The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
The FBI released new information Wednesday in their ongoing investigation into the death of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez. The 36-year-old agent died while on patrol near Van Horn in west Texas nearly three months ago. (In November, soon after his death, Martinez’ father told the El Paso Times that his son had loved his job.)
Following Martinez’ death, politicians and the Border Patrol National Council said he was attacked. That includes President Donald Trump who tweeted, “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring justice to those responsible.”
But as Marfa Public Radio’s Sally Beauvais reports, new information may challenge that theory.
In a statement, the FBI reported that so far the investigation – which has included 650 interviews – has uncovered no evidence in support of an attack on Agent Martinez or his partner.
The agency also released a new detail from the night of the incident. The report states that when Agent Martinez’ partner called dispatch for help, he made a statement suggesting they had run into a culvert.
An autopsy report released Tuesday concluded that Martinez died of head injuries, though HOW he got those injuries is still undetermined.
Finding a way to pass the time while sitting in Texas traffic is crucial. Some might tune into the radio or a podcast. Others might use the maddening minutes spent inching down the highway to catch up with family and friends. Hopefully,
Dallas drivers really need something to pass the time, because it turns out they spent over two full days sitting in traffic last year.
As Molly Evans with KERA News reports, that amount of time spent sitting in the car is actually an improvement.
Dallas drivers spent an average of 54 hours sitting in traffic last year. That’s compared to 59 hours in 2016. Not a dramatic change, but we’ll take it. All that traffic comes at a price. As drivers stared at endless cars ahead, they were losing money – about $1,600 per driver for the year. That includes lost time, wasted fuel and added business costs. That’s according to INRIX. The transportation data company says Los Angeles had the worst congestion in the U.S. Motorists last year spent 102 hours in traffic. Meanwhile, Dallas is the 10th most congested city in the country. And it’s the most congested in Texas. Houston, though, isn’t far behind – it ranked No. 11. Austin was in 14th place. San Antonio ranked No. 42.
February 7th, 2018 would have been Sandra Bland’s 31sts birthday.
When she was 28 years old, Bland was arrested during a traffic stop while in Prairie View during the summer of 2015. Three days later, she was found hanged in her jail cell. Her death was ruled a suicide, but her friends and family have questioned that finding.
In honor of Black History Month, the Houston Museum of African American Culture has an exhibit on display throughout February celebrating Bland’s life. Her mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, attended the exhibit’s opening night on February 3.
Reed-Veal spoke with Houston’s ABC affiliate, KTRK-TV about what it was like to be there.
“You come out of this room and have a mix of happiness and sadness at the same time,” said Reed-Veal.
The exhibit is on view until the end of February. Visitors see photos of Bland smiling throughout her life. They can also sit in a makeshift car within the exhibit and watch footage from the 2015 traffic stop itself.