Abbott Says Gold Star Families’ Patriotism ‘Cannot Be Questioned’

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky Fogel August 2, 2016 1:05 pm|

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Gov. Greg Abbott doesn’t think Donald Trump should mess with Gold Star families. Abbott is the latest Republican leader to criticize his party’s presidential nominee after Trump besmirched the family of a fallen Muslim American soldier. Trump and his campaign have directly and indirectly targeted Khizr Kahn and his family since they spoke out against him at the Democratic National Convention last week. In a statement to the Texas Tribune, Abbott said: “The service and devotion of Gold Star families to America cannot be questioned.” 

Then: Which cities in Texas are the most and least educated? That’s what the WalletHub wanted to know. Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with the company, said they looked at a couple of factors. 

“So, we looked at two things: the educational attainment which is basically the percentage of adults with a high school diploma, Associates, bachelor’s degree…etc. and the quality of education as well,” she says. 

The Austin-Round Rock area was the most educated Lone Star spot on the list. It clocked in at number 9. But the state also nabbed the two least educated areas on the list, with Brownsville coming in at 149 and McAllen at 150. 

Also: Texas environmentalists are holding a town hall in Grapevine tonight to drum up interest in the future of the Texas Railroad Commission. The state’s oil and gas regulator could be facing changes and reforms. It’s up for review before the state Sunset Commission. You might be saying, “Sunset Commission? Sounds nice!” Not so fast. That commission is actually charged with figuring out if state agencies are still relevant and working properly. 

Rita Beving says there’s one change environmentalists want to see pronto. She’s with Public Citizen, one of the organization’s behind tonight’s town hall meeting. 

“We find it odd that ’til this day the Railroad Commission’s name doesn’t reflect what it does,” she says. “It doesn’t regulate railroads…we need an agency (name that) at least reflects what it does.” 

Beving adds that they’d like to see the Railroad Commission implement better enforcement and higher fines for violators. Public testimony will be held in Austin on August 22.