Rangers.
“My earliest childhood memory involved baseball,” Rodriguez said. “My entire life has been about baseball. When teacher asked us what we want to be when we grew up, my answer was always the same; play baseball. And I was able to play at the highest level for 21 years and my dream has become a reality.”
In 2012, Rodriguez signed a one-day contract with the Texas Rangers so he could retire as a member of the team where he started his career.
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is backing President Donald Trump’s call to ban transgender people from serving in the military.
Trump announced his decision on Twitter last Wednesday. It reversed a policy from last summer that had allowed transgender troops to serve openly.
Secretary Perry was in Houston Friday touring an air-conditioning manufacturer. There, he told reporters – even though he’s never talked to Trump about the ban – it will stop the U.S. military from paying unnecessary expenses.
“The idea that the American people need to be paying for these operations to change your sex is not very wise in terms of economics. So, I totally support the president and his decision,” Perry said.
The former Texas governor served five years as a pilot in the Air Force.
Several Republican senators have opposed Trump’s decision. Critics have pointed out that the cost of providing troops with health care related to gender-transitioning is small. It ranges between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year.
When it comes to cities with the most book smarts, the Texas city that ranked the highest is Austin.
That’s according to a recent report from the finance website WalletHub.
Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with the site explains that about half of the factors they looked at had to do with educational attainment – like the number of residents that have a high school diploma, some college experience or professional degrees.
Austin made the national top 10, coming in at number 9 because of the percentage of the population that has gone to college.
“We’re seeing that around 42 percent of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree,” Gonzalez said. “Almost 15 percent have a graduate or professional degree, great public school system ranking, great university score as well.”
Three Texas cities also ranked in the bottom 10 – Beaumont, Brownsville and McAllen.