AG’s Office Accepting Complaints About Local Officials’ Compliance With ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Law

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelSeptember 27, 2017 11:50 am

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

The Texas attorney general announced Tuesday that his office is now accepting complaints from Texans who believe their local officials are enforcing policies that protect undocumented immigrants.

Ken Paxton’s decision to accept sworn complaints against so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions came a day after news that a federal appeals court has allowed portions of a controversial law to go into effect.

KVUE-TV in Austin reported the ruling:

A ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today, [mean] parts of the state’s controversial ‘sanctuary cities’ law will go into effect. That’s the law requiring all law enforcement agencies honor ICE detainers. Those are request to hold someone in jail while their immigration status is being investigated.

Paxton said the Fifth Circuit’s Monday decision on the state’s immigration law – Senate Bill 4 – is a victory for the state. But opponents of SB 4 and the state are still at odds over what the interim ruling means for immigration enforcement in Texas.

A new study finds that north Texas could experience stronger earthquakes in the future.

“Now the largest earthquake the region has experienced was a magnitude 4 in May of 2015,” says Heather DeSchon, associate professor of geophysics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She led the team of researchers who worked on the study.

She says SMU has been monitoring earthquake activity in the area since 2013.

“Basically using an approach that’s like fingerprinting,” DeSchon says “we used each earthquake that we had recorded as a finger print and went back to look to see if a similar-looking earthquake had happened before and we were surprised to find that earthquakes had been happening in this part of northeast Johnson County – looking like they were occurring on the same fault – going back to 2008.”

What the researchers found was that since 2008, the earthquakes were growing in strength, culminating in that magnitude four earthquake in 2015.

DeSchon explains these earthquakes were directly tied to a method of oil and gas production that results in the injection of wastewater into underground wells.

“As the earthquakes were getting bigger it turns out that we could show that was linearly related to the total amount of wastewater that was being put into the subsurface,” she says.

DeSchon’s team is the latest to link wastewater injection with increased earthquake activity. They found that north Texas has the potential to experience a magnitude five earthquake, which is considered moderate and could lead to limited property damage.

The popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper” will end after its fifth season. Waco couple Chip and Joanna Gaines announced the news on their website Tuesday.

The fifth, and now final, season begins airing in November with a spinoff show to follow called “Behind the Design.”