The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Since Donald Trump was elected president, gun sales have been down across the country according to the finance site, WalletHub.
But WalletHub analysts wanted to figure out which of the 50 states’ economies are the most dependent on the gun industry for things like jobs and even political contributions.
Jill Gonzalez of Wallethub, says when it comes to Texas, the findings were unexpected.
“I was a little surprised to see that Texas – really the middle of the pack here – it ranked 26 out of all 51 places that we looked at,” Gonzalez says. “So gun sales per capita, gun ads for private buying and selling, and even gun ownership – again this is obviously compared to a pretty big population in Texas – but none of those numbers were too high.”
WalletHub found that the states that got the most economic impact from the gun industry were Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Idaho and Kentucky.
In their findings, the state with the highest gun ownership rate was Alaska.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office has raised questions about a prayer room used by Muslim students at Liberty High School in Frisco.
Both the room and the school’s growing diversity were featured in a recent KERA News story that is part of the station’s American Graduate Series, “Race, Poverty, and the Changing Face of Schools”.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office sent the letter this past Friday.
KERA’s Stella M. Chavez reports that Deputy Attorney General Andrew Leonie wrote that the school’s effort to “create an environment where students can freely practice their religion merits admiration, not antagonism.”
But, he wrote, the school’s policy should be neutral toward religion: “It’s unclear whether students of other faiths may use the room at the same time or at other times during the week.”
Chris Moore, the communications director for Frisco schools, says no federal or state guidelines are being violated.
“I assure you that that room is accessible to all students of all denominations, all walks of faith, all cultures, all ethnicities and I assure you that that is in place,” Moore tells Chavez. “I would have liked that opportunity to have been able to clarify that prior to this letter being sent out in en masse.”
Moore says, as far as he knows, the AG’s office didn’t contact the district in advance.
“We work within the Texas Association of School Boards and student religious expression guidelines,” Moore says. “We work within those things to ensure that … we’re reasonably accommodating the religious expression … all student groups can utilize this room.”
Moore says the letter raises some valid questions and that the district will respond. Chavez reports Paxton’s office would not comment beyond the letter.
After a cross-country bipartisan road trip that gained national attention and adoration – Reps. Will Hurd (R-Helotes) and Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) have signed onto legislation each is working on.
O’Rourke is supporting a bill from Hurd that would make it easier for local police departments to hire veterans.
Hurd has signed onto an immigration bill that would make it easier for family of U.S. Citizens to go before a judge when they’ve been barred from reentering the U.S. on a technicality.